Leonard gets 100th win, Cordell title

JARED BOMBA | The Daily Star Cooperstown/Milford’s Avery Leonard (purple) locks up Carthage’s Dylan Thomas (red) during their quarterfinal bout in the 120-pound weight class Friday, Jan. 3, in the Rotary-Ross Cordell Wrestling Tournament at Oneonta High School.

Cooperstown/Milford’s Avery Leonard got his 100th varsity win and a Ross Cordell title over the weekend. 

Leonard got three first-round pins before defeating Tyler Rossini of Burnt Hills, 7-0, in the 120 pound finals Saturday, Jan. 4 at the Rotary-Ross Cordell Wrestling Tournament, hosted by Oneonta High School.

“This is just another step on the journey to states. That’s the main goal,” Leonard told The Daily Star. “My bracket is going to be harder, so I’m just trying to do the best I can for now. I know if I wrestle as hard as I can, I can win any match.”

Leonard, a junior at Milford Central School, placed third in the state in NYSPHSAA Division II wrestling at 106 pounds last year. He is 20-2 this season, with one of his losses coming to a fellow Cordell winner, Walton-Delhi's Cody Merwin. Merwin, who won the 126 pound class Saturday, beat Leonard, 9-7, in a 126 pound match at the Matt Fedish Memorial Duals.

Rossini placed fourth in Section II Division I last year as a freshman and is 21-4 this season. 

Leonard, who is the first MCS wrestler to letter for Cooperstown, and became the first to win a Section III Division II title last season, also became the first to get 100 varsity wins, which he achieved Friday, Jan. 3 in the Cordell quarterfinals. 

“He works harder than anyone else in the room,” Cooperstown/Milford coach Mike Croft said. “He wrestles year-round and never really takes a day off. It was only a matter of time, and he’s definitely earned it.”

Leonard pinned Carthage’s Dylan Thomas in the quarterfinals, needing just 1:23 to advance. He reached the quarterfinals in the same manner, pinning Kai Kogut of Saugerties in 54 seconds. In the semifinals Saturday, he needed only 1:01 to pin Gus Spohn of Cobleskill-Richmondville. 

Cooperstown (58.5 points) placed 15th in the 17 team tournament, which was won by Burnt Hills by two points over Bainbridge-Guilford/Afton/Harpursville, 208.5-206.5. Oneonta finished 11th with 81.5 points, just 1.5 points behind C-R. 

Logan Kantor at 138 pounds and T.J. O'Connor at 113 pounds also placed for the Hawkeyes.  

Kantor (14-5), a senior at Cooperstown, won four matches, including three by pinfall, but lost two matches to John Luke of Burnt Hills, including a consolation final, to place fourth. 

O'Connor (19-5), an eighth grader at MCS, went 3-3 in the tournament and placed sixth. 

Daily Star Sports Editor Jared Bomba contributed to this report. 



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