Heavyweight State Placer Ian James Chooses University at Buffalo

Making it to the state tournament.  That was the main goal of Greece’s Ian James going into his junior season in November of 2012.

That objective was within his reach as he took the mat in the 285-pound SuperSectionals title bout last February.  The task wouldn’t be easy, however, as he was set to face a familiar foe – Spencerport’s Austin Coleman.

The two heavyweights had already met three times during the season.  In the first match, James came out on top 3-1, however, Coleman had captured the last two.  To ensure a spot in Albany – and achieve his goal – James knew he had to even the score.

“By the fourth time wrestling him, I was confident,” James said. “I stuck to what I did the first time and was able to win the match.”

Indeed, he was, earning the Section 5 title and a ticket to the Times Union Center with a 4-1 triumph.

Courtesy of Ian James

“It was a really big step for me,” he said. “It felt great to accomplish that – I knew I worked hard enough to get it done.”

But there were still more achievements on the way in Albany, although James didn’t have the start he was looking for in the state capital.

“Going into my first match was nerve-wracking,” he said. “It felt like my first time ever wrestling. The nerves stuck with me the whole match. I felt flat; not on top of my game at all.”

That opening bout with Anthony Puca of Huntington was a battle that went three overtimes before the Suffolk County grappler came out on top, 3-2.

But after focusing all year on getting to the state tournament, James wasn’t going to make it a short, two-bout experience.

“I felt like after my first match, all the jitters were gone,” he said.  “I just got into my zone where I wanted to be and focused on what I wanted to do.  After being down, I pushed myself to do better.  Those were the hardest matches of the year with everyone going for the same goals.  My wins were probably the best wrestling I did all year.”

He captured three contests in a row, beginning with an overtime victory over Chris Alianakian.  He then won 5-1 against Andrew Brinser of Union-Endicott and 7-5 versus Terrence Cheeks of Newburgh to clinch All-State status.  He finished with one-point losses to bronze medalist James O’Hagan of Seaford and Mike Manni of Tappan Zee to nab sixth place in the state.

Afterwards, he continued to pick up quality wins, including at the Section 5 vs. Finger Lakes Wrestling Club dual meet that was part of the Long Island vs. Upstate Challenge in March.

In that competition, James pinned Connor Calkins of Alfred-Almond, a Division II state placer who had some impressive offseason results, including crowns at the Journeymen Classic and the Freak Show.

“It felt good to be selected to be in that kind of event,” James said.  “It was the best kids in the Section doing what they love to do most.  I felt honored and kind of nervous to be in that environment – at Cornell, with great high school and college wrestlers around.”

He soon will be a college wrestler himself, as he committed to the University at Buffalo.

“I decided on Buffalo for a lot of reasons,” James said. “It’s close to home and it’s a program on the rise.  I like where the program is going and I want to be a part of it.  It’s also good that there will be a lot of Section 5 kids there.”

Speaking of Section 5 kids, James keeps thinking about his rival last year, Austin Coleman, who went on to the state finals after James defeated him at the state qualifier.

“It’s something that drives me, that I beat someone who took second in the state,” James said. “The way I’m working in the practice room, I feel like I can win states this year. That’s my goal. I was pretty excited to place last year.  It got me ready for this year, where I plan to come back and win it all.   Last year was just a stepping stone.”

A stepping stone to potential state glory.  And a stepping stone to college wrestling at Buffalo.

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Ian James wanted to thank all of the coaches who helped him through the years, since he started wrestling in seventh grade.

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Binghamton, Buffalo and Columbia All Pick Up a Dual Victory at the Journeymen/Asics Northeast Duals on Saturday

The three New York Division I teams competing at the Journeymen/Asics Northeast Duals on Saturday in Troy all went 1-2 on the day.

Binghamton finished on a high note with a victory over George Mason in the finale.   Leading the charge for the Bearcats was 197-pounder Cody Reed, who went 3-0.  Also registering big victories for the squad were heavyweight Tyler Deuel, whose pin against George Mason sealed the dual win and David White, who upset nationally-ranked Nathan Kraisser of North Carolina by a 3-2 score at 125.  Deuel, White, Joe Bonaldi (149) Jack McKeever (174) and Caleb Wallace (184) all got their hand raised twice during the day.

Fellow EIWA team Columbia began by defeating Big 10 foe Michigan State 16-15 in the opener.  Both squads captured five matches, with the difference being one bonus point win for the Lions – a major decision by Penn Gottfried at 125.  Gottfried won twice on Saturday, as did Angelo Amenta at 133 and Josh Houldsworth at 165.  In addition, Matt Bystol went a perfect 3-0 at 141, according to the Columbia Athletics site.

Buffalo got into the win column against Sacred Heart, with a 30-6 result.  Angelo Malvestuto went 3-0 for the Bulls, while teammate Max Soria collected a pair of victories at 125 pounds.  In the meet against the Pioneers, Buffalo featured wins by Soria, Justin Farmer (133), Nick Flannery (141), John Northrup (157), Rrok Ndokaj (165), Tyler Rill (174), Tony Lock (184), Jarred Lux (197, forfeit) and Malvestuto.

 

For the full box scores of the college action, see below:

BINGHAMTON (from bubearcats.com)

NORTH CAROLINA 22, BINGHAMTON 14
125 David White (BING) DEC Nathan Kraisser (N CAR) 3-2
133 Troy Heilmann (N CAR) DEC Nick Tighe (BING) 7-2
141 Evan Henderson (N CAR) MAJ Nick Kelley (BING) 12-2
149 Christian Barber (N CAR) DEC Joe Bonaldi (BING) 2-1
157 Jake Crawford (N CAR) DEC Colton Perry (BING) 6-2
165 Michael (N CAR) DQ Vincent Grella (BING) 5:56
174 Jack McKeever (BING) DEC Scott Marmoll (N CAR) 3-1
184 Alex Utley (N CAR) DEC Caleb Wallace (BING) 6-2
197 Cody Reed (BING) DEC Frank Abbondanza (N CAR) 3-1
285 Tyler Deuel (BING) TF Bob Coe (N CAR) 2:48

