JOHNSTOWN – For the first time since the Fonda-Fultonville and Johnstown wrestling programs combined in 2017-18, the merged team claimed a league title.
Fonda/Johnstown clinched the Western Athletic Conference championship Saturday with a 66-12 victory over Berne-Knox-Westerlo/Middleburgh at Johnstown High School.
“It’s a little bit of nice motivation going into sectionals,” Fonda/Johnstown coach Paris said. “I don’t want our guys to get complacent and think the season is over just because they won the WAC title. Even though we won the league, we’re not done yet.”
Fonda/Johnstown put itself in position to claim the crown with a 42-24 victory at Duanesburg/Schoharie on Jan. 5. It was the first WAC loss for Duanesburg/Schoharie, which had won the last four league titles, since the 2017-18 season.
“It really meant a lot to the program considering the proud wrestling tradition of Duanesburg,”Paris said. “It was a great accomplishment and shows that the program here is moving in the right direction.”
In its only other league match, Fonda/Johnstown (9-11 overall, 3-0 WAC) notched a 60-17 victory over Canajoharie/Fort Plain on Jan. 10.
Fonda/Johnstown won 11 of 13 weight classes against Berne-Knox-Westerlo/Middleburgh.
Owen Hicks (145 pounds), Colin Pickering (152), Caleb McCoy (172) and Owen Lewis (189) all won by fall for Fonda/Johnstown, while Trenton Lawyer (102), Jonathan Swartwout (110), Kyran Clark, Matthew Livingston (126), Zane Chace (132), Logan McCoy (138) and Jonathan Sammons (215).
River Townsend (160) and Matt Dibble (285) won by fall for Berne-Knox-Westerlo/Middleburgh.
Hicks and Pickering started the match with back-to-back pins to give Fonda/Johnstown a 12-0. Hicks pinned Nick Price in 1:42 and Pickering pinned Drew Ballatto in 4:38.
Townsend notched BKW/Middleburgh’s first win at 160, pinning Aidan Bump in 3:43.
Fonda-/Johnstown answered with three straight wins as Caleb McCoy pinned Matt Cyr in 25 second, Lewis pinned Lincoln Snyder in 4:46 and Sammons won by forfeit.
Dibble earned the second and final win of the day for BKW/Middleburgh, pinning Landon Hojohn in 2:14.
The match was also the final contested weight class of the day as Fonda/Johnstown collected forfeit wins in the last last six weight classes to seal the 66-12 victory.
Lawyer, Swartwout, Clark, Livingston, Chace and Logan McCoy all won by forfeit for Fonda/Johnstown to finish out the match.
Next up for Fonda/Johnstown will be the postseason with sectional tournaments on the schedule the next two weeks.
“Our goal going into the next two weeks is to surprise some people,” Paris said. “We’ve wrestled a lot out of the section this year against some tough teams. I don’t think a lot of Section II teams know what kind of true talent we have.”
Fonda/Johnstown will travel to Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk next Saturday for the Section II Class CC Tournament. The top four finishers in each weight class advance to the Section II Division II Championships at Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls on Feb. 11.
“We’ve trained the right way and prepared the right way to get ready for the sectional tournaments. We’re looking to be at our best the next two weeks,” Paris said. “Our schedule has prepared for what’s ahead the next two weeks. I’m looking forward to it.”
Fonda/Johnstown 66, Berne-Knox-Westerlo/Middleburgh 12
145: Owen Hicks (Fo-Jo) pinned Nick Price, 1:42
152: Colin Pickering (Fo-Jo) pinned Drew Ballatto, 4:38
160: River Townsend (BKW/M) pinned Aidan Bump, 3:43
172: Caleb McCoy (Fo-Jo) pinned Matt Cyr, 0:25
189: Owen Lewis (Fo-Jo) pinned Lincoln Snyder, 4:46
215: Jonathan Sammons (Fo-Jo) won by forfeit
285: Matt Dibble (BKW/M) pinned Landon Hojohn, 2:14
102: Trenton Lawyer (Fo-Jo) won by forfeit
110: Jonathan Swartwout (Fo-Jo) won by forfeit
118: Kyran Clark (Fo-Jo) won by forfeit
126: Matthew Livingston (Fo-Jo) won by forfeit
132: Zane Chace (Fo-Jo) won by forfeit
138: Logan McCoy (Fo-Jo) won by forfeit