Section 7 Preview: Fargo All-American Jordan Bushey, Former Top 8 Finisher Codie Gillette Among Those Looking to Break Through to the Podium in 2013-14

We have been posting previews for Sections around the state and today we continue with Section 7.  For links to previous articles, please see the end of this story.

A pair of All-State wrestlers from 2013, Troy Seymour of Peru and Gage Bourdeau of Beekmantown completed their senior seasons. And according to Peru coach Mike Hogan, Seymour’s teammate Nick Forget, who took fifth at 126 a year ago, has decided to graduate early and forgo his final season of high school wrestling.

But that doesn’t mean Section 7 won’t have contenders for state placement in 2014.

One wrestler who is likely to make an impact at the state level is Peru’s Jordan Bushey, who came within one win of the podium in Albany last season, with a 2-2 performance at 138 pounds.  Both of his victories were major decisions and his losses were to multiple-time state placers who are now freshmen at Division I programs (Connor Lapresi, Bucknell and Drew Longo, Lehigh).  Bushey had an impressive showing at the summer’s biggest event – the National Freestyle Championships at Fargo. He went 6-2 against some of the nation’s best competition, finishing as an All-American with a seventh place medal at 145 pounds.

“[Bushey] was close to placing at states – in the match to place he unfortunately wasn’t feeling well and it really held him back,” Hogan said. “At any rate, he put in the time this summer and did a great job in Fargo.  He could be at 152. He’s developed nicely and we’re pretty excited about his chances this year.”

Another Peru grappler looking to get back to the state capital is Ethan Feazelle, a sophomore who has won a match at the Times Union Center each of the last two seasons.   Hogan expects him to wrestle at 126 pounds.

While Tanner Phillips hasn’t taken the mat yet in Albany, he is a potential candidate to do so this time around after competing at Fargo this summer.  According to Hogan, the likely 160-pounder has taken second at the Section 7 championships three times.

[Another wrestler Hogan was excited about in the fall was 220-pounder Luke McKee, who made appearances at the Times Union Center the past two seasons and was the runner up in both Freestyle and Greco Roman at the New York States in May of 2013.  Unfortunately, according to the coach, McKee suffered a knee injury during the football season and will miss his senior campaign on the mat].

It isn’t just Peru wrestlers who are threats to make the medal stand.  In 2013, Matt Lashway of Northern Adirondack went 2-2 in Albany at 195 pounds to come within a victory of All-State honors.  After a 35-9 junior campaign, he’ll be one to watch in the upperweights.  Meanwhile, his teammate Austin Trombley got his hand raised in his initial contest at 106 pounds in 2013 at the state tournament before going 1-2 and will look for another shot in Albany.

That isn’t all.  Saranac also has some formidable wrestlers in the mix, including John Devins, who drew top-seeded Hunter Olena of East Rochester in the opening round of the state tournament at 99 pounds in 2013.  James Black of the Chiefs also had a tough test right away at the Times Union Center – nationally-ranked Burke Paddock of Warsaw.  Hogan also mentioned another strong lightweight from the Saranac squad – Jake Nolan.

“Devins was the Outstanding Wrestler in our section tournament last year,” Hogan said. “He’ll probably go 106. He’s very athletic and has wrestled since he was four.  He actually has generations of wrestling in the family – he’s definitely been around the sport.  He was only in seventh grade last year, but he was pretty tough.”

Also likely to represent Saranac at the last event of the high school calendar is Codie Gillette.  After making the top 8 as a sophomore in Albany, Gillette began strong with a major decision in the state capital this year before facing Norwich’s Frank Garcia, the eventual runner up, in the quarters at 145 pounds.  The match went to three overtimes before Garcia prevailed.  With his experience at the biggest event of the season, Gillette is a strong candidate to bounce back with a medal as a senior.

“Gillette is very tough,” Hogan said. “He won two matches at states before, but hasn’t put three together yet.  He’s a very hard worker who puts in time year round. He’s very close.”

A newcomer that could make some noise in Section 7 this year is Jay Oakes, formerly of Section II’s Galway.  According to Hogan, Oakes was undefeated a year ago and won his Class event before sustaining an injury in the Sectional tournament that effectively ended his season.

“He’s a tough kid who transferred in,” Hogan said. “I heard a lot of good things about Jay and he improved a lot this summer.”

From a team perspective, Peru has been the top squad in the Section and once again has a strong foundation with wrestlers such as Bushey and Feazelle.  But other teams, such as Saranac and Northern Adirondack have their share of talented wrestlers to potentially make things interesting.

