Amsterdam posts 62-12 win over Johnstown

JOHNSTOWN – In their coach’s final dual meet, the Amsterdam wrestling team sent Ken Benton out as a winner.

The Rams won 12 of 15 weight classes on their way to a 62-12 win over Johnstown in a non-league match at Johnstown High School on Thursday.

“I was glad we were able to get this match in,” Benton said. “It was a good matchup with several competitive matches. We juggled our lineup a bit and it worked out pretty good for us.”

The win was the 334th and final dual-meet victory for Benton, who will retire after the season.

For Benton, who began his coaching career in Johnstown, it was a fitting way to end his dual-meet schedule.

“It’s kind of fitting that I had my last dual meet in Johnstown because this is where it all began for me,” he said. “My first head coaching job was in Johnstown. It’s come full circle.”

In just his second season, Johnstown coach Joe Morrison said he was honored to face Benton in his final dual meet.

“It’s an honor to coach against coach Benton. He was my coach in the Amsterdam Premier Wrestling Club when I was younger, and he’s part of the reason that I got into coaching,” he said. “Coach Benton is a legend in Section II. To be in the opposite corner of the mat from him in his final dual meet was very special.”

Amsterdam got out of the gates quickly, winning the first nine matches to jump out to a 47-0 lead.

Erick Rivera opened the match by pinning Johnstown’s Nate Dutcher in 4:58 at 120 pounds before Scott Moore (126 pounds) and Monty Carmona (132) collected back-to-back forfeits to push the Rams’ lead to 18-0.

Brandon Lapi collected his 251st career win Thursday for Amsterdam, pinning Anthony Mowrey in 2:31 at 138 pounds. Lapi is now just two wins away from matching the Amsterdam career win mark of 253 held by Brian Benton, who is the son of the Amsterdam coach.

Brian Swank followed with a 12-4 major decision over the Sir Bills’ Mason VanDeusen at 145 pounds, while Amsterdam’s John Rivera pinned Joe Salatel in 1:10 at 152 pounds to push the Rams’ lead to 34-0.

Brailin Santana added a 5-1 win over Johnstown’s Josh LaLonde at 160 pounds, while Jake Rodecker posted an 11-2 major decision over the Sir Bills’ Jeremiah Robinson.

Marcus Torres made it nine straight wins for the Rams, pinning Marshall Manchester at 182 pounds to give his team a 47-0 lead and clinching the win with six matches remaining.

“We knew what we were facing when we were wrestling Amsterdam,” Morrison said. “They always have a team of tough kids throughout their lineup. My hat’s off to Amsterdam. They wrestled well.”

Johnstown finally got on the board at 195 pounds when Austin Brand rallied to a 6-4 win over the Rams’ Chris Garrison. Brand trailed 4-1 heading into the third period before using a takedown and a nearfall midway through the final period to earn the win.

Ethan Hale gave the Sir Bills their second straight win, pinning Francisco Alejandro at 220 pounds in 58 seconds.

Garrett Hadcock earned Johnstown’s final win of the night, outlasting Joe Kelly at 285 pounds, 11-7, in a wild back-and-forth contest.

“Joe [Morrison] has got a very nice team,” Benton said. “They’re very competitive and they wrestled whistle to whistle. He’s done a nice job with them.”

Evelio Homs (99 pounds) and Chris Velazquez (106) collected two straight forfeit wins for Amsterdam before Jorge Rivera closed out the match with a 6-3 win over Johnstown’s Kyle Linart to make the final score 62-12.

“My guys wrestled tough,” Morrison said. “We’ve got Saturday’s dual-meet tournament left, and then it’s time to get ready for sectionals. We’re looking good, but we need to keep working.”

It was the final home match for Johnstown seniors Austin Manchester, Robinson, Dutcher and Hale, who were honored in a ceremony before the match.

Johnstown (4-10 overall) will travel to the Herkimer Duals on Saturday, while Amsterdam (22-10 overall) will travel to Albany for the Big 10 Tournament.

“The Big 10 Tournament will help us get ready for sectionals,” Benton said. “It will give us a wake-up call because there are always good teams there.”

Amsterdam 62, Johnstown 12

120: Erick Rivera (A) pinned Nate Dutcher, 4:58

126: Scott Moore (A) won by forfeit

132: Monty Carmona (A) won by forfeit

138: Brandon Lapi (A) pinned Anthony Mowrey, 2:31

145: Brian Swank (A) major dec. Mason VanDeusen, 12-4

152: John Rivera (A) pinned Joe Salatel, 1:10

160: Brailin Santana (A) dec. Josh LaLonde, 5-1

170: Jake Rodecker (A) major dec. Jeremiah Robinson, 11-2

182: Marcus Torres (A) pinned Marshall Manchester, 3:51

195: Austin Brand (J) dec. Chris Garrison, 6-4

220: Ethan Hale (J) pinned Francisco Alejandro, 0:58.

285: Garrett Hadcock (J) dec. Joe Kelly, 11-7

99: Evelio Homs (A) won by forfeit

106: Chris Velazquez (A) won by forfeit

113: Jorge Rivera (A) dec. Kyle Linart, 6-3