Hometown Wrestlers Improve Outlook For Laker Season

Submitted article

The Oswego State wrestling program will look to regroup and get back on track after compiling a 3-10-1 overall record last season and an eighth place finish at the Empire Conference Championships.  Led by head coach Mike Howard, who is entering his 20th season, the Lakers will feature a young and talented group as the team has just three seniors on the roster.

One senior the Lakers will count on is Derrick Smith (Mexico) a two-time NCAA Championship qualifier at 141 pounds who compiled an 11-4 record last season.  The Laker captain missed most of the last season with an injury, before returning to the lineup in late January and making his second appearance at the national tournament.  Smith an education major and 2008 Scholar All American is ranked sixth at 141 pounds in the pre-season National Wrestling Coaches Association Brute-Adidas rankings.

The Laker line up returns the most experience through the middle weight classes.  Cameron Mills (Fulton) returns at 165 pounds where he compiled a 26-12 record as a freshman and claimed the title at the Springfield Invitational and placed fifth at the New York State Collegiate Championships.  Marc Collins (Victor) returns for his sophomore season after earning the starting spot at 157 and compiling a 12-12 record while junior Mike Howard (Oswego) competed at 149 and finished the year with 14 wins and a sixth place at the RIT Invitational.  Senior Craig Becker (Cicero-North Syracuse) will look to improve on his 19-17 record from a year ago at 174 pounds that included a third place finish at RIT and an eighth place at the NY State tournament.

Three other individuals who gained valuable experience a year ago and are looking to make an impact this season are Chris Payne (Victor) at 141 pounds, Joel Ford (Red Creek) at 197 pounds and Eric Leusch (Irondequoit) at 285 pounds.  Payne a sophomore was off to a solid start last season with a 9-7 record before an injury early in the season sidelined him for the year.  Ford and Leusch each provided depth at their weight classes last year and both are eager to take on the starting role.

The roster will be bolstered by 15 new student – athletes joining the program and this group of first year wrestlers has impressed the coaching staff with tremendous enthusiasm and energy that they have brought to the practice room early in the season.

Several of these individuals will need to make a contribution right away and they appear ready to do so.

Fulton product Paul Slaver is a two-time Section Three champion who will look to compete at 125 pounds, he will be challenged by fellow rookie Scott McGregor (Tonawanda) who was fourth last season in Section Six.  Former Cato-Meridian standout Brandon Heffernan won 112 matches in high school and will compete at 149 pounds, he will be joined by Gage Banker a talented freshman from Fairport.

Ethan Johnson from Jermyn, PA racked up a 118-31 record at Lackawanna Trail High School will look to wrestle at 165 pounds and he will be joined by Andrew Greenlaw who won 125 matches at Warwick Valley High School.  Ethan Philips (Sodus) placed fourth in the Section Five championships last season will add competition at 174 pounds.

Long Island native Blake Fisher (Seaford) is a four time Nassau County place finisher who was third in Section Eight last season will look to compete at 157 pounds.

Nick Rodgers (Owego) joins the Laker squad at 149 pounds after spending last season at Broome County Community College.  Rodgers, who wrestled at Newark Valley High School finished sixth and fourth in the Section Four championships his junior and senior year.

Oswego State will host two major tournaments this season as the 40th Annual New York State Collegiate Championships will be held in Laker Hall on Fri. and Sat. Jan. 16-17, 2009 and the 18th Annual Empire Conference Championships will take place on Sat. Feb. 21, 2009.

The Lakers will open the season at the 25th Annual Ithaca College Invitational on Sat. and Sun. Nov. 8-9, 2008 before returning home for a dual meet against R.I.T. on Sat. Nov. 15 at 1:00 p.m.

