'Striking Back' With Top Notch Wrestling: This Weekend's Empire Nationals Recap

Numerous wrestlers flocked to the campus of SUNY Brockport this weekend for the two-day Brute Empire Nationals.

On Saturday, the individual tournaments took place, with over 60 brackets ranging from 43 pounds to the 285-pound high school division.  And for those who wanted more, Sunday provided a dual meet competition, with 14 squads fighting it out in the Kindergarten-8th grade group and another 10 squaring off at the high school level.

When all was said and done, it was Cobra Wrestling Academy that came out on top in the high school dual tournament and New Jersey’s A & B Core that captured the dual title in the youth division.

Cobra won all five meets, with a team that offered quality wrestlers from top to bottom, including many who competed (and placed) in Albany in February.   In the championship contest against Superior Black, Cobra earned a 46-16 victory.

“Our team was strong across the whole lineup and got a lot of bonus points when the opportunities were there,” said Cobra Executive Director Keith Maute. “We didn’t have close duals, but we did have some great matches.”

Among the highlight bouts, according to Maute, were victories by Tito Colom over All-State lightweight Kelan McKenna and by Matt Booth over Trent Egenlauf, the number two seed at this year’s state tournament.  In addition, Maute mentioned a pair of wins by his team members over 2013 New York second place finishers (Kellen Devlin over Sean Peacock and Nathan Schwab over Rowdy Prior).  For the full list of Cobra grapplers, see the end of this article.

There were many winners in the individual action, but one name that came up quite a few times was “Kropman”.  That’s because the Penfield-based family boasted four first place finishes as well as a runner up showing.  Cooper, Max, Parker and Skylar Kropman all took gold, while Max (first at 70 pounds in Division 3) competed again in Division 4 at 73 pounds and grabbed silver there as well.

Another member of the Kropman clan was well represented at the event as well.  Scott Kropman, the father of all the previously mentioned wrestlers, is currently battling cancer.  In order to raise funds to help in this fight, t-shirts and hoodies that said “Empire Nationals Wrestling Tournament Strikes Back Against Cancer” sold prior to and during the event.

Courtesy of the Empire Nationals Website

“Scott Kropman has always been a supporter of the Empire Nationals as well as a friend to all!” the event website said. “We are very appreciative of everything he has ever done for this tournament and mindful of everything he means to youth wrestling in our area. Scott is a loving husband and father of seven! He is a positive influence and an inspirational person.”

The Kropmans weren’t the only New York family to collect several awards.  Brothers Hector and Tito Colom both competed in two different divisions on Saturday.  Hector won the 105-pound bracket in Division 5 while taking third at the same weight in Division 4.  Meanwhile, Tito was second at 113 in Division 6 and third at 112 one Division down.  Also of note, Journeymen’s Michael Gonyea made the finals twice – grabbing top billing at 73 pounds in Division 4 while recording second at 78 pounds.

In addition, Division 6 featured 2013 New York state placers atop the podium at a number of weights, including Jonathan Haas (113), Bryan Lantry (120), Sean Peacock (126), Dan Reagan (145) and Sam Eagan (220).

For the top four finishers in the individual competition, see below (from KapWrestling):

Division I

43 Pounds
Darren Bailey (Thorobred, NY)
Ethan Illerbrun (Kane, PA)
Cooper Gronowski (Cobra, NY)
James Leuer (Lockport, NY)

48 Pounds
Jaden Crumpler (Power Cats, NY)
Ashton Seymour (Mike’s Garage Grapplers, NY)
Trey Kimball (Camden, NY)
Lucas Tirpak (Rock Solid, PA)

53 Pounds
Ashton Homan (Btw, OH)
Cole Murray (Mineral Wells, WV)
August Hibler (New Canaan, CT)
Ayden Woolston (Nt Sprawlers, NY)

60 Pounds
Julien Griffith (Palmer, OH)
Max Hermes (Edison, OH)
Jack Clough (Ihc Cavaliers, NY)
Jeremiah Russell (Team Erie Vipers, PA)

70 Pounds
Wesley Holley (Gilead Christian, NY)
Mason Maring (Westfield, NY)
Landon Kelly (Rrwc, PA)
Timothy Connolly (Olympic, NJ)

