"A New Level of Connectedness to the State": NYWAY Develops Long Island Board; Opens Development Tourneys to Non-Members

Connecting all areas of New York wrestling is something NYWAY President Clint Wattenberg has talked about from the first day the organization started.

He believes another significant step has been taken toward that goal with the recent development of a NYWAY Long Island regional board.

“We’ve been looking to bring a new level of connectedness to the state,” Wattenberg said. “One of our main agenda items over the past year has been developing boards in all the regions around New York.  This board in Long Island is bringing together some great people and will build upon the collaboration between upstate and downstate.”

Taking charge of the new board is Gary Redding, who is involved in youth sports as the Director of Middle Country girls lacrosse.

“Gary is really motivated and has a great understanding of youth sports and the educational component of wrestling,” Wattenberg said. “He understands what youth sports can provide kids to support their growth.”

Redding said he got involved partially because of the experience he had with the organization last year.

“I did the NYWAY state tournament with my son and I thought it was phenomenal,” he said. “The way they ran it was great – with the right idea that it’s about the kids. Everyone wants to have a unified, true state tournament with participation from everywhere and if NYWAY can facilitate that, that’s great.  I want to help Long Island be a big part of that.”

For this year, Redding said he is looking to solidify the board, which currently includes five members and another five or six who are “Friends of the Board.” The hope is to have one or two tournaments on Long Island this year and continue to build that number over time.

In the short term, Redding is excited to work toward strong Nassau and Suffolk involvement in the major NYWAY events this year.

“We’ve already started putting together our dual team for the NYWAY Kickoff in late December,” he said. “We anticipate having a lot of kids at the Kickoff events, the regional qualifier (especially because it shouldn’t conflict with the Freestyle and Greco states this year) and the state tournament.”

Having a lot of kids at events all over New York is something NYWAY is hoping to encourage with a new initiative.

From the 2013 NYWAY State championships, Photo courtesy of John Drew/cnywrestling.com

“We’re doing something different this year that’s very simple but could make a world of difference,” Wattenberg said.  “We’re enabling any wrestler to enroll in NYWAY development tournaments (which does not include the Kickoff, state qualifiers or state championships) without being a NYWAY member.  Both NYS wrestlers without a NYWAY membership and out of state wrestlers can simply register for tournaments through our website nyway.org for a day-insurance fee ($5 for NYS and $2 for out-of-state).   We’re looking to reduce barriers to participation and to provide opportunities rather than force people to choose one organization over another.  Once we get young wrestlers and families in the door, we are confident that the expanding opportunities and consistency of these experiences will help retain and grow participation in the sport we all love.”


Wattenberg also noted that NYWAY regional boards across the state are continuing to build and welcome input.  Other Regional Directors/Contacts:

Capital: Michael LaPorte- michaellaporte202@yahoo.com

Central: Mel Cutrie- mscutrie@gmail.com

Far Western- Kevin Lucinski- kslucinski@yahoo.com

Hudson Valley: Jeff Jones- jjones987@yahoo.com

Long Island: Gary Redding- nywayli@gmail.com

Northern: Randy Morrison- nnyywl@hotmail.com

Southern Tier: Kent Maslin- kent.maslin@gmail.com

Western: Adam Burgos- adamburgos@g2wrestling.com


Some Key NYWAY Dates for 2013-14

Kickoff Classic Dual Team Tournament, December 28 (SUNY Sullivan)

Kickoff Classic Individual Tournament, December 29 (SUNY Sullivan)

State Tournament, March 15-16 (Onondaga County Community College)


For more information on NYWAY, see NYWAY Flyer Year 3 Update(1)


Ready for Year 3 at NYWAY: G2's Generous Gift Puts Technology on Track (and More on the Upcoming Season)

The use of certified referees? Check.

The use of uniform technology across all events? Now, that’s possible as well.

After the conclusion of NYWAY’s second year of operations in 2012-13, the organization’s leadership talked about what to focus on to continue to improve in Year 3.  Officiating and technology were high on the list.

With officiating, the leadership agreed to move forward with all certified referees in the coming year.

However, in order to standardize technology, a significant amount of hardware was necessary.  During the discussion on this topic at the NYWAY Retreat this spring, Western Region Director (and co-owner of the G2 World Wrestling Academy) Adam Burgos thought he might have a solution. He excused himself to call his G2 business partner Todd Wheaton, the President at Maven Technologies, a certified electronics recycler.

“We talked about it and I asked Todd if there was something we could do to help,” Burgos said. “A few minutes later he said we could.  I came back into the meeting and told everyone G2 would take care of the laptops and monitors.  You could hear a pin drop.  It wasn’t grandstanding, but about our love of the sport.  I’ve been one of those parents at tournaments over the years, wishing things were going more smoothly and saying if I could help, I would.  This was the chance. It just so happened that we could help fill a need and we jumped at the opportunity.”

Courtesy of G2 World Wrestling Academy

In mid August, 64 laptops and monitors were dropped off by G2 to NYWAY.  And now the improvements in the IT area will begin, including the use of Track Wrestling to assist with registration, event management and more.

“The level of competition brings kids to a tournament, but what keeps families, parents and wrestlers coming back is how well that tournament is run,” Burgos said. “Technology is such a big part of that.”

“By running all of our tournaments through the TrackWrestling system, we are able to not only offer top notch, consistent tournaments, but all of the results automatically enter into a statistical management system so that we will be able to track all the results,” added NYWAY President Clint Wattenberg. “This will enable us to potentially develop leaderboards, rankings, seeding and eventually postseason awards based on these statistics.  We were hoping to trial one region on this system this year, but the incredibly generous gift from Adam [Burgos] and G2 has empowered us as an organization to roll this out statewide this coming season*.”

One place the technology will certainly be useful is at the NYWAY state championships, which will be held on March 15-16, 2014 at Onondoga Community College in Syracuse.  Last year, over 900 wrestlers competed at the event, with representation from all corners of New York.

