With a long list of swimmers in his family, it seemed as if Brandon Glauber’s fate was sealed.
His uncle, Peter Glauber, was inducted into the Clarence Hall of Fame in 2007 after becoming the first swimmer in school history to win a state title back in 1977. His first cousin and Peter’s son, Danny, was on a relay that won a state title and placed third at states in the butterfly and 100 freestyle.
Brandon never made it into the pool. The tug to write the first chapter in wrestling for the Glauber family was too strong.
“We all grew up swimming, all eight of us,” said Peter, who still makes his home in Clarence. “I love it that Brandon has found his niche. We tease him a little bit about the wrestling, but it’s absolutely great.”
Glauber started out playing hockey before joining wrestling as a freshman. He’s been on dry land ever since.
“A lot of people know the Glaubers in Clarence, a lot of people come up to me, ‘Are you a Glauber, the swimmers?” he said. “I say, ‘Yeah, that’s my family.’ I get asked a lot of times why don’t I swim. I didn’t really like swimming. I played ice hockey and then switched to wrestling. I was better at it. I like the individual sport better. It’s all on you, I kind of like that.”
Glauber, who was runner-up at 132 pounds in last Saturday’s Class AA championships, will bring a 33-7 record into this weekend’s Section VI Championships on Sunday at the University at Buffalo. He is one of many Clarence wrestlers who will contend for a title and a trip to the New York State Championship in Albany that comes with it.
Clarence just finished a tremendous regular season that included Saturday’s third Class AA Championship in the last four years and third straight ECIC I title. The Red Devils sent eight wrestlers to the Class AA finals, winning four weight classses. Four – Brendan Arena, Nate Schwab, Jake Weber and Nate Ward – won titles.
Also, the Red Devils were second to Shenendehowa at the Spencerport Tournament and fifth among the best teams in the state at the Union-Endicott Duals. They have a 16-1 record with the only loss to state-ranked East Sachem at U-E. After losing the annual Border Brawl to Lancaster the first six years in a row, they’ve won the last three. The Red Devils are currently the No. 1-ranked large school in WNY and are ranked No. 7 in the state in Class AA.
Weber (42-1), a junior, is the Red Devils’ only returning state qualifier from last year. He’s currently ranked No. 1 in WNY at 160. He has approximately 130 career wins. Against Jamestown last week he broke the school record for most pins in a season with 25. He added three more to that total on Saturday.
“I just like to go out there and set the tone, be real physical, I like to run them out of bounds right off the bat, just kind of get in their head,” he said.
Ward’s big win to date was over Luke Catalano of Lake Shore, 4-2, in double overtime to win the ECIC title. As a junior, Ward lost to him in last year’s ECIC final. Catalano went on to reach the sectional final. The two could meet again in this weekend’s sectional final.
Ward (35-4) has started the last four years at 285 and has earned the respect of his teammates.
“We have a bunch of leaders on the team," Ward said. “Not only the seniors, but Nate Schwab is a leader, he’s a young kid, Burns is doing great. Dylan Arena is surprising me a lot, our 99-pounder. We have a whole bunch of guys who lead the team, it’s not just the seniors, everyone is involved in helping each other out. In practice everyone is yelling at each other. We all know that we need that support from one another.”
Burns and Schwab are sophomores with promising futures. Burns (27-4) is ranked No. 1 in WNY at 106. He only has one loss this season within the section. “He wrestles from the time wrestling starts until it ends, he never takes a break,” said Clarence coach Jason Chase. “Every opportunity he gets to wrestle he’s on the mat.”
Schwab (39-5) got his varsity career off to an impressive start as an eighth grader winning almost 30 matches at 145/152. Last year as a freshman he was in the hunt for a sectional title before settling for third.
Austin Krawczyk has been on the varsity the last four years. Despite battling a knee injury all season, he found the strength to beat Lancaster’s two-time Section VI champion Eric Lewandowski in the recent Border Brawl.
Chase, 28, is a native of Rochester, who won the Section V title at 125 pounds as a senior for Rush-Henrietta. He’s already in his sixth season at Clarence, taking over for the late and cherished Jon Vesper. Chase teaches physical education at Clarence’s Sheridan Hill Elementary. He’s one of the many bright young minds in the WNY coaching ranks.
Chase knew he had a lot of wrestlers coming back, and when they won the season-opening Vesper Duals, he thought it could be a big year.
“The foundation was there. This group of kids started wrestling and traveling as a group a couple years ago, they stuck together, it’s a very tight-knit group,” he said. “As a team we have so many kids doing the right things on a regular basis. We went to Webster trying to chase down the best competition. At U-E we tried to knock off some of the top teams in the state. We want to show we’re right with them”