NC STATE 23, BINGHAMTON 9
125 Micah Perez (NC State) DEC David White (BING) 5-2
133 Chris Wilkes (NC State) DEC Nick Tighe (BING) 7-4
141 Sam Speno (NC State) MAJ Nick Kelley (BING) 11-3
149 Joe Bonaldi (BING) DEC Max Rohskopf (NC State) 8-2
157 Tommy Gantt (NC State) MAJ Colton Perry (BING) 21-8
165 Nijel Jones (NC State) WBF James Eustice (BING) 3:36
174 Pete Renda (NC State) DEC Jack McKeever (BING) 4-1
184 Caleb Wallace (BING) DEC Shayne Brady (NC State) 7-4
197 Cody Reed (BING) DEC KaRonne Jones (NC State) 5-3
285 Nick Gwiazdowski (NC State) MAJ Tyler Deuel (BING) 14-6

BINGHAMTON 21, GEORGE MASON 14
125 David White (BING) DEC Gentry (G MASON)  6-2
133 Lavorato (G MASON) DEC Mike Sardo (BING)  5-4
141 Sahid Kargbo (G MASON) TF Nick Kelley (BING) 4:45
149 Ludke (G MASON) DEC Dylan Caruana (BING) 3-1
157 Joe Bonaldi (BING) DEC Flournoy (G MASON)  5-2
165 Takagi (G MASON) DEC Colton Perry (BING) 1-0
174 Jack McKeever (BING) DEC Martinez (G MASON) 7-2
184 Caleb Wallace (BING) DEC Ryan Hembury (G MASON) 8-2
197 Cody Reed (BING) DEC Matt Meadows (G MASON) 7-5
285 Tyler Deuel (BING) WBF Jacob Kettler (G MASON)  2:58

COLUMBIA (from gocolumbialions.com)

COLUMBIA 16, MICHIGAN STATE 15
125 Penn Gottfried (COLUMB) MAJ Brennan Lyon (MICH ST) 11-2
133 Angelo Amenta (COLUMB) DEC Garth Yenter (MICH ST) 5-0
141 Matt Bystol (COLUMB) DEC Brian Gibbs (MICH ST) 2-1
149 Connor Sutton (COLUMB) DEC Matt Pasqualini (MICH ST) 5-3
157 Ryan Watts (MICH ST) DEC Markus Scheidel (COLUMB) 7-4
165 Brian Nash (MICH ST) DEC Josh Houldsworth (COLUMB)  2-0
174 Eric Fajardo (COLUMB) DEC Kevin Nash (MICH ST) 9-6
184 John Rizqallah (MICH ST) DEC Zack Hernandez (COLUMB) 3-0
197 Nick McDiarmid (MICH ST) DEC Matt Idelson (COLUMB) 9-5
285 Mike McClure (MICH ST) DEC Wyatt Baker (COLUMB) 7-2

CLARION 20, COLUMBIA 16
125 Penn Gottfried (COLUMB) DEC Jonathan Mele (CLARION) 8-4
133 Angelo Amenta (COLUMB) MAJ Sam Sherlock (CLARION) 11-0
141 Matt Bystol (COLUMB) DEC Tyler Bedelyon (CLARION) 12-10
149 Justin Arthur (CLARION) TF Connor Sutton (COLUMB)
157 Austin Matthews (CLARION) DEC Markus Scheidel (COLUMB) 8-2
165 Josh Houldsworth (COLUMB) DEC Michael Pavasko (CLARION)  5-1
174 Ryan Darch (CLARION) WBF Eric Fajardo (COLUMB)
184 Dustin Conti (CLARION) DEC Zack Hernandez (COLUMB) 8-3
197 Matt Idelson (COLUMB) DEC Dan Sutherland (CLARION) 6-2
285 Evan Daley (CLARION) DEC Wyatt Baker (COLUMB) 9-4

LEHIGH 25, COLUMBIA 9
125 Darian Cruz (LEHIGH) DEC Penn Gottfried (COLUMB) 3-1
133 Mason Beckman (LEHIGH) DEC Angelo Amenta (COLUMB) 4-2
141 Matt Bystol (COLUMB) DEC Laike Gardner (LEHIGH) 3-2
149 Mitch Minotti (LEHIGH) DEC Connor Sutton (COLUMB) 9-3
157 Joey Napoli (LEHIGH) DEC Markus Scheidel (COLUMB) 3-2
165 Josh Houldsworth (COLUMB) WBF Billy Ramsey (LEHIGH) 2:24
174 Elliot Riddick (LEHIGH) DEC Shane Hughes (COLUMB) 8-4
184 Zach Diekel (LEHIGH) MAJ Troy Hembury (COLUMB) 13-5
197 John Bolich (LEHIGH) DEC Mike Fetchet (COLUMB) 6-2
285 Doug Vollaro (LEHIGH) DEC Wyatt Baker (COLUMB) 2-0

BUFFALO (from tournaflex.com)

NC STATE 31, BUFFALO 7
125 Max Soria (BUFF) MAJ Brenden Calas (NC ST) 10-2
133 Chris Wilkes (NC ST) DEC Justin Farmer (BUFF) 7-2
141 Sam Speno (NC ST) TF Nick Flannery (BUFF)
149 Brian Hamann (NC ST) TF Ryan Todora (BUFF)
157 Tommy Gantt (NC ST) MAJ John Northrup (BUFF) 10-2
165 Nijel Jones (NC ST) MAJ Wally Mazairz (BUFF) 14-6
174 Pete Renda (NC ST) MAJ Tyler Rill (BUFF) 12-4
184 Michael Macchiavello (NC ST) DEC Tony Lock (BUFF) 9-7
197 Angelo Malvestuto (BUFF) DEC KaRonne Jones (NC ST) 4-2
285 Bill Cook (NC ST) DEC James Benjamin (BUFF) 3-2

BUFFALO 30, SACRED HEART 6
125 Max Soria (BUFF) MAJ Joe Harris (SH) 20-7
133 Justin Farmer (BUFF) DEC TJ Fabian (SH) 4-3
141 Nick Flannery (BUFF) WBF Andrew Polidore (SH)
149 Brendan Goldup (SH) WBF Ryan Todora (BUFF)
157 John Northrup (BUFF) MAJ Matt Fisher (SH) 16-4
165 Rrok Ndokaj (BUFF) DEC Conan Schuster (SH) 6-4
174 Tyler Rill (BUFF) DEC Zach Moran (SH) 10-3
184 Tony Lock (BUFF) MAJ Tom Filipkowski (SH) 11-3
197 Jarred Lux (BUFF) by Fft
285 Angelo Malvestuto (BUFF) DEC Nick Lupi (SH) 3-1

CLARION 34, BUFFALO 7
125 Jonathan Mele (CLARION) DEC Max Soria (BUFF) 8-4
133 Sam Sherlock (CLARION) DEC Justin Farmer (BUFF) 6-3
141 Tyler Bedelyon (CLARION) WBF Nick Flannery (BUFF)
149 Justin Arthur (CLARION) DEC Ryan Todora (BUFF) 5-0
157 Austin Matthews (CLARION) WBF John Northrup (BUFF)
165 Wally Mazairz (BUFF) DEC Michael Pavasko (CLARION) 2-1
174 Ryan Darch (CLARION) TF Lux (BUFF)
184 Dustin Conti (CLARION) DEC Tony Lock (BUFF) 5-3
197 Angelo Malvestuto (BUFF) MAJ Contreras (CLARION) 12-2
285 Evan Daley (CLARION) TF James Benjamin (BUFF)

 

Further information on youth/high school action will be posted when available.