That competition will signal the end of the season. But there’s a lot to look forward to beforehand, including the kickoff in late December with a pair of events on back-to-back days at SUNY Sullivan in Loch Sheldrake.

First, on December 28, a dual tournament will be held with each of the eight NYWAY regions entering a squad made up of wrestlers from Kindergarten to sixth grade. Then, the following day, an individual tournament will take place in the same location.

However, there will be plenty of participation in other events as well.  For instance, the NYWAY Western Region will take on the Far West Region (essentially a Section 5 vs. Section 6 clash) at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center on September 21.

In addition, NYWAY will send representatives to high level competitions such as the Freak Show in Las Vegas, the Super 32 Challenge in North Carolina, the Junior Mid Cals in the Golden State, the Border Wars in Cleveland and the NUWAY National Duals in Columbus, among others.

“The organization wants to keep providing opportunities for New York wrestlers to get great competition to continue to develop,” Burgos said. “Over the last few years, we’ve seen where we need to improve.  We believe Year 3 of NYWAY will be much better than Year 1 and Year 2 and that the future is bright.  It’s an exciting time to be a parent, a coach and a fan here in New York.”




* Wattenberg mentioned that individual tournaments may opt out, however, trained pairing directors will be available across the state to assist with the new technology or run the tournaments.

NYWAY State Championships – Top Placewinners for Each Division and Weight

The following is the list of top finishers in all Divisions and Weight Classes for the 2013 NYWAY State Championships. Over 925 wrestlers participated in the event in Elmira, New York, with representation from all around the Empire State.

We will provide a full recap of the event, so please check back.

Full brackets and results can be found at http://www.trackwrestling.com. (Search for NYWAY)

Division 1 – 37 Pounds
1st Place – JJ Lucinski of Lockport Kids Club
2nd Place – Zoey Jewett of General Brown Mighty Lions
3rd Place – Russell Maddox of Tioga
4th Place – Decklan Mckee of Waverly

D1 – 40
1st Place – Caleb Cole of Unatego
2nd Place – Cooper Mower of Ilion
3rd Place – Cameron Granger of Waverly
4th Place – Gary McDowell of Unattached

D1 – 43
1st Place – Cooper Gronowski of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
2nd Place – Lucas Mason of Canisteo
3rd Place – Aiden Shufelt of Unattached
4th Place – Mason Brown of Phoenix

D1 – 46
1st Place – Gavin Bob of Canisteo
2nd Place – Kolton Kelly of Camden
3rd Place – Aidan Gillings of Newfane
4th Place – Quinn Hoppel of LOWVILLE WRESTLING CLUB

D1 – 49
1st Place – Rylan Padleford of NY Titan Wrestling Club
2nd Place – Chase Nevills of Copenhagen
3rd Place – Nathanial Higgins of IHC Cavaliers
4th Place – Jackson Koppers of Unattached

D1 – 52
1st Place – Ryder Machado of Underground
2nd Place – Caden Bellis of Unattached
3rd Place – Tavian Camper of Copenhagen
4th Place – Evan Fort of Gowanda

D1 – 56
1st Place – Zak Ryder of Underground
2nd Place – Kieran Cullen of Journeymen
3rd Place – Brady Lynch of Indian River Pee Wee Wrestling
4th Place – Te`Shaun Matthews of NFPC

D1 – 60
1st Place – Cade Allen of Canisteo
2nd Place – Shey Williams of Lockport Kids Club
3rd Place – PJ Duke of Unattached
4th Place – Jaylon Yearwood of Union Endicott

D1 – 65
1st Place – Isaac Gibson of South Lewis
2nd Place – Ryan Burton of Underground
3rd Place – Ryley Monica of SOUTH JEFFERSON
4th Place – Gage LaPlante of Tonawanda

D1 – 75
1st Place – Elijah Diakomihalis of G2 World wrestling Academy
2nd Place – Dominic Dunstan of NWAA
3rd Place – Mason Maring of Unattached
4th Place – Rocky Files of Central Square

D2 – 43

1st Place – JR Leuer (Lockport Kids Club)

D2 – 46
1st Place – Jayden Crumpler of NFPC
2nd Place – Landon Machado of Underground
3rd Place – Xavier Dejesus of Unattached
4th Place – JR Leuer of Lockport Kids Club

D2 – 49
1st Place – Bryce Bailey of Waverly
2nd Place – Trevor Tufano of Unattached
3rd Place – Michael Santore of Journeymen
4th Place – Joseph Florence of Thorobred

D2 – 52
1st Place – Colin Bradshaw of Phoenix
2nd Place – Jake Daly of Brockport
3rd Place – Garrett Skeens of Waverly
4th Place – Logan Reynolds of Gouverneur

D2 – 55
1st Place – Braidon Woodward of Canisteo
2nd Place – Myles Gronowski of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
3rd Place – Ethan Dibble of Thorobred
4th Place – John Chamberlain of IHC Cavaliers

D2 – 58
1st Place – Carson Alberti of Unattached
2nd Place – Joey Rumola of Unattached
3rd Place – Tristan Petretti of SWR
4th Place – Teddy Raes of Midlakes

D2 – 61
1st Place – Carter Schubert of Superior
2nd Place – Dominck Algieri of Blue Wave
3rd Place – Trent Reid of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
4th Place – Maddox Browning of Gowanda

D2 – 64
1st Place – Caden Granger of Waverly
2nd Place – Rocco Camillaci of G2 World wrestling Academy
3rd Place – Andrew Filip of Underground
4th Place – Anthony McMillen of Unattached

D2 – 67
1st Place – Brady Unger of Unattached
2nd Place – Trayton Tupper of Gouverneur
3rd Place – Aaron Briones of SOUTH JEFFERSON
4th Place – Anthony Cooper of Midlakes

