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.

Weekend Recap: News and Notes from Brockport, the NYAC International, Hofstra's Trip to Virginia and Much More

The following is some of the action that took place this weekend involving New York teams.  It was a busy weekend inside the Empire State borders, with events such as the Brockport/Oklahoma Invitational, the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open, the NYAC Holiday International and the Ithaca Invitational.  And it was also action-packed outside the state, as several New York teams took the mat elsewhere, including Virginia and Michigan.

The recap for the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open is here.

Brockport/Oklahoma Invitational: Tompkins Wins for Army; NCAA Champion Kendric Maple Upset

For the 15th consecutive year, Oklahoma took the title at the Brockport/Oklahoma Invitational.  The Sooners won on the strength of six champions.  However, perhaps the biggest story for the Big 12 school was one of the first big upsets of the college wrestling season.  2013 NCAA champion Kendric Maple was defeated 5-3 in overtime in the 149-pound title bout by Bloomsburg’s Bryce Busler.

Busler, named the event’s Outstanding Wrestler, was one of two titlewinners for the Huskies.  Several of his teammates finished high on the medal stand Saturday, including three who did their high school wrestling in New York.  Josh Veltre won the 165-pound bracket, while Greene graduate Nick Wilcox was second at 133 and Monsignor Farrell’s Kevin Hartnett notched third at 157.

The New York teams at the event — Army, Buffalo and Brockport — finished third, fourth and sixth overall.  The Black Knights were led by 184-pound champion Ryan Tompkins as well as second placers Paul Hancock (157) and Brian Harvey (174) and bronze medalists Logan Everett (133) and Chandler Smith (165).  Meanwhile, Buffalo received solid performances from Nick Flannery and Tony Lock (second at 141 and 184, respectively) as well as Max Soria (third at 125).  The host squad from Brockport had four placers, led by Cole Tristram, who was fourth at heavyweight.

 

Simaz, Francois and Burkert Take Third, Perrelli Grabs Fourth at the NYAC Holiday International

There was more than just folkstyle competition in New York this weekend.  Wrestlers from around the world came to take the mat at the 2013 NYAC Holiday International tournament.

Simaz, Photo by BV

On Saturday, a pair of former Cornell stars made the top four at the event.  Cam Simaz capped off a 4-1 day with an 8-1 victory over Jack Jensen for bronze at 96 kg.  Simaz recorded a fall and his other three wins were all by at least a seven-point margin.  Frank Perrelli lost his first contest to eventual champion Samat Nadyrbek Uulu from Kyrgyzstan, but rebounded with four straight consolation victories over tough foes before dropping the third place bout to Kyle Hutter.  On his winning streak, he topped Mark McKnight, Zach Sanders, Steven Takahashi and Olympian Sam Hazewinkel.

At 84 kg, Army assistant coach Enock Francois earned bronze with a 3-1 record.  His only loss came against the champion, Raymond Jordan.  He outscored his opponents 16-2 in his three victories.

On the first day of action on Friday, Long Island native Jenna Burkert notched third at 63 kg in women’s freestyle competition after going 5-1.  She lost to the first place finisher Yurika Itou in round two, but then finished strong with two falls and two 8-0 wins on the backside.

 

Hofstra Splits Four Duals in Virginia; Ends on a High Note With a Win Over #22 North Carolina

There was quite a bit of action within the New York borders, however, some New York squads went elsewhere over the weekend, including Hofstra.

Vaith, Photo by BV

The Pride traveled to Virginia, where they began with a dual on Friday against nationally-ranked Virginia Tech.  Freshman Jamel Hudson (133), Nick Terdick (157) and Joe Booth (165) all won, however, the Hokies came out on top 28-9.

On Sunday, Hofstra resumed action with a trio of meets.  While Luke Vaith (141) and Dwight Howes (184) picked up major decisions in the opener against Tennessee-Chattanooga, the Mocs captured a 19-14 victory.

The Pride turned things around in a big way in their next competition, besting VMI, 43-3.  The first eight wrestlers in the lineup scored bonus points for head coach Rob Anspach’s squad, giving the team its first dual triumph of the season.

And the momentum continued later in the day, when Hofstra improved to 2-3 for the year with a 25-15 win over #22 North Carolina.  After falling behind 3-0, Hudson tied things up with an overtime victory and then Vaith followed with an extra session win of his own – over #5 Evan Henderson, to put Hofstra in the lead for good.

The Pride returns to the mat next weekend at #5 Oklahoma.

