Spencerport pulls reversal on Brighton
By Rock McKissic
After Brighton dismantled Spencerport in a December wrestling showdown, marking the first time the Rangers had lost to the Barons at home in five years, Spencerport set two goals for the rest of the season.
First the Rangers wanted to go unbeaten the rest of the way. Then they wanted to knock off Brighton in the Section 5 tournament.
The Rangers entered Saturday's sectionals at Rush-Henrietta with a 10-0 dual-meet record since their setback to the Barons, and shocked Brighton by successfully defending their Class A championship.
Spencerport finished with 177 points, followed by heavily favored Barons (160.5) and Greece Athena (114). The Rangers won 12 matches by one point and pinned 15 wrestlers in the tournament.
Brighton is ranked fourth in New York State, Spencerport is 13th and Athena is 20th.
"I'll be honest with you, I didn't think we'd have enough to beat them," Spencerport coach Bill Jacoutot said. "We put in the goals after they beat us and after three months, our sophomores became juniors. We thought we could catch up to them."
The underclassmen have blossomed right on schedule.
The Barbera twins, sophomores Jason (98-pounds) and Joe (105) have a combined 58 victories. Sirrell Gissendanner, a sophomore 155 pounder with 32 wins, is so athletic and entertaining the fans and opposing schools cheer for him, Jacoutot says.
"He's very dynamic," Jacoutot said. "He's not cocky or anything, but he can do things athletically that I never had a kid do at that age."
Jason Barbera and Gissendanner each won sectional titles Saturday, joining teammates Justin Raines (126 pounds) and Dave Rotoli (91). The top four wrestlers from each weight class will advance to this weekend's SuperSectionals state qualifier at Webster Schroeder Junior High.
Jacoutot credits his seniors, especially the unbeaten Raines, with holding the team together.
"We jumped up a whole level because of their leadership." Jacoutot said. "We were wrestling babies all year. We shed the baby fat and they were able to compete with the big guys."
Other Section 5 team winners include Palmyra-Macedon (Class B), East Rochester (Class C) and Red Creek (Class D). The top four wrestlers from each weight class will compete in the SuperSectionals state qualifier next weekend at Webster.