HS has look of success
wrestlers continue to show their dominance on the mat
By James Johnson
KENON staff photographer
Spencerport wrestling coach Bill Jacoutot watches
as one of his wrestlers flips over an opponent.
Jacoutot is 271-23-1 in 23 years with the Rangers
and is 305-29-2 in his coaching career.
20, 2004) — SPENCERPORT — It is not a pretty picture
inside the Spencerport wrestling room.
Rangers are soaked in sweat and going in circles. Jared Plucknette
spins round and round on his feet during the drill, as he balances
his upper body on the back of his workout partner.
really never stop moving,’’ said Plucknette, a junior
in his first varsity season. “The way that practice is run,
it demands that you keep working.’’
the way coach Bill Jacoutot likes it.
has worked its way to the top of Section V’s high school wrestling
scene and remained there for years. One set of Rangers building
on the work of previous groups, adding to a set of creations that
are hard to imagine, but do exist.
last time Spencerport lost a dual meet to a Section V team was 10
years ago, when Los Angeles was the home of two NFL teams. That
streak is at 111 and counting.
been a safe assumption to carve the name Spencerport into a sectional
team trophy 15 of the last 16 years. When the state meet qualifiers
or SuperSectionals begin today at SUNY Brockport, 11 Rangers (and
two alternates) will be in contention for the 15 large-school berths
up for grabs.
expect you to win,’’ said senior Alex Baxter, who is
36-0 this season. “I like that. There’s some pressure
there but we’re well-prepared.’’
for the people who don’t always want to cheer for a winner.
many people who come to see us win,’’ said senior Sebastian
Baliva, “there’s that many who come to see us lose.’’
of the loudest cheers at tournaments come after a Spencerport wrestler
loses. The Rangers are one of the few area high school teams that,
on rare occasions, are booed by on-lookers.
are jealous,’’ said Joe Rizzo of Rochester. “They
are No. 1 in the state and they win their matches, so you can’t
take that away from them.
else are you going to do?’’
Billy Jacoutot, the current coach’s son, won a controversial
tournament final as a senior in 1997, angry fans shared angry gestures
as well as boos. The younger Jacoutot did what the current Rangers
do, shrug, block out the noise and continue to win.
retaliation would bring swift punishment from school officials and
besides, there are times when the cheers of Spencerport fans drown
out other noise.
know how it is,’’ said Irondequoit coach Arkee Allen.
“Everyone wants to see the giant fall. I give them credit
for what they have done.
wouldn’t you? The results are there.’’
in the Monroe County League point out how year-in and year-out there
are 50-60 wrestlers at Spencerport practices striving to grab or
hold spots in the varsity lineup, numbers they would love to see
at their practices.
one’s spot is in cement,’’ said Plucknette. “Usually,
as a freshman, you don’t get into the JV lineup. You’ll
be lucky to get in as a sophomore.
kids who go all the way through the program and get one or two varsity
of the pre-teen boys in the Spencerport-area want to wear the wrestling
team’s warm-up jackets, instead of becoming a Friday night
want to wear those whites,’’ said sophomore Jason Woodward.
“You look up to those guys when you’re younger.
were just tough guys.’’
of those guys are relatives who wrestled for legendary Spencerport
coaches Walt Teike or even Leo Bernabi, the team’s first coach.
Plucknette regained his wind during a recent practice, he pointed
out six relatives in team photos mounted in the hallway outside
of the practice room.
is his grandfather Tom wearing a pair of Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers
near Bernabi in the 1950-51 team photo. And there is his cousin
Ben with a serious look on his face in the 2001-02 snapshot.
Bill Jacoutot, 50, rarely lets himself feel that way.
don’t have T-shirts that say state or sectional champions,’’
said Jacoutot. “That’s too much reflection on yesterday’s
news. Once I think I have all the answers, we’ll be bad.
are too many people chasing us and they don’t have their eyes
closed. We have an unbelievable paranoia that we’re going
to become bad.’’
an energy that sends Jacoutot to clinics and camps, where he shares
ideas with college coaches or provides instruction himself. It’s
an energy that causes him to jot down thoughts on a notepad he keeps
near him as he watches television. It’s an energy that allows
Jacoutot to put together a notebook that contains details from Spencerport
held 15 years ago.
secret to success is hard work,’’ said Hilton wrestling
coach Chuck Partridge. “Nobody works harder than Bill. When
he’s going to do something, he’s going to do it right.
had never been fishing before, so I took him. He jumped right into
that. He started reading about it. He bought a boat. He joined BASSMasters,
and told me I should do the same.’’
wrestlers have listened to Jacoutot for the past 23 seasons. It
no coincidence that the Rangers are winners, and not simply going
always looking for new ideas, things to keep me going,’’
said Jacoutot, whose record at Spencerport is 271-23-1. “You
never stay the same.
either going up or you’re going down.’’
Spencerport won a Section V team championship last week for the
15th time in the last 16 years. Those are just one set of impressive
numbers produced by past and present Rangers:
Season-ending No. 1 state rankings: 1993, 2001, 2002, 2004.
Section V dual meet win streak: 111 (dating back to Feb. 1994).
Monroe County dual win streak: 122 (Dec. 1991).
Dual record since 1989: 195-9-1.
Lineup: Kase Graham, Eric Piedimonte, Derek Gray, Bryan Bourne,
Brett Woodward, Jason Woodward, Dan Tomasso, Adam Snook, Mike Terenzi,
Mike Collura, Matt Legas, Sebastian Baliva, Alex Baxter, Jared Plucknette,