Journeymen/Asics Northeast Duals Preview: What to Watch from the New York Teams

On Saturday, three of New York’s Division I programs will travel to Troy for the 11th Annual Journeymen/Asics Northeast Duals.  Binghamton, Buffalo and Columbia will take the mat three times each at Hudson Valley Community College.

Here are some of the things we’ll be watching in those meets.

Buffalo (vs. NC State, Sacred Heart, Clarion)

The Bulls will open their dual slate under first-year head coach John Stutzman against North Carolina State.  One of the intriguing matches will pit Nick Flannery, who grabbed third at the New York State Intercollegiates last weekend, against former Fox Lane standout Sam Speno of the Wolfpack, who was an NCAA qualifier last year as a true freshman.  There are likely to be at least two meetings of Empire State natives, as Tony Lock of Buffalo, fresh off his runner up showing in Ithaca, could face 2013 New York State champion Shayne Brady of Carthage at 184.  In addition, All-American Nick Gwiazdowski of NC State, ranked in the top five nationally at 285, could square off with James Benjamin of Vestal at heavy.  Meanwhile, Nijel Jones, currently ranked in the top 20 at 165 by at least one publication will challenge either Wally Maziarz or Rrok Ndokaj at 165.

Todora, Photo by BV

Speaking of New Yorkers on the opposing squads, the next dual could feature a few more as the Bulls square off with Sacred Heart.  Former Suffolk County stars Nick Lupi and TJ Fabian, who began his college career with a top six finish at the Binghamton Open, could be in the lineup at 285 and 133, respectively, for the Pioneers.  In another potentially interesting contest, Nick Flannery could compete against Andrew Polidore, who led Sacred Heart in victories in 2012-13.

Buffalo’s final competition of the day will come against Clarion.  Justin Arthur, a true freshman, is off to a hot start at 149 and will be a tough test for Buffalo rookie Ryan Todora.  Another set of freshmen could meet up at 157 with Austin Matthews facing Buffalo’s John Northrup, who was fifth at the New York State Intercollegiates.  Mepham graduate Dan Sutherland has seen some action at 184 and 197 for the Golden Eagles and could match up with Tony Lock or Angelo Malvestuto, depending on where he wrestles.

 

Binghamton (vs. North Carolina, NC State, George Mason)

The Bearcats will take on some challengers from further South.  After a fourth-place finish at the New York State Intercollegiates last weekend at 141 pounds, Dylan Caruana will be tested all day, facing returning All-American Evan Henderson of UNC, NCAA qualifier Sam Speno of NC State and Sahid Kargbo of George Mason, who wrestled in the preliminary bouts at the NWCA All-Star Classic.

In addition to Evan Henderson at 141, the Tar Heels will provide some other strong performers, including a pair of wrestlers who made the Round of 12 at the NCAA tournament last year, Nathan Kraisser (125) and John Staudenmayer (165).  They are likely to square off with David White and Vincent Grella of the Bearcats.  In addition, North Carolina boasts another wrestler who won a match at the NCAAs last year, 184-pounder Alex Utley, who will meet Caleb Wallace, the New York State Intercollegiates third place medalist.

Deuel, Photo by BV

Speaking of Wallace, he’ll be part of another New York state battle in the second dual of the day as he could face the previously mentioned Shayne Brady of NC State.  Other highlight matches in that meet include Cody Reed vs. KaRonne Jones at 197, the aforementioned Caruana vs. Speno tilt and the match between Tyler Deuel and former Binghamton heavyweight Nick Gwiazdowski, currently the #3 285-pounder in the country.  Deuel is coming off a weekend in which he either pinned or teched all of his opponents at the New York State championships.  Of course, the match pits NC State coach Pat Popolizio against Binghamton, the team he formerly led before moving to the ACC.

After facing two teams from North Carolina, Binghamton will next wrestle George Mason.  Once again, Tyler Deuel will meet a quality foe in NCAA qualifier Jacob Kettler.  And a match we’re excited to see is freshman Nick Tighe of the Bearcats, who was third at the New York State Intercollegiates, against a solid opponent in Vince Rodriguez at 133.

 

Columbia (vs. Michigan State, Clarion, Lehigh)

At the Michigan State Open a few weeks ago, there were a few head-to-head meetings between the Lions and Spartans.  There will be 10 more as the two squads compete in Round 1 on Saturday.

One of the highlight bouts looks to be at 157 where Columbia freshman Markus Scheidel could have a rematch against Ryan Watts of the Spartans, who beat him 3-2 earlier in November.  Scheidel then went on to win his next six bouts to take fifth.

Also at the MSU Open, Nick McDiarmid of the Spartans topped Matt Idelson at 197.  We’ll see if a second match between the two is in store.  One more to keep an eye on is at 184, where the champion of the Freshman/Sophomore division in East Lansing, Zack Hernandez (the fourth place finisher at the New York States last Sunday) could take on a solid opponent in John Rizqallah.

Bystol, Photo courtesy of Brock Malone

In the finale, Columbia’s three finalists at the New York State Intercollegiates, Penn Gottfried, Matt Bystol and Eric Fajardo, will look to keep the ball rolling against some young Lehigh wrestlers – Darian Cruz at 125, Laike Gardner at 141 and Elliott Riddick at 174. (The first and last are freshmen, Gardner is a sophomore).  Additionally, one of the two Lions to place at 133 in Ithaca – Joe Moita (fourth) or Angelo Amenta (fifth) will square off with #6 Mason Beckman, while Markus Scheidel will face another ranked opponent at 157 – Joey Napoli.  (Austin Matthews of Clarion, Scheidel’s other opponent on Saturday, is also a highly-touted rookie).

