Spice Of Life

By Jay Young

jyoung@post-journal.com

Two years ago, Trevor Spicer had to make a choice about where he wanted to attend high school. After his family had moved to a new house outside of Jamestown, Spicer decided that Frewsburg Central School was where he wanted to take his athletic talents.

After that, everything fell into place.

In his final season on the mat with the Bears, the senior posted a 39-2 record that ended with a successful run into the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Division 2 Tournament, despite being plagued by a number of injuries at different times during the year.

“I can’t say enough about him (and) how proud I am of him, “said Bears coach Randy Spicer.

It was Coach Spicer who originally gave his son the option to choose where he wanted to go to school and ended up following him to Frewsburg to become the school’s new wrestling coach.

“When I transferred to Frewsburg two years ago and got the job, it was because of (Trevor),” he said. ”He loves the kids at Frewsburg, he wants to see the program go ahead. He feels a lot of responsibility. He wasn’t just a wrestler this year, he was a coach.”

Spicer could have chosen to attend a school with a dominant wrestling program, but in the end he made his choice because of the atmosphere that came with Frewsburg, and that decision has paid off.

Even though the Bears struggled as a team this past season, Spicer was able to put the program on the map with his individual efforts and also encouraged the younger wrestlers on his team.

After compiling a 35-0 record, Spicer went 4-2 at the state tournament following a heartbreaking and controversial loss in the first round that would have taken all the momentum out of most wrestlers.

“He was beating his first opponent handily and just lost on a fluke,” said Salamanca coach Kane Smith. ”He could have won that tournament, or at least been in the finals.”

He added, “Once somebody loses you see their true colors come out. Trevor really showed a lot of character and quality attributes to come back after a loss like that.”

Smith is just one of many friendships that Spicer has forged over the course of his career with the Bears. The pair began working together earlier in the year after Smith had a chance to see what Spicer can do on the mat.

“Rich Morton and Kane Smith from Salamanca watched him wrestle and they loved his old-school, physical style,” said Coach Spicer. ”They helped him a lot and showed him some things that he didn’t know.”

For plenty of people it seems quite unusual for rival coaches to take an interest in working with a wrestler from another school, but not when it comes to Spicer.

Spicer’s open personality and athletic determination have made him popular, not just with his own teammates and coaches, but also with the athletes and staff of different area schools.

“Trevor is one of those guys who has friends everywhere, “says Coach Spicer.

Even after making the move to Frewsburg as a student, Spicer still spends time practicing at various schools in both Pennsylvania and Western New York.

One of the most impressive parts of Spicer’s season is the way that he was able to wrestle through injuries that would have sidelined other athletes.

In the opening tournament of the season at Maple Grove, the senior suffered a serious shoulder injury.

“What a lot of people don’t know about Trevor is that he got hurt the first tournament of the year. He wrestled the finals at Maple Grove with one arm,” Coach Spicer said. ”We were going to have him forfeit.”

In the end, the injury didn’t make much of a difference as Spicer went on to claim the tournament championship despite a nagging arm.

Spicer was just beginning to recover from his first injury of the year when he made another epic run to take home the Holiday Classic tournament title with a convincing 14-2 win over Jake Penhollow of Falconer.

Just when his first injury had healed, Spicer was stricken again after tweaking his ankle prior to a match against the Randolph Cardinals. Once again, he defied the odds and recorded a pin in 1:45 – not bad for a one-legged wrestler.

Those two matches tell you everything that you need to know about the Bears’ most dominant wrestler, who is also The Post-Journal Wrestler of the Year.

Spicer is the kind of guy who exemplifies his hard-nosed sport and is proud of the choices that he has made. His success on the mat inspired fellow wrestlers throughout the year, and not just his teammates from Frewsburg.

Spicer’s athletic future remains bright if somewhat uncertain. He is equally passionate about playing both football and baseball and doesn’t want to get locked into one commitment as he prepares for college.

“On the way home from (the state tournament at) Albany he was already talking about getting his glove out for baseball,” joked Coach Spicer. “He mentions different things about wrestling, but his biggest thing with wrestling is that he wants to coach. It was a heavy load for a young man to carry to the state tournament. It wasn’t about him. He kept talking about the team.”