D2 – 70
1st Place – Jayden Scott of G2 World wrestling Academy
2nd Place – Matthew Mahoney of Unattached
3rd Place – Josh Durant of The Square
4th Place – Bryson Vabdunk of Whitney Point Youth Wrestling Club

D2 – 75
1st Place – Nicholas Rogers of IHC Cavaliers
2nd Place – Zachary Duessler of IHC Cavaliers
3rd Place – AJ Fricchione of Underground
4th Place – Brian Bielec of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY

D2 – 80
1st Place – Ethan Gallo of Unattached
2nd Place – Sam Ricci of Victor
3rd Place – Evan Day of Hoosick Fall Wrestling Club
4th Place – Kevin Daskavitz of Lockport Kids Club

D2 – 88
1st Place – Colton Simpson of LOWVILLE WRESTLING CLUB
2nd Place – Jake Whitmore of Indian River Pee Wee Wrestling
3rd Place – Gabriel Monroe of Thorobred
4th Place – Simon Lingle of Newfane

D2 – 100
1st Place – Hunter John of Gowanda
2nd Place – Frank Carino of RPEEWC
3rd Place – Aidan Pendergrast of Unattached
4th Place – Tyler Beeman of Unattached

D2 – HWT
1st Place – Ryan Stein of NY Titan Wrestling Club
2nd Place – Logan Ramadan of Grand Island
3rd Place – Matthew Jansen of Midlakes
4th Place – Bryce Benedict of Gowanda

D3 – 51
1st Place – Andrew Brown of Unattached
2nd Place – Lucas Randisi of Superior
3rd Place – Austin West of LOWVILLE WRESTLING CLUB

D3 – 55
1st Place – Jace Shafer of Superior
2nd Place – Gavin Henrikson of Blue Wave
3rd Place – Antoine Walker of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
4th Place – Evan Hewett of Underground

D3 – 59
1st Place – Dante Geislinger of Unattached
2nd Place – Andy Lucinski of Lockport Kids Club
3rd Place – Joe Scheeren of Journeymen
4th Place – Mason Drew of Unattached

D3 – 62
1st Place – Stevo Poulin of Journeymen
2nd Place – Majai Coubles of Brockport
3rd Place – Micah Roes of LOWVILLE WRESTLING CLUB
4th Place – Ryan Daly of Brockport

D3 – 65
1st Place – Myles Griffin of Mexico Wrestling Club
2nd Place – Darren Ketcham of RPEEWC
3rd Place – Mason Bush of Ilion
4th Place – Lucase Riley of Elmira

D3 – 68
1st Place – Zach Redding of RPEEWC
2nd Place – Nicky Fea of Unattached
3rd Place – Drake Dille of Elmira
4th Place – Ryan Nugent of Newfane

D3 – 71
1st Place – Jalen McCarty of Waverly
2nd Place – Logan Sciotto of RPEEWC
3rd Place – Aidan Cullen of Journeymen
4th Place – Marek Bush of Ilion

D3 – 75
1st Place – Brock Del Signore of Journeymen
2nd Place – Ethan Ferro of Thorobred
3rd Place – Joshua Post of Thorobred
4th Place – Jacob Payne of Falconer Wrestling Club

D3 – 80
1st Place – Justin McDougald of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
2nd Place – Dean Shambo of Mexico Wrestling Club
3rd Place – Ethan Stotler of Waverly
4th Place – Jason Pittman of G2 World wrestling Academy

D3 – 85
1st Place – Anthony Rasmussen of SOUTH JEFFERSON
2nd Place – Mitchell Tyler of Gouverneur
3rd Place – Jacob Scibek of Unattached
4th Place – Joseph Dixon of NFPC

D3 – 90
1st Place – Ian Bogardus of Fulton Wrestling Club
2nd Place – Adam Hermanson of Copenhagen
3rd Place – Peter Marion of Blue Wave
4th Place – Ryan Martin of Brockport

D3 – 95
1st Place – Keagen Case of Adirondack Wrestling Club
2nd Place – Hunter Mckenna of Journeymen
3rd Place – Bryson Solomon of NFPC
4th Place – Cuinn Burlingham of Fulton Wrestling Club

D3 – 100
1st Place – Hunter Edwards of DAWGS
2nd Place – Husdons Evingham of Canisteo
3rd Place – Duncan Zubrzycki of Copenhagen
4th Place – Brock Johnson of Falconer Wrestling Club

D3 – 110
1st Place – Zackery Goolden of Canton
2nd Place – Noah Kennedy of Thorobred
3rd Place – Kody Miller of Union Endicott
4th Place – Tyler Pelech of RPEEWC

D3 – 125
1st Place – Christopher Alberti Iii of The Square
2nd Place – Brandon Fafulovic of Unattached
3rd Place – Matthew Woodworth of Fulton Wrestling Club
4th Place – Colton Briggs of NY Titan Wrestling Club

D3 – HWT
1st Place – Benjamin Bowen of Carthage Wrestling Association
2nd Place – Sean Prunty of Unattached
3rd Place – John Robyck of Elmira
4th Place – Christopher Geer of Thorobred

D4 – 60
1st Place – Tyler Bartolomei of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
2nd Place – Logan Lauck of Unattached

D4 – 65
1st Place – Greg Diakomihalis of G2 World wrestling Academy
2nd Place – Mike Alberti of Unattached
3rd Place – Dawson Mower of Ilion
4th Place – Dylan Allman of Journeymen

D4 – 70
1st Place – Michael Gonyea of Journeymen
2nd Place – Nathan Lehr of Unattached
3rd Place – Max Kropman of G2 World wrestling Academy
4th Place – Bradley Cheek of Canisteo

D4 – 75
1st Place – Christian Kee of Mexico Wrestling Club
2nd Place – Ryan Burgos of G2 World wrestling Academy
3rd Place – John Tyler of Unattached
4th Place – Matthew Muhlbauer of Tonawanda

