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Lyndonville junior takes aim at capturing second state wrestling title

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 27 February 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – Lyndonville’s Tony Recco gets a good luck handshake from his Coach Jeff Gress as he prepares for this weekend’s state wrestling championships in Albany.

Two years ago as a freshman Lyndonville’s Tony Recco made school history when he and his brother Sam, a senior, both captured Section V and New York State wrestling championships.

Last year a knee injury prevented him from defending his sectional and state titles but now as a junior he is back in action and setting his sights on again earning top honors at this weekend’s state championships in Albany.

Recco, who brings a 44-3 season record (148-12 career) into the states, successfully regained his Section V title two weeks ago at the state qualifier with a quick 16 second pin followed by three major decision victories.

“I just want to take it one match at a time,” said Recco of his approach to the states. “The experience I got two years ago is pretty important, it helps. I just want to keep the pace high and wrestle tough.”

Recco is seeded No. 4 at 113 for the state competition which begins on Friday at the Times Union Center in Albany with the semis and finals on Saturday. His first match will be against freshman Taylor of Red Creek, Section IX.

“Tony works harder than anybody I’ve ever seen,” said Lyndonville Coach Jeff Gress. “He just has to stick with what he knows and rely on what he’s been doing.”

In addition to Recco’s successful comeback the Tigers wrestling program itself has also realized a bit of a rebound this season as numbers on the squad were double that of a year ago.

“Our numbers are double and the kids have really bought into our hard workouts and the rigors of tough practices,” said Gress. “The whole team had a great season going from a 1-20 dual match record last year to a 14-10 record this year. An overhaul in the way we think and practice in the wrestling room from the coaching staff to the athletes to the parents has been a big reason for the turn around. For the most part we got the them to buy into the system and it shows. We just have to get more parents on board as well.”

The Niagara-Orleans League will also be represented at the states by two grapplers, Akron’s Johnny Fiebelkorn at 99 and Newfane’s Nate Martin at 145.