Weekly Feature



2018-02-14 / Sports

Kenmore wrestling places two at Section VI Championship Meet

by TAYLOR NIGRELLI
Reporter


Kenmore’s John Milks, right, tries to gain some leverage to pull off a move on Sweet Home’s Mo Amin during their match in the 160-pound weight bracket in Saturday’s Section VI Division I Championship Tournament at North Tonawanda. 
Photo by Jason NadolinskiPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Kenmore’s John Milks, right, tries to gain some leverage to pull off a move on Sweet Home’s Mo Amin during their match in the 160-pound weight bracket in Saturday’s Section VI Division I Championship Tournament at North Tonawanda. Photo by Jason NadolinskiPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com The Kenmore combined wrestling team closed out its season at Section VI Championships this past weekend. The team had three wrestlers competing in the event. A fourth, Naem Hassan, qualified with a third-place finish at the Class A Tournament, but couldn’t compete due to an injury.

Robert Hengel took third place in the 152-pound weight class after missing most of the season with an injury. He got a waiver to be able to compete in the Class Tournament since he didn’t have enough meets to qualify. He finished second there and third at the sectional tournament after losing to Lancaster’s Ryan Stencel.

“Robert came back – he got cleared a couple weeks ago,” Kenmore coach Bill Hineman said. “He went 10-3 on the season, and two of his losses were to Ryan Stencel, who is the sectional champ. His other loss was to Logan Kent of North Tonawanda, and he avenged that in the third- and fourth-place match Saturday. It was unfortunate he had to miss the bulk of the season, but he came back strong. With a little bit better seeding, he could have made it to the finals against Stencel. He was right there for second place, as well.”

Johnny Milks also had a solid performance, taking fourth place in the 160-pound weight class. He moved up to that weight to have a better opportunity to place. He finished the season with an impressive 32 wins, which included taking first place in his weight at the Class Tournament.

“He was wrestling up a weight class,” Hineman said. “We thought that 160 would give him a better opportunity. There were three pretty good kids in that weight class. He just couldn’t get past them. Finishing fourth was a good season for him, also. He ended up with 32 wins and went 32-13 overall. That gave him 85 career wins. It’s a hell of a career.”

First-year senior Jimmy Gregoretti took sixth-place in the 285-pound weight class. He had 28 wins in his only season on varsity. He also took third at the Class Tournament.

“He had opportunities to be another third or below, but finishing sixth for a first-year kid is pretty good,” Hineman said. “He had 28 wins this year, as well. It was a good showing for the guys we did have qualify.”

Overall, it appears things are trending in the right direction for Kenmore wrestling. The program saw plenty of improvement in its senior and junior athletes, but also had 10 freshmen in the lineup at various points. The team went 2-4 in the Niagara-Frontier League, but had some trouble against the larger programs. The hope is that the young wrestlers, along with the large modified teams, continue to grow and help the team compete in the future.

“There were a lot of positives this year,” Hineman said. “For each of those four guys that qualified for sectionals it was a great year. Naem had 12 career wins coming into this year and he won 21 matches for us. He came on and had a very good season. Nolan Sander, our only junior, had six career wins coming into this year. He had 23 wins this year alone. The process is working, we’re getting people where they need to be. We went 2-4 in the NFL again, beating Lew-Port and North Tonawanda. We’ve closed the gap with some other teams. Unfortunately, Grand Island was loaded this year, we couldn’t compete with them. Wheatfield was still solid, too. But we’re closing in on those other teams we can compete with. The other thing with us this year was we had 10 freshmen in the lineup wrestling intermittently. It’s very hard to compete in the NFL with that. The good thing is that they’re learning; the future is bright. The modified program had good numbers, especially at Hoover Middle School. I anticipate us improving a lot as far as team record goes. They’re driven and very hard workers. It’s a fun season and we’re headed in the right direction.”

email: tnigrelli@beenews.com

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