Returning NCAA qualifier Josh Houldsworth of the Lions will compete with yet another Lehigh freshman, Brian Brill. And at 184 pounds, Lehigh has started a pair of New Yorkers, Zach Diekel and Austin Meys, this year.  We look forward to watching one of them take the mat against the Lions.

Rutgers, Virginia, Central Michigan and Illinois are four other teams not mentioned above that will participate on Saturday.

Not Just College Wrestling . . .

There will be more than college wrestling at the event, however.  A high school tri-meet will take place featuring national power Wyoming Seminary, Belmont Hill and St. Vincent Pallotti.  And some top notch wrestlers will take the mat for high school All-Star exhibitions around 3:30.

In addition, the Youth Scrap and Scramble Duals, including eight teams made up of kindergarten to eighth grade wrestlers, will begin on Friday and continue through Saturday.

Stephen Hromada, who is bringing a team representing 631 Elite, is excited about the experience.

“It will be great to wrestle next to college wrestlers,” he said. “We’re really looking forward to the weekend.”

The full schedule is as follows:

Buffalo Signs 10 Recruits for the Fall of 2014, Including Eight New Yorkers

The early signing period for wrestling ends today, however, Buffalo’s recruits wasted no time providing their National Letters of Intent.  The Bulls inked 10 wrestlers last week, including eight from New York, according to the school website.

The Empire State wrestlers committed to compete for head coach John Stutzman include state champion Sean Peacock of Midlakes and two-time NYS placers Alex Smythe of Eden and Bryan Lantry of Wayne.  In addition, standouts from Section 2 (Shaker’s Blake Retell), Section 3 (Daniel Smith of South Jefferson), Section 4 (Newark Valley teammates Derek Holcomb and Trevor Hoffmier) and Section 6 (Rocco Russo of Frontier) will take the mat in the MAC conference in the future.

Also joining the class is nationally-ranked Kyle Akins of Illinois and Super 32 placer Jake Gunning of Pennsylvania.

 

For the full release from buffalobulls.com, see this link.

Section 6 Preview: Rodriguez-Spencer Goes for Two In a Row; Who Else Will Earn Gold in 2013-14?

State champion Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, currently ranked #5 in the nation at 138 pounds by Flowrestling (and #8 by Intermat), will look for a second-straight NYS crown to end his high school career.  He is among the many state placers returning in Section 6 this year.  Here’s a look at some of the wrestlers and teams to watch in 2013-14.

 

Division I

Two finalists and two other fifth place finishers that represented Section 6 in the Division I tournament in Albany last year graduated.  But there will certainly be contenders for podium slots at the Times Union Center this year, including Anthony Orefice of Lockport, who will likely be at 126.

A two-time state placer, Orefice began last season at 113 where he registered some quality wins, including a 7-1 decision over Dillon Stowell, the eventual Division II NYS champion.  He later transitioned up to 120 pounds, where he once again qualified for the state tournament but went 1-2.  (Three of his six losses came to New York silver medalist Steve Michel).  Will Orefice return to All-State status as a junior after fourth and fifth place finishes earlier in his career?

 

Seniors to Watch

Orefice has made several trips to the state capital, as has Frontier’s Rocco Russo, a three-time qualifier.  Russo, a future member of the Buffalo Bulls and the all-time wins leader at his school, won 50 matches in 2013-14 at 126 pounds and will look to pick up his first state medal (likely at 145 pounds) before leaving for the MAC conference.

Jake Weber of Clarence went 45-3 with 33 pins as a junior at 160 pounds. He had a tough road in Albany after his opening round pin, as his losses were to the first and third place finishers.  A few weeks later, Weber was chosen for the Long Island vs. Upstate Challenge and competed in offseason events such as the Super 32 Challenge, in which he advanced from day one into the final 16 at 170 pounds.  Weber qualified for the state tournament in 2012 and 2013 and has earned All-America honors at the NHSCA Nationals.  Will 2014 bring a trip to the medal stand?

“[Weber] had a great year,” said Keith Maute, Owner/Operator of the Buffalo Wrestling Club and head coach at Niagara County Community College. “His only losses were to the wrestlers who finished first, second and third in the state [Tyler Grimaldi, Steve Schneider and James Marquez].  It would be surprising if he didn’t place and I expect him to be high on the podium.”

Also at the Super 32 in North Carolina was West Seneca East’s Danny Graham at 138 pounds. Graham rolled through the regular season last year with a perfect 37-0 mark before losing his bouts in Albany.  He hopes to have another shot to get his hand raised this time around.

“I think he’ll be back at 138 again and he should be on the podium this year,” Maute said.

Three other members of the Class of 2014 took the mat at the Times Union Center for Section 6 last February.  Andrew Paulsen of Iroquois wrestled at 170 pounds, but could move down as low as 152 this season, according to Maute.

Meanwhile, Lancaster’s James Empfield competed in the state capital at 195 and Lockport’s Marshall Taylor made an impact at 220 pounds, picking up a pair of wins and coming within one round of making All-State.

“[Marshall Taylor] was very good all year long,” Maute said. “For some people, [James Empfield] kind of came out of nowhere, but he’s a really athletic kid with good size for the weight class.  I think he’ll do very well again.”

 

Who Else is Ready to Make an Impact?

Earning valuable experience at the Times Union Center in 2013 were a number of grapplers, including Niagara Wheatfield’s Shane Helbig, a qualifier as a freshman at 113 as well as a trio of juniors – Clarence teammates Ryan Burns and Nate Schwab and Donny McCoy of Niagara Falls. Burns, who will likely be at 113 according to Maute, has put in the time in the offseason, competing at numerous challenging events.  Schwab had more than 40 wins as a sophomore and hopes to improve upon a season in which he won his opener in Albany before dropping an overtime decision to eventual fifth placer Dan DeCarlo.  McCoy also won his first match in Albany before facing a pair of All-Staters in his last two bouts there.

McCoy and Burns will be joined in the lightweights by a number of other quality competitors who will look to break through to the state’s biggest tournament in 2014.  Tristan Almeter of Iroquois and Anthony Argentieri of Kenmore West both were second in the Section last year, at 99 and 106, respectively.  Argentieri competed at the Super 32 Challenge and earned All-America honors at the NHSCA Nationals in Virginia Beach.