D4 – 80
1st Place – Orion Anderson of Unattached
2nd Place – Dylan Callahan of Journeymen
3rd Place – John Worthing of Owego Youth Wrestling
4th Place – Owen Kissell of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY

D4 – 85
1st Place – Dillan Palaszewski of Journeymen
2nd Place – Kyle Greene of South Lewis
3rd Place – Wyatt Smith of Midlakes
4th Place – Malachy Farrell of G2 World wrestling Academy

D4 – 90
1st Place – Benny Baker of Unattached
3rd Place – Matthew Reese of Elmira
4th Place – Tyler Mitchell of G2 World wrestling Academy

D4 – 95
1st Place – Sam Deprez of G2 World wrestling Academy
2nd Place – Zachary Lawrence of Journeymen
3rd Place – Connor Greiner of Underground
4th Place – Jack Bokina of RPEEWC

D4 – 100
1st Place – Hector Colom of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
2nd Place – Taylor Philpotts of vvs youth wrestling
3rd Place – Deven Lampron of DAWGS
4th Place – Jonathan Lillie of SOUTH JEFFERSON

D4 – 105
1st Place – Kadden Brown of Indian River Pee Wee Wrestling
2nd Place – John Carl Petretti of SWR
3rd Place – Vincent Catanzaro of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
4th Place – Nathan Elliot of Penn Yan

D4 – 112
1st Place – Dylan Greer of Pine Bush
2nd Place – Charlie Mahon of Elmira
3rd Place – Eoghan Sweeney of Journeymen
4th Place – Lance Evans of NFPC

D4 – 120
1st Place – Tyler Barnes of Journeymen
2nd Place – Connor Fredericks of Titletown FC
3rd Place – Korey Brown of Indian River Pee Wee Wrestling
4th Place – Gabe Mastrangelo of Marcellus

D4 – 130
1st Place – Brennan Slater of Norwich
2nd Place – Steven Hark of Ken-Ton
3rd Place – Micah Kelly of LOWVILLE WRESTLING CLUB
4th Place – Gaven Thornton of Canton

D4 – 140
1st Place – Raymond Leach of Unattached
2nd Place – David Mirabella of Ken-Ton
3rd Place – Richie Snyder of Hornell
4th Place – James Bundy of Owego Youth Wrestling

D4 – 155
1st Place – Steven Daskavitz of Lockport Kids Club
2nd Place – Dominic Salerno of Thorobred
3rd Place – Roger Weber of Indian River Pee Wee Wrestling

D4 – 170
1st Place – Harrison Williams of Unattached
2nd Place – Dominic Brown of Ken-Ton

D4 – HWT
1st Place – James McVay of NWAA

D5 – 75
1st Place – Matthew Garland of SOUTH JEFFERSON

D5 – 81
1st Place – Jacob Brewer of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
2nd Place – Lucas King of Unattached
3rd Place – Drew Shafer of Superior
4th Place – Seth Kerscher of Ken-Ton

D5 – 87
1st Place – Dylan Walker of Unattached
2nd Place – Trent Nadeau of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
3rd Place – Jeffrey Gress of Unattached
4th Place – Oscar Lainez of Unattached

D5 – 93
1st Place – Dane Heberlein of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
2nd Place – Connor Day of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
3rd Place – Aj Burkhart of Waverly
4th Place – Ian McKenna of vvs youth wrestling

D5 – 99
1st Place – Derek St. James of G2 World wrestling Academy
2nd Place – Hammond Raes of G2 World wrestling Academy
3rd Place – Dylan Arena of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
4th Place – Jordan Walker of Unattached

D5 – 105
1st Place – Theo Powers of Pheonix
2nd Place – Brandon Gould of Finger Lakes Wrestling Club
3rd Place – Parker Kropman of G2 World wrestling Academy
4th Place – Vincent Falvo of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY

D5 – 111
1st Place – Tito Colom of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
2nd Place – Michael Venosa of Superior
3rd Place – Max Tempel of NY Titan Wrestling Club
4th Place – Jacob Smeader of Unattached

D5 – 118
1st Place – Andrew McFarland of Carthage Wrestling Association
2nd Place – Kobe Garrehy of Finger Lakes Wrestling Club
3rd Place – Zachary Burke of Unattached
4th Place – Anthony Argentieri of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY

D5 – 125
1st Place – Louie Deprez of G2 World wrestling Academy
2nd Place – Nicholas Gaiser of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
3rd Place – Madison Hoover of Unattached
4th Place – Jacob Peru of Falconer Wrestling Club

D5 – 132
1st Place – Nathan Grubham of Finger Lakes Wrestling Club
2nd Place – Grant Frederick of Unattached
3rd Place – Luke Rogers of General Brown Mighty Lions
4th Place – Sean Galla of Titletown FC

D5 – 139
1st Place – Aj Aeberli of Unattached
2nd Place – Kevin Parker of Journeymen
3rd Place – Jordan Kayes of Prescott
4th Place – Tim Holden of Fulton Wrestling Club

D5 – 146
1st Place – Tyler Green of Unattached
2nd Place – Collin Flynn of Fulton Wrestling Club
3rd Place – Ethan Wormuth of Unattached
4th Place – David Crow of Thorobred

D5 – 153
1st Place – Jason Hoffman of Journeymen
2nd Place – Adam Gullo of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
3rd Place – Michael Spallina of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
4th Place – Dylan Gifford of Unattached

D5 – 160
1st Place – Gavin Kovalik of General Brown Mighty Lions
2nd Place – Addison Grosbeck of NY Titan Wrestling Club
3rd Place – Kenneth Dean of Byron-Bergen
4th Place – Jordan Ringer of Gowanda

D5 – 170
1st Place – Travis Race of Fulton Wrestling Club
2nd Place – Mike Daskavitz of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
3rd Place – Jonathan Duryea of Elmira
4th Place – Chase Toal of Byron-Bergen

D5 – 185
1st Place – David Hernandez of NFPC
2nd Place – Christopher Singleton of Unattached

