Raplee's bid stopped short

Gary Pinneo

Michael Raplee's bid for a New York State wrestling title was short-circuited on Feb. 28 by a familar face — R.J. Sharp from Red Creek.  The 285 lbs. state semifinal on Saturday was in fact a rematch of the  Super Heavyweight match of last week in the Section V Super Sectional Competition. 

In this Mike Raplee/R.J. Sharp showdown, the Dundee senior grappler defeated fellow senior Sharp by a pin to advance to the New York State Tournament. Red Creek's Sharp also advanced to this competion with an at-large bid. Saturday's rematch was a classic heavyweight donneybrook that took a toll physically on both wrestlers. These two intense competitors went out full boar in this exhausting match. Each grappler enjoyed the lead in this classic bout and both wrestlers suffered injuries during the contest that made their task much more difficult. 

In the end, Sharp finally prevailed. He tied the score late in the match with an escape and scored a pair of takedowns to earn a 11-7 victory. Sharp recovered to win the  285 lbs. title later in the day.

Raplee could not continue for the remainder of the tournament because of his injuries.  He forfeited his final two matches and placed sixth in the weight classification.

The loss was certainly disappointing for the Dundee wrestling stalwart. Raplee started off impressively on Friday with two quick pins of his initial opponents to advance to the semifinals. Injuries are part of all sports and an opponent that seldom loses. 

But as we know, "the saddest words in tongue and pen are the ones  what might have been." 

The loss certainly does not diminish an impressive high school wrestling career for the talented Michael Raplee.