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.

Buffalo Bound: Two-Time New York State Placer Alex Smythe Commits to the Bulls

After placing at the Section 6 championships four times previously, Eden’s Alex Smythe captured his first Section title in February of 2013 inside Alumni Arena on the campus of the University at Buffalo.

Smythe, a two-time New York State medalist, plans to win many more matches in that location as he committed to head coach John Stutzman and the Bulls a few days ago. He expects to begin at 157 pounds and possibly transition to 165 later in his career.

“I really liked the coaches and it’s a great place for college,” Smythe said, adding that he also considered Binghamton and Eastern Michigan. “I think we’re going to do really well in wrestling and I’ll get a great education.  I also liked a lot of the guys on the team.”

He’s already familiar with a number of his future teammates.

“I know a lot of the guys and I know we’ll work well together,” Smythe said. “It was definitely a factor, especially since my best friend, Rocco Russo, is also going to Buffalo and we’ll be roommates.”

Courtesy of Alex Smythe

Smythe has been working with Russo and other local standouts to prepare for his last high school campaign after taking third at 152 pounds at the New York State tournament as a junior.

“I’m focused on being in good shape and winning all my matches this year,” he said. “I did a lot of training in the summer – a lot of wrestling and running.  I worked out with guys like Rocco [Russo], [state champion] Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer and Jake Weber.  I also did a lot of Freestyle and Greco. Fargo was a good experience, wrestling the best guys in the nation.  [He went 2-2 in Freestyle with two technical falls and losses by 11-10 and 12-10 scores]. I was right there, even in the matches I lost.  I was close.”

He had similar sentiments about the state tournament in 2013.  Although Smythe didn’t come into Albany as a high seed, he had a lot of confidence after a season of more than 40 wins, where his only setbacks came in close decisions against state champion Drew Hull and two-time finalist Eric Lewandowski.  Taking first place at the qualifier provided him with a boost as well.

“Finally winning the Section title was a big weight off my shoulders,” he said. “I definitely felt good coming into the state tournament.”

At the Times Union Center, Smythe began with a major decision and followed up with a 3-1 victory over fourth-seeded Tyler Spann to make the semifinals against the bracket’s #1 grappler, Rowdy Prior of Phoenix.  He had a lead in that bout going into the last two minutes before Prior turned the tide.

“I was winning 4-2 in the beginning of the third period when I got caught and pinned,” Smythe said.

He bounced back in the consolations, shutting out Brett Pastore of Irvington and then edging Spann for the second time to nab bronze.  Still, he wasn’t quite satisfied.

“I was a little down because I came in expecting to win,” he said.

He expected to win partially because of the experience he had in his first appearance in Albany as a freshman in 2011.  Smythe lost a 2-0 decision to the eventual champion in round one but rebounded with four victories in the consolations to work his way back to fifth place at 125 pounds in his ninth grade year.

“That was sweet,” Smythe said. “My teammate Tom Page [now wrestling at American] took third that year at 119 and he was a really good partner.  Wrestling with guys like that in the room made me so much better. After I placed as a freshman, I thought I could place every year. I thought I’d make my mark.”

He began his sophomore campaign strong, but midway through that season, he tore his meniscus and wasn’t the same the rest of the way.

“I tried to wrestle but I wasn’t up to par,” he said. “I was losing to guys I beat earlier.  I messed up at the Section 6 tournament and that was really disappointing.”

Smythe had surgery right after the season and worked through the rehab process.  And he followed up with the third place finish in New York.  With all he’s done since February, Smythe believes he “is much better overall and definitely a smarter wrestler.”

Now, he’s ready for a strong finish to his Eden career before making the short journey to Buffalo for college.

“I feel like I should have won a state championship last year,” he said. “But now my goal is to get that off my mind by going undefeated and winning the state title as a senior.”

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Alex Smythe thanked his coaches, Tom Page and Chuck Rizzo, as well as his dad, for his wrestling success.

NY Wrestlers Clinch Spots on the Podium During Day 1 of Cadet Greco Nationals

After watching his sister Alexis win a National Championship on Saturday, Jesse Porter went undefeated as well during the first day of Cadet Greco Roman action at Fargo, North Dakota.  Porter was 5-0 at 132 pounds, as was fellow New Yorker Sam Ward of St. Anthony’s.  Both Porter and Ward have clinched spots on the podium and will face each other in the next round on Monday.

