Grapplers finish first in Oneonta State Invitational, wrestlers undefeated

The College improved to 3-0 over the last week. (Tom O’Dell / Photot Assistant)
The College improved to 3-0 over the last week. (Tom O’Dell / Photot Assistant)

After several dual meet wins early this season, the Lions flexed their muscles at the Oneonta State Invitational last Saturday.

The College finished first overall in the 12-school tournament, scoring 152 team points, while four individual grapplers were winners in their respective weight classes.

Individual winners for the Lions included sophomore Jim Somma at 141 pounds, freshman Brian Broderick at 174 pounds and juniors Mike Denver and Adam Koziol at 184 and 197 pounds respectively.

“We wrestled really well, we are coming along and keep getting better each time,” head coach David Icenhower said. “Overall it was a very good weekend and we are continuing to progress.”

Koziol credited his training with his success.

“I think the kids I wrestle with at practice every day and coaches really helped,” he said.

The Lions finished far in front as a team, scoring 152 points with Oneonta State finishing a distant second with 110 overall points.

Also on Saturday was the East Stroudsburg Open, hosted by East Stroudsburg University. Two College wrestlers, senior Tyler Branham and graduate student Dan DiColo, competed in this tournament featuring more than 70 grapplers. Branham was victorious in seven matches to come out on top at 149 pounds.

“Branham wrestled great,” Icenhower said. “Out of the seven guys he wrestled, five were Division I. Danny (DiColo) wrestled well too.”

DiColo went 2-2 on the day in the 157-pound weight class.

The Lions were riding high into the invitational, taking down two foes at home earlier in the week. The Lions bested Hunter College 37-7 on Nov. 18 and overtook New York University 31-6 on Nov. 19 to improve their record to 3-0.

Against Hunter, the Lions won their final six individual bouts to gain victory over the Hawks. Branham began the streak with a 10-2 major decision at 149 pounds. The Lions followed suit with victories by DiColo, senior Al Wonesh, juniors Justin Bonitatis, Mike Denver, Koziol and sophomore Ben Ostner.

The Lions are off to a dominant start this season. (Tom O’Dell / Photot Assistant)
The Lions are off to a dominant start this season. (Tom O’Dell / Photot Assistant)

The Lions returned to Packer Hall the next day to put on another dominant performance versus the Violets of New York University. The College rattled off another six-win streak in the mid weight classes to grab its third victory this season. Joining the win streak was Broderick who won by technical fall 21-5 at 174 pounds.

“What you look for is to get a little better each time you go out, and the team is starting to get into better shape and believe in their conditioning and taking little steps,” Icenhower said.

The Lions will be put to the test on Saturday at the York (PA) University Invitational, a meet including many difficult foes.

“This weekend is going to be tough because there are three Top-15 teams we will be going up against,” Icenhower said.