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Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

MIDDLETOWN’S PAT DOTY (top) gets the better of Monticello’s Eric Shulman during this exchange in their 145 lb. match.

Quite the Grapple

By Ted Waddell
MONTICELLO — December 25, 2001 – “Challenge: I’ll finish what I started because I’m not a quitter!!!! . . . Wrestling 2001.”
“Pushing just as hard when you have nothing left to prove.”
These are a couple of the inspirational quotes posted in the Monticello wrestling team room, along with a famous quote by the great Martin Luther King, Jr., “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Last Wednesday night, the Monticello Panthers (1-3) squared off against the Bears of Middletown (2-1). Middletown took the match 47-30.
After the match was over, veteran Monti wrestling coach Ed Kaufmann continued a team tradition by handing out a couple of trophies for the team MVP picks: Anthony Ng’s 4:36 pin in the 96-pound match, and Kyle Brasington’s 10-4 decision at 152-pounds.
Kaufmann has been coaching Monticello Central School wrestlers for 27 years, starting with modifieds in 1975. He took over the varsity helm in 1987.
“We have a young team,” he said. The 2001-2002 Monti wrestling team has two seniors (Josh Janove and Billy Steinberg) and a pair of juniors (Matt Holmes and Wayne Vandermeulen, Jr.). There are nine sophmores, seven freshmen and a lone eighth-grader (Ng).
The varsity line-up, and comments by the coach:
•96 lbs: Anthony Ng, eighth-grader, “joined the team after his brother was injured.”
•96 lbs: Chris Ng, 9th grader, “on the disabled list with a hurt shoulder.”
•103 lbs: Jimmy Conway, 9th grader, “older brother wrestles at 130, first year wrestler, done very well so far.”
•112 lbs: Ron Ducharme, 10th grader, “placed fourth in his weight class in the league last season, competing since the eighth grade . . . a big prospect . . . expect him to do very well this year, a kid that should start producing.”
•119 lbs: Casey DeGraw, “ a young 10th grader, wrestling in a tough weight class.”
•125 lbs: Kyle Fried, 10th grader, “wrestling varsity since the eighth- grade, career record of 55-14, my top wrestler . . . will be very good if he sticks with it . . . Kyle’s in a class of his own.”
•130 lbs: Chris Conway, 10th grader, “an inexperienced wrestler, has done a little wrestling on his own.”
•135 lbs: Scott Kaplan, 10th grader, “a young kid.”
•140 lbs: Josh Janove, senior, “very inexperienced.”
•145 lbs: Eric Shulman, 10th grader, “really a JV wrestler.”
•152 lbs: Kyle Brasington, 10th grader, “should do very well . . . might have a shot at going to the states this year.”
•160 lbs: Benny Caballero, 10th grader, “really a JV kid who is wrestling varsity because I don’t have anybody else . . . doing a nice job filling in.”
•171 lbs: John Campanaro, freshman, “filling in at varsity from the JV lineup.”
•189 lbs: Matt Holmes, junior, wrestling since the eighth- grade,” coming around . . . has another year.”
•215 lbs: Billy Steinberg, senior, “needs to improve in his intensity . . . expect him to place in the top four in the county championship.”
Last Tuesday, the Monti matmen defeated Washingtonville, 37-34, after being down at one point 24-0.
On December 8, they didn’t do well as a team at the Colony Tournament in Albany, but Fried took second at 125 lbs., losing to the state champion in the finals.
Last week at the Walton tourney, Fried took second place in his weight class.
Kaufmann’s wrestling philosophy?
“The kids learn about their heart and desire,” he said. “It’s a sport that requires a great deal of training, and a great deal of dedication.”
“There’s no time out,” he added. “They’re always working on their weight . . . it’s very gruelling and intense.”
According to Kaufmann, the number of kids who turn out for wrestling are dwindling because “nobody wants to put in the time and effort . . . it’s constant banging and pounding.”
“The only real reward is six minutes on the mat,” he explained. “my hat’s off to kids who start the season and finish it.”
Results from Wednesday’s meet: 96 pounds – Anthony Ng (Monticello) pinned Ivan Bruno, 4:36; 103 – James Conway (Mon.) pinned David Hasbrouck, 0:49; 112 – Ron Ducharme (Mon.) pinned Prisco Acevedo, 1:09; 119 – Rob Pagan (Middletown) pinned Casey DeGraw, 2:37; 125 – Kyle Fried (Mon.) pinned Chris Frain, 4:49; 130 – Scott Kaplan (Mon.) defeated Adam Flocke, 6-3; 135 – Steve Hammond (Mid.) pinned Chris Conway, 4:34; 140 – Will Rivera (Mid.) pinned Josh Janove, 1:09; 145 – Pat Doty (Mid.) defeated Eric Shulman, 13-0; 152 – Kyle Brasington (Mon.) defeated Kevin Donohue, 10-4; 160 – Bryan O’Connell (Mid.) pinned Benny Caballero, 1:27; 171 – Conan Duelk (Mid.) pinned John Campanaro, 0:51; 189 – Paublo Diaz (Mid.) pinned Matt Holmes, 3:36; 215 – Alberto Diaz (Mid.) pinned Billy Steinberg, 4:29.

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