2008-2009 Laker Wrestling Roster

Banker, Gage        Fr.    149    Fairport, NY / Fairport        Technology Education
Becker, Craig        Sr.    174    Cicero, NY / Cicero – North Syracuse    Public Justice
Collins, Marc        So.    157    Farmington, NY / Victor    Undeclared
Dattilo, Mike        So.    149    Victor, NY / Victor        Business Administration
DeFranco, Tony        So.    149    Adams, NY / South Jefferson     Business Administration
D’Urso, Marcus        So.    285    Melrose, NY / Tamarac    Early Childhood Education
Fisher, Blake        Fr.    157    Seaford, NY / Seaford        Technology Education
Ford, Joel        So.    197    Sterling, NY / Red Creek    Public Justice
Greenlaw, Andrew    Fr.    165    Warwick, NY / Warwick Valley    Technology Education
Heffernan, Brandon    So.    149    Martville, NY / Cato – Meridian    Broadcasting
Howard, Mike        Jr.    149    Oswego, NY / Oswego        Adolescent Education – History
Johnson, Ethan        Fr.    165    Jermyn, PA / Lackawanna Trail    Technology Education
Lampi, Wayne        Sr.    157    Rochester, NY / Irondequoit     Technology Education
Lauro, John        Fr.    184    Yaphank, NY / Mercy        Business Administration
Lester, Thomas        Jr.    184    Amherst, NY / Amherst    Adolescent Education – Biology
Leusch, Eric        Jr.    285    Rochester, NY / Irondequoit    Early Childhood Education
Massaro, Nicholas    So.    157    Ausable Forks, NY / Ausable Valley    Biochemistry
McGregor, Scott        Fr.    125    Tonawanda, NY / Tonawanda    Finance
Mills, Cameron        So.    165    Fulton, NY / G. Ray Bodley    Adolescent Education – English
Munn, Corey        So.    141    Black River, NY / Carthage    Technology Education
Nagel, Shawn        Fr.     174    Walworth, NY / Wayne     Technology Education
Payne, Chris        So.    141    Farmington, NY / Victor    Business Administration
Phillips, Ethan        Fr.    174    Sodus, NY / Sodus        Accounting
Porcelli, Joseph    Fr.    141    Kings Park, NY / Kings Park    Business Administration
ReisGerzog, Jason    Fr.    133    Great Neck, NY / Great Neck North    Business Administration
Rodgers, Nick        So.    149    Owego, NY / Newark Valley    Vocational Education – Business
Sison, Ian        Jr.    157    Bay Shore, NY / Islip        Broadcasting
Slaver, Paul        Fr.    125    Fulton, NY / G. Ray Bodley    Undeclared
Smith, Derrick        Sr.    141    Mexico, NY / Mexico        Adolescent Education – History
Weber, James        Jr.    133    Baldwinsville, NY / Baldwinsville    Business Administration

Head Coach: Mike Howard (20th Season) Overall Record: 124-191-6
Asst. Coach:  Tenkoran Agyeman, Chris Cowen, Matt Gough

2008-09 Oswego State Laker Wrestling Schedule

Sat/Sun. Nov. 8-9: 25th Annual Ithaca College Invitational
Sat. Nov. 15: R.I.T.
Sat. Nov. 22: 19th Annual Springfield College “Doug Parker” Invitational
Sat. Dec. 6: 43rd Annual R.I.T. Invitational
Sat. Jan. 3: NY/PA Duals @ RIT, Rochester: Oswego State, R.I.T., King’s College, Lycoming College
Fri./Sat. Jan. 9-10: Division III “Budd Whitehill” Challenge Duals @ Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA
Fri./Sat. Jan. 16-17 40th Annual New York State Championships
Wed. Jan. 21: @ SUNY Brockport
Sat. Jan. 24: Oneonta State
Wed. Jan. 28: @ Cortland State
Wed. Feb. 4: @ Morrisville State
Sat. Feb. 7: @ University of Scranton w/The College of New Jersey & Apprentice
Sat. Feb. 21: 18th Annual ECWC Championships
Fri/Sat. Mar. 6-7: 36th Annual NCAA Division III Championships, Iowa