1000 Islands Duals: Superior Wins the Jr High Event; Buffalo Wrestling Club Takes Second in the HS Division

It was a bit of deja vu for the Superior Wrestling Academy team at the 1000 Islands Duals – in a very good way.

A year after winning the Junior High title at the summer event, Superior did it again, capturing first place with a 4-0 record on the opening day of competition in Clayton, New York.

Superior Wrestling Academy, Courtesy of Gary Ferro

The team began with a pair of dominant performances – topping Lockport and Midlakes. The semifinals round was a bit of a different story, as Nazareth, Pennsylvania pushed the squad to the limit in a 31-28 battle.

According to Gary Ferro, who coached the team along with Ed Schafer, Superior trailed going into the last three weights.  However, back-to-back falls by David Crow and Brandon Cousino at 155 and 165 pounds provided an insurmountable lead going into heavyweight.  (Superior forfeited at the unlimited class throughout the event).

“We faced Nazareth last year too and both times it was definitely our toughest match,” Ferro said. “They have an excellent team and it went back and forth, but our guys came through at the end.  Those two pins were huge.  [David Crow] was losing 4-0 but came back to get the pin.  Then [Brandon Cousino] followed with another one.  It was a great win to get us to the finals.”

The championship bout was less suspenseful, with Superior putting together a double-digit victory over Delaware Valley to finish first.

“The kids enjoyed coming back and taking a second championship and it was definitely exciting for us coaches too,” Ferro said. “Ultimately, for us, it’s about putting the kids on the mat in the summer and seeing them continue to get better. 1000 Islands Duals is the place to go to do that.  It’s amazing to see the wrestlers dedicating their time at this time of year.  That’s something we get excited about.”

Leading the way for Superior were undefeated wrestlers Ethan Ferro (75), Brian Courtney (105) and Mike Venosa (119) as well as Michael Gonyea (82) and David Crow (155), who both finished with one loss.

“We really enjoyed the tournament,” Ferro said. “We’ll be ready for next year and we’ll be looking to three-peat.”

(It was a good weekend overall for Superior, as the High School squad went 4-1 with the lone loss coming in a 32-31 match versus Northeast Elite, a top 8 placer.  The squad, coached by Ferro and Mark Friske, won the Blue Bracket).

Buffalo Wrestling Club in the Finals Again

In the High School action, another New York team made the finals – Buffalo Wrestling Club.  According to coach Keith Maute, the squad just missed out on the title for the second consecutive year at the 1000 Islands Duals.

“We were second last year too,” Maute said. “Last year against Bound Brook (NJ), it came down to the last match.  This year, it came down to criteria.”

Indeed, the championship dual between Buffalo Wrestling Club and Doughboy ended in a 27-27 deadlock.  However, the Massachusetts team was declared the winner using the tiebreakers.

The Buffalo WC squad, which Maute said was made up of wrestlers from the Cobra Wrestling Academy, cruised through the first three meets of the event, losing just a handful of matches along the way.

In the semifinals, however, things got more difficult in an eight-point triumph over Northeast Elite.

According to Maute, his group jumped ahead in the lightweights, but the opposition fought back to within five heading into 195 pounds.  A victory by James Empfield at that weight in the ultimate tiebreaker was crucial, as was another win at 220 by Tyler Hall to clinch a spot in the title match.

That championship dual followed a similar pattern initially.  Once again, the Buffalo WC built up an early advantage.  In fact, the squad led 27-4 going into 160 pounds, fueled by a number of grapplers who went undefeated throughout the tournament – Dane Heberlein (100), Kellen Devlin (130), Cody McGregor (137) and Dakota Gardner (145/152).  In addition, Troy Keller (107), Tito Colom (115), Danny Graham (145/152) and the previously mentioned Empfield (195) each lost only one bout during the weekend, according to Maute.

However, Doughboy responded to 23-point deficit by capturing the remainder of the matches, resulting in the 27-27 score.

“Doughboy was a tough team,” Maute said. “We were winning big, but then we got beaten up top where they were very strong. It was tough, but the guys wrestled well and it was a good tournament overall.”

