The Springfield varsity wrestling team came out on top of the Harvard-Springfield classic confrontation, 26-17, in last night's home match at the IAB.
"Every year they give us a real battle," Crimson coach Johnny Lee said last night. "It started back in '67 when we were the first New England team to beat them, and they've been tough ever since."
"Harvard and Springfield traditionally have a good match," Springfield coach Doug Parker said, "and we were psyched for them tonight."
Albert Takes 118
Harvard began the match in a flourish as 118-pound Dave Albert completely dominated his Springfield opponent Kevin Cassedy through the first two periods.
Albert's aggressive style paid off at 6:57 with a pin, and the Crimson catapulted to a 6-0 lead.
"I was surprised at the 118 lb. match," Parker said. "I didn't think we could recover," added the Springfield coach.
But Springfield's 126-pounder Victor Buehler surprised his coach by besting Crimson grappler Milt Yasunaga for the better part of three periods. As Buehler was about to win a 5-3 decision, the Springfield matman pinned Yasunaga with two seconds remaining in the match to deadlock it at 6-6.
"I never expected that pin," the disbelieving Lee stated. "There were only two seconds on the clock."
Crimson grappler Bob Cusamano gave the lead back to Harvard as the freshman easily handled Larry Tremblay of Springfield at 134. Cusumano had a near pin in the final minute, but nevertheless, he took the 8-3 decision and the Crimson led, 9-6.
Junior Ty Richardson could not handle 142-pound Larry Way of Springfield. Richardson, normally a 134 pounder, was moved up to 142 to fill the gap left by Harvard's injured captain, Carl Biello.
Matman Mike Dee nearly pinned Springfield's Tom Lachiusa at 150. The Crimson senior controlled the match throughout, and notched a 7-4 decision, as the lead seesawed back to the Crimson, 12-9.
Parker became irritated at this point in the match, sensing a Harvard upset brewing with the match halfway over. The coach's jugular vein nearly jumped on to the mat as Dee was handling his matman at 150.
The most exciting match of the contest came next as Crimson freshman Jim Corcoran battled 158-pound Dale Bowers to a 2-2 stalemate. Each grappler had opportunities to win the decision in the final period, but counter moves foiled the scoring bids.