When Rob Waddington was hired as the head coach at Jamestown Community College, he was very clear about the direction of the program.
“I told the Athletic Director when he hired me that because of where we sit between Sections 4, 5 and 6 in New York and Pennsylvania and Ohio, there’s no reason not be be in the top 10 in the nation. Our first goal was to build a team and get some depth. We’ve accomplished that.”
Indeed, it seems that first goal has been achieved. Waddington said that when he took the reins of the team in August of 2012, the squad had 13 wrestlers, 11 of whom were eligible. As such, every dual meet started with a huge deficit, as Jamestown had to forfeit three weight classes.
But that shouldn’t be an issue this year as a large group of wrestlers has been brought into the fold.
“[Al Rossetti] did an outstanding job with recruiting this year,” Waddington said. “Most of the kids are here because of all the work he did, including finding out where they were wrestling, allowing us to watch them all wrestle.”
The recruiting efforts were concentrated in the Empire State, however, they weren’t limited to the New York borders. A three-time top four finisher in North Carolina (Robbie Gladwell) will join the squad as will a solid competitor from Ohio (Ja’von Tolliver). And of course, there are plenty of familiar names, including 2013 state placers Jake Nicholson and Austin Lynn. (The full list of recruits is at the end of the article).
“It was definitely a goal to bring in a big group,” Waddington said. “30 was my number and we hit it. I thought we could get into Pennsylvania a little bit and it didn’t work out this year. But we did well all over New York, including some kids from the city.”
During the process, Waddington said certain qualities were emphasized.
“We were looking for kids that were coming in for the education,” Waddington said. “I stress that without education, wrestling means nothing to you. We also were looking for the tough, hard working kids. We asked the high school coaches who the hardest workers in the room were and that was important to us. We want the kids who want to compete and are willing to learn.”
So Jamestown will go from a squad that couldn’t field a full dual lineup last year to one that Waddington believes will be competitive throughout the season. Providing assistance will be Rossetti as well as Dylan Freedman and Ryan Guynup, who was a bright spot for the Jayhawks in 2012-13, falling one round short of being an All-American.
“We’re just getting started, but it’s a great room,” Waddington said. “It’s a really hard working bunch of kids. We’re excited and they’re excited.”
They’ll have the chance to compete in a mixture of open tournaments and dual meets. One of the early tests will be at the New York State Intercollegiates at Cornell in the first month of the season.
“That’s a great tournament to have in November,” Waddington said. “You can see where you’re at and what you need to work on. If you can place there, you’re right there to be an All-American at the Junior College level.”
Waddington believes that All-Americans are possible with the new class coming in, but he’s not getting too far ahead of himself.
“Our region is really tough,” he said. “Last year was a great learning experience. My goal is to make everyone in that room better. I came in here because I felt as though I could bring in a team that’s competitive with the best Junior College teams. We’ve brought in a lot of guys and we’re excited to see what happens this year.”
Jamestown CC – Freshmen (as provided by Jamestown staff)
Pat McCarthy – Fredonia, NY
Edwin Prada – Heritage HS, NYC
Tysean Wilson – Bedford-Stuyvesant NYC
Jake Nicholson – Waterloo, NY 3rd States at 125
Sean Caruso – Shawsheen Valley, Mass
Kyle Mulcahy – Corinth, NY Sect 2 champ 145
Chris Broccoli – Massepequa, NY
Austin Schwab – Cassadaga, NY
Robbie Gladwell – Croatan, NC 4th, 3rd and 2nd states
Billy Sischo – Cassadaga, NY
Mike Southwick – Jamestown, NY
Nick Wagenbaugh – Schenectady, NY
Sean Labadie – Allegheny, NY
Chris Buroltz – Randolph, NY
Ben Narraway – Fredonia, NY
Ja’von Tolliver – Shaker Heights, Cleveland
Jerrel White – Schenectady, NY
Jimmy Carr – Randolph, NY
Matt Stebbins – Fredonia, NY
Austin Lynn – Frewsburg, NY 4th NYS
Bryan McCoy – Dunkirk, NY
Ryan Richter – Gowanda, NY
John Piazza – Williamson, NY
Greg Burroughs – Fredonia, NY 5th NYS (2011)
Emanual Zamora – Schenectady, NY
Javen Newman – Falconer, NY
Jared Hallberg – Maple Grove, NY