Also nabbing a spot on the medal stand at the NHSCAs was Lake Shore’s Freddy Eckles, who comes off a season in which he recorded over 45 victories.  He appears to be ready for a breakout year, either at 126 or 132.

“Freddy made a lot of strides this offseason and he’s really, really tough,” Maute said. “He will surprise some people.”

If Eckles is at 132, he could face Matt Kloc of Iroquois, who was injured late last year and didn’t compete at the Sectional tournament. Kloc did, however, finish third at the state qualifier the previous year and is ready for his chance to compete in the postseason again.

Who are some others to keep tabs on? Jevon Flynn of Niagara Falls racked up close to 25 wins and was the runner up in the Section tournament at 220 pounds, after spending much of the season at 195.  He lost twice to Marshall Taylor in February.  We’ll see if they meet up again.   At heavyweight, two of the top contenders are Luke Catalano of Lake Shore and Marcellus Hinton of Lockport.  And speaking of Lockport, Kirk Feeney grabbed second at 138 at the state qualifier as part of a 30+ win campaign.

 

Team Race

Clarence returns a trio of Sectional champions – the previously mentioned Jake Weber, Nate Schwab and Ryan Burns.  All three racked up big win totals, as did 99-pounder Dylan Arena, who compiled more than 40 victories a year ago.  Despite the losses of Brandon Glaubner and Nate Ward, the Red Devils should score significant tournament points once again in 2014.

“I think Clarence is the top DI team, both in the dual and tournament formats,” Maute said.

Lockport also has some heavy hitters, with the aforementioned Anthony Orefice, Marshall Taylor, Kirk Feeney and Marcellus Hinton leading the way.

What other teams will step up to challenge?  We’ll find out soon enough.

 

Division II

Section 6 was just five points behind Section 5 in the final Division II standings in Albany, boosted by double-digit wrestlers who finished in the top four in New York.  Seven of those grapplers return, giving the Section a very strong foundation for another run.

Rodriguez-Spencer, http://www.phototrens.com

Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer of Cheektowaga, a two-time NYS finalist and the 2013 132-pound champion, will lead the way.  After picking up state gold for the first time as a junior, he went on to capture a national title at the NHSCA Nationals in Virginia Beach with a victory over highly-ranked Alfred Bannister of Maryland.  The future Iowa State Cyclone looks to cap off a stellar career with another trip to the top of the podium, likely at 138 pounds.

Two of the top sophomores in New York, Dakota Gardner of Fredonia and Kellen Devlin of Amherst, stood out at the state tournament with Gardner, already a two-time NYS placer, going all the way to the finals before dropping a decision to William Koll of Lansing.  Devlin earned third with four bonus point wins in the state capital. His only setback was against eventual champion Trey Aslanian by one point in a match that Devlin led much of the way. Both will move up in weight, with 138/145 possible for Gardner and Devlin likely at 126, according to Maute.

In addition to Devlin, who are the other returning bronze medalists?  Southwestern’s Ryan Hetrick, Maple Grove’s Brad Bihler and Eden’s Alex Smythe.

Hetrick’s path at 99 pounds was anything but easy.  He endured three overtime matches and notched victories over a 2012 placer (Andrew Flanagan) and the bracket’s top seed (Hunter Olena) along the way.

Courtesy of Alex Smythe

Bihler racked up a technical fall, a major, a pin and a 7-0 shutout during his road to third at 106, while the Buffalo-bound Smythe recorded All-State honors for the second time in his career, defeating the fourth seed, Tyler Spann, twice at 152.

Ryan Kromer of Lewiston Porter was fourth at 132 pounds after winning three straight in the consolations.  Kromer, who was second in the Section behind Rodriguez-Spencer, had 48 wins (25 by fall) last season.

“Kromer got a lot bigger and could go up to 152 or 160,” Maute said. “He’s looking very good.”

Yet another Lew Port grappler, Andrew Shomers, came out on top in his first bout at the Times Union Center at 113, before facing the second and sixth place finishers.  He’ll be back looking for more, as will the wrestler who took second at the Section 6 championships at that weight – Andrew Marra of Olean, a 2012 All-Stater who came within one win of making the podium again.

While Marra received a ticket to the state tournament after a silver medal at the state qualifier, Cameron Swick of Royalton Hartland (106), Abdul-Fatah Alshawai of Lackawanna and Brian Westerdahl of Southwestern did not.  However, watch out for them this year (Swick went 25-5, Alshawai was 42-4 and Westerdahl was 41-5 in 2012-13).

Westerdahl beat Ed Hutschenreuter three times a year ago.  However, the Alden grappler is one to watch as he is a two-time state qualifier who won a match in Albany in both 2010 and 2011 before an injury cut his campaign short in 2012.

We haven’t forgotten about Cody McGregor of Tonawanda, who is already a two-time state placer, although he didn’t wrestle in Albany in 2013.  He recently took the mat at the Super 32 Challenge, picking up four victories at 132 pounds against tough opposition from around the country.  Is another trip to Albany in store?

“Last year’s 132-pound bracket was really tough,” Maute said. “There were four guys there who were All-State before and [McGregor] was the one that didn’t make it to the state tournament.  The three guys that finished ahead of him [Rodriguez-Spencer, Kromer and Fredonia’s Tyler Cassidy] all went to Albany and all placed. Cody was right there with them.  He’ll be back and ready to go.”

Like McGregor, Austin Acquard didn’t compete in the state capital last season despite having done so in the past.  Wrestling for Iroquois, Acquard had over 35 victories in the brutal 120-pound class in Division I that featured state runner up Steve Michel, multi-time placer Anthony Orefice and Lake Shore’s NHSCA All-American Freddy Eckles, among others.   Now competing for Pioneer, Acquard will look to represent Section 6 in the small school event, likely at 126 pounds.

Acquard isn’t the only one transitioning from DI to DII this season.  According to Maute, Dunkirk will be changing divisions and as a result, the small school competition now will have to think about Hector and Tito Colom. As a seventh grader, Hector had a 37-5 mark as of early February with a win over state qualifier Kyle Blake. Tito Colom, now a sophomore, had a similarly successful year, with 35 wins, including three over Division II state third placer Brad Bihler of Maple Grove.  Both were completely dominant in winning their brackets at the Journeymen Classic in September. Hector also added a third place showing at the Super 32 Middle School tournament at 100 pounds earlier this fall and a silver medal at the Suplay Kickoff Classic in Oklahoma last weekend.

While we’re talking about Dunkirk, keep an eye on freshman Nick Jones and Marquis Buchanan.