D5 – HWT
1st Place – Zachary Gifford of Unattached
2nd Place – Alex German of Unattached
3rd Place – Nick Jones of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
4th Place – Thomas Randall of South Lewis

D6 – 113
1st Place – Blake Abbey of Unattached
2nd Place – Kelan McKenna of vvs youth wrestling
3rd Place – Christopher Cuccolo of Pine Bush
4th Place – Ryan Hetrick of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY

D6 – 119
1st Place – Dandre Norman of EDGE
2nd Place – Ryan Burns of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
3rd Place – Christopher Meloni of Unattached
4th Place – Tristan Canova of Unattached

D6 – 126
1st Place – Nick Garone of Unattached
2nd Place – Eric Januszkiewicz of Unattached
3rd Place – Mitchell Woodworth of Fulton Wrestling Club
4th Place – Gabe Naviasky of NY Titan Wrestling Club

D6 – 133
1st Place – Richard Burke of Finger Lakes Wrestling Club
2nd Place – Shawn Widrick of LOWVILLE WRESTLING CLUB
3rd Place – Jack Welsh of Unattached
4th Place – Alec Rowsam of Unattached

D6 – 139
1st Place – Sean Romanski of NY Titan Wrestling Club
2nd Place – Hobie Strassner of G2 World wrestling Academy
3rd Place – Danny Murphy of Unattached
4th Place – James Matias of RPEEWC

D6 – 145
1st Place – Vincent DePrez of G2 World wrestling Academy
2nd Place – Jamiel Stapleton of Unattached
3rd Place – Connor Lapresi of Finger Lakes Wrestling Club
4th Place – Austin Hulse of Unattached

D6 – 152
1st Place – Anthony DePrez of G2 World wrestling Academy
2nd Place – Skylar Kropman of G2 World wrestling Academy
3rd Place – Jimmy Devine of NY Titan Wrestling Club
4th Place – Brian Westerdahl of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY

D6 – 162
1st Place – Trevor Allard of Mexico Wrestling Club
2nd Place – Mark Stucke of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
3rd Place – Dan Woughter of Finger Lakes Wrestling Club
4th Place – Kyle Ross of Falconer Wrestling Club

D6 – 172
1st Place – Jake Weber of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY
2nd Place – Danny Khomitch of Byron-Bergen
3rd Place – Joseph Russo of Unattached
4th Place – Garrett Davis of NY Titan Wrestling Club

D6 – 184
1st Place – Andrew Cole of Ogdensburg Youth Wrestling Association
2nd Place – Rob Cuomo of Unattached
3rd Place – Douglas Els of Unattached
4th Place – Marquis Buchanan of COBRA WRESTLING ACADEMY

D6 – 198
1st Place – James Bethel of Unattached
2nd Place – Tim Flower of Unattached
3rd Place – Chris Tangora of NY Titan Wrestling Club
4th Place – Jake Pehnollow of Falconer Wrestling Club

D6 – 220
1st Place – Connor Calkins of Unattached
2nd Place – David McKee of Unattached
3rd Place – Sean Ferguson of RPEEWC
4th Place – Adam Groesbeck of NY Titan Wrestling Club

D6 – 288
1st Place – Dylan Ashwood of Indian River Pee Wee Wrestling
2nd Place – Alex Ruiz of Clarence Wrestling Club

New York Youth Stars Excel in Vegas and California on NYWAY Trips


This story covers recent NYWAY trips to both California and Nevada.  To read only about the Las Vegas trip, please skip down to Section 2 of the article.



When Michael LaPorte, the leader of the NYWAY trip to California last weekend followed up with the families of some of the team members over the past few days, the word ‘Alcatraz’ kept coming up.

“I called several of the parents to make sure everyone was doing okay,” LaPorte said.  “The parents who weren’t on the trip all said their kids couldn’t stop talking about how cool the trip to Alcatraz was and how they wanted to go back. But they all said the wrestling was good too.”

Indeed, it was.  For the second straight year a group of middle school/junior high New York wrestlers traveled to the Golden State through the NYWAY organization to meet some of the best in the West in both a dual meet event and an individual tournament (the Junior Mid Cals).

The squad began the journey by going 1-3 in the dual meets after forfeiting two weights due to injuries.  However, day two was a different story, according to LaPorte.

“On the first day, I think there was a little bit of an adjustment and we were getting used to each other as coaches and wrestlers since a lot of us hadn’t worked together before,” he said. “On the second day, everyone really turned it up and wrestled great.  I was extremely happy with how everyone competed.”

In fact, the squad came away with a third place finish at the Junior Mid Cals.

Courtesy of Michael LaPorte

Leading the way with 26 team points was a grappler who was very familiar with the tournament.  Alexander’s Dane Heberlein was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the event last year and his return visit was successful as well as he took second place at 90 pounds after winning three of his four bouts.

“Dane was undefeated overall on both days going into the finals,” LaPorte said.  “He had a couple of really good matches on the first day but came out on top every time.  He was winning in the finals pretty handily after the first period but seemed to run out of gas and the kid caught him and pinned him.  I think Dane was the better wrestler in the finals, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be.”

Also earning the silver medal for New York was 160-pounder Antonio Cutrie.

“Antonio did a great job throughout,” LaPorte said. “He went up against a really tough kid in the finals who was a Middle School National champion in Greco Roman.  But he knew he wrestled well and he got us a lot of team points.”

When it came to team points, only Heberlein scored more than 85-pounder Dillan Palaszewski, who notched multiple pins on his way to third place.

“Dillan was like that silent killer.  His demeanor is so quiet, but he just goes on the mat and does his thing,” LaPorte said. “He’s a very methodical, patient wrestler who is very gifted.  He was 9-2 on the weekend and the two losses were to the same kid (who won the tournament). On the first day, he took a bit of a beating from the kid and on the second day it was a close match. He’s fun to coach and watch for sure.”

