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Friday, April 19, 2024

Saratoga Springs Wrestlers Combine Experience and Youth to Win Dual Meet Championships in Section 2 Boys’ Wrestling


SYRACUSE — The‍ Saratoga‌ Springs wrestling team has⁤ a mixture of experience and ​youth, which over the ​course of the⁣ season has worked in tandem to send the Blue Streaks to the NYSPHSAA ⁤Division 1 dual meet ⁢championships.

It ‌all starts with 131-pounder Taylor Beaury, ⁢a junior ⁤who has been to ⁣the ⁢state tournament twice.

Then the Blue Streaks have 215-pound senior Pat McKinley, who may tell you he’s more⁢ of a ⁢baseball player. Don’t let him fool you, he’s as big of a threat at 215 that you’ll find in Section⁣ 2.

Saratoga Springs coach Jake Zanetti has been able to rely⁢ on eighth-grader Brendan Stoutenburg out of the 101 spot, while freshman Gianni Bench has held down the fort ‍at 108.

Sophomores Chase Matter (124) and Danny‍ Dacey (145) both have their⁢ eyes on ‌the state tournament, along with‌ junior Gianni Delgado (170).

However,⁤ before Saratoga ⁤Springs was ⁣able to reach the dual‌ meet championships ‍on Saturday, ⁢they needed to get Beaury healthy.

“I had​ a broken​ collar bone right⁣ before ‍the season ‍started, so that took⁤ a ​lot ⁣to recover. When I started back, it just ‍kept hurting worse,” Beaury said. “Finally, I went to physical therapy and got it figured out. Then, when I came‌ back from that, I hit the mat hard‌ and fractured my jaw. It was mentally‍ defeating.

“You’ll get in⁤ those moments​ in‌ your head,‍ worried that it won’t be good, but you just have to push through it and keep going.”

While Beaury ⁣was sidelined, sophomore Luke Stoutenburg filled the bulk of the duties at 131 pounds for the Blue Streaks.

However, with the required three matches and ​six weigh-ins under his belt, Beaury was finally ⁣able to join the fray for the Section 2 dual meet ⁣championships,​ winning both of his matches against Averill Park and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake on Jan. 17.

After winning five more matches on Jan. 20 ‍to earn⁣ first place at the King ‍Bison invitational, ‍Beaury was ⁢ready to compete against some of the best teams in the state.

The Blue Streaks took the mat on Saturday morning against Horseheads in⁣ their first‍ matchup at the dual meet state ​championships. Saratoga Springs came away with a ⁤32-29 victory, with Beaury, Matter and McKinley earning pinfall victories.

“When one person ⁢starts winning, it gets everyone motivated and ready to go ⁢out there and get a pin,” Beaury said.

Christopher Johnson earned ⁤a 15-0⁣ technical fall ​at 116, while ⁤Delgado, Dacey and Luke Stoutenburg (138) all picked up‍ favorable⁤ decisions.

Saratoga Springs’ next dual meet didn’t go as⁤ well against the ultimate Division 1⁢ champion. Plainedge came away with​ a 43-18 victory, as McKinley and Brendan Stoutenburg earned ​pins for Saratoga Springs. Beaury and Bench earned⁢ decisions, in ‍the ‍Blue Streaks only ⁣other wins⁣ of the match.

“They’re a strong team,” Beaury ​said. “Every guy⁤ on that⁢ team was jacked.”

While the loss brought an ‌end to Saratoga Springs’ hopes of a team championship, ⁣it was a valuable experience ⁤for every ‍member of the‍ team, including first-year wrestler Dakarai ​Davis.

Weighing in at 215​ pounds, Davis ⁤has bumped up to the 285-pound⁣ weight class. The junior has posted a 12-17 record in his first season on the mat.

“When I first started⁤ it was a little ⁣confusing, getting used to all the drills‌ and everything,”‌ Davis⁤ said. “And all of a sudden, now I’m going up ‌against ⁤wrestlers who have​ been to states,‌ guys who have​ been doing it for years. It’s definitely a lot of pressure​ on my shoulders not wanting to let down my teammates.”

Beaury has enjoyed having Davis join the group, watching as he’s learned to ‍sport and contributed ​to the varsity team right away.

“He’s our team ⁣spirit right there,” Beaury said. “Dakarai​ is a first-year wrestler. He came over from football, and in ⁤the first practice, he just started tackling people. He’s awesome.”

“It made me feel like I was a part of something bigger, part ​of the team,” ⁣Davis said of ⁤his desire to wrestle. “It’s like a ⁢family ⁢that we have.”

Davis went ‍from being a linebacker in the⁢ fall with no wrestling experience to ‌competing in the dual⁣ meet state championships.

“It’s crazy,” Davis⁢ said. “It’s my first year ⁣wrestling, and⁣ I’m here ‌at the state championships. I​ can’t really ​explain how crazy it is right now.”

What an incredible journey for the Saratoga Springs wrestling team! From overcoming injuries to ⁣welcoming new members, the team has shown ‌resilience and determination. The experience‌ gained from competing in⁤ the dual meet state championships will ⁣undoubtedly benefit each member in their⁤ future wrestling endeavors. Congratulations⁤ to the Blue Streaks for their hard work ​and dedication!

Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan, an informed and passionate sports reporter, is a former college athlete with a degree in Sports Communication from Ithaca College. Go Bombers!
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  1. Great job, Saratoga Springs wrestlers! Your combination of experience and youth paid off in the Dual Meet Championships. Keep up the amazing work!


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