“We should have a decent team and a good year,” Hogan said. “Saranac sent four kids to Fargo this summer like we did and when you do that, you’re training hard for at least a month and a half of the offseason.  Beekmantown always finds a way to put out a good team too.  I think we’ll have some good performances in Section 7 this year.”

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Thank you to the contributors to this article, especially Peru coach Mike Hogan.

 

Returning State Qualifiers from 2013

John Devins, Saranac (99)

Austin Trombley, Northern Adirondack (106)

Ethan Feazelle, Peru (120)

Nick Forget, Peru (126)**

Jordan Bushey, Peru (138)

Codie Gillette, Saranac (145)

James Black, Saranac (160)

Matt Lashway, Northern Adirondack (195)

Luke McKee, Peru (220)**

Scott Guerin, Northern Adirondack (285)

**Unlikely to compete according to Hogan

 

We will continue to post Section previews as the season approaches.  Here are some others already released:

Section 3

Section 10

PSAL

 

 

Porter, Restrepo and Bushey Clinch All-America Honors in Cadet FS; Hemida in Contention (Also See Who Survived Day 1 of Jr FS)

After the second day of Cadet Freestyle, three New York wrestlers clinched spots on the podium with another still in contention when action resumes on Friday.

Jesse Porter of Shenendehowa was the runner up in Cadet Greco earlier this week at 152 pounds and he assured himself two medals at Fargo in 2013 as he will compete for fifth place on Friday against Matt Ferraro of Illinois.  Porter compiled a 6-2 mark in Freestyle with five technical falls and a pin.  In his last match on Thursday, he came back from a late deficit to knot the score at 4, however, he lost on criteria.

Also earning All-America honors were a pair of Empire State grapplers who will take the mat against each other at 145 pounds.  Both Jakob Restrepo of Sachem East and Jordan Bushey of Peru racked up 5-2 records and will battle in the seventh place tilt on Friday. Also going 5-2 in that same bracket was Gino Titone of Connetquot, however, he fell just short of the medal stand.

Youssif Hemida stands at 3-1 and is one of five remaining wrestlers in his half of the 220 pound bracket. (Four of the five grapplers will make the podium).  Hemida’s victories have all been by technical fall and he’s looking for another when he squares off with Kyler Childers of Oklahoma in his next contest.

Also seeing action for New York on Thursday in the Cadet event, but finishing their runs at the tournament, were Ben Lamantia (who finished 4-2), Leonard Merkin (4-2), Gino Titone (5-2), Jacob Woolson (3-2), Tyler Hall (2-2), James Bethel (2-2) and Peter Strassfield (1-2).

JUNIOR FREESTYLE

Junior Freestyle got underway on Thursday and after the first two sessions, the following wrestlers are still alive for Team New York (with record in parenthesis):

113: John Twomey 3-0

120: Matthew Morris 3-1

126: William Koll 4-1

152: Trevor Hoffmier 3-1

160: Troy Seymour 4-0

160: Chris Koo 3-1

170: Andrew Psomas 3-1

182: Cedric Stephens 3-1

Another Shot at the Top: Peru's Troy Seymour to Compete at Wyoming Seminary

 
 

BY ZAKKARIAH ROLFE

208 victories is a huge accomplishment throughout a high school career, but Section VII’s all-time wins leader Troy Seymour remembers one of his rare losses very clearly.

In the eyes of many, the four-time New York state qualifier had a trip to the state finals ripped from him in Albany this February when he was hit with a second stall call late in the third period of the semis, resulting in the only point of a 1-0 loss. Seymour rebounded after the devastating result to come away with a third place showing and a second All-State honor.

Photo by BV

“When the ref got me for the second stall call, I was stunned,” said Seymour. “The only thought in my mind was to score, and when I didn’t, I was pretty upset. I decided third was my only option because after the loss I wasn’t going to fold.”

The Peru graduate has a chance to get back on top after being accepted to compete as a fifth-year wrestler at one of the top programs in the nation, Wyoming Seminary, a place he feels will prepare him for the next level.

“We decided that ‘Sem’ was the best option because not only do I want to be a Division One wrestler, I want to be a good Division One wrestler who is going to be on the NCAA podium,” he said.

Seymour has been busy this offseason. He became an All-American for the second straight year after a sixth place finish at the NHSCA Senior Nationals in Virginia Beach, then won the New York State freestyle championship and took third in Greco.

His recent experience against top competition this summer will be continued at Wyoming Seminary, which arguably has the toughest schedule in the country.

“Well, the only way to be the best is to beat the best,” Seymour said. “If that’s what I got to do, then I’m going to do it.  I’m excited.”

The former Peru star said he is entering next season with the goal of a Prep national title. But he isn’t thinking about that yet, as he first has some business to take care of in Fargo, North Dakota where he is looking to make his mark in both Freestyle and Greco.