95 Pounds
Ethan Gallo (Underground, NY)
Kevin Daskavitz (Lockport, NY)
Aric Bloomquist (Jamestown, NY)
Troy Legault (Brockport, NY)

Division 2

50 Pounds
Nic Allison (Siglerville, PA)
Jaden Pepe (Rock Solid, PA)
Wesley Wydick (Mt. Vernon Killer Bees, OH)
Michael Santore (Journeymen, NY)

55 Pounds
Jake Craig (Mat Cats, ME)
Jacob Van Dee (Ragin Raisins, PA)
Chase Liardi (Long Beach Gladiators, NY)
Colin Bradshaw (Pin2Win, NY)

60 Pounds
Carson Alberti (Iroquois, NY)
Mark Botello (Smitty’s Barn, MA)
Maximilian Leete (Mercury Rising, MA)
Evan Maag (Rsw, PA)

65 Pounds
Peter Ruiz, (Northeast Elite, RI)
Nolan Fenton (Pa Rednecks, PA)
Andy Lucinski (Lockport, NY)
Nico Berlingeri (Olympic, NJ)

70 Pounds
Shawn Russell (Team Erie Vipers, PA)
Nick Fea (Goshen, NY)
Jacob Deguire (Journeymen, NY)
Ian Darling (Mercury Rising, MA)

75 Pounds
Blake Clayton (The Beast, NJ)
Paniro Johnson (Team Erie Vipers, PA)
Nicholas Fine (NE Elite, RI)
Ethan Sanderson (Titletown Fight Club, NY)

80 Pounds
Nicholas Crisp (Prescott, PA)
Jack Brantly (Olympic, NJ)
Justin Onello (Olympic, NJ)
Aydin Rix McElhinney (Southern Maine Trappers, ME)

90 Pounds
Cooper Kropman (Penfield, NY)
Jeffrey Crooks (Journeymen, NY)
Connor Haroutunian (Waldwick, NJ)
Michael Main (Fusion, NY)

100 Pounds
Hunter McKenna (Journeymen, NY)
Joseph Delgado (Jamestown, NY)

115 Pounds
Mason Lazorchak (Cannonball, NJ)

135 Pounds
Cael Black (Eisenhower, PA)
Mason Lazorchak (Cannonball, NJ)

Division 3

60 Pounds
Jacob Brumett (Ragin Raisins, PA)
Joe Scheeren (Journeymen, NY)
Luke Hoerle (Drill Masters, NJ)
Tyler Bartolomei (Cobra, NY)

65 Pounds
Myles Griffin (Mexico, NY)
CJ Composto (Apex, NJ)
JJ White (Rock Solid, PA)
Alijah Seymour (Mike’s Garage Grapplers, NY)

70 Pounds
Max Kropman (Penfield, NY)
Nicolas Botello (Smitty’s Barn, MA)
Nicholas Sabin (Lake Catholic, OH)
Hunter Adrian (Mercury Rising, MA)

75 Pounds
Nicholas Burgard (Conneaut Cougars, OH)
David Krokowski (Rock Solid, PA)
Jack Darling (Mercury Rising, MA)
Brock DelSignore (Journeymen, NY)

80 Pounds
Kyle Mosher (Long Beach Gladiators, NY)
Noah Castillo (Drill Masters, NJ)
Caleb Dowling (Juniata, PA)
Justin McDougald (Cobra, NY)

85 Pounds
David Berkovich (Long Beach Gladiators, NY)
Jimmy Kramer (Warren, PA)
Noah Strout (Smitty’s Barn, NH)
Cole Hivnor (Lake Catholic, OH)

90 Pounds
Benny Baker (Rock Solid, NY)
Warren McDougald (Cobra, NY)
Ed Scott (Dubois, PA)
Willie McDougald (Power Cats, NY)

100 Pounds
Dempsey Carroll (Copenhagen, NY)
Anthony Hinson (Roughneck, PA)
Tyler Kellison (Vvs, NY)
Joseph Koplow (Lake Catholic, OH)

