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Wrestling: Colonie, Shaker impress at first invitationals

Garnet Raiders win Ballston Spa Duals title; Shaker places third at Columbia Duals

The Colonie and Shaker wrestling teams made a good impression during the first invitational dual meets of the season Saturday.

Colonie claimed the Ballston Spa Duals title with a 6-0 record, while Shaker earned a third-place finish at the Columbia Duals in East Greenbush with a 5-2 mark.

"It was a good bounce back for us after Thursday's (Suburban Council) loss to Columbia," said Colonie coach Jeremy Eggleston. "The kids wrestled well."

"We started okay," said Shaker coach Dan Gibson. "We were looking for improvement out of each kid, and we did. Every kid showed some character on the mat."

Colonie barely broke a sweat at the Ballston Spa Duals. The Garnet Raiders eased past Ballston Spa, AuSable Valley, Niskayuna and Corinth before defeating Northern Adirondack 60-20 in the finals.

"Northern Adirondack beat us there last year, so we wanted another shot at them," said Eggleston.

Shaker posted victories over Copenhagen, Watervliet, Taconic Hills, Salem and Tamarac at the two-day Columbia Duals. The Blue Bison's two losses were against Wallkill and Columbia.

University of Buffalo-bound senior Blake Retell led the Blue Bison by going undefeated in his seven matches at 132 pounds. Chris MacDonald (182) and Chris Pavelec (113) posted 6-1 records over the two days.

Gibson said Retell's performance at the Columbia Duals may be the beginning of a strong final season in Latham.

"He's definitely got a chance to make the podium at states this year," said Gibson. "He beat Columbia's Kyle Greene 3-2, and he beat a kid from Copenhagen who he lost to at states a year or two ago."

Colonie has its own state champion hopefuls in lightweight Golan Cohen and heavyweight Wayne Burt. Cohen placed fourth in his weight class last year, while Burt picked up valuable experience at the state tournament as a junior.

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