Returning State Qualifiers (from 2012)
99 Pounds: Ryan Brown, Canton
113 Pounds: Skyler Cameron, Massena
120 Pounds: Codey Bond, Canton
126 Pounds: Isaiah Perry, Massena
138 Pounds: Jamiel Stapleton, Malone
170 Pounds: Cody Smith, Malone
195 Pounds: Jeremy Malone, Massena
285 Pounds: Nolan Terrance, Massena
Some Wrestlers to Watch
Isaiah Perry (Massena) – Perry has been to the state championships the last four years and is gearing up for one last run at All-State honors. He came closest in 2010 at 103 pounds when he was within one win of placing. In 2012, Perry collided with state runner up Sam Speno of Fox Lane and eventual fourth place finisher Giovanni Sanchez following a 34-5 season in which he notched 23 bonus point triumphs (15 pins). On his way, he defeated several others who competed in Albany, such as Ryan Spinner, Skyler Way, Jordan Bushey and Curtis Barney.
“Perry is very well seasoned and he travels outside the area to seek out good competition,” Gouverneur coach Joel Baer said. “He’s a very tough kid who will contend to place at states again.”
Nathan Marshall (Massena) would be a threat to make an impact in the postseason after his 29-3 campaign at 106 pounds a year ago with two of his three losses to wrestlers that finished high in Albany (Division II’s fourth placer Dillon Stowell and 1-0 to Division I bronze medalist Krishna Sewkumar of Long Beach). However, according to Massena coach Scott Perrine, Marshall is overseas this year, but is expected to return next year.
In the interim, Perrine believes good things can be expected from Canton’s Ryan Brown, who racked up a 25-9 record as an eighth grader at 99 pounds and made a trip to the state tournament. Brown registered two victories over state qualifier Tanner Lapiene (after losing to Lapiene the first two times they met) and also had a solid victory over Josh Logiudice of Section 2. Brown didn’t get his hand raised in Albany, but looks to do so as a freshman. Another young wrestler to keep an eye on is Nolan Terrance of Massena, who also competed at the Times Union Center as a ninth grader at 285. Perrine has high hopes for Terrance as well as his teammate Landon Laughlin, who the coach said is “looking really good” as the season approaches.
Team Race …
In 2012, Canton-Potsdam topped Massena in an eight-point race to win the Division I title. While Canton returns a pair of champions in Ryan Brown and Codey Bond, the squad will miss other titlewinners such as EB Foote, Curtis Barney, Cody Dominique and Adam Widener.
The team that took second, Massena, looks poised to move into the top spot. Four state qualifiers return to the lineup, including the aforementioned Isaiah Perry and Nolan Terrance as well as Skyler Cameron and Jeremy Malone.
Returning State Placewinners (from 2012)
Fourth Place: Dillon Stowell (12) Gouverneur, 113 Pounds
Fifth Place: Zach Ayen (10) Gouverneur, 120 Pounds
Additional Returning State Qualifiers (from 2012)
99 Pounds: Tanner Lapiene (8) Ogdensburg Free Academy
106 Pounds: Aaron Bush (10) Gouverneur
132 Pounds: Joey Love (11) Gouverneur
138 Pounds: Nathan Murdock (11) Ogdensburg Free Academy
152 Pounds: Curtis Fuller (12) Gouverneur
170 Pounds: Andrew Cole (12) Ogdensburg Free Academy
195 Pounds: Hunter Ayen (12) Gouverneur
285 Pounds: Nate Sarkin (12) Ogdensburg Free Academy
Seniors to Watch
Dillon Stowell (Gouverneur) – Stowell has been a regular on the podium in the postseason, taking spots in the top four the past three seasons, including two bronze finishes (at 96 pounds in 2010 and at 103 pounds in 2011). He was fourth a year ago in a stacked 113-pound bracket in which he lost to a pair of state champions (Sean Peacock and William Koll) while defeating medalists such as Laken Cook and Austin Keough. His 2012 finish came on the heels of a 43-5 campaign in which only six of his victories were by regular decision. He will be expected to be All-State again but the question is whether he will top his career off with a state crown.
“I think Dillon has physically matured this summer,” said Gouverneur coach Joel Baer. “He said his goal is to be at 113 again and that’s where he needs to be. He’s seeking out good competition, going to the Journeymen tournament before the season. His goal is to win the state title at 113 and I think he’ll be in the mix with a new crop of kids.”
Hunter Ayen (Gouverneur) – The upperweight posted a 33-9 mark in 2011-12, with several victories over New York qualifiers such as Adam Widener, Nathanael Rose, Jeremy Malone (twice) and Richard Sisti. Seven of his losses came to wrestlers among the state’s best, including two to undefeated national champion Tony Lock (now at Buffalo), two to fourth place finisher Tyler Smith and one each to Empire State runner up Austyn Hayes, third place medalist Derrek Dalton and sixth place medalist Ben Perry. Ayen has demonstrated the ability to compete with and beat good talent and will try to join his brother Zach on the medal stand in 2013.
“We’re expecting big things from Hunter,” Baer said. “He may be back at 195 or he may move up to 220. He has great athleticism. If he were to go up to 220, even if he was giving up some weight, he would be very quick and athletic. Wherever he is, I think the podium is very realistic.”
Also Keep an Eye On …
Junior Zach Ayen of Gouverneur, who in his third trip to Albany in 2012, earned All-State honors after taking fifth at 120. Ayen notched two pins during the state tournament after a season in which he had 22 additional falls in a 34-win season. He is a threat to once again represent Section 10 on the podium, most likely up several weights.
“We expect another strong season from Zach,” Baer said. “He grew and hit the weight room and will probably be at 138. Part of his success was from his strength and physical maturity. It will be an adjustment to a higher weight where he’ll still be able to ride good kids, but it will be much harder to turn them. The potential is there to get on the podium again but there’s some work to do.”
Andrew Cole (Ogdensberg Free Academy) – Cole went 26-7 as a junior at 170 pounds, with 14 bonus point wins. Both of his losses in Albany were by two points – the latter in overtime. Baer believes he’s ready to take the next step in 2013.
“[Cole] has wrestled in a lot of offseason tournaments,” Baer said. “He was in some close matches at states. He’s put a lot of work in and looks really good. I think he will be tough this year.”
Team Race . . .
Gouverneur ran away with the Division II crown in 2012 and will be the favorite again on the strength of several returning state qualifiers, including three standouts mentioned above – Stowell and the Ayen brothers. They will be joined by Aaron Bush, Joey Love and Curtis Fuller. Ogdensburg Free Academy looks to be the top challenger with four returners who wrestled in Albany last year – seniors Andrew Cole and Nate Sarkin, junior Nathan Murdock and eighth grader Tanner Lapiene.
Special thanks to those who contributed to this article, especially Joel Baer and Scott Perrine.
More Season Preview Articles:
Section 11 Preview
Section 1 Feature: Aslanian and Realbuto, All-State Wrestlers and Workout Partners, Seek to End Their Careers on Top of the Podium
Section 4 Feature: Looking for “Number Nine”: Reggie Williams Aims to Make History at Johnson City
Section 5 Feature: The “Miracle” Continues: The Return of Aaron Paddock
Section 9 Feature: Unstoppable: Vinny Vespa Wrestles Again After Confronting Cancer
Section 11 Feature: Nick Piccininni Looks to Continue Winning Streak