 

Matt Bystol Takes Second, Josh Houldsworth Nabs Third for Columbia at the Michigan State Open; Zach Hernandez Wins the Freshman/Sophomore Division

While Hofstra went South, much of Columbia’s roster traveled to the Wolverine State for the Michigan State Open.  In the Open division, Matt Bystol went to the finals at 141, taking second behind Zach Horan of Central Michigan with a 4-1 mark on the day. Fellow NCAA qualifier Josh Houldsworth also had a strong performance, nabbing third at 165.

Also losing just once at the event was freshman Markus Schiedel, who had a strong debut at 157, taking fifth (only semifinal losers can enter the third place match at the event).  In his last bout, Schiedel beat Edinboro’s Johnny Greisheimer, a nationally ranked opponent (and Wantagh native) by a point.  Another New York high school wrestler, Ernest James of Edinboro, was fifth at heavyweight.

The Michigan State Open also offers a Freshman/Sophomore division and Columbia grapplers saw success there as well, including a championship showing by 184-pounder Zach Hernandez.  He was joined on the podium by a pair of 141 pounders – Ryan Murdock (second) and Matt Leshinger (fourth) as well as fifth placers Britain Carter (125) and Troy Hembury (184).  In addition, Frewsburg High School graduate Nick Mitchell (Edinboro) was the runner up at 174.

 

Also in Michigan . . .

Speaking of Michigan, Jamestown Community College and Niagara CCC traveled there as well.  Jamestown swept a pair of duals on Friday night over Triton (Illinois) and Mott (Michigan), led by Mike Southwick, Austin Lynn, Jake Nicholson, Pat McCarthy and Kevin Mulcahy, who each won twice. At the Ben McMullen Open in Muskegon, Niagara featured a number of placers, including champions Kevin Strong and El Shaddai Van Hoesen (285). Tyler Bruce grabbed second, Eric Velez was third and a trio of grapplers – Jude Gardner, Max Antone and Shane Currey, were fourth.

 

Bombers Win The Ithaca Invitational With Five Champions

Ithaca started the season off strong at home, capturing first in the standings with five champions at the Ithaca Invitational.  Earning first for the host squad were Alex Gomez (133), Dominick Giacolone (141), Kris Schimek (165), Carlos Toribio (174) and Mathew Booth (197). Both Gomez and Giacolone are currently nationally ranked while Schimek was an All-American last season for Niagara County Community College. Freshmen Toribio and Booth were both All-State wrestlers in high school in 2013 – Toribio a state champion for Brentwood and Booth a third place finisher for Cattaraugus Little Valley.

Last year’s team champion, Johnson & Wales, nabbed second with a pair of titlewinners –  Everet Desilets (157) and Colin Lenhardt (184), while Springfield was third with Tom Casper (125) and Irakli Kakauridze (285) capturing their brackets.  Former PSAL wrestler Abubakarr Sow of Oswego won the 149 pound class.

NYU took fourth, while Oswego (fifth), Alfred State (seventh) and Sullivan (eighth) also competed.

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For full results from the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open, Brockport/Oklahoma Invitational, NYAC Holiday International, Michigan State Open and Ithaca Invitational, see http://www.trackwrestling.com and search for those tournament names.

To report results, e-mail newyorkwrestlingnews@gmail.com

 

Destination, Buffalo: Shaker's Blake Retell Picks the Bulls

Wrestling has taken Shaker’s Blake Retell to numerous places in the United States.  This summer, the sport took him even further, as he traveled to Italy and Austria with the Journeymen Wrestling Club.

Now, wrestling will lead Retell to another location – Buffalo – as the three-time state qualifier committed to head coach John Stutzman and the Bulls.

“I really liked Coach Stutzman and his philosophy on the program,” Retell said. “I like the style of wrestling and what it leads to. The campus was really nice and so was the wrestling room.”

Photo courtesy of the Retell family

Retell, who projects to wrestle at 133 pounds in college, has been around wrestling rooms since first grade, when he first ventured into the sport.  He said he joined Journeymen while in elementary school and spends two to three days per week at the club year round.

“Every day I can go there, I go,” he said.  “I’ve been able to learn from some of the best coaches and wrestlers in the world.  It’s really made me a better wrestler, especially technique-wise.”

A few years after starting club wrestling, Retell began his career at Shaker High, where he competed at 96 pounds as a seventh grader.

“My high school coach Dan Gibson picked me up in the mornings and really pushed me when I first started on varsity,” Retell said. “He got me mentally better, in shape and stronger.”

It showed as he piled up victories.  In his eighth and ninth grade years, Retell combined to win over 80 matches with just eight losses at 103 and 112 pounds, respectively. Both times, he qualified for the state tournament and won a match.

