Amsterdam wrestlers top Schuylerville

It’s called a “gable.” Amsterdam Rams junior Joe Kelly used the wrestling move in his match with Schuylerville’s Dylan Dunkle on Wednesday night at “The Pit.” Twenty six seconds into the first period, Kelly pinned Dunkle starting Amsterdam on its way to a 58-24 over Schuylerville in a Foothills Council match up at Lynch Literacy Academy.

Describing Kelly’s move, AHS head coach Ken Pfieffer said, “Joe put his opponents arms behind his back in what we call a ‘two for one.’ He went out in front got two arms for one, hooked him, and brought him over.”

Kelly’s pin boosted Amsterdam to an 18-0 lead early. Amsterdam’s Francisco Alejandro (195 lbs) and Chris Garrison (220 lbs) had earned a pair of forfeit wins in the meet that began at the 195 lbs weight class before Kelly’s win. The Rams middle weights then accented Kelly’s performance turning in a string of wins putting Amsterdam ahead on points for good.

Jose Fernandez filled in at 138 lbs for Monty Carmona and wasted no time in delivering a “Carmona – like” pin of Xavier Jones. John Rivera (145 lbs) followed with another first period shoulders to the mat win over Scott Salls. AHS earned six first period pins on the night. Brian Swank (152 lbs) picked up the only decision of the night for the Rams, a 16-3 major over John Greeno. After the string of middle weight victories AHS held an overwhelming 52-15 lead. The previous two AHS team wins had come on the strength of success by the light weight and heavy weight classes, but this time it was the middle weights that came through..

“Our middle weight guys did a very nice job and actually came through,” Coach Pfiieffer said. “Jose stepped in and pinned his kid. A lot of guys stepped up and did a nice job.”

The stand out match of the night came next. Two freshman, Amsterdam’s Kyle Taylor and Schuylerville’s Harrison Williams locked in a three period thriller at 160 lbs. Both wrestlers came close to pinning the other before Williams broke a tie on points with a reverse move in the third to earn a 13-8 decision. It was a learning experience for Taylor, who kept his shoulders off the mat.

“Kyle has to learn another take down move,” said Coach Pfieffer. “He also has to have something else to move off the bottom.”

Nelson Quinones (170lbs) picked up the final win of the night for AHS with a last second first period pin of Riley Bryant. Schuylerville’s Tyler Green pinned Tyrell Smith (182 lbs) to bring about the final score. The Black Horses also got wins from Orion Anderson with a pin over Nick Rodecker (99 lbs), Anthony Cardinuto earned a second period pin of Chris Velazquez (113 lbs), and Tristan Anderson won an 8-4 decision over John Companion (126 lbs). The Rams’ Adam Tatun (120 lbs) pinned Charles Weaver at the buzzer in the first period, Luis Quinones (132 lbs) won by forfeit, and Daniel Montalvo (106 lbs) pinned Connor Mabb in the first minute of their match. Montalvo, an eighth grader, is 24-11 on the season for Amsterdam, and among the best won-lost records on the team.

AHS senior Brian Swank holds a 23-11 record, junior Nelson Quinones is 28-8, senior Chris Velazquez is 24-9. The top spot belongs to junior Joe Kelly at 27-5.

“Joe’s coming along really well,” said Coach Pfieffer, who celebrated a birthday along with the Rams win. “This was a nice birthday present.”

The match with Schuylerville was originally the final home meet for the Rams, but because of an early December postponement due to weather, Thursday’s match with Johnstown is now “senior night” for Amsterdam. Chris Velazquez, Luis Quinones, John Rivera, Brian Swank, and Tyrell Smith are among the honored Ram wrestlers. The match will be the final Foothills Council match of the season for Amsterdam (5-1 Foothills Council). Start time at “The Pit” is 6pm.

Scott Mulford

Scott Mulford has been covering local sports for over 20 years. He previously wrote for the Amsterdam Star and The Free Press of the Mohawk Valley.