SALAMANCA — The Salamanca wrestling team honored its seniors and longtime Warrior wrestling mentor Rich Morton before their final home dual meet on Wednesday.
The CCAA Div. II match against Maple Grove was Senior Night for three Warriors: Devin Białaszewski, Norman Green and Trevor Ellis. Ellis, who also received a plaque commemorating his 100th career victory earlier this season, won his last home match by technical fall, 17-2, at 160 pounds. He’s just the 18th wrestler in program history to win 100 matches and the first since Ben Haas in 2012.
Salamanca coach Keith Jones estimated close to 50 people, many of them former Salamanca wrestlers, came to surprise Morton, the Salamanca athletic director and longtime varsity and now-modified wrestling coach, for a recognition before his retirement. Rich was also joined by his wife Julie and daughter Brittany.
“As the turnout tonight shows, Rich has played a significant and a meaningful role in the lives of so many people in our community,” emcee Adam Bennett read from a prepared presentation. “His passion and dedication, not only for the sports in which he coached, but more importantly for teaching us all how to be great people, is unmatched. Rich's work ethic and drive is second to none. He exemplified on a daily basis how to live life doing the best job you can at everything you do, enjoying the highs and pushing through the lows, and representing your school district, family and community with class and integrity.”
Jones presented Morton with a plaque highlighting his service and dedication to the wrestling program. Brittany Morton presented a commemorative certificate of distinction from Section 6 and the CCAA for her father.
“Beyond every fearless wrestler is a fearless coach who refused to let them be anything but the best they can be,” Jones said. “Thank you Coach Morton, congratulations on your retirement.”
Maple Grove won the dual, 42-14. Konner Spring (138) won a 12-5 decision over Maddie Wadsworth for Salamanca’s other victory in a contested match.
Daniel Quattrone (145), Matt Trim (189) and Zach Padd (285) won by pinfall for Maple Grove.
“It went well for the seniors and it was good to see all the people there to support Coach Morton,” Jones said.
Maple Grove 42, Salamanca 14
102: double forfeit, 110: Green (S) forfeit, 118: double forfeit, 126: Ploetz (MG) forfeit, 132: Kraft (MG) forfeit, 138: K. Spring (S) 12-5 Wadsworth, 145: Quattrone (MG) 1:24 A. Spring, 152: Tomlinson (MG) forfeit, 160: Ellis (S) TF 17-2 Hall, 172*: Cooper (MG) forfeit, 189: Trim (MG) 1:01 Snyder, 215: double forfeit, 285: Padd (MG) 3:01 Bialaszewski.