It looked like he was headed for the Times Union Center to compete again as a sophomore at 120 pounds before his season was cut short.

“I broke my hand the week before the qualifiers,” Retell said. “I went to the state tournament and watched a little, but it was so tough to watch because I couldn’t wrestle.”

He bounced back with another strong campaign as a junior, notching over 40 wins at 120.  He nabbed seventh at the Eastern States Classic in January, pinning eventual Division II state champion Trey Aslanian of Edgemont and topping All-State grappler Santo Curatolo of Tottenville.

In his third trip to the NYS championships this past February, Retell recorded a pair of pins and fell one win shy of making the podium.

“I felt like I should have wrestled better,” he said. “I messed up a couple of times. Not big mistakes, but little mistakes that cost me matches.”

A few weeks later, Retell again advanced to the placement round at a big event, this time the NHSCA Junior Nationals in Virginia Beach, where he went 4-2 at 126 pounds, just missing All-America status.

The Section 2 competitor was far from done, however. He finished in the top three in both Freestyle and Greco at the New York States in May, wrestled against European grapplers on the July trip with his club and also competed at the Iron Horse Invitational.

But after his journeys, Retell said there’s only place he’s interested in being on the first day of March – the Times Union Center.

“This year, I’m looking to win a state championship,” he said, noting that he’s currently targeting 126 pounds but may be at 132. “It’s all about how you end.”

He hopes to end high on the podium in the state capital.  And after that and all his travels, his destination will be Buffalo.

A New Era for the Bulls: University at Buffalo 2013-14 Season Preview

It’s a new era at Buffalo as former star John Stutzman returned to his alma mater this spring as the Bulls head coach after a successful run as the leader of the Bloomsburg program.

“Things are going well,” Stutzman said. “The administration here is behind wrestling and that’s great.  There’s been a big transition.  The guys have been buying into the philosophy and that’s been awesome.  With the discipline and the kids we brought in, we changed the culture in less than six months. The guys are doing the right things socially and academically.  When that happens, the wrestling piece is that much easier. It’s an exciting time and we’re moving forward.”

The squad welcomed a lot of newcomers – 14 of the 26 wrestlers on the October 30 roster on buffalobulls.com are freshmen with only three seniors.

“I like our youth,” Stutzman said. “The only way the young guys know is our way.  They’ve been ‘all in’ since day 1.  They want to start and be the guy, and that’s created competition in the room.  The young guys have us excited for the future, but our returners have been amazing. Guys like Angelo [Malvestuto], Wally [Maziarz], the Soria brothers [Max and Mike] and others have been great leaders for us.”

Those leaders will help the team through a demanding schedule that begins in Brockport with the Oklahoma Gold tournament.

“Our schedule is very challenging right from the get go,” Stutzman said. “We have a chance to see a perennial top 10 team in Oklahoma to gauge where we’re at right away.  There are a lot of things to be excited about – we’re excited about the MAC conference, which is arguably the second best in the country for wrestling.  We’re also really looking forward to the Iowa match. Anytime you can wrestle at Carver Hawkeye Arena, that’s an exciting time for your program.”

Let’s take a look at who may make an impact for Buffalo in Stutzman’s first year at the helm.

125:

Max Soria, Photo by BV

Max Soria, a two-time NCAA qualifier for the Bulls, is the favorite to start.  The former Kings Park standout led the squad in takedowns a year ago, while finishing second in total wins.  Stutzman mentioned that he’s also pleased with the progress of Hunter transfer Jaydon Rice, a former Pennsylvania state placewinner.

“Max Soria has done awesome,” Stutzman said. “He’s working really hard.  He’s always done well at the MAC championships at the end of the year.  With the way he’s been training, I think he can get off to a faster start than usual, stay consistent and get on the podium at the national tournament. We’re looking for him to be our sparkplug at 125.”

133:

Stutzman said 133 could be a “dogfight” to see who takes the mat for Buffalo among Justin Farmer, a senior who won seven times last season, recent addition Jason Estevez of New Jersey and Mike Soria, who has competed at 125 in previous years for the squad.

“Justin Farmer has been a spot starter for a few years and is entering his fifth year,” Stutzman said. “I’m kind of forcing Mike [Soria] up.  I want to separate the brothers – they’ve been fighting for starting spots since they were little kids.  We’re trying to put weight on Mike and I think he’s bigger than he’s ever been.  I’m happy with the way Mike and Justin are progressing.”

In a recent release about Estevez joining the program, Stutzman said, “Jason will make an immediate impact for us and is capable of winning at a high level right way.”

