Little Red Wrestlers

Dikota Hamilton (R) squares off against an opponent.

The high school wrestling season is split into different segments, so to speak, and Ithaca High has wrapped up their Dual Meet schedule, their Invitational schedule and is heading into the Sectional tournament in two weeks.  Three Little Red grapplers have spent some time on various podiums at these tournaments, and they hope to keep doing so. 


At the STAC championships, 145-pounder Daniel Parker took the podium's top spot for the second year in a row.  Parker, a junior, also won the Larry Goodrich Memorial, the Dave Buck Memorial and the Justin Rogers Memorial tournaments on his way to a 25-2 record thus far.   


110-pound ninth grader Quentin Getzin has battled his way into the top ten in the state rankings, having won the Ken Haines Memorial and the Justin Rogers Memorial tournaments.  Getzin stepped onto the podium at the STAC tourney, finishing in third place (behind two state place winners), a very promising outcome for a wrestler with three full seasons ahead of him.   


In the 172 weight class, Dikota Hamilton has shown a lot of heart, getting back into the fray after missing two seasons due to a knee injury and subsequent surgery.  Hamilton took third place at the Rogers, Goodrich, and the Haines tourneys, and finished in the same position at the STAC championships. 


Hamilton  goes to school in Trumansburg, but is allowed to wrestle for Ithaca given T-Burg does not have a wrestling team. He said it wasn’t hard to fit in with his new teammates.  “I'm not the only wrestler from Trumansburg, and the team has been great.  They welcomed all of us us and it has been easy to fit in.”  He added, “I have known some of my teammates for years, through youth wrestling, so that helps a lot too.”


What has not been easy, Dikota offered, is getting back into wrestling shape after tearing his ACL as a ninth grader.  “I went to as many matches as I could, to support the team, to see the competition and to see the difference between Youth and Varsity wrestling,” Hamilton stated. (Since the age of four, Dikota wrestled for the Bomb Squad, a Youth wrestling program founded by former Ithaca College wrestler Ryan Ciotoli.)   “At the Varsity level, the periods are two minutes, so you're going hard for six minutes. It's a lot harder to last three periods, so it was really important for me to put in the extra work on my conditioning and endurance.” 


At this point in the season, Hamilton has seen a lot, learned a lot, and he is confident that the goals he set at the beginning of the season are realistic.  “I want to win the Sectionals,” the young optimist said, “and another goal is to place at the States.” 


Dikota is well aware that while it was very helpful to show up at as many matches as possible during his recovery and rehab time, there is only one way to rebuild his cardio base, and that was to put in the work.  “I feel like I have my momentum back,” the sophomore said, “and I plan to go hard throughout my high school wrestling career.” 


The Sectional tournament will take place on February 11, and the States will be held on February 24 and 25. 


Local wrestling fans may recall that Chenango Forks High School (near Binghamton) produced an elite wrestler named Troy Nickerson, who brought his talents to Cornell and was a four-time  All-American and won a national title in 2009 at 125 pounds.  Well, Chenango Forks is sending another wrestler to wear the Cornell singlet, as Tyler Ferrara has announced his plans to join the Big Red.  Ferrara went undefeated as a junior on his way to a state title, and is 25-0 this year in his request to repeat.  Thank you, Chenango Forks! 

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