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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 4, 2010

Bulldogs use non-league tournament to gear up for sectionals

By Jordan J. Michael

The Berne-Knox-Westerlo wrestling team got a sneak preview of sectionals on Saturday in the Wasaren League Tournament at Tamarac.

The Bulldogs have made an annual stop at the non-league event because it’s the best way for the team to get ready for the Class D sectionals. Last year, the Wasaren Tournament included 10 of the 30 athletes who made the state competition.

“I want our team here because this is one of the most stacked tournaments around,” said Head Coach Jeff Vogel. “It’s the best tune-up and temperature gauge I can find. It’s a no- brainier.”

Halfway through the day’s events at Tamarac, Vogel told The Enterprise that half of his team looked really good and the other half needed a little more work. When the day was over, every BKW wrestler had made it to the top six of his respective weight class. The team finished fifth overall with 83.5 points.

The Bulldogs first came to the Wasaren Tournament five years ago and left with only two wins. On Saturday, every wrestler on the team won at least one match. “We continue to make good steady progress as a program,” Vogel said.

Senior Nolan Diamond (189 pounds) and Sophomore Jesse Montasano (285 pounds) both reached the finals and each finished second. Diamond is now 32-4 on the season and has 96 career wins. He could be the first BKW wrestler to earn 100 wins.

“We keep going further and further every year,” said Diamond after pinning Joe Nellis of Johnstown to move to the semi-final round. “We’re true contenders now.”

Montasano has 23 wins on the season and 15 of them are pins under one minute. Montasano said that he learned his moves on the mat from Keith Domermuth, who graduated last year.

“Part of being a wrestler is knowing you can bounce back after being beat,” Montasano said after pinning Andrew Van Hoesen of Johnstown in 31 seconds. “You’ll learn more from a loss than what you’ll learn from a win.”

Junior Vincent Pasquini (140 pounds) went 3-1 on the day and finished third. Anthony Pasquini (112), Blake Whitbeck (125), Derek Struck (130), Matt Casullo (135), Josh Burgher (152), Akeem Stewart (171), and Joe Sprung (215) all won at least one match for the Bulldogs.

Casullo told The Enterprise that his favorite move is the “bulldog double.” “We get the knees under the chin and try to cross the body,” he said.

“It was the first move we ever perfected,” added Vogel. “That’s why we called it a ‘bulldog’.”

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