When describing the top tier brackets at the Journeymen Classic, set for September 29 at Niskayuna High School, the event’s poster said it is “a true battleground for wrestlers on the east coast.”
‘A true battleground’ is certainly the case. A year ago, a number of eventual New York State champions and placers saw high-level competition at the event. Some, like Yianni Diakomihalis, Nick Piccininni, Nick Kelley and Rich Sisti won their brackets, while others suffered some rare losses.
While the tournament advertisement mentioned the East Coast, it isn’t just an East Coast event anymore. This year, the first FloMajor of the season has commitments from over 20 states, covering various parts of the country. A contingent of more than 10 wrestlers is scheduled to come in from California while a similar number from Michigan will make the trip, as will grapplers from Southeastern locations such as Georgia, Florida, Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina. There are also expected to be entrants from Texas, Kentucky, Alabama and Arkansas in addition to the large pools of competitors from the Tri-State area and New England.
It’s not just the geographic representation that’s impressive, however. The quality of the participants seems to improve from year to year.
Nine 2013 New York State champions will take part – Journeymen Classic returning champions Diakomihalis, Piccininni and Sisti – as well as Kyle Quinn, William Koll, Alex Delacruz, Louis Hernandez, Corey Rasheed and Adis Radoncic.
In addition, Fargo All-Americans such as Jonathan Viruet (MA), Kent Lane (PA), Christian Stackhouse (NJ) and New York’s Jakob Restrepo, Tommy Dutton and Jesse Porter are registered as are Top 100 recruits Gary Dinmore (NJ) and Jesse Webb (VT). Webb is a multi-time NHSCA National champion as is South Carolina’s Clay Walker, who is also in the field.
Coaches at the next level have definitely taken notice. Over 20 college programs have confirmed attendance at Niskayuna High School, including 14 Division I institutions from a range of conferences – the EIWA, ACC, SoCon, EWL, MAC, Big 12 and WWC.
For more information on the event, see this link.