Peru All-American Troy Seymour Looks to End His Career Atop Section 7 Wins List and the NY State Podium

Troy Seymour vs. Nick Mitchell, Photo by Boris V

When Troy Seymour was five, he went to the New York state tournament for the first time and watched Peru heavyweight Nick Weaver win the championship.  He set a goal for himself then and there.

“Troy vowed he would be a heavyweight by the time he finished high school,” said Indians coach Mike Hogan.  “He started out as 103-pound seventh grader and dreamed of being a big guy. I might be able to get him in at 220 pounds this year, depending on his weight, but he’s not going to make it.  He’s not going to be a heavy.”

That might be the only unattainable goal for Seymour as he embarks on his senior campaign.  The Peru grappler has his sights set on a few other things this season, including a move up the podium in Albany at the end of February.

“My first priority is to be a state champ this year,” Seymour said.

Seymour finished fourth a year ago, placing for the first time at the state tournament.  Twice before he had come within one bout of a medal.

After beginning at the Times Union Center in 2012 with a 7-2 decision, Seymour met Burke Paddock, an opponent he had faced many times before.  However, this meeting was different, as Seymour came out on top 3-2 in double overtime, to punch his ticket to the semifinals.  He next faced undefeated Nick Mitchell of Frewsburg (now at Edinboro) and liked his chances as the clock wound down in the final period with the score deadlocked.

“I felt good about the match going into overtime,” he said.  “But then I had a hiccup with about 11 seconds left on the clock, made a mistake and got taken down.”

While he missed out on the finals in Albany (he came back to take fourth), he did make the finals of a significant tournament just a few weeks later – the NHSCA Junior Nationals in Virginia Beach.  Seymour won five straight matches to earn a spot in the title bout with Ethan Ramos of New Jersey, a contest that was tied late in the third before Ramos recorded the fall.

Seymour was far from finished with his offseason competition.  He wrestled at the Junior Duals in Oklahoma City, at Fargo and other places in between.

“Troy is a year round wrestling guy,” Hogan said. “He likes wrestling more than 99% of the kids I’ve ever coached.  They tried to make him a linebacker in football and he played soccer for a year, but those things weren’t for him.  It’s all about wrestling.  He’s always doing something related to wrestling.  He’s never said no when I’ve asked him to go to a tournament.  We’re five hours away from many events.  He’s probably spent more time in a car than any New York kid his age travelling to tournaments, but he’s willing to go anywhere.  He’s really competitive.”

That competitive nature comes out when discussing the Section 7 wins record.  Both Seymour and Northern Adirondack’s Justin Kellett recorded their 150th victory last season as juniors.  Both have a chance to break the current Section mark of 183 triumphs.  Seymour wants to do that, break 200 and see his name at the top of the leader board when the campaign is over.

“I think Kellett is up by one or two wins right now,” Hogan said [before the season started]. “If Kellett is at 160, Troy said he’ll pull to 160 for a dual to wrestle Kellett there, to try to make sure he gets one less win.”

“It would be cool to wrestle [Kellett],” Seymour added.  “We’ve never wrestled in a real match, only at Sectional practices.”

Even if he does drop for a match, Seymour plans to spend most of his time at 170 pounds again.  And he plans to stay around that weight in the future, likely competing at 174 pounds at the next level.

“I think I’ve always wanted to be Division I wrestler,” Seymour said.  “It would be a great experience and I think I’m good enough to go.”

Hogan agrees.

“Troy will be a good one in college,” Hogan said. “He’s young for his grade and he’s gotten a lot more physical over the past year after weightlifting hard.  He’s always been good on his feet and on bottom and he could ride.  But the difference last year was that he could turn people.  He became a lot more effective on top.”

That’s been true in his senior year as well.  He has raced out to an 11-0 record with nine pins and two forfeits.

Two schools Seymour was considering as of the start of wrestling season were Hofstra and Rider.   According to Hogan, he won’t have much trouble becoming acquainted with the people wherever he chooses to go.

“Troy is extremely outgoing,” Hogan said. “We go to a tournament in a gym with 200 people in it and by the time it’s over, Troy knows everyone.  He’s like the mayor, hugging everyone.  He likes to be where the action is – a really outgoing kid.”

That quality is helpful to Seymour as he spends a significant amount of time coaching the peewee wrestlers in the area, and it also helps in his role as leader of the Peru team.

“I’d just like him to stay healthy and be a good captain for us this year,” Hogan said of his expectations for the season.  “I’m sure he’ll have a great year.  It always takes a little luck to win states, but Troy is definitely good enough to be a state champion.”