Bryce Mazurowski grew up hearing about the excellence of Nate Schiedel, a star at nearby Caledonia Mumford High School. He now hopes to take the 197-pound spot in the Binghamton lineup, currently occupied by Schiedel, for years to come.
On Tuesday night, the Avon state runner up gave his verbal pledge to the Bearcats, adding yet another high New York state placer to the first recruiting class under head coach Matt Dernlan. The CAA school also has commitments from state champions Kyle Kelly, Zack Zupan and Nick Tighe as well as third placers (and All-Americans) Nick Kelley and David Almaviva.
“It’s good to see so much talent going to Binghamton,” Mazurowski said. “I think the team has a very bright future. I definitely liked the coaching staff a lot. The philosophy they talk about is perfect for me and the fact that it’s a great school that’s close to home is really important.”
The future business management major, who also considered Boston University, North Carolina State and North Carolina, has been competitive in the upperweights throughout his career in Section 5. Back in 2010, he was the only freshman in the 189-pound bracket at the state tournament.
“I was kind of like a deer in the headlights that year,” Mazurowski said of his 0-2 showing. “Being in the huge arena with so many high class wrestlers, I think I was a little nervous.”
He returned as a sophomore at the same weight and improved his performance, coming within one victory of making the podium, with his losses coming to the third and fifth place finishers (Zack Diekel and Kurt Shear, respectively). That near miss provided a spark.
“I really wanted to place the second year and didn’t quite make it,” he said. “That got me so motivated. I realized how much I wanted to be on top and how good I wanted to be. I realized what I had to do to get there. It gave me the drive to work even harder and set everything up for last year.”
In 2011-12, Mazurowski had a stellar campaign at 195 pounds, compiling a 46-2 record with 43 wins by bonus points. After a close setback to Shenendehowa state champion Tony Lock in December, he reeled off more than 30 consecutive triumphs, including a 4-2 win over the top seed in Albany, before dropping a decision to Diekel (currently at Lehigh), in the New York title bout.
“In my mind, I was going to win the tournament last year,” Mazurowski said. “It was great to get to the finals — it was a great experience. But I’m definitely glad to have one more year to go at it and get that title.”
While he participated in track in the spring and football this fall, he has continued wrestling throughout.
“I’ve been working on refining my skills and lifting,” he said. “I’ve definitely gotten a lot more aware on the mat and I think I’m finding new ways to score points. I want to thank the Paddock family and Dee Gugel, who I’ve worked out with a lot and I want to thank the coaches at Avon for keeping me on track and giving me all the opportunities I’ve had. And definitely my parents, who have supported me through everything and have helped me do what I wanted to do to get where I am.”
Where he is now is on the verge of another title run. Schiedel won his New York state crown in his senior season before embarking upon a successful career in the CAA where he is currently ranked in the top 10 nationally. Similarly, Mazurowski hopes to stand atop the podium in Albany in his final high school campaign before going to work in the upperweights for the Bearcats.