Niagara Gazette

Sports

January 24, 2013

MEILER: L-P title product of years of work

Niagara Gazette —

A Niagara Frontier League championship is a bit of a rarity at Lewiston-Porter.

Through no fault of its own, the school is at a disadvantage in league play, simply by being the smallest school in the league.

"It's hard being a small school in the NFL," Lew-Port wrestling coach Jon Hoover said. "Our whole school is somebody else's graduating class."

Every season is an uphill battle for the Lancers, which makes the wrestling team's co-championship this season — its first share of the title since 1993 — very impressive.

What's more impressive is how the team got there.

Twelve years ago, with Hoover taking the helm for the first time, the school's varsity wrestling program helped found the Lew-Port Wrestling Club in an effort to encourage children as young as 8 years old to get into wrestling.

The club, while unaffiliated with the school, uses the school's gym and equipment for training.

This year's championship is evidence of its success. Senior leaders Dan Reagan and Ben Carella each started their careers at the club, where they learned the basics of wrestling.

"One of our goals ... wasn't just to make a run at a championship, but to sustain (success) year after year and continue to go after the title," Hoover said. "And it started with our youth program. They're doing the same thing on the youth program that they do at the high school level, we can focus more on fine tuning guys instead of having to teach them."

"Over the past two or three years, we've started to see (the club wrestlers) coming up through varsity," L-P athletic director Scott Townsend added. "It's done wonders for our program."

Hoover also credits assistant coaches Dave Hockenberry, Mike Antonelli, Josh Souta and Bill Edwards, who now runs the club, with pouring themselves into the program.

Their continued success — along with that of the club — could go a long way to making the Lew-Port wrestling team a perennial contender.

This is the debut of Gazette reporter Mike Meiler's weekly high school sports column. Respond to him on Twitter @mikemeiler or by email at mike.meiler@niagara-gazette.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page