“Nick Jones could win the Section at heavyweight as a ninth grader,” Maute said. “Garrett Rath from Lew Port may be the favorite, but Jones beat him twice this summer.  He won more than 20 matches as an eighth grader at 285, which is pretty good, and he’s improved and bigger, so he’s definitely in the mix.  Buchanan started wrestling in 10th grade, so he was behind, but he put in a lot of work.  He probably wrestled 75 matches this offseason.  He got much more experience and has closed the gap and could do good things.”

 

Team Race

Lewiston Porter has the ability to compile significant points in the Section 6 tournament, led by wrestlers who notched more than 40 victories in 2012-13 — Ryan Kromer, DJ Marshall and Andrew Shomers.  In addition, Garrett Rath will certainly rack up wins at the heavyweight spot.

Falconer lost state placer Brandon Muntz and qualifier Kyle Blake, but the squad brings back wrestlers like Jake Penhollow, Kyle Ross and Jacob Peru as well as several others who had more than 25 victories in 2012-13.

“Falconer is always a really good dual meet team,” Maute said. “They may not have a lot of stars, but every guy they have is a good, solid wrestler.  They usually have lots of guys who win 20 or more matches. I think they’ll be in the mix again this year.”

Fredonia graduated a ton of talent with wrestlers like Zach Buckley, Jude Gardner, Tyler Cassidy, Pat McCarthy and Chris Saden finishing their careers.  However, Dakota Gardner is back and will lead the way, along with wrestlers like 26-match winner Julius Woma.

——————————–

Thank you to the contributors to this article, especially Keith Maute.

We will continue to post Section previews as the season approaches.  Here are some others already released:

Section 3

Section 7

Section 10

PSAL

USA and Russia Split a Pair of Dual Meets in New York; Plus Cornell Wrestle-Offs, Hofstra in Oklahoma and More

World class international wrestling came to the Empire State this weekend, as Team Russia visited New York for a pair of duals against the USA.  On Saturday in Clifton Park, the visiting team captured a 4-3 victory, but the Americans returned the favor on Sunday in Ithaca by winning four of the seven bouts.

In the latter dual, three former Cornell stars represented the Red, White and Blue in front of the home crowd – Frank Perrelli, Kyle Dake and Cam Simaz.

Perrelli took the mat at 55 kg in the opening contest of the meet against Omak Syuryun.  Both wrestlers placed a week ago at the NYAC Holiday International (Syuryun second, Perrelli fourth).  It was the Russian that took charge early with a takedown shortly after the opening whistle.  He continued to add to his lead and finished with a 7-0 win.

It was a similar story at 60 kg, where Aleksandr Bogomoev got on the board first and controlled the remainder of the bout, defeating Jimmy Kennedy by technical fall to give the Russians a 2-0 dual lead.

However, in a back-and-forth affair, Kellen Russell shifted momentum at 66 kg.  The former Michigan NCAA champion fell behind 3-0 early, but fought back to take a 4-3 advantage at the end of the opening period.  The wrestlers exchanged leads for much of the second, with the score tied at 11 late in the period.  Russell then picked up two points for exposure and recorded the fall with just seconds remaining to get the USA on the board.

Photo by BV

It was then time for the second Big Red grappler – Dake – to take center stage.  He registered a pair of pushouts in the opening stanza to take a 2-0 lead after one. The only scoring in the second period was a pushout by the Russian with less than 30 ticks to go, giving Dake a 2-1 victory and knotting the dual at two matches apiece.

Clayton Foster kept things moving forward for the USA in a strong performance at 84 kg.  The former Oklahoma State upperweight attacked throughout the bout and for his efforts came away with a 9-1 triumph over Vladislav Gabaraev to make the team score 3-1 in favor of the Americans.

Next up was another Cornell graduate – Cam Simaz.  At last weekend’s NYAC Holiday International, Simaz met Georgii Gogaev.   The Russian took a 7-1 lead in that match before Simaz rebounded to win 14-7.  On Sunday, the two had a similar beginning, as Gogaev jumped out to an early 6-0 lead.  This time, there wasn’t a comeback, as the Russian notched a 9-0 win.

With each team having captured three matches, it all came down to the heavyweights —  Zach Rey of the USA and Aleksandr Kusraev of Russia. A passivity point and a pushout fueled Rey to the 2-0 victory and clinched the dual for the United States.

Prior to the main event, there were a trio of freestyle exhibition matches featuring New York wrestlers.

In the first, General Brown’s multi-time state placer Ryan Snow topped Ithaca’s Julian Korfine by a 9-2 score.  Next up was Lansing’s two-time NYS champion William Koll, who cruised to an 8-0 technical fall over Carl Rouse of Chenango Forks.

The third bout was a rematch of the 2013 Division I NYS finals at 99 pounds – Yianni Diakomhalis of Hilton and Vito Arujau of Syosset.  The two have met this offseason, with Diakomihalis, the #1 wrestler in the nation at 106 pounds, coming out on top.  However, on Sunday, Arujau earned a seven-point victory in an action-packed bout between two of the best freshmen in the country.

There were also bonus matches including Empire State standouts on Saturday at Shenendehowa High School before the first USA vs. Russia dual meet (aka, the Resurrection).

Porter, Photo by Justin Cummings/Spotlight News Sports Photographer

Women’s world team members Alexis Porter and Jenna Burkert were both totally dominant against Canadian opponents.  Porter, a high school senior, earned a 7-0 technical fall at 65 kg on familiar turf in her own high school gym over Keagin Collie.  After the first period, Porter led 6-0 and it didn’t take her long into the second stanza to end the match.

Burkert’s appearance on the mat was brief against last weekend’s second place finisher at the NYAC Holiday International, Michelle Fazzari, at 59 kg.  [Burkert was third at that event at 63 kg].  Burkert took control from the opening whistle and recorded a first period fall.

Then, it was time for the men’s competition.  Russia got off to a good start, capturing the 55 and 60 kg matches as Omak Syuryun topped Sam Hazewinkel 8-4 and Aleksandr Bogomoev picked up an 8-0 technical fall over Nick Simmons.

However, 16-year old phenom Aaron Pico of California turned the tide when he registered an 8-0 win over Alibeggediz Emeev, a wrestler who was the 66 kg runner up at the NYAC Holiday International last weekend.  In his senior level debut, Pico began with a pushout for a 1-0 lead about a minute into the match. That’s how the initial stanza ended, however, it wasn’t close for much longer as Pico notched a takedown shortly into the second period, added a pushout and then tacked on two more takedowns to clinch the victory.