Joining Palaszewski in third were returning champion Orion Anderson (4-1 at 80 pounds) and Grant Cuomo (95 pounds).

“Orion lost a really, really tough one in the semis to the eventual champion,” LaPorte said. “He was up by two going into the third and got caught in a move and got put on his back.  He wound up losing by a point.  It was a heartbreaker.  The first day he had a tough go of it, losing a few times, but he showed great resilience in coming back and wrestling great on the second day.  Other teams definitely did their homework on him.  He was heavily watched throughout – a lot of people were asking about him because they knew how good he is.”

Meanwhile, Cuomo tallied a 3-1 mark on the way to his bronze.

“Grant’s father gave me a little cheat sheet on him which helped me a lot in coaching him,” LaPorte said.  “He was a little tentative on the first day, but totally different on day two. He let himself go and was relaxed on the mat and looked tough.”

Making the podium in fourth position was Anthony Cirillo at 100 pounds, who earned a technical fall and pin along the way.  Also competing at that weight was Steven Kapuscinski, who picked up a victory.

“Cirillo wrestled really well.  He had a lot of matches on the second day,” LaPorte said. “He wrestled tough, even toward the end where he was getting a little worn down.  And Steven Kapucsinski – he’s a fighter.  Conditioning wise, he was definitely one of the best on the team.  It was amazing – he was as fresh in the third period as he was in the first every time.”

A pair of New Yorkers grabbed fifth, with Isaiah Bailey (105 pounds) and Zachary Kornberg (115) notching identical 3-2 marks in their respective brackets.

“Isaiah is one of the more mature wrestlers I’ve been around,” LaPorte said. “He’s traveled quite a bit and he’s a super respectful kid.  He’s a really talented athlete and he showed maturity in how he handled his losses. He’s very cerebral in the sport.”

As for Kornberg, LaPorte was impressed with how he dealt with adversity.

“Zach had a great time.  He was the one kid on our team from Long Island and so much was going on there with the hurricane,” LaPorte said. “I think the tournament was a good distraction for him.  On the mat, he has a totally different style than most of the kids, but it was obviously effective.  He had a lot of energy and heart.”

The same could be said for Connor Fredericks, who wrestled at 120 pounds.

“Connor went up against tough kids, never complained and was ready to go every time,” LaPorte said. “He fought hard and enjoyed everything.  That’s all I could ask for.”

In his second trip to the Northern California event, Matthew LaPorte went 2-2 at 70 pounds while Michael Gonyea did the same at 75.  The two often wrestle against each other in events in the Empire State and the tournament was an opportunity for them to be teammates, instead of opponents.

“Matthew and Michael were in two of the largest and toughest brackets, with multiple state and national champions,” LaPorte said. “They have a very unique situation and they are very competitive with each other, so the fact that they bonded on this trip meant a lot to me.  They both stepped up and were in every match against excellent competition.”

Their efforts didn’t go unnoticed.   In fact, Matthew LaPorte earned the tournament’s Coaches Award.

Matthew LaPorte with his award

“That meant a lot to me,” Michael LaPorte said. “I had no idea it was coming. The award was for showing respect and good stewardship for the sport and for wrestling tough.  I was very proud.  If any of the kids on our team got that award, it would have been the highlight of the trip for me, but I was of course super excited that my son won.   It fit with what I kept hearing from people there.  They kept saying our kids were animals on the mat but polite and respectful off the mat to boot.”

Of course, there was another trophy – the third place team award, which LaPorte attributed to not only the team members, but the parents who came along.

“We were hoping to have a better showing than last year and I believe we did, especially with the team trophy,” LaPorte said.  “The parents who were there deserve so much credit and recognition for taking time out of their schedules and helping so much.  Thank you to Anthony Cirillo, Jason Hoffman, Mary Palaszewski, Jeff Gonyea and Jerry and Julie Kapuscinski. Without them, we couldn’t have done what we did in wrestling and outside of it.”

Although they didn’t have too much time outside of wrestling, they certainly took advantage, spending time at the Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard Street, Muir Woods, as well as other parts of San Francisco and, of course, Alcatraz.

“I think the kids got so much out of the sightseeing,” LaPorte said. “They really enjoyed that experience.  The kids made new friends and that alone was worth the trip. I think the thing that stands out was that people said we left a really positive impression and that we represented New York State well.  It was a blast.”


On November 1, another group of young wrestlers flew to Nevada as part of a separate NYWAY trip to compete at the NUWAY Southwest Kickoff.  Included was a pair of New York wrestlers who were looking for great competition from the West Coast . . . and wound up facing each other in the finals.

In the 55-pound bracket (7/8 year old division), Carson Alberti and Carter Schubert met for the title.  The two Empire State residents aren’t strangers.  They’ve wrestled a number of times, with Alberti coming out on top several times in the spring.  However, this time, Schubert earned the 2-0 victory and the championship after dominating his first several matches.

He began the tournament with a pin and then outscored his opponents 12-2 the rest of the way.

“When Carson and Carter wrestle, it’s always a tough match. It usually comes down to one takedown,” said Kevin Lucinski, who led the trip.  “I think that’s the first time Carter has beaten him, but it was another great match between them.”

Also making the finals for Team New York was Michael Gonyea at 70 pounds in the 11/12 year old division.  Gonyea began the event with two first period pins and then recorded an 8-1 decision before dropping the title bout to take second place.

“Mike wrestled really well,” Lucinski said. “He got caught in a pancake and that one move decided the match.  I think he learned something from that match and he showed that he’s a really good wrestler.”

Andy Lucinski won a pair of decisions on the way to a fourth place finish in the 9/10 year old competition at 61 pounds while Justin Hoffman was eighth at 100-110 pounds in the same age group.  Another Lucinski – Jakob – took the mat in the 5/6 year old competition at 37-40 pounds.

