WHITEHALL — Jacob Clear was 20 seconds from overtime Wednesday night, but his season goal remained clear in his head.
“When I got my one loss in the beginning of the season, I made the goal that I wasn’t going to lose any more matches,” the Warrensburg senior said. “That goal rang through my head tonight when I was wrestling. I just had to use the grit and conditioning that I have to win the match.”
Clear got the takedown he needed for a 5-3 victory over Whitehall-Fort Ann’s Spencer Dickinson at 285 pounds, and sparked a rally for the Burghers.
“I give props to him — I pinned him four times last year,” said Clear, who improved to 22-1 this season. “I’m glad he’s committed to taking me down. I definitely appreciate him putting in the extra mile to try to beat me. It’s going to make things more interesting.”
Warrensburg, which trailed 18-0 after three matches, battled back for a hard-fought 49-31 Adirondack League victory over W-FA, winning the final three bouts to seal the dual meet.
“It was very tight, that’s a deceiving score,” said Burghers coach Mark Trapasso, whose team improved to 3-0 in the league, 18-1 overall. “They took it to us at some weights that we weren’t expecting. They wrestled very tough and physical — that’s usually our thing. I feel we got a little lucky.”
W-FA (2-1, 11-7) had opened with pins by Jake Gosselin (182 pounds), Tyler Fish (195) and Brendan Covey (220), the latter 5:11 into a physical match with Warrensburg freshman Tristen Hitchcock.
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“He’s a tough kid, he’s stronger than he looks,” said Covey, a senior who improved to 14-2. “It was just a dogfight. I was going for anything. I didn’t have much of a plan, it was just kind of in the moment.”
Clear’s decision was followed by pins by Burghers teammates Zach Olden (99) and Cameron Carpenter (106), and a forfeit to Landian Templeton at 113 for a 21-18 Warrensburg lead.
Ollie West’s 9-5 win at 120 pulled the Railroaders into a tie, but they ran into the strength of Warrensburg’s lineup. Dylan Winchell (126) and Tanner McKenna (132) pinned to put the Burghers up 33-21.
However, W-FA’s Sawyer Ostrander held on for a wild 19-11 win over Zach Carpenter at 138, and David Austin followed with a pin at 145 to pull the Railroaders within 33-31.
Warrensburg finished with three straight wins — pins by Hunter McKenna (152) and Joe Murdick (170), and a victory-sealing 11-3 win by Tom Combs at 160.
“Tommy Combs came through with a big win in a match between two even guys,” Trapasso said. “They matched us in toughness and conditioning.”
“There were a lot of ‘what-if’ matches that didn’t go our way, but I was very pleased with how tough we wrestled,” W-FA coach Bob Diekel said. “We’re getting better every day, and the only way to get better is to wrestle guys who are better than us.”
Follow Pete Tobey on Twitter @PTobeyPSVarsity.