DANSVILLE — As the wrestling season moves forward, so does the Dansville-Keshequa combined mat men. I have to commend coach Jack Cook for looking at the "positive side of things" in relation to his very young and very inexperienced team this season.


The squad recently competed on Friday and Saturday (Dec. 27-28) at the Dick Vincent Duals at Letchworth High School. Many teams took part in this prestigious exercise of wrestling skills. Many coaches would be disappointed with an 0-9 record for the weekend. Not Jack Cook! I love the approach he took in regards to this developing team.


“All I can say is what a great job our team did,” Cook said. “When we look at ourselves honestly and say who we are as a team we say we are young and we are learning and growing.I saw a lot of growth this past weekend and I can see where we are going as a team."


Many might wonder "where he's coming from" with these comments. Keep in mind that Dansville-Keshequa had 18 student athletes on the roster.


Believe it or not, 8 of the starters are first-year wrestlers!


These athletes did not come up through the youth or modified programs, but have indeed worked hard to improve themselves and are now the starters.


Cook gave additional praise and made note of some standout performances at the recent tournament.


"Seven weeks ago they signed up for wrestling and now they are varsity starters. I am really proud of these guys!“ Cook said. ”Standouts for the weekend are (Dansville) Gavin Hart who went 6-3, (Keshequa) Sterling Strain at 6-3, and (Keshequa) Gage Geens at 5-4. I also want to mention Mike Adams, Trey Learn and Ian Deaton who wrestled very well."


Dansville-Keshequa's next action on the mats will be in the Maple City when they tackle Hornell on Saturday, Jan. 4 bright and early at 9 a.m.