Fay, Photo by Justin Cummings/Spotlight News Sports Photographer

Moza Fay then kept the momentum going for the USA, pinning Boris Makoev at 74 kg. But the visiting squad responded. At 84 kg, Keith Gavin controlled most of the contest against Vladislav Gabaraev and held a 4-2 lead late into the match.  It was the Russian, however, who owned the final minute, tying the score with 46 seconds to go and tacking on two more takedowns in the final 30 seconds to win 8-4.  Georgii Gogaev then made quick work of Dustin Kilgore at 96 kg with a 10-2 technical fall before Tyrell Fortune ended the dual on a positive note for the USA with a 2-0 win over Aleksandr Kusraev at heavyweight.

 

Also in Ithaca . . . the Cornell Wrestle-Offs

While Sunday allowed some of Cornell’s recent greats to take the mat on campus one more time, Saturday showcased some of the Big Red’s future stars in the Red/White Eliminations (wrestle-offs). The first five bouts of the afternoon resulted in major decisions, beginning with All-American Nahshon Garrett, who started the day off with a 17-6 victory over Bricker Dixon at 125 pounds.  Like Garrett, Mark Grey won a title last weekend at the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open.  Grey continued his strong start to the season, piling up points during a 15-4 win over Logan David at 133.

With Mike Nevinger recovering from an injury, freshman Corey Dake took the spotlight at 141, notching a 9-1 triumph over Josh Kennedy.  Fellow rookies Alex Cisneros and Brian Realbuto then came out on top decisively at 149 and 157.  Cisneros defeated Conner David 10-0 while Realbuto bested Taylor Simaz 11-1.

Palacio, Photo by BV

At 165, fans saw the first close bout of the day.  It didn’t look like it would be tight initially, as freshman Dylan Palacio took control early against Bearcat Open runner up Craig Eifert.  Palacio led 6-1 in the second period after a pair of takedowns and a reversal.  But Eifert stormed back, knotting the score in the third to force overtime.  In the extra session, Palacio struck with a takedown to capture the 9-7 victory.

After grabbing third at the Bearcat Open, Jesse Shanaman followed up with a 10-1 major over Jake George at 174 while freshman Gabe Dean, who entered the national polls this week after beating two ranked foes in Binghamton, topped Billy George 7-2 with a late takedown and near fall at 184.  197 pounders Jace Bennett and Steve Congenie then endured a back-and-forth battle. Congenie had two takedowns but Bennett reversed him both times.  The difference was a pair of back points, as Bennett collected the 6-4 win.

Finishing off the wrestle-offs at heavyweight were Stryker Lane and Jacob Aiken-Phillips.  After a scoreless first period, Lane scored five straight points on an escape, takedown and reversal to win 5-0.

Cornell returns to action next weekend at home with a dual against Binghamton and the New York State Intercollegiates.

Hofstra in the Sooner State . . .

Vaith

The Pride wrestlers have certainly taken on a number of challenges early in the season, facing multiple ranked teams last weekend. Hofstra squared off with another tough opponent on Sunday, dropping a 36-6 dual on the road against Oklahoma.

The home team went ahead early with a decision by returning NCAA champion Kendric Maple over Cody Ruggirello at 149 and a major by Justin DeAngelis against Nick Terdick at 157.  The Pride got on the board with a 1-0 win by Joe Booth at 165 over Clark Glass, but the Sooners then went on tear, capturing six consecutive matches.  In a meeting of ranked wrestlers, Luke Vaith ended the dual on a positive note for the Pride with a 6-3 win over 2012 All-American Nick Lester at 141.

And Results from a Few Additional Tournaments . . .

Several New York wrestlers made the top four at the East Stroudsburg Open on Sunday.  Binghamton’s Jack McKeever nabbed the title at 174 pounds with six victories.  His Bearcat teammate Nick Tighe, a three-time New York state champion, earned third at 133 in his second-ever college tournament.  In the bronze bout, he topped Hofstra’s Kyle Krasavage.  (A few other Empire State natives placed, including Brown’s Billy Watterson (champion at 125) and Anthony Finocchiaro (second at 133).  Two other New York high school wrestlers made the finals – Harrison Cook of Penn and Patrick Hogan, wrestling unattached.  Sean Badura of USMAPS was fourth at 125.

Brockport traveled to the Wolverine State for the Eastern Michigan Open on Saturday.  Making the podium for the squad was 197 pounder Paul Glover, who finished first.  He began with three decisions, before coming out on top in the championship round against Kenneth Hayden of Michigan.

At the Roger Williams Invitational, Cortland took third place, driven by champion Lance Moore (285), second placers Brian Bistis (141) and Joey Giaramita (197) and bronze medalists Jacob Green (125), Brendan Dent (157) and Lou Puca (174).

 

In non-college action, three wrestlers from New York took top four medals at the Suplay Kickoff Classic in Tulsa.  For a recap of that event, see here.

Here are the results from the USA vs. Russia Duals:

USA VS RUSSIA RESULTS at Ithaca (Sunday) USA 4, RUSSIA 3

55 kg/121 lbs. – Omak Syuryun (Russia) tech fall Frank Perrelli (USA) 7-0
60 kg/132 lbs. – Aleksandr Bogomoev (Russia) tech fall Jimmy Kennedy (USA) 8-0
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Kellen Russell (USA) fall Alibeggediz Emeev (Russia)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Kyle Dake (USA) dec Boris Makoev (Russia) 2-1
84 kg/185 lbs. – Clayton Foster (USA) tech fall Vladislav Gabaraev (Russia)  9-1
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Georgii Gogaev (Russia) tech fall Cam Simaz (USA) 9-0
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Zach Rey (USA) dec Aleksandr Kusraev (Russia) 2-0

HIGH SCHOOL EXHIBITIONS (FREESTYLE)

Ryan Snow (General Brown) over Julian Korfine (Ithaca)

William Koll (Lansing) over Carl Rouse (Chenango Forks)

Vito Arujau (Syosset) over Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton)

 

THE RESURRECTION – USA VS RUSSIA RESULTS (Saturday) at Clifton Park, RUSSIA 4, USA 3

55 kg/121 lbs. – Omak Syuryun (Russia) dec Sam Hazewinkel (USA) 8-4
60 kg/132 lbs. – Aleksandr Bogomoev (Russia) tech fall Nick Simmons (USA) 8-0
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Aaron Pico (USA) tech fall Alibeggediz Emeev (Russia) 8-0
74 kg/163 lbs. – Moza Fay (USA) fall Boris Makoev (Russia) 1:34
84 kg/185 lbs. – Vladislav Gabaraev (Russia) dec Keith Gavin (USA) 8-4
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Georgii Gogaev (Russia) tech fall Dustin Kilgore (USA) 10-2
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Tyrell Fortune (USA) dec Aleksandr Kusraev (Russia) 2-0

WOMEN’S EXHIBITION

59 kg/130 lbs. – Jenna Burkert (USA) fall Michelle Fazzari (Canada) 1:27
65 kg/143 lbs. – Alexis Porter (USA) tech fall Keagin Collie (Canada) 7-0

 

E-mail newyorkwrestlingnews@gmail.com with further results.

