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Clarence Wrestling Ready To Compete With Anyone

The Clarence High School wrestling team’s run of dominance may be a thing of the past as the standouts that led the Red Devils to four straight Section VI championships from 2011-14 have now all graduated.

But plenty of quality wrestlers remain and, while the Red Devils may not be considered a powerhouse this season, they’re sure going to be ready for anyone.

“I think we have the ability to compete with almost anybody,” veteran coach Jason Chase said. “There are some really good teams this year that would be favored over us right now, but I don’t think we’re going to back down from anybody. We’ll be ready to go.”

The Red Devils slipped back into the middle of the pack last season and lost the annual Border Brawl to Lancaster after winning the heated rivalry match for five straight seasons. The rival Legends are the favorite this season as well in ECIC I but Clarence is going to be ready to compete with anyone on the schedule.

“We’ll be ready,” Chase said. “The kids put in a good offseason and I think we’ll be able to compete with just about any team.”

The Red Devils will be tough at the top with senior heavyweight Sean Kloss, a Trench Trophy finalist and All-Western New York selection in football, expected to excel on the mat after reaching the sectional tournament as a junior. Another sectional-qualifier, senior Christian Rider, is expected to be a standout at 220 pounds for Clarence.

“In my eyes, both of those boys should be there in the postseason,” Chase said.

Clarence opened the regular season in impressive fashion with a 71-9 win over ECIC I foe Orchard Park. Although the undermanned Quakers forfeited several matches, there were some swing matches that went the Red Devils way.

Always nice to start with a win,” Chase said. “There were a few matches I was interested to see the result in and I thought a couple of our guys stepped up in those matches.”

Clarence also has some young guns worth watching. Freshman Antoine Walker (99 pounds) as is freshman Aiden Rabideau, who is currently wrestling at 115 but could go down as low as 99 if needed. Junior Anthony Corigliano (120) is coming off a strong offseason, Chase said. and junior Andy Burden (126) is also looking tough.

At 145, Clarence will feature senior Zach Braunscheidel, who Chase said “has come a long way and has become a leader as a senior.”

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