Wilkes wrestling impressive at the annual John Reese Duals

Justin Franiak, Asst. Sports Editor

Wilkes took to the mats again this past weekend at the annual John Reese Duals. The Colonels posted an overall record 3-1 with the lone loss to No. 9 SUNY-Cortland. However the Colonels did defeat No. 13 ranked Centenary College en route to an impressive day.
Pinning is what every wrestler strives for and the Colonels did not disappoint. Wilkes recorded 11 pins with Dave Oberrender leading the way.
The sophomore business major took Saturday as a building block for the rest of the season.
“Today was indicator” Oberrender said. “I wrestled the kid ranked fourth in nation and lost one nothing, I’m right there”
Oberrender said that the loss to No. 9 SUNY-Cortland was a motivator for the team.
“Cortland was a bump in the road,” Oberrender said. “I believe we are top five material.”
Overall the sophomore upperweight was impressed with the young guys and the team as a whole. He praised freshman 125-pounder Michael Fleck.
“Fleck wrestled well,” Oberrender said. “Everyone held their own and exceeded their expectations.”
Wilkes defeated thirteenth-ranked Centenary 27-16 in the days opening match. The Colonels saw momentum changing pins from Dustin Stough and Dave Oberrender. Ryan Wilson posted a 7-5 decision over Centenary’s  Craig Montgomery in the matches third bout. Wilson likes tough matches like his bout because it shows where he needs improve and what the team needs to work on.
“It’s tough matches like these that test our ability to compete as a team,” Wilson said. “It is things like this that show us where we are at and what we need to work on.”
The senior captain also loves the competition every year at the duals, and he says it benefits the team in multiple ways.
“The competitive matches are also important for younger guys who are not used to challenging themselves at higher levels.”

Wilkes cruised to a victory over New York University in the third match of the day. Wilkes scored 38 team points while only letting up nine from NYU. The Colonels received wins from Michael Fleck, Mark Uliano, Jeff Peterson, a major decision by Raymond Dungee, and pins from John Lynch, Tyler Lauchaire, Dave Oberrender heavyweight Jon Slack.
In the last match of the day, Wilkes beat Plymouth State in an impressive match. Freshman Michael Fleck was victorious in his 16-1 technical fall of Alex Gerhold in the first period. Fleck ended his day with a successful overall record of 3-1.
Myzar Mendoza, Jeff Peterson, Brandon Dixon, and Dave Oberrender also scored victories for the Colonels as they defeated the Panthers in impressive fashion.
Returning All-American Anthony Dattolo remained unbeaten on the day. He posted two major decisions, including an impressive victory over ranked opponent Cody Oliverio. Dattolo commented on his convincing win over the Plymouth State 149-pounder.
“It’s nice to wrestle opponents that are ranked early in the season to see where you are at,” Dattolo said.
He also said that these big matches come and go, and he takes them one step at a time without adding any pressure to himself.
“I prepare for a big match like its any other match,” Dattolo said. “Names don’t mean anything, I just go out there and wrestle my match.”
The annual duals are held in honor of long time coach John Reese. Reese coached Wilkes from 1953-1994 compiling a record of 514 wins, 165 losses, and 10 ties. He coached Wilkes to a 1974 NCAA Division III National Championship.
Coach Reese can still be seen stopping by current matches and cheering on Wilkes. Current Coach, Jon Laudenslager, also wrestled at Wilkes under Coach Reese.
The Annual John Reese Duals field of competition featured SUNY-Oneonta, SUNY-Cortland, Centenary College, King’s College, Wilkes University, Plymouth State, and New York University.
The Colonels take the mats again Friday, Nov. 18  at 7 p.m. in the Marts Gym as they open up the road to a Metro Conference title against conference foe Elizabethtown. Come out and support the Wrestling team as they avenge last year’s loss to the Blue Jays.