141:

Another battle could take place at 141, where Northern Illinois transfer Nick Flannery and Erik Galloway will square off.  [Galloway began his college career at Pittsburgh]. Stutzman said that Flannery does have the option to redshirt, but “he wants to scrap.”

“I’m really high on Nick Flannery,” Stutzman said. “He’s had some success, but now we need to try to get him to be consistent throughout the year. He’s technically getting better and he’s really talented. I think he can have a breakout year. We expect big things. Galloway has been a starter and a MAC placewinner. They’ll push each other and hopefully we can get on the podium at this weight.”

149:

Redshirt freshman John Northrup looks like a strong candidate to man this class for the Bulls (although he may begin at 157, according to Stutzman). In addition, several newcomers could push to wrestle in their first year on the Buffalo campus.

“John Northrup has had a good preseason,” Stutzman said. “He’s a Section 5 guy who has been working really hard.  We’ll have some guys behind him like Jake Campana from New Jersey and Ryan Todora, a multi-time placewinner in Pennsylvania.  We’re trying to redshirt those guys but it’s not set in stone yet.”

157:

Wally Maziarz won 23 bouts at this weight last year.  Stutzman said the plan is to have him return to 157, however, it may not be until the second semester. Looking to challenge is Muhammad McBride.

“Wally is big and strong and we’d like to get him to ‘57’ by the second part of the year,” Stutzman said. “He’s a great leader who has been getting better daily.  We’re excited about him. McBride is a really interesting story. He never wrestled in high school but has been wrestling in the club system since he was a little kid. His father wrestled here and he could surprise people. He’s one of those gifted students – graduated from community college at 16.  He wanted to wrestle and is doing a phenomenal job.”

165:

As mentioned earlier, Maziarz will likely be here for at least part of the campaign.  New York medalist Rrok Nkodaj will also fight for the job after coming in from Bloomsburg.  Stutzman said Ryan Therrien from Massachusetts is also in the mix.

“Rrok is a super hard worker with a great attitude,” Stutzman said. “Wally and Rrok have bought in 100% and are unbelievable workers. The best guy will get the nod.”

174:

This is another spot with a number of wrestlers that could make an impact.  Among them are Bloomsburg transfer Tyler Rill, sophomore Jarred Lux and Section 9 alum Austin Weigel.

“We’re really excited about Tyler Rill’s development,” Stutzman said. “He knows how to wrestle – he’s crafty and talented and getting stronger every day. Jarred Lux has had a really good preseason. He was a spot starter last year and he’s really starting to figure it out. He’s getting consistent with his training and believing in himself. Austin Weigel is a true freshman. Those three guys set us up well at ‘65/74’ for a couple of years.”

184:

Tony Lock, a former high school national champion and state titlewinner at Pioneer, saw time at this weight in his rookie year and looks to do so again in 2013-14.  Another wrestler to keep tabs on is Joe Ariola, an Illinois standout.

“Tony Lock is a very talented kid,” Stutzman said. “He had an injury this summer, so he’s getting healthy and his weight’s coming down. I’m looking forward to getting him at his optimal weight class. Joe Ariola is an Illinois state champion who’s really good. He has some accolades and is a tough competitor from a good high school program.  We may redshirt him this year.”

197:

Angelo Malvestuto came back to the Buffalo area last year after beginning his college career at Virginia Tech.  In his initial season with the Bulls, he won 14 bouts.

“Angelo has done an unbelievable job,” Stutzman said. “He has made serious gains these last few weeks.  I’m really excited about his potential.  I think he can be an All-American. Coach [Bryce] Hasseman has done a great job with him. His skill set keeps getting better.

285:

A number of wrestlers could see time at heavyweight for the Bulls this year. Stutzman mentioned freshman Anthony Tufaro and two New York natives – Mike Silvis of Holley and James Benjamin of Vestal as two competitors who could take the mat at either 197 or 285.

“Anthony Tufaro is coming on, but he’s battling some injuries,” Stutzman said. “He probably won’t be ready right away. It could be heavyweight by committee for us this year. I think you’ll see our best lineup more toward January 1.”

Will the Bulls improve upon the four NCAA qualifiers they had in 2013?  How many young wrestlers will contribute to Stutzman’s first Buffalo team?  We’ll see how the squad looks when they hit the mat on November 9 at the Oklahoma Gold tournament.

“As a whole, the team will fight hard and be competitive,” Stutzman said. “We’ll be in great shape. We’re just getting better.  The program is doing the right things; training hard with a great attitude.  We’ll continue to progress daily and get ready for the national tournament.”