N-O mat coaches face a spring challenge

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 29 January 2021 at 8:26 am

Just two days after they thought they would begin practice next Monday Niagara-Orleans League wrestling coaches and athletes found out Thursday that Section VI had postponed the wresting season until spring. The wrestling season is now scheduled to run from May 10 until June 30.

“My heart goes out to the kids,” said Albion Coach Pat Uveino. “They were anxious to get going when they heard we could start next Monday and then it’s postponed. It’s tough for the kids. They’ve been itching to do something. You try to be as optimistic as possible but it’s a little frustrating. It’s going to be very challenging trying to go in the spring but as long as we have something that is better than nothing.”

“It doesn’t bode well for small schools like ours with four sports (baseball, track, lacrosse and wrestling) now going on in the spring competing for kids,” said Medina Coach Eric Gross. “It’s a challenge. It’s a tough situation and I really don’t like it but we’ll try to make it work. It’s just tough the way it has put kids on a roller coaster of emotion.”

Neighboring Section V is still allowing wrestling to begin next Monday. However, Section VI’s decision to postpone its season until May affects the scheduling plans of Orleans County’s two Genesee Region League wrestling programs, Lyndonville and Holley/Kendall, which annually fill a number of their non league dual meet dates against N-O League opponents.

“We haven’t got our wrestling schedules completed yet and this will definitely have an impact,” said Lyndonville Athletic Director and wrestling co-coach Jim Zeliff.