Zach Diekel wins fourth Section II title

By Bill Toscano

Some wrestlers spend their entire high school careers working for a single opportunity to win a sectional title and a berth in the state tournament.

Zach Diekel has done it four times, and he’s got one more varsity season left.

Diekel, who is polite off the mat, spoke with definite authority as he methodically took Maple Hill’s Zach Bazan apart in the 189-pound finals of the Section II, Division II wrestling tournament Feb. 12 at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

Diekel had moved to the finals with a 44-second pin of Scoharie’s Harrison Proctor and a pin of Duanesburg’s Jeff Senecal 37 seconds into the second period in the semifinals, but he took a different approach in the final.

Starting with a quick takedown at the beginning of the match, Diekel took his opponent down and let him back up several times, turning him to his back enough to build a 19-6 lead after two periods and then scored a takedown seven seconds in the third for a 15-point lead and a technical fall.

“He’s good on his feet, and I think everyone knows that,” Railroaders’ Coach Bob Diekel said, noting that he chose this strategy against Bazan, who has an unusual style. “It was best for Zach to take him down and cut him loose. That way we weren’t taking any chances.”

Assistant Coach Paul Diekel, one of Whitehall’s three state champions, said he was proud of the way his son wrestled.

“He handled him well,” he said of the championship match. “He’s peaking at the right time.”

Zach Diekel spent the better part of the evening trying to stay loose for his bout, the 13th of 15 finals. For a time he sat with his father, then he bounced around the warm-up mat, his intensity clear.

“I was pretty confident, but you can’t overlook anyone, he said. “I just wanted to relax and wrestle. The anticipation kills you.”

The state championship meet is Feb. 25 and 26 at the Times-Union Center, and Diekel has the advantage of having been there before. He has a specific goal.

“I want to make it to the finals,” he said. “I want to be on top of my game.”

Painful finish for Gebo

Grant Gebo, the Railroaders’ only senior, saw his injury-shortened season end in disappointment.

Gebo, a 285-pounder who made four straight Class D, Sectional II titles and finally won a class title Feb. 5, missed much of the second half of the season after re-injuring his knee.

Friday, he aggravated that injury during his opening bout with Taconic Hills’ William Baker, but lost 9-7 in the final seconds.

“It’s always sad to see a senior go,” Bob Diekel said. “It’s even harder to see them go down with an injury.”

But Diekel was extremely proud of Gebo.

“I thought he showed a lot of courage and good character,” Diekel said. “It would have been easy for him to quit.”

Assistant coach Paul Diekel also praised Gebo, whom he has been working with for many years.

“He’s one of the most fun kids to work with, and he’s one of the most modest,” he said. “He’s a great kid to have around the wrestling room.”

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , ,

Garage steals headlines…again

Poultney Street garage

By Matthew Saari The garage located at 45 Poultney St. is proving to be akin to a bad penny for […]

Village now owns River Valley Drive

Washington County transferred ownership of the parcel containing River Valley Drive to the village last week.

By Krystle S. Morey The village of Granville now owns 2.1 acres of the former Mettowee Fields subdivision off North […]

Students’ graffiti defended

Buckley Avenue graffiti

By Matthew Saari A Whitehall “tradition” came under heavy fire from an irritated resident at a town board meeting last […]

Attendance at summer concerts ‘good’

body and soul color

By Krystle S. Morey The 2017 Granville Summer Concert Series will come to a close tonight with a performance by […]

Lakes Region Freepress – 08/18/17

Lakes_8_18_17.pdf-web.pdf

Northshire Freepress – 08/18/17

Northshire_8_18_17.pdf-web.pdf

North Country Freepress – 08/18/17

FreePress_8_18_17.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Classifieds – 08/18/17

Lakes_8_18_17.pdf-web.pdf

Weekender – 08/18/17

Weekender 8_18_17.pdf-web.pdf

518 Wheels – 08/16/17

518 Wheels 8-14-17.pdf-web.pdf

Fire Company, village resolving their quarrel

Fire House

By Matthew Saari The months-long feud between the Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company and the village of Whitehall may soon come […]

Absentee landlords not abiding by law

Whitehall Mayor Phil Smith

By Matthew Saari Last Aug. 30, the Whitehall Village Board passed a law requiring “absentee” landlords – Individuals who own […]