For several years filling the lightweight classes was an exercise in futility for OFA Wrestling Coach Bill Mitchell.
That futility has been replaced by productivity as the 2012-13 Blue Devils mat contingent features a group of talented young performers who are all products of the Ogdensburg Youth Wrestling Association which is making a major impact throughout the lineup which will open its season at the Saranac Central Tournament on Saturday.
The OFA lineup will be feature leaders at both ends of the weight chart.
Senior Andrew Cole, who will start the season at 182 pounds, went 26-7 last season as a Section 10 Division II Champion, owns a 72-56 career record and plans to wrestle collegiately next season at Western New England College. He will be followed in the lineup by two other seniors in Eric Zheng at 195 who previously wrestled in the New York City area and Nate Sarkin who will also be looking for a repeat D2 title at 285 pounds.
Nate Murdock, at 152 pounds, is also a defending sectional champion along with Tanner LaPiene at 99 pounds who went 27-7 as a seventh grader and earned the Team MVP Award. Seventh grader Brody Sheppard, at 106, looks to follow LaPienes smooth transition to the varsity ranks and freshmen Hayden LaRock, Austin Lalonde and Adam Rickett are poised to perform well at 113, 120, 126 pounds.
Rounding out the Devil veterans are: Josh Wangler (Sr 132), Glynn Breen (Jr 138), Bailey Phelps (So 145) who went 19-15 last season, Cody Allen David (Jr 160) and Alex Cole (Jr 171).
Tyler Easton (Fr 145), Allen Smithers (Fr 160) and Justin Pratt (Jr 171) will also be looking to make contributions over the course of the season.
We have a very solid lineup this season and right now we are filling all of the weight classes except for 220 said Coach Mitchell who will be assisted by modified coach Ricky Ledwith and volunteer coach Al Cole. We have four guys who are looking to repeat sectional championships and we have some other guys who have a chance to win after taking second last year. We will wrestle in five tournaments this year which will give our guys some great competition and some very good exposure.