“Andy beat a NUWAY National Champion from Colorado in his first match and wrestled really tough, especially early on,” Kevin Lucinski said.  “As for Justin, he was expecting to wrestle at 100 pounds but it became a 100-110 bracket, which was a little bit of a tough break.  But he wrestled really hard.  Jakob’s a first year wrestler who might have been the lightest kid in the tournament at about 35 pounds.  I liked the way he went out and battled.”

Meanwhile, Caiden Mondore earned a 9-0 major decision in his opening contest at 80 pounds (11/12 year old).  Also competing at the 11/12 year old age group was Josh Gill at 70 pounds and in the 7/8 group Garrett Skeens took the mat and earned a major at 52 pounds.

In the 13/15 year old group, AJ Burkhart and Mitch Seaver both wrestled at 89 pounds, with Burkhart picking up a victory in his first match before dropping two close decisions.  Jason Hoffman, who wrestled for the varsity at Hadley Luzerne-Lake George as a seventh grader, lost his initial bout at 145 pounds but rallied to win four of his final five matches, including three pins, on his way to fifth.

“Jason battled all the way back,” Lucinski said.  “It wasn’t easy – his bracket was loaded. Actually, the 13/15 division was insane; just stacked top to bottom with absolute monsters.  At 89 pounds, both AJ and Mitch wrestled really well.  They were beaten by very good kids – they only lost to placers.  In AJ’s first loss, he battled hard against one of the top kids in the country, Zander Silva, and was in good position the whole time.  It was 1-0 late in the match.”

There was a point at which the trip seemed to be in doubt.  With the impact of Hurricane Sandy, it wasn’t clear that the wrestlers would get to Nevada in time.

“We didn’t know what to expect, but we really didn’t have any issues,” Lucinski said. “Half the kids flew from Buffalo to Washington and we were worried the flights would be cancelled.  But ours was one of the first flights they let out, so we were lucky.”

Once in Sin City, the group did more than just wrestle.  They had a great time visiting the aquarium, Mandalay Bay and walking around with some of the parents.  The M&M store was also a big hit.

“We had a great time.  The wrestling was great and so was everything else,” Lucinski said.  “I would definitely want to do it again.”

Finger Lakes Wrestling Club to Host the FLWC Fall Brawl, Clinic with NCAA Champion Cam Simaz This Weekend

The Finger Lakes Wrestling Club is hosting the FLWC Fall Brawl this Sunday, October 7th at the Friedman Wrestling Center on the campus of Cornell University.   Get in some preseason wrestling and attend a clinic conducted by NCAA champion and four-time All-American Cam Simaz.

All ages and experience levels are welcome.  Weigh-ins are at 11 a.m. and action is scheduled to begin at 12:30. (The clinic will run from 11:30-12:30).

Please see the flyer for more information: Fall Brawl Flyer

Stevo Poulin and AJ Burkhart Claim Titles; Team NYWAY Competes at the Grand River Rumble in Michigan

A water park, two days of wrestling and some hardware to bring back home to New York.

That’s what Team NYWAY experienced last weekend, as the group traveled to Michigan for the Grand River Rumble, a two-day event featuring an individual tournament on Saturday and a Duals competition on Sunday.

In two days, the grapplers each competed in about 10 bouts in the Elementary School Division and in the end, five New Yorkers placed in the top four individually (including championships for Stevo Poulin and AJ Burkhart) while the squad took ninth during the Duals.

Poulin was undefeated throughout the weekend, going a combined 10-0 over the two days.  During the individual event, he outscored his opponents 26-2 and added a pin on the way to his crown.  He tacked on three more falls, a technical fall and a major decision while representing Team NYWAY during the Duals.

“Stevo was very focused, like he normally is,” said Steve Poulin, his father and one of the coaches, along with Adam Burgos of G2 World Wrestling Academy. “There were a few kids he was excited to wrestle, like Lain Yapoujian from Colorado who took second at Reno Worlds this year.  [Poulin won 7-0 in the individual tournament and 9-3 in the Duals against Yapoujian]. Stevo was pretty dominant.”

Also dominant was fellow champion Burkhart, who compiled a 9-1 mark overall, with four pins (three in less than a minute) as well as three major decisions.  But it was one of his close matches that was among the most memorable moments of the weekend, according to Steve Poulin.

“AJ had an awesome match with PJ Crane of Cincinnati Grapplers [a 2-0 victory for Burkhart],” Poulin said. “He had never beaten him before and beat him at the Duals.  Everyone was freaking out; it was awesome.  It was worth the trip out there just to have AJ beat him for the first time.”

Three additional team members medalled, including Tyler Barnes, who was the runner up at 110 pounds.  The Journeymen wrestler won eight of his 10 bouts, including a pair of pins.

“Tyler wrestled really well all weekend,” Poulin said.

Also making the podium for New York were Dillan Palaszewski and Colin Bradshaw.  Palaszewski dropped his opening bout in the 85-pound bracket, but responded with three victories to take third.  On Sunday, he added another four wins for Team NYWAY, including three falls.

Bradshaw also began with a loss, in the 50-pound tournament, but bounced back in the consolations to finish fourth.  During the Duals, he won three matches, all by fall.

The individual placers weren’t the only ones who contributed to the squad’s performance.

In the Duals competition, Nicholas Noel won four of his six bouts at 95 pounds, including a pin in less than a minute over Nathan Conley of Indiana Gold.  Also getting their hand raised for Team NYWAY were Andy Lucinski (60), Justin Smith (65), Ryan Burgos (70), Christian Bradshaw (75) and Camerin Galvin (105).  Wyatt Smith stepped in at 80 pounds for the Empire State, while Jake Cook took the mat at 135 on Saturday but injury defaulted his last match and did not compete during the Duals.

“It was a great event,” Poulin said. “We had a fun time as a team. For some of the kids, it was the first time they experienced something like this, so it was eye opening.  These types of events help kids realize what they need to do to take things to the next level.”

But it wasn’t all about wrestling.

