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November 15, 2012

Program returns strong squad

(Continued)

The only senior last season for Cooperstown was William Murphy. Although he was not the team’s top wrestler, Murphy was a leader in practice and in working with the younger wrestlers, Abts said.

“We are not giving up too many wins from last year,” he said. “That’s the good thing. We have a lot of wins back.”

With Bud Lippitt taking over the modified program, Abts said that he feels like the feeder system is in place for continued success as well. Even if he bows out after this season, he believes he will leave a good program behind in Cooperstown.

“Looking past this year, the success should be sustainable,” he said.

Cooperstown placed second in its division last season to wrestling powerhouse Dolgeville. Dolgeville is in a different division this season, however.

The Center State Conference has added teams, including Whitesboro and Oneida, both of whom have good programs.

“The CSC tournament is going to be brutal this year,” he said. “There are going to be so many good wrestlers in the conference.

“I am placing more emphasis on the end of the year tournaments than the dual meet season,” Abts said. “We might lose a few meets depending on forfeits. We haven’t certified (weights) yet, but I think we will have about two thirds of the weight classes filled.”

Abts said CCS could lose to teams like Whitesboro or Oneida in a dual meet, but come tournament time, he thinks his wrestlers can place above them based on individual success.

The Redskins will start the season on Nov. 30 at the Clyde Cole Invitational in Oxford. Their first home meet is Jan. 30 against Poland.

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