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Red Raiders Dominate Liberty In OCIAA Wrestling Match

By Nathan Mayberg
LIBERTY —January 23, 2004– Port Jervis defeated Liberty 66-0 in an OCIAA Division II wrestling match Wednesday night in Liberty.
Liberty (0-2, 0-2 OCIAA) was severely outmanned and forfeited six weight classes. Even so, the Liberty fans rooted loud and hard for their wrestling team as coaches for both teams yelled instructions at their wrestlers.
In the 112 lb. division, Connor Norrell of Port Jervis won by forfeit. Jeff Foley (119 lb.) of PJ also won by forfeit.
Port’s Ruben Rosas (130 lb.) pinned Woodrow Wilson in 1:33.
The 135 lb. division produced a decision victory for PJ (3-2, 2-0 OCIAA). Brendon Dennison was awarded an 18-13 win over Lauren Michaud.
The Red Raiders also gained a decision in the 140 lb. weight class. Jesse Lodema was the beneficiary, defeating Mark LaGattuta by an 8-3 margin.
At 145 lb., Dan Presto pinned Justin Earl of Liberty in a relatively quick time of 1:07. Rob Hermo (152 lb.) of Port won by forfeit, as did Jon Foley (160), Alex Kaufmann (189) and Rick Crown (215).
In the 171 lb. class, Port’s Joe Pesce took down Tony Martinez in 1:45 after a tough battle.
The final matchup was between Scott Reed of Port Jervis and Peter Pekny of Liberty in the 275 lb. class. At first, the two could not wrestle each other to the floor. When they finally hit the mat, Reed overpowered Pekny and got the pin at 1:39
Port Jervis Coach Dave Simmons noted that Liberty was “hurting from numbers.”
“Our kids wrestled very well,” Simmons said. “Their kids wrestled very well.”
Of all his wrestlers, Simmons “thought Ruben [Rosas] wrestled pretty well.”
“[Liberty’s Woodrow] Wilson is a senior. He has been around a while.”
Simmons was particularly impressed with the Indians’ Mark LaGattuta, who lost one of the closest battles of the night on a decision. Jesse Lodema, who earned the victory over LaGattuta, is a former Section IX runner-up.
Simmons also praised Lauren Michaud of Liberty, for wrestling “a good match.” She forced a decision with Brendon Dennison in the 135 lb. class.
The Red Raiders will travel to Long Island this weekend to meet Nassau, Westchester and Suffolk County teams. The Indians are scheduled to return to the mats next Thursday, when they will travel to Eldred for an OCIAA Division II match.

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