By Matt Cuartero
The BFAC is normally reserved for plays, musicals, and theatrical shows. Seldom, or rather, never has the BFAC been used for an athletic event. The BFAC Fine Arts stage was altered into a battlefield for Batavia’s wrestling match against Geneva on Thurs., Jan. 15. Almost 1,000 spectators entered the theater and were greeted with a dynamic and impressive stage, complete with fog machines, strobe lights, and pumping music. And to add to the famed rivalry, both teams purchased camouflage uniforms; in their own colors, of course.
“Before each meet, I like to just sit and relax for a little while, since I usually wrestle at the end being the extra-medium size guy I am,” said Dylan Uzumecki. “But this meet was different. Everything felt really strange before the meet even started. Everything seemed out of place; The mat not being in the main gym, us wrestling on a different mat than usual, and we actually heard that we might have a bit of a student section going for us which is super weird, because not a lot of people at school care for wrestling.”
“The team however got prepared by sitting in the auditorium for about an hour before anyone got there, just to kind of take in the atmosphere because obviously was a lot different from normal,” Uzumecki said. “We knew we still had a job to do and that was to win so everyone did their best to focus on their match and not get bothered by any of the distractions going on around us.”
The Bulldogs did not seem to be distracted by an atmosphere that resembled more of a WWE wrestling match, winning 43-14 to clinch the UEC title and improve to 7-0.
As always, the wrestling match began with an exchange of handshakes amongst the athletes. The match also had a humorous sumo match, which had both the team’s head coaches.
Freshman Josh Fischer started the first match by winning the match with a technical fall. The match had the Geneva opponent on the defense virtually the entire time, only to be preceded by two pins by Dylan and Michael Doranski. The Doranski brothers both won their matches win a pin; the combined time it took to pin both of their opponents was only 51 seconds.
Out of the total 360 seconds in a wrestling match, it only took Dylan 20 seconds to secure a pin on his Geneva opponent.
The next match was another victory by Seth Winkle clinching the win by one point on a reversal. This match had a lot of neutral positioning with both Winkle and the opponent struggling to get a few good shots to translate to a takedown. The next four matches resulted in three losses and one win for the Bulldogs. These matches included Luke Schultz, Joe Posledni, Nolan Adams, and Eric Wallersteen. Each match was very close and had a lot of reversals and takedowns on both sides.
Matt Pohorsky had two footsweeps with one that resulted in a takedown and added another victory for Batavia. Derek Nutley continued the winning trend, and again clinched the win with a single point. Noah Frasier lost his match, but only by a single escape. Frasier and the Geneva opponent had a constant neutral struggle and the shots made didn’t result in a lot of takedowns or taken to the floor. It was a very close match.
Dylan Uzumecki had a quick takedown in the first period of the match. He then followed up with the takedown with a pin, wrapping up the match in two periods.
“In my match, I had the first takedown about halfway through the first period,” Uzumecki said. “I then tried to score some backpoints by getting a turn, but really nothing happened for the rest of the first period. In the second period, I started in bottom referee’s position then I got a 1 point escape pretty quickly. After my escape my opponent took a shot and got to my legs and thought he was just trying to push me out of bounds since it wasn’t a very good shot and we were on the edge of the mat. Almost being pushed out of bounds I was draped over my opponent arm wrapped around his neck and when he stood up he was still pushing me out of bounds then I hit a ‘neck wrench’ which is how I threw him. During my match, I was feeling pretty good and approaching my match my plan was to get the first takedown and then go from there.”
Lastly, Mitchell Krusz had the final match, securing the final victory for Batavia. Winning the final match in the Upstate Eight Conference dual against Geneva, Krusz held a roaring victory pose in front of the entire crowd.