Ethan Cooper’s victory in his final match at the King Bison Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 25, did more than earn him first place in the tournament.
With the win, Cooper also set a new Cobleskill-Richmondville High School wrestling record for career victories. He now has 187, surpassing Neil Martin’s mark of 186 that had stood since Martin graduated in 2004.
Martin, who practices with Cooper regularly, was on hand to see the record broken and among the first to offer congratulations.
“When he came up to me and congratulated me, that was pretty cool,” said Cooper, who went 5-0 at the King Bison Invitational and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. “He was really excited for me.”
Cooper, currently ranked No. 1 in the state in the 182-pound weight class, is among the decorated wrestlers in the C-R High School program history.
He has qualified for the state tournament each of the past two years, and this season, he has helped the Bulldogs capture the Section II team title.
“Last year I knew I was getting up there in wins,” Cooper said. “I knew if I had a similar season to last year, I’d be pretty close, maybe even closing in on 200. I was focusing on 200 and kind of lost sight of the record, but when I realized I was about five away, I knew it was going to be pretty exciting.”
The 200-win mark is still within reach.
Cooper will be competing in the Section II championships Feb. 8, with a chance to advance to the state tournament qualifier the following weekend. Then comes the state tournament, held Feb. 28-29 at Times Union Center in Albany.
As a team, the Bulldogs also have qualified for the state dual-meeting championships, which will be held Saturday, Feb. 1, in Syracuse.