110 Pounds
Carter Starocci (Team Erie Vipers, PA)
David Cumberledge (Ashtabula, OH)
Harrison Shapiro (Mercury Rising)
Gabriel Onorato (Raw 241, NJ)

135 Pounds
Drew Butera (Lake Catholic, OH)
Colby Johnson (Vvs, NY)
Shaine Luzietti (Newtown, CT)
Cael Black (Midget)

Division 4

73 Pounds
Michael Gonyea (Journeymen, NY)
Max Kropman (Penfield, NY)
Matthew Mustakis (Long Beach Gladiators, NY)
Evan Lesher (G2, NY)

78 Pounds
Sam Bacon (Ragin Raisins, PA)
Michael Gonyea (Journeymen, NY)
Owen Kissell (Viper Garage, NY)
Sam Baker (Cobra, NY)

83 Pounds
Dillan Palaszewski (Journeymen, NY)
Cole Rhone (Benton, PA)
Joe Klock (Benton, PA)
Sam Sallot (Ragin Raisins, PA)

90 Pounds
AJ Burkhart (Superior, NY)
Sebastian Comejo (Drill Masters, NJ)
Jonathan Gomez (Long Beach Gladiators, NY)
Cody Craig (Mat Cats, ME)

95 Pounds
Jacori Teemer (Long Beach Gladiators, NY)
Matthew Cabezas (Smitty’s Barn, MA)
Colton Babcock (Benton, PA)
Farouq Muhammed (Shaker, OH)

100 Pounds
Devon Briton (Rsw, PA)
Creighton Edsell (Wyalusing, PA)
Connor McGonagle (Smitty’s Barn, ME)
Matthew Maquet (Long Beach Gladiators, NY)

105 Pounds
Wade Unger (Olympic, NJ)
Shayne McCann (Smitty’s Barn, NH)
Hector Colom (Scorpion Cobra, NY)
Luke Wymer (Akron, OH)

115 Pounds
Mike Stuart (Rock Solid, PA)
Anthony Martoccio (Drill Masters, PA)
Carnell Andrews (Coldsteel, PA)
Philip Conigliaro (Smitty’s Barn, MA)

125 Pounds
Joshua McKenzie (Triumph, NJ)
Chris Barker (Fairport, NY)
Tyler Barnes (Journeymen, NY)
Kevin Ciresa (Apex, NJ)

135 Pounds
Joseph Giorlando (Long Beach Gladiators, NY)
Blake Aina (Brockport, NY)
Danny Contino (Marcaurele, CT)
Jacob W (Spencerport, NY)

150 Pounds
Frankie Gissendanner (G2, NY)
Gavin Hoffman (Rock Solid, PA)
Anthony Walters (Young Guns, PA)
Ryan Fredette (Cummings Compound, ME)

175 Pounds
Jerry Ogurkis (Dallas, PA)
Calvin Hayford (Winooski, VT)
David Clayton (The Beast, NJ)
Dominic Salerno (Thorobred, NY)

230 Pounds
Nick Jones (Cobra, NY)

Division 5

98 Pounds
Kelan McKenna (Superior, NY)
Troy Keller (Cobra, NY)
Derek St. James (G2, NY)
Dylan Arena (Cobra, NY)

105 Pounds
Hector Colom (Scorpion Cobra, NY)
Vincent Falvo (Nwaa, NY)
Eli Yoho (Akron, OH)
Kaleb Pascoe (Spencerport, NY)

112 Pounds
Jimmy Hoffman (Rock Solid, PA)
Ta’ Nauz Gregory (Ragin Raisins, PA)
Tito Colom (Scorpion Cobra, NY)
Isaac Yoho (Akron, OH)

120 Pounds
Peter Delgallo (Mtn Valley, ME)
Tyler Craig (Mat Cats, ME)
Logan Gray (Ragin Raisins, PA)
Mitchell Shambo (Mexico, NY)

125 Pounds
Zack Barker (Fairport, NY)
Brian Earlston (Drill Masters, PA)
Brandon Saline (CC, PA)
Austin Coleman (Excelsior United, NY)

