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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Portville Cruises to CCAA Div. II Wrestling Title

The WNY #7 small school Portville Panthers locked up their first league title since the 2009-2010 season at home on Wednesday and under a ‘wrestling lamp’ spotlight, a brand new feature that was funded by the Portville youth program.

The Panthers stormed to a 75-6 victory over league rival Frewsburg to finish 6-0 in CCAA II this season and for the first time in nearly ten years.

“We’ve had new growth and a new attitude,” stated Portville head coach Matt Milne on the last few years of rebuilding the Panther program. “We’ve got a lot of kids coming out that play other sports that are seeing the success and are joining in on it.”

The Panthers took down two-time defending league champion Randolph on January 9thin convincing fashion by a score of 61-24. Last Thursday’s dual with league runner-up Maple Grove was, by all accounts, the league-deciding match that ended in a 52-20 win for Portville. The win over Frewsburg officially clinched the league title outright for the Panthers.

One of Coach Milne’s goals as soon as taking over the program four years ago was to increase participation enough to convince the district’s administration to add another coaching position to the staff. Milne was able to accomplish that, and recognized Portville administration for the support.

“Our administration has been true to their word. They’ve been one hundred percent in support of us building up and getting to where we’re at.”

“Wrestling family” was the phrase used by Milne to describe the new culture around the program in Portville that has tied together the youth, modified, and varsity teams and the wrestlers, parents, coaches, and administration. “It’s been a lot of volunteers doing a lot of extra work that I couldn’t be more thankful to.”

Portville completes CCAA Div. II wrestling with a 6-0 record this season. The team is currently 17-4 overall with a match against Bath-Haverling (V) on Thursday left before the Section VI Class C/D tournament on Saturday, February 3rdat Eden.

“If you look at my roster, we don’t have a senior on it,” said Coach Milne on discussing what’s next for Portville wrestling. “There’s kids that are wrestling tough in our room right now that are going to find their way into the lineup soon. They’re working hard and pushing each other, and they have willingness to push each other.”

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