GET HIM TO THE MAT — Springville-Griffith Institute’s Jake Smith takes down an Eden opponent, in an earlier match. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — The Springville-Griffith Institute Grapplers defeated Maryvale 42-23 in a dual match on Jan. 10. The following day, the team took fourth place at the Franklinville Tournament.
The dual meet saw eight Springville wrestlers pick up victories. At 138, Springville’s Bryce Szudzik defeated William Donohue of Maryvale, in a 6-0 decision.
Zack Swank won by pin over Maryvale’s Nakeem Ubaydah, at 113. Josh Ball took the 285 class, by pinning Maryvale’s Demante Chatmon. Springville’s Patrick O’Brien wasted no time pinning Patrick Russell of Maryvale in just 30 seconds.
“They just really came in and wrestled,” said Springville coach Gary Feltz, of his team. “They really did a good job. It was a really exciting match. It came down to each one pulling their weight, all the way through. This match is going to be the look of all the matches I’m seeing, for the rest of the season. They’re going to be really close matches. They’re going to be real dog fights.”
Feltz noted that the most impressive performance on the night came from Springville’s Jake Smith, at 132. Smith, a sophomore, defeated Maryvale’s Ean Slisz by a 4-0 decision. Slisz was a sectional finisher, last season. Smith scored a take-down in the fourth period and then picked up a reversal in the third.
“It was a tough match, all the way through,” said Feltz. “Jake really controlled the match. He was never in any danger, competing against a really skilled wrestler. Ean couldn’t do a whole lot, to get out from underneath.”
Bryant Boundy, Ian Baker and Greg Benstead picked up victories via forfeits.
The following day, Jan. 11, Springville took eight wrestlers to the Franklinville tournament where seven wrestlers placed in the tourney. Springville received a fourth-place finish overall, out of 11 teams. The tournament field included Sweet Home, Kenmore West, Pioneer, Holland, Gow, host Franklinville, Alexander, East Aurora, Letchworth and Portville. Springville’s finish was the school’s best tournament finish in 10 years, Feltz noted.
Sophomore Josh Ball highlighted Springville’s performance at the tournament, with a first-place finish at 285. Ball went 4-0 with four pins. Three of those pins came in less than a minute.
“I saw one move all tournament from him,” said Feltz, with laugh. “He has gotten to the point where he knows just when to hit. He doesn’t force it. He can feel when the kid is a little off-balance or he gets the right movement, he hits it and he hits it hard, too. He dominated the tournament; he really did.”
Smith also took first place at 132, when he defeated teammate Bryce Szudzik, in the final. Smith had a perfect 3-0 record at the tournament, while Szudzik went 2-1 for a second-place finish. With the tournament sweep, Smith is now 14-2 on the season, with both of his losses being by 1-point decisions. He lost to Falconer’s Scott Green by a 2-1 decision and Eden’s Jesse Vondell by a 7-6 decision, earlier in the season.
Jobe Fleming, a junior for Springville, went 3-2 at the tourney, for a fourth-place finish. Fleming is one of the team’s captains and has eight wins, on the season.
“He’s a great leader and a great person,” said Feltz of Fleming. “He really is compassionate with his fellow wrestlers and it really shows, on the team. He wants everyone to do well and he brings the team up.”
Boundy had a fourth-place finish at 160, including winning via a pin, in both of his victories. Swank finished sixth, at 113. Swank’s tournament was highlighted by a 42-second pin over Caleb Palmetier of Franklinville. Baker went 3-1 and finished in third place. at 152, including two pins, to conclude Springville’s finishers.
Springville returned to the mat on Jan. 15, when the team took on Lackawanna.
The team will host Gow on Jan. 21, for a 6 p.m start.