Granville’s Perry nips Whitehall’s Austin, 2-0, for 3rd place in state wrestling meet

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Granville’s Brent Perry and Whitehall’s Troy Austin shared the podium together at the New York State Wrestling Championships Saturday. (Photo courtesy of NYSPHSAA)
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It was only fitting.

There could not have been a better way to end their high school careers: on the mat, facing each other.

Granville’s Brent Perry and Whitehall’s Troy Austin, best friends and rivals, went head-to-head one final time on Saturday.

After falling twice to Austin this season, Perry was able to solve his longtime foe with a hard-fought 2-0 overtime victory to place third in the Division II 189-pound weight division of the state championships at MVP Arena in Albany.

Austin had been pinned by Shane Davidson of Wellsville in the semifinals. Perry dropped a 2-1 decision to Chittenango’s Andrew Bailey in the semis, setting up one more showdown between the pair.

After pulling off the winning move, Perry grabbed Austin’s arm and held it in the air while the referee raised his hand in victory.

It was a moment of class, sportsmanship and respect.

“I said, ‘Look where we are, man,’ because we both dreamed about this when we were kids, we both wanted to be here,” Perry said.

“It is really hard,” Austin said about wrestling his friend. “It makes it tough during wrestling season, makes it difficult to talk because you never know when we’re going to wrestle. Now we’re back to brothers again like we were on the football field.”

Austin advanced to the semifinals with a pin of Matt Martorana of Seaford in 1:17 in his opening round match. Austin topped Hunter Page of Oxford/Greene 18-2 by technical fall in the quarterfinals.

Perry won by a 2-1 decision over Jared Bilinski of Dolgeville in the quarterfinals. Perry blanked Matt Trim of Maple Grove 3-0 in the Round of 16.

The two were teammates last fall during the first season of a merger between Granville and Whitehall for football.

Perry ends the season 42-3. Austin finishes with a 43-3 mark.

Perry and Austin finished 2-2 against each other over the last two seasons.

“He’s wrestled with me all the way up through,” Perry said about Austin. “We played football together. I wouldn’t want my last match to be with anyone else.”