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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 16, 2012

Section II champ at 220
Sprung into states for first time

BERNE –– Joe Sprung is the first-ever Berne-Knox-Westerlo wrestler to qualify for the State Wrestling Tournament. He has a legitimate shot at medaling when he gets there.

“I was in disbelief that I was the first,” Sprung said this week about his 4-to-2 win over Andre Maxam of Hudson Falls for his Section II title at 220 pounds on Saturday. “So many emotions running through me at that moment.”

Sprung, a junior, was one of 21 area wrestlers –– 10 from Guilderland, eight from BKW, and three from Voorheesville –– that made the Section II Championships held in Glens Falls last weekend.

“I do far more work than most of the others,” said Sprung, now 35-1. He’s competed all over the country with Journeymen Wrestling, an amateur club that has a focus of getting committed wrestlers ready for the next step.

“My schedule is pretty tough, but it really helps,” Sprung said.

Sprung will be joined at the State Tournament by teammate Matt Casullo, as senior, who received an at-large bid at 170 pounds on Wednesday because of past finishes. Casullo, 33-3, has won Class D and placed third in Section II for two consecutive years.

“I always hoped to make it,” Casullo said this week.

BKW Head Coach Jeff Vogel said that Casullo wasn’t offensive enough in his semifinal loss to Mike Green of Cobleskill on Saturday. Casullo had wrestled Green twice before, pinning him once and winning, 6 to 0, in the other match.

“He knew he wrestled a bad match against Green,” Vogel said of Casullo, “but he got his head together and won two more matches to get third. It’s hard to recover like that.”

Sprung’s only loss of the season was to Drew Wintermute of Tully on Dec. 3. Since then, no opponent has come close to beating Sprung. After watching the tape of Sprung’s loss against Wintermute, Vogel had noticed that the referee had cut time off the match.

“He can dominate other kids,” Vogel said of Sprung. “It all comes from his extra work. It’s the fruit of his labor.”

Casullo wrestled with Journeymen last year and has gotten to spend plenty of time with Sprung. “He’s a great wrestler,” Casullo said of Sprung. “He works really hard.”

Although a little rusty on his feet, Sprung said he can score from anywhere when he’s on the mat surface. The State Wrestling Tournament is Feb. 24 and 25 at the Time Union Center in Albany.

“You want to try and win every match, but it’s more important to make the opponent wish they’d never have wrestled you,” said Sprung. “I’m going to try as hard as I can.”

Vogel won his second Class D Coach of the Year award this week. He first won the honor in 2009. He started the BKW wrestling program in 2005 and last week his team hosted and won the sectional championship.

“It’s pretty easy to coach when you get a group of guys that believe in what you’re telling them,” Vogel said. “We don’t have much history here, but we’re in the process of making it right now.”

Other results

BKW had a tremendous wrestling season this year, winning Class D, but Guilderland and Voorheesville also did well. The Dutchmen went from winning one dual meet last year to winning 13 this season.

Here are the rest of the area wrestlers who made it to the podium at the Section II Championships last Saturday:

–– Josh LoGuidice, Guilderland, third place at 99 pounds after beating Chris Velazquez of Amsterdam, 8 to 5;

–– Tristan Welton, Voorheesville, third place at 99 pounds after beating Schalmont’s Alex Lambert, 5 to 3, in overtime;

–– Mike McGill, Guilderland, third place at 220 pounds after beating Jason Johnson of Columbia, 2 to 1;

–– Quinn Treadgold, Voorheesville, third place at 138 pounds after beating Duanesburg’s Andy Mollevik, 8 to 3;

–– Jim McLaughlin, Guilderland, fourth place at 195 pounds after being pinned by Race Viedt of Burnt Hills;

–– Ben Becker, BKW, fourth place at 152 pounds after losing to Tamarac’s Joe Hulsebosch, 4 to 0;

–– Josh Richards, BKW, fifth place at 160 pounds after beating Matt Coreno of Mechanicville, 6 to 2;

–– Mike Lainhart, Guilderland, fifth place at 106 pounds after beating Columbia’s Golan Cohen, 7 to 6, in overtime.

–– Don Case, Voorheesville, sixth place at 285 pounds after forfeiting his match due to injury against Jeremy Stevens of Cambridge; and

–– Derek Struck, BKW, sixth place at 145 pounds after being pinned by Cobleskill’s Nick Rehberg.

By Jordan J. Michael

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