130 Pounds
Julian Sirois (Cummings Compound, ME)
Joseph Koontz (Awc, OH)
James Arao (Titan Worldwide, NY)
Paul Bavisotto (Ken West, NY)

135 Pounds
Cody McGregor (Cobra, NY)
Freddy Eckles (Cobra, NY)
Collin Edsell (Wyalusing, PA)
Alex Herringshaw (Vvs, NY)

140 Pounds
Matt Kloc (Cobra, NY)
Jakob Coad (Kenmore West, NY)
Julian Korfine (Finger Lakes, NY)
Connor Dowe (Brockport, NY)

145 Pounds
AJ Aeberli (Olympic, NY)
Nicholas Konovalchik (Mercury Rising, MA)
Corey Farrell (Knights, NY)
Matt Judge (Valley View, PA)

152 Pounds
Jason Hoffman (Journeymen, NY)
Avery Dinardi (Sepa, NJ)
Matt Azzano (Wayne, NY)
Jack Collins (NE Elite, RI)

160 Pounds
Nathan Schwab (Cobra, NY)
Trevor Allard (Mexico, NY)
Ethan Pansa (Mohawk, NY)

171 Pounds
Sonny McPherson (Indian River, NY)
Michael Hughes (Ragin Raisins, PA)
James Geiger (Dallas, PA)
Kameron Miller (Prescott, NY)

189 Pounds
Tyler Hall (NYSS, NY)
Michael Daskavitz (Lockport, NY)
Noah Siesto (Webster Schroeder, NY)

250 Pounds
Austin Slocum (Ragin Raisins, PA)
Lucas Silvis (Goldforce, NY)
Hayden Ricci (East Rochester, NY)
Nick Jones (Cobra, NY)

Division 6

106 Pounds
Parker Kropman (Penfield, NY)
Michael Wicks (Spencerport, NY)
Chris Hoerle (Apex, NJ)

113 Pounds
Jonathan Haas (Spencerport, NY)
Tito Colom (Scorpion Cobra, NY)
Aleksei Cartagena (Pittsford, NY)
Chase Jefferys (Mercury Rising, MA)

120 Pounds
Bryan Lantry (Superior, NY)
Doug Iadanza (Sachem East, NY)
Edwin Serrano (Titan Worldwide, NY)
Jacob Morley (Gates Chili, NY)

126 Pounds
Sean Peacock (Superior, NY)
Anthony Calvano (Iowa Style, NY)
Abdul-Fatah Alishawai (NY)
Daniel Sportello (Ilion, NY)

132 Pounds
Austin Acquard (Cobra, NY)
Kyle Lukowich (Ragin Raisins, PA)
Nick Toutant (Indian River, NY)
Jack Glasi (Brockway, PA)

138 Pounds
Sean O’Hagan (Sachem North, NY)
Keller Watkins (Rrwc, PA)
Codie Gillette (Saranac, NY)
Anthony Pesce (Fairport, NY)

145 Pounds
Dan Reagan (Ransomville, NY)
Daniel Anghelina (Olympic, NJ)
Noah Phillips (Cellar Dwellers, NY)
Deane Twitchell (Ragin Raisins, PA)

152 Pounds
Skylar Kropman (Penfield, NY)
Tristan Broddus (Fayetteville-Manlius, NY)
Hunter Proctor (Ragin Raisins, PA)
Anthony Bell (Hells Bells, NY)

160 Pounds
Kyle Bova (Coudersport, PA)
Rowdy Prior (Pin2Win, NY)
Mark Stucke (Cobra, NY)
David Burke (Danville, PA)

170 Pounds
Evan Delong (Kane, PA)
Cole Shirey (Ragin Raisins, PA)
Joshua Goodman, Gates Chili, NY)
Brayden Denk (Prestige, NY)

182 Pounds
Jared Mesiti (Brockport, NY)
Taylor Saline (CC, PA)
Marquis Buchanan (Cobra, NY)
Shane Currey (Kenmore West, NY)

195 Pounds
Troy Uhrin (Mat Assassins, PA)
Andrew Phelps (Ragin Raisins, PA)
Trent Egenlauf (Spencerport, NY)
Dan Norris (Hilton, NY)