 

Hector Colom, Dylan Ryder and Ivan Garcia Finish in the Top Four at the Suplay Kickoff Classic in Tulsa

BY MATT DIANO

With the start of the 2013-2014 high school season right around the corner, a quartet of Empire Staters would make the trek all the way to Tulsa, Oklahoma to compete in the 2013 Suplay Kickoff Classic.  When the dust had settled after two fierce days of battle, three-fourths of the New Yorkers would find themselves in the top-four as Hector Colom would take second and Dylan Ryder would emerge with a third place finish in the 15 & Under division while youngster Ivan Garcia would claim a strong fourth in 10 U competition.

Ryder, a Candlewood resident who was representing the 631 Elite Wrestling Club, would post five wins at 75 pounds. He began with a defeat at the hands of the eventual champion, Kyle Biscoglia of Iowa, in the opening round of the tournament.  (Biscoglia is Flo’s #42 overall junior high prospect and was second at the 2013 Super 32 Middle School Tournament).  Up against a proverbial wall, finding himself in the consolation bracket a lot sooner than he is accustomed, the young Suffolk County stud would respond in a big way, pitching the 7-0 shutout over Oklahoman Spencer Edwards, and then following it up with back-to-back pins in a combined 3:37 against five-time Georgia Kids State Champion, Trevor Burdick (2:59) and 2013 Ohio Junior High State qualifier, Kyle Ryan (0:38).  In the consolation semifinals, Ryder would keep the momentum going, jumping out to a 5-0 lead before surrendering a late takedown to win 5-2 over 2013 Ohio Grade School State Champion, Gabriel Tagg.  In the bronze medal bout, Ryder would be in control from the opening whistle to the final buzzer, recording the only points of the match in a 5-0 decision over Pennsylvania’s Brandon Seidman. (He would lose his true second bout to Malik Heinselman).

Like Ryder, Hectom Colom’s tournament would begin on a bit of a sour note as he too would find himself on the short end of a decision (3-1) in the first round.  In a 101-pound match versus the host state’s Colton Denney, the Dunkirk eighth grader created multiple scramble positions in the third period in an attempt to even the score with a takedown.  To the credit of his foe, Colom would be unable to get himself sufficiently untangled to score the much needed points.  This hard fought loss would be the only one of the weekend for the Buffalo Wrestling Club representative as he would go on to utilize his excellent skills from the top position to reel off seven consecutive wins. Commencing his comeback effort with a 15-0 technical fall over Kansas’s Dante Rodd, Colom would find himself in a bit of a dogfight in his next bout against another opponent from the Jayhawk State, two-time Youth State placewinner (2nd in 2012; 3rd in 2013), Kaj Perez.  With the score all deadlocked at two apiece heading into the third period and Perez having choice, the New Yorker would come up clutch, breaking the tie with a tilt for three near-fall points.  This would prove to be the difference as he would ride out the full 90 second duration to advance with the 5-2 decision. Colom would have a much easier time of it in his next match, dominating Derek Holschlag to the tune of a 4-0 decision.  The runaway train of success would refuse to stop in the consolation quarterfinals when Colom earned a third period reversal to get a 6-4 win over 2013 Missouri Kids bronze medalist, Jackson Henson.

In the consolation semis, a rematch with Denney would await him.  However, unlike the first matchup, Colom would never allow himself to fall behind, fighting off a deep shot attempt in the first period, earning an escape in the second, and then riding out the entire third to walk away with the 1-0 decision.  In the third place match, it would be a case of déjà vu against New Jersey’s Christopher Cannon.  In identical fashion to his previous victory over Denney, a second period escape would be all Colom would need as he rode his way to victory, working a crab ride for much of the last 45 seconds and just missing near-fall on at least two occasions in the last half minute.

He then tackled one more challenge – a true second bout against Tanner Ward.  He emerged victorious in that contest by a 6-4 score to nab silver, a finish that caps off what has been an unbelievable offseason for Colom, as he adds this medal to the gold he won at the Journeymen Classic in September and the bronze he won in the Middle School division of the Super 32 tournament last month.

Last, but by no means least, would be Port Chester’s Ivan Garcia, who went 5-2 with both of his losses coming to the same opponent, California’s Alex M. Ramirez (3-1 decision in the quarterfinals; by fall in 2:27 in the third place bout).  Aside from his inability to master his rival from the West Coast, Garcia would cruise this weekend, using his excellent defensive skills to limit the offense of his foes. He would outscore his five victims by a cumulative tally of 22-2, beginning with 5-0 and 7-1 decisions in the first two rounds over Isaac Klinkhammer (2013 South Dakota Novice State runner-up) and Mitchell Mesenbrink (5th in the 2013 Wisconsin Kids State Tournament), respectively. Garcia would then shake off the disappointment of his first loss to Ramirez by going on a mini winning streak, beating back-to-back Arkansas wrestlers, Tristan Stafford (2-0) and Tripp Mays (1-0), before getting his hand raised one final time in the consolation semifinals, 7-1 over Jackson Eller.  The win over Eller would have to be considered one of the best of Garcia’s career when you consider that the former entered the tournament as a six-time ASICS/USA Wrestling Kids All-American in the international styles (including an Intermediate National Title in Greco-Roman in 2012).  While the weekend would end in defeat, there is no question that the Section I wrestler should be very proud of his effort as his top-4 finish here surpasses the sixth place showing he put forth last month at the Super 32 Tournament.

Tito Colom of Dunkirk was also in action this weekend, going 2-2 at 108 pounds.

For Full results, please visit Trackwrestling.com.