By Mike Ricchione
Redshirt sophomore George Walton, junior Ethan Laird and redshirt senior Pete Lipari contributed six-points each en route to a 30-point blowout of George Mason during the wrestling team’s Senior Night on Jan. 25.
Rider (9-2, 5-1 MAC) honored it’s eight-member senior class which consisted of Lipari, Jesse Dellavecchia, Dean Sherry, Anthony Cefolo, Ryan Cloud, Gino Fluri, Gary Dinmore and James Brady.
“It speaks to the volume of those kids that they bought into the program,” Head Coach John Hangey said. “That they put the program on their back. That they’ve done all the right things for the longest time and they’ve contributed to make this program as successful as it’s been.”
Dellavecchia and Lipari could potentially be back next season as they are hoping for another year of eligibility from the NCAA.
“It’s a good feeling. This might not be my last year so I could have another year next year so it didn’t hit me too hard,” said Dellavecchia. “It was cool to see my parents, my aunt and uncle came up, my neighbor so it was cool seeing all [of] them and spend time with the team.”
Walton had a first-period pinfall over Ali Salem at 2:30 at 184 pounds.
Ramses Montalvo kept stalling his entire match which led to him being disqualified against Laird for his six points at 197 pounds.
“It’s boring obviously, it wasn’t exactly an exciting match,” Laird offered. “So if they’re going to stall, I’m glad when we have a ref that likes to hit it [the stalling call] quick so if a guy’s going to do that then he gets the proper repercussions.”
Even though it was only the fifth bout (the dual started at the 157-pound weight class), Laird clinched the dual for the Rider, the third-straight dual he’s done so.
Cloud agreed that Laird is considered the team’s icer.
“Yes. Being the heavyweight, I know today was a little different because we started at 57 [pounds], I’m kind of nervous going into the last match especially if it’s close and I think that it’s going to come down me and I can’t remember the last time where the match has come down to me [winning],” said Cloud.
Lipari’s six points were the easiest, as all he had to do was show up. The Patriots (7-5, 2-4 MAC) did not weigh-in anyone at the 141-pound weight class and had no one to bump up from 133 pounds, where Lipari wrestles.
Rider won the first seven bouts to explode to a 30-point lead. Redshirt seniors Dinmore, Sherry and redshirt junior Jonathan Tropea had major decisions at 165, 174 and 125 pounds respectively.
George Mason’s only decisions came from Josh Jones and Colston DiBlasi, ranked No. 9 nationally from WrestleStat, at 133 and 149-pounds respectively.
Kolby Ho was brave enough to take the bottom against Dellavecchia and was rewarded with an escape but not a victory as Dellavecchia improved to 23-2 via decision, 5-3.
Cloud won via decision, 9-4, over Jake Slinger. Rider came out of the intermission with the dual already in hand.
“It was really special to me. This was their first time being in Alumni Gym so it was amazing,” Cloud said. “I felt a lot more, I don’t know, I guess calm and that might’ve been just because of my preparation but I think part of that was because I had them in the crowd and it was nice to have the support from them. I looked at them after my match and pointed to them because they’re part of the reason I’m here, they’re really special.”
Dinmore got the start over redshirt sophomore Joe Casey as he was recovering from a skin infection.
After a 12-day layover, the Broncs will look to extend their six-match win streak at Lock Haven (6-5, 2-3 MAC) on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. The Bald Eagles lost to Army, 26-9, on Jan. 25.