Niagara County Community College wrestling took care of business Thursday, handling host Jamestown CC, 34-15, to win the 24th Region III championship in program history.
Sophomore Steve Liebler (Williamsville North) improved to 9-0 this season at 184 pounds, winning his regional match by pinfall in 2:14. Freshman Nikalis Voelker (Newfane) picked up the second-biggest victory, a 9-0 major decision at 149.
Freshman Matthew Ash (St. Mary’s, 125) and sophomore Tom Berner (Niagara Falls, 165) earned decisions for the Thunderwolves, while freshman Zachary Ash (St. Mary’s, 133) and sophomore David Crow (Newark Valley) forced their opponents to bow out via injury. Sophomore Joshua Thibeault (Niagara Wheatfield, 197) won by forfeit.
Thibeault finished his season 6-1, with two wins via pin and another two by technical fall. His lone loss came against a national runner-up.
He was named Region III Co-Most Outstanding Wrestler with JCC’s Trenton Donahue. NCCC coach Keith Maute picked up his ninth Region III Coach of the Year honor.
The Thunderwolves advance to the NJCAA Championships, which are scheduled for April 21-22 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Hoops teams try to follow suit
NCCC’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will attempt to join wrestling by punching their tickets to the national championship tournaments today when they host JCC.
The women tip at noon while the men follow at 2 p.m. No spectators will be allowed.
The NCCC women finished the regular season 7-4, including 3-1 against JCC, the only other Region III school competing due to COVID-19. They played 10 games in a 15-day stretch due to an early-season COVID pause, going 7-3.
The men went 9-3, and like the women, 3-1 against JCC.