220 Pounds
Sam Eagan (Empire, NY)
Connor Calkins (Finger Lakes, NY)
Paul Herrera (Wolf Pack, NY)
Dylan Grant (Cobra, NY)

285 Pounds
Wyatt Morris (Morrisville-Eaton, NY)
Jakob Rowe (Mat Assassins, PA)
Mason Cross (Titans, NY)
Kasey Kubiniec (Newfane, NY)

High School Dual Team Champions – Cobra Wrestling Academy (as provided by Keith Maute)

101 Troy Keller and Dylan Arena

108 Tito Colom

115 Michael Wizniewski

122 Ryan Burns and Nick Gaiser

128 Kellen Devlin

134 Cody McGregor and Freddy Eckles

140 Matt Kloc

147 Danny Graham

154 Jude Gardner

162 Nathan Schwab

172 Matt Weber

184 Anthony Liberatore and Marques Buchanan

197 Matt Booth

222 Marshall Taylor and Mike Ziolo

285 Matt Montesanti and Nick Jones


'Anyone's Kryptonite, But Not Him': Scott Kropman's Battle With Cancer

On Friday November 30, an oncologist confirmed to Scott Kropman that he has Stage 4 neuroendocrine cancer.  So, what did he do next?

Scott Kropman

“He packed up his kids and went to a two-day tournament,” said G2 World Wrestling Academy co-owner Adam Burgos.  “He got the worst news of his life, but said, it’s time for wrestling – let’s go.  He’s amazing, absolutely amazing.”

Kropman watched the Penfield team at those duals, including undefeated performances from his sons Parker and Skylar.  They aren’t the only wrestlers in the family, as Cooper and Max are decorated youth grapplers.  In fact, the Kropman family of seven children, ranging from 14 months to a junior in high school, is heavily involved with the sport pretty much year round.  The love for wrestling is obvious.

The Kropman Children

“I would summarize Scott by saying he’s a passionate person,” Burgos said.  “He’s passionate about his wife and kids and the sport of wrestling.”

There’s very little doubt about that.  Despite his diagnosis, he has been in practice, running Friday beginner practices at the YMCA and coaching two days per week at G2, as well as traveling on the weekends with the kids.

“He’s superman,” Burgos said. “He has Stage 4 cancer but he’s at practice.  He’s determined and focused.  He doesn’t want to let anything stop him.  He’s taking it step by and step, talking about battling like it’s nothing.  The strength and resolve he has – it’s just incredible.”

Kropman didn’t have any signs or symptoms of cancer when he had a routine x-ray about a month ago, which revealed a spot on his shoulder and the need for additional tests, according to Burgos.  Those tests showed cancer in several places in his upper body, including his lung, liver and pancreas.

Last week he began his chemotherapy treatments and as those progress, he knows he isn’t alone in the fight.  He frequently says “Love Will Prevail” and he has received tremendous support from his family as well as the wrestling community.  And there are a number of ways for more people to get involved.

On December 21, there will be an event at the Irondequoit Bay Fish and Game Club in Irondequoit from 5-8 p.m., which will feature a fish fry, DJ and cash bar.  The cost is $25 and the goal is to raise money and awareness for the Kropman family in the fight against cancer.

In addition, ScottStrong bracelets (pictured) are for sale and other donations are being accepted. (See link at the end of the article).

To keep tabs on Scott Kropman’s progress, you can take a look at his Caring Bridge page, (link here) on which he has documented his journey and challenges.  What jumps out is that he is ready to face what lies ahead.

“You would think this would be anyone’s kryptonite, but not him. The odds are against him and he knows that, but he will fight,” Burgos said. “He has a lot to live for.  That’s his character – he believes he’ll get his hand raised at the end of the match.”

Indeed, he does.  In a recent entry in his Caring Bridge blog, he wrote, “They feel that I have had this cancer for years.  Being that it is stage 4, it is currently incurable, but those that know me know that I am very unique and plan on being the first.”


To help the Kropman Family, see the following link: Scott Kropman Donations.   For more information on the December 21 Fish Fry, contact adamburgos@g2wrestling.com.