Adams wrestling falls in regional semifinal

By: Christian Davis | Rochester Post | Published February 23, 2016

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Following the loss in a Division 1 regional semifinal, Rochester Adams wrestling coach Mike Holtz had nothing but positive things to say about his squad.

The Highlanders fell to Utica Eisenhower 49-16 Feb. 17 at Rochester High.

“At the end of the day, we believe in ourselves. The boys believe in themselves, they believe in who they are and what they’re about, and we just got beat by a better team, and there’s nothing wrong with that,” Holtz said. “Eisenhower is just a better team than we are, and that’s OK.”

Anuj Mangal (103 pounds), Charles Zhou (119), Brendan Gibbons (140), Jake Anderson (152) and Jon Buchanan earned victories for the Highlanders.

Adams finished the season 18-9 overall, and Holtz believes the squad will be strong again next season.

“There’s going to be some big holes to fill, but we had a really strong freshman class, and I think some of those guys are going to look to embrace that opportunity,” Holtz said. “Some guys are going to have to step up, and that’s how it works — you either have guys step up and take on those new roles, or you stay stagnant. We’ll see what happens, but I’m confident the boys will do what they need to do to keep things rolling.”

The coach added that the season had its ups and downs, dealing with injuries and illnesses.

“We came to a fork in the road, and we talked to the boys about making a choice to push on and take the adversity head-on and take the adversity over, or they could make an excuse to not to. They decided to take it on and take it over. I’m really proud with how we’ve performed, specifically in the postseason,” Holtz said.

Along the way to the regional round, the Highlanders won their second straight district championship. It’s the first time the program claimed back-to-back titles since Adams won three straight from 1996-1999.

Holtz noted that only one wrestler on the team was even born the last time it happened.

“The seniors get to go out with that being part of their legacy, which is nice. They can be proud of that,” he said.

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