One of the most successful OFA wrestling seasons ever was completed on Monday night with an awards banquet hosted by Jerry and Stacia Sheppard.
The banquet opened with senior co-captain Alex Cole reading the Wrestlers Creed. The creed is written so that its followers create a way of life that sets wrestlers apart from standard athletes.
The creed closes with Reponsibility to my team and myself will be of utmost priority. I will be able to look in the mirror and honestly say, I have not cheated you today!.
Over the course of the 2013-14 season OFA wrestlers reaped the rewards of following the creed, on and off the mat.
The Devils, coached by Bill Mitchell and Ricky Ledwith, posted a 7-6 dual meet record, scored 202 points taking second in their first appearance in the Peru Tournament, placed a program-high fifth in the 35-team field at the Essex Junction Tournament in Vermont, recorded the programs first win ever over Carthage in the General Brown Duals, took fifth in the 44th annual North Country Invitational, qualified five wrestlers for the Division II State Championships at the Section 10 Championships in Malone and outscored NAC and Section 10 Champion Gouverneur 11-6 at the state championships at the Times Union Center in Albany.
Climaxing a campaign of numerous individual accolades, the Devils won five Section 10 D2 titles with: Cordell David (99), Tanner LaPiene (113), Bailey Phelps (152), Cody-Allen David (160) and Alex Cole (170). Cordell David (1-2), LaPiene (2-2), Phelps (1-2), Cole (1-2) and Cody-Allen David (0-2) combined for a 5-10 record at the states.
Cody-Allen David was honored at the state championships with the Section 10 Divison II New York State Public High School Athletic Association Sportsmanship Award.
Scholastically, the 12-wrestler contingent combined for a 91.4 average in a New York State Public High School Athletic Association Scholar/Athlete Team Award contingent.
The contingent featured Tanner LaPiene (98), Glynn Breen (96), Tyler Eaton (95.7), Bailey Phelps (93.7), Gurjot Grewal (92.6), Alex Cole (91.1), Jordan McCormick (90.6), Austin Lalonde (90.4), Cory Weirs (86.2), Will Pearson (86) and Cordell David (85.2).
The team also produced NAC All-Academic Award recipients in Glynn Breen, Tyler Eaton, Bailey Phelps, Adam Rickett and Jordan McCormick and Will Pearson received OFAs NAC Outstanding Sportsmanship Award.
The Devil coaches presented team awards to close the banquet and several members of the team were cited for outstanding seasons.
Tanner LaPiene, a three-time Section 10 Division II Champion, was honored as the Most Dedicated Wrestler and the Most Valuable Wrestler. LaPiene (31-8 season, 92-20 career) was the Team MVP at the General Brown Duals, took second at Peru and third at Essex Junction at 113 pounds,
The Most Dedicated Wrestler Award honored the Heuvelton Central freshman for attending every scheduled practice, match and tournament and for working hard, helping others when needed and promoting the sport of wrestling.
The MVP Award is presented annually to the wrestler who has earned the most points for the team using the Scorebook STAT Tracker. LaPiene massed 153 points followed by Cordell David with 141 and Cody-Allen David with 131.
The Mr. Pin Award was shared by three performers in Josh Wangler, Bailey Phelps and Cody-Allen David who each recorded 16 falls on the season.
Cody Allen David also earned the Quickest Pin Award with a .08 fall.
Cody Allen David (24-15 season, 51-39 career) was also presented with the Coachs Award which is given annually to a graduating senior who displays an outstanding work ethic, dedication and leadership.
We have watched this young man grow as wrestler and as a student who a few years ago was pulled out of wrestling because of grades,said Coach Mitchell.
Now he has a GPA of 90 and plans to become a lawyer. He was also awarded this years Section 10 Division II NYSPHSAA Sportsmanship Award.
Eighth grader Brody Sheppard (27-8 season, 52-18 career) earned the Most Takedowns Award with 54.
The Most Improved Wrestler Award went to junior Bailey Phelps (73-69) who went 25-16 on the season and earned a trip to Albany by winning a Section 10 Division II Championship.
Honorable Mention went to Glynn Breen.
The Outstanding First Year Wrestler Award went to Cordell David who went 27-11 as an eight grader and earned a berth in the states as a Section 10 Division II Champion. Zach Roberts earned Honorable Mention after posting a 19-15 record and taking second at the sectionals.