The Section 7 wins record is in reach for a pair of seniors – Troy Seymour of Peru and Justin Kellett of Northern Adirondack. Whether one or both of them finish the season atop the all-time victory leaderboard will be a story worth following. Seymour is the only returning placewinner from the area. However, Kellett and a pair of Saranac wrestlers who came within one victory of the medal stand at the Times Union Center a year ago, Codie Gillette and Nate Wood, will be among those who could score points for Section 7 in February.
Returning State Placewinners (from 2012)
Fourth Place: Troy Seymour (12) Peru, 170 Pounds
Additional Returning State Qualifiers (from 2012)
99 Pounds: Ethan Feazelle (9) Peru
106 Pounds: Kyle Agoney (12) Peru
113 Pounds: Max Marte (12) Peru
120 Pounds: Codie Gillette (11) Saranac
126 Pounds: Jordan Bushey (10) Peru
138 Pounds: Nick Forget (11) Peru
145 Pounds: Hunter Carpenter (11) Northern Adirondack
152 Pounds: Jackson Sunderland (12) Northern Adirondack
160 Pounds: Justin Kellett (12) Northern Adirondack
182 Pounds: Nate Wood (11) Saranac
220 Pounds: Luke McKee (11) Peru
Wrestlers to Watch
Section 7 graduated three All-State grapplers from 2012 – sixth place finishers Jacob Goddeau of Peru (132) and Ben Perry of Saranac (195) and 285-pound state champion Hayden Head of Beekmantown. However, 12 of last season’s Section 7 champions return with valuable postseason experience.
Leading the way is one of New York’s best – Troy Seymour. The Peru senior is a three-time state qualifier who took fourth place in 2012 at 170 pounds in a weight class populated by a current Division I wrestler (Nick Mitchell of Frewsburg) and two wrestlers who have won NHSCA National titles during their careers (Zack Zupan of Canastota and Burke Paddock of Warsaw).
Seymour came close to