Two other New York wrestlers are guaranteed All-America honors. Chris Cuccolo, who took fifth in this event in 2011, notched four victories and will place no lower than sixth at 94 pounds.  Meanwhile, Benjamin Honis of Jamesville-Dewitt will wrestle for seventh place against Wyatt Richardson of Minnesota at 182 pounds tomorrow.

Eden’s Alexander Smythe tallied a 4-1 record on the day at 152 pounds and will take on Ricky Regas of Texas in his next bout.

For full results on these Empire State grapplers for the Cadet Greco Roman competition, see below:

94 Pounds: Chris Cuccolo (Pine Bush)

Match #1 Chris Cuccolo (New York) over Tanner Tidswell (Tennessee) Fall 2-0,1:15
Match #2 Paul Fitterer (Minnesota) over Chris Cuccolo (New York) Dec 3-0,3-0
Match #3 Chris Cuccolo (New York) over Bridger Carpenter (Idaho) Dec 1-0,4-0
Match #4 Chris Cuccolo (New York) over Jacob Gardiner (California) Fall 3-0,1:12
Match #5 Chris Cuccolo (New York) received a bye.
Match #6 Chris Cuccolo (New York) over Jon Gabriel (Pennsylvania) Dec 1-1,6-4

132 Pounds: Jesse Porter (Shenendehowa)

Match #1 Jesse Porter (New York) over Brandon Arteaga (Illinois) Dec 1-2,4-0,2-0
Match #2 Jesse Porter (New York) received a bye.
Match #3 Jesse Porter (New York) over Grant Bolduan (Minnesota) TF 6-0,6-0
Match #4 Jesse Porter (New York) over Austin Kraisser (Maryland) Dec 6-0,2-1
Match #5 Jesse Porter (New York) over Troy Wilson (Washington) Dec 6-0,5-1
Match #6 Jesse Porter (New York) over John Kenyon (Idaho) Dec 4-0,1-0

132 Pounds: Sam Ward (St. Anthony’s)

Match #1 Sam Ward (New York) over Jacob Johnson (Minnesota) Dec 1-0,6-
Match #2 Sam Ward (New York) over Griffin Rose (Illinois) Fall 1-0,1:12
Match #3 Sam Ward (New York) over Maxwell Meddings (Ohio) Dec 3-0,3-1
Match #4 Sam Ward (New York) over Joseph Hayek (Nebraska) Dec 1-0,3-0
Match #5 Sam Ward (New York) over Troy Vandall (Arizona) Dec 2-0,1-0
Match #6 Sam Ward (New York) received a bye.

152 Pounds: Alexander Smythe (Eden)

Match #1 Alexander Smythe (New York) over Andy Hinrichs (Virginia) Dec 6-0,4-1
Match #2 Alexander Smythe (New York) over Jeric Kasunic (Pennsylvania) Dec 2-0,1-0
Match #3 Alexander Smythe (New York) over CJ McKinnis (Oregon) Dec 2-0,3-0
Match #4 Bobby Reece (Washington) over Alexander Smythe (New York) Dec 3-0,3-2
Match #5 Alexander Smythe (New York) over David Witczak (Illinois) Dec 5-0,1-0

182 Pounds: Benjamin Honis (Jamesville-Dewitt) – will be in the 7th place match vs. Wyatt Richardson (Minnesota)

Match #1 Benjamin Honis (New York) over Andrew Fenton (Ohio) Dec 2-1,3-1
Match #2 Benjamin Honis (New York) over Hunter Dunn (Michigan) Dec 4-2,2-1
Match #3 Benjamin Honis (New York) over Samuel Colbray (Oregon) Dec 3-2,0-6,1-0
Match #4 Tim Grote (Illinois) over Benjamin Honis (New York) Dec 0-1,1-0,3-0
Match #5 Benjamin Honis (New York) received a bye.
Match #6 Nick Osowski (Wisconsin) over Benjamin Honis (New York) Dec 2-1,4-1