“There was a water park right there and all the kids went on Saturday after the tournament,” Poulin said. “Then on Sunday, the Dual meet was actually at the park.  The wrestling was great but I’m guessing the park was probably the favorite part of the trip for the kids.”

Individual Placers

50 Pounds: Colin Bradshaw, 4th

55 Pounds: Stevo Poulin, Champion

85 Pounds: Dillan Palaszewski, 3rd

90 Pounds: AJ Burkhart, Champion

110 Pounds: Tyler Barns, 2nd

Team Dual Meet Results

Round 1: Chi City MonStarz defeated Team NYWAY 38-16

Round 2: Flat River Black defeated Team NYWAY 30-28

Round 3: Cincinnati Grapplers defeated Team NYWAY 63-6

Round 4: Indiana Gold defeated Team NYWAY 37-22

Round 5: Team NYWAY defeated Junior Titans 48-18

Round 6: Team NYWAY defeated Contenders Wrestling Academy 33-30

NYWAY Providing $$$ For Out of State Trips: Any New York Team Can Apply

Looking for some assistance for your team to travel to an event outside New York?  NYWAY (New York Wrestling Association for Youth) may be able to help.

G2 World Wrestling Academy co-owner Adam Burgos has been all over the Empire State as well as Ohio and Virginia this spring for various competitions, but although he was interested in attending the Grand River Rumble in Michigan in July, an event that boasted over 45 teams from 10 states a year ago, it didn’t seem viable.

However, Burgos will indeed be heading to the Wolverine State in the summer with an All-Star Empire State squad with the help of NYWAY, which offered to subsidize the trip.

“Because of NYWAY the trip will cost $225,” he said.  “That’s for two nights of hotels, a singlet, t-shirt, shorts and entry into the dual meet and individual tournaments.  NYWAY is making a significant contribution – it would probably cost several hundred dollars more otherwise.”

About to enter its second year, NYWAY said from the start that one of its main objectives was to reinvest funds within the Empire State to enrich wrestling locally.   Part of that process is opening up more opportunities for New York grapplers to see both new competition and new surroundings with trips outside of the state.

“Our goal is to take the money raised through membership and tournament fees and put it back into New York wrestling,” said State President Clint Wattenberg.  “One way we’re doing that is supporting kids that want more experience in the offseason; who want to travel and represent New York and NYWAY in areas they might not be able to go to otherwise.  We’ll be able to make things more affordable and remove some of the barriers for the kids to get this experience.”

To that end, NYWAY has set up a form on its website (nyway.org) where any club team can apply for up to $500 in funds to take a team trip.  Wattenberg’s desire is for every applicant to receive some assistance from the organization.

“I hope that any club that is trying to arrange a trip goes to nyway.org and applies,” Wattenberg said.  “The form is very short, and we have a committee of board members that will be taking a look at all the applications. We’re trying to give every team that applies some funding and if a team is taking several trips and there are funds left over, we’ll definitely take a look at that as well.”

Michael Laporte and his son Matthew were beneficiaries last fall when Laporte led a team of New Yorkers on a subsidized journey to Northern California for a dual meet event and an individual tournament.

“The excitement the kids felt about getting on that plane and going to California was amazing,” Laporte said. “Getting to wrestle seven or eight matches on top of that just made it even better.”

Then-11-year old AJ Burkhart was a member of that team as well.

“It was an overwhelming and incredible experience for AJ that we are so glad to have been a part of,” his mother Dana Harbst-Burkhart said. “Wrestling that caliber of competition was incredible.”

Burkhart will be part of the team Burgos will be coaching at the Grand River Rumble, a squad that represents at least six different clubs and several areas around the state.   He believes the benefits on the mat will be significant, as they were for the California trip.

“From a wrestling perspective, traveling to events like these gets rid of the big fish, small pond atmosphere,” Burgos said.  “You can have a ton of success locally, but at national events, you see talent you wouldn’t normally see and you can better see how you’re developing and what you need to do to reach your individual goals.  At the youth level, I think it’s more about experience than wins and losses but getting those experiences against the best competition is imperative.”

But both Harbst-Burkhart and Burgos emphasized that these trips have advantages that go well beyond the wrestling mat.

“The friendships that AJ made on the trip to California are what it’s really all about,” Harbst-Burkhart said.  “Even though it was a New York team, he didn’t know a lot of the kids before.  After the wrestling was over, we were able to see some of California and it was pretty awesome.  We saw Alcatraz.  We have a picture with the whole team in NYWAY singlets with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. AJ still talks about the trip and he will for years to come.”

Burgos agreed.

“There’s a camaraderie built with the kids and the families,” Burgos said.  “And you see new places and have a vacation that builds memories you take with you for a lifetime.  That’s so much of the value of these trips.”

While the team going to the Grand River Rumble is comprised of many of the top placers at the NYWAY State championships in March, Wattenberg emphasized that the opportunities for travel will not be limited to only the most successful grapplers.

“We will be sending some of our top level kids to national competitions,” he said.  “For example, we will have a team going out to California like we did last year.  But we are looking to get our not-yet-elite wrestlers out of state experience in places like New Jersey, Michigan and Ohio and we might do some exchange programs with Canada in some of the Olympic styles.  We are also working on our novice division as we want there to be chances for kids across the spectrum to compete in ways that will challenge them appropriately.”

Those who have been through these travel experiences before believe others should take advantage.

“It’s great to get kids more involved and provide opportunities that they might not otherwise have,” Harbst-Burkhart said.  “We feel privileged to have been a part of it and I hope NYWAY can continue to provide these opportunities so that many other kids can benefit the way we have.”

To view the Travel Team Application form, please visit: http://www.nyway.org/nyway-travel-team-funding-application/

Please contact Clint Wattenberg at clintwattenberg@nyway.org with any questions.

Listen to Clint Wattenberg talk about NYWAY’s funding for clubs


–Betsy Veysman