Superior Wrestling Academy – Jr High Championship Team (provided by G. Ferro)
75-Ethan Ferro
82-Michael Gonyea
90-Drew Schafer
98-Trent Nadaeu
105-Brian Courtney
112-Tanner Cook
119-Mike Venosa
127-Emerson Block
135-Josh Shamp
145-Jake Ginter
155-David Crow
165-Brandon Cousino
Unlimited- None
Buffalo Wrestling Club (Cobra) High School (provided by K. Maute)
100-Dane Heberlein
107-Troy Keller/Hector Colom
115-Tito Colom/Michael Wisniewski
123-Drew Marra
130-Kellen Devlin
137-Cody McGregor/Freddy Eckles/Maulo Wawior
145-Dakota Gardner
152-Danny Graham
160-Lucas McKeever/Garrett Smead
170-Richie Jones
185-Marques Buchanan
195-James Empfield/Tyler Hall
220-Alex Jones
285-Nick Jones
Superior Wrestling Academy High School (provided by G. Ferro)
100-Trent Nadeau
107-Tanner Cook
115-Mike Venosa
123-Dandre Norman
130-Blake Jackson
137-Freddy Eckles
145-Laken Cook
154-Vinny Romeo
162-Jordan Torbitt
172-James Lukaszonas
185-Mark Friske
197-Ben Honis
220-Landry Cook

McFarland, Schubert and Scott Win Championships at NUWAY Nationals in Michigan

It was a small but successful New York contingent that traveled to Michigan this weekend for the NUWAY National Championships.

Both Carter Schubert (58 pounds) and Jayden Scott (72 pounds) won titles in Division 2, while Andrew McFarland captured first place as well at 118 pounds in Division 5.

Schubert registered a pin and otherwise outscored his opponents 10-0 on his path, while Scott won three of his five matches by bonus points, including a 16-5 major in the finals.  McFarland outpointed his foes 17-1 and also had a fall on his way to the top of the medal stand a week after becoming an All-American at NHSCAs in Virginia Beach.

Meanwhile, Ethan Ferro dropped his opening bout at 76 pounds but bounced back with five straight wins in the wrestlebacks to record fourth place in Division 3.  Also making the podium was Dylan Ellingsworth, who was eighth at 140 in D5.

Gary McDowell entered in the youngest division at 40 pounds.

For full results and brackets, see http://www.trackwrestling.com and search for NUWAY Nationals.

Youth Squads Represent New York at the National Duals in Michigan


BATTLE CREEK, MI – The New York Wrestling Association for Youth Wrestling (NYWAY) is in its second year, but already the state’s youth wrestlers are making a name for themselves at the national level.

On Sunday, Feb. 10, two New York teams took part in the National United Wrestling Association Team National Duals at the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.

And both teams had a strong showings, as the 8-under team finished in fourth place in its division, and the 10-under took eighth place in its division.

Competing against some of the best youth teams from across the nation, like teams from Iowa, California, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the 8-U team was in a 10-team bracket, and the 10-U team was in a 12-team bracket.

There were a total of 48 teams from 13 states in the tournament covering four divisions from 14 years of age and younger.

New York’s 8-U team, coached by George Granger, consisted of J.J. Lucinski at 37 pounds, Darren Bailey at 40, Xavier Jesus at 43, Joey Florence at 46, Bryce Bailey at 49, Garrett Skeens at 52, Carter Schubert at 55, Carson Alberti at 58, Trent Reid at 61, Caden Granger at 64, Jayden Scott at 67, Brian Bieleu at 72, Wesley Barnes at 77 and Bobby Ranger at heavyweight.

“I thought the team wrestled outstanding, everyone did great,” George Granger said. “We didn’t place last year at this tournament, so we’re very happy this year to take fourth.”

The 8-U team was placed in Pool A and went 3-1, beating teams from Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, and dropping a close match against a team from California.

Then in the third-place match, New York was edged by a team from Georgia, 28-27.

During the day, Alberti finished with a perfect record, while Skeens ended up with a single loss. And Bryce Bailey and Caden Granger suffered only two losses.

New York’s 10-U team was coached by Gary Ferro, and consisted of Mason Franklin at 45 pounds, Lucas Simco at 50, Gavin Henrickson at 55, Andy Lucinski at 60, Myles Griffen at 65, Jalen McCarty at 70, Ethan Ferro at 75, Ethan Stotler at 80, Anthony Rasmusson at 85, Castin Ostrander at 90, Blake Bieler at 95, Nick Franco at 100, Tyler Benjamin at 105, Trent Skeens at 110 and Patrick Ganter at heavyweight.

The 10-U team was placed in Pool B and lost to California and Ohio, but beat teams from Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. Then in the seventh-place match, the squad lost 37-27 to Georgia.

“We took fourth last year, but the storm in the East Coast affected our roster,” Gary Ferro said. “We had a couple of late fill-ins, so it was tough.”

McCarty and Ethan Ferro had solid days, ending up with a lone loss.

“It was tough,” Ethan Ferro said of the tournament. “But this tournament helps show me what I need to work on. I like the tough competition, it makes me better.”

And that’s why the coaches love bringing teams to the National Duals.

“This tournament is awesome,” Gary Ferro said. “The competition here is second to none. The main reason we come here is to get the kids exposed to new styles and away from competition on the East Coast.”

Added George Granger, “We love this venue and tournament. This gives our kids a chance to go against kids with similar or better ability, and that’s how you get better.”