In the winter of the 2009-10 school year, Cooperstown had six wrestlers. Last year, three years later, the Redskins had nearly as many wrestlers − five − qualify for the Section Three tournament.
“So from six overall to five making sections in three years, that’s a pretty good achievement,” Cooperstown varsity wrestling coach Micaiah Abts said.
Better yet for the Redskins, all five of those wrestlers will be back this year.
Included in that group are seniors Mikey Boyle (120/126 pounds) who placed fifth in sections last season and Jacob Miller (145 pounds) who placed sixth. Along with fellow co-captain Kevin Segit (190 pounds), the trio will lead the Redskins in what will be Abts’ fourth and perhaps final season coaching for Cooperstown.
“I think back to their freshman year with these current seniors,” Abts said. “While they were taking their lumps, you could tell that they were going to be good someday.”
Also returning is heavyweight J.P. Gertz and lightweight Jacob Russell, both sophomores, who also qualified for sectionals.
“They’re kind of at opposite ends of the spectrum there, in weight,” Abts said, “but they both had very good freshman years.”
Gertz had to miss the tournament at the end of the season with a knee injury, but he had very good success during the year, competing against older wrestlers.
“He’s did a very good job picking up heavyweight technique,” Abts said. “The biggest problem is we don’t have anyone his size to wrestle him. He works with Kevin or he will work with me. I can use heavyweight moves, but what I can’t do is be 280 pounds. So that is a challenge for us.”
Abts said he is also very impressed with his other sophomores, and with the freshman class below them.
“It seems like we are getting three or four good wrestlers each class,” he said. “We are beginning to build something very strong.”