By Mitch Silver
The great thing about a Rye High versus Rye Country Day wrestling match is, the two rivals leave everything on the mat. The not-so-great-thing? Neither team has a roster big enough to be able to put a wrestler out on that mat in every weight class.
So, even though the scoreboard read Rye Country Day 60, Rye High 30 at the end of the afternoon of December 13, there were only five competitive bouts. Wildcat co-captains Max Mandell (152 pounds) and Pierce Kim (160 pounds) both pinned their Garnet foes — Dylan Webb and Jason Rosenfield — in matchups that could have gone either way.
At 170 pounds, Chase Bekkerus was the lone Garnet winner, beating Brooks Sleeper in a fall at 3:10 of the match. William Dunn (182) and Charlie Moysak (285) pinned the Alexes — Leishman and Mocha — to round out the official scoring.
Every weight classification from 99 to 145 pounds ended in a forfeit. Rye’s Hallie Rosenfield, Audrey Miller, and Bebe Deen — and the visitors’ Ruben Gomez, Will Cutler, William Shabecoff, Will Waddell, and Robbie Fox — all had their hands raised in triumph without shedding a single drop of sweat. Rye’s talented junior Tyler Webb (195) and the Wildcats’ returning NYSAIS champ at 220 pounds, Richard Antoine, also won by forfeit. They and some of the other forfeit winners appeared in exhibition matches to round off the afternoon.
The Garnets, under first-year Head Coach Joel Jensen, wrestled at the Woodlands Duals 72 hours later. Dealing with some of the same lineup holes that doomed them against Rye Country Day, Rye lost to Somers, 48-30, and Sleepy Hollow, 51-36.
The Wildcats, under 30-year veteran coach Rich Knazik, fared better by far. They had started the season by beating Lexington School for the Deaf, 64-6, and taking the measure of Horace Mann by 48-42 and Martin Luther High of Queens, 52-21. Three days after the Rye match, they won the Trinity School meet by beating both Bayard Rustin, 48-30, and Lexington, in a rematch, 42-18.
The Garnets traveled to their other major rival, Harrison High, post-press time. Both squads are now off for the holiday break until 2018.
Rye’s Dylan Webb appears close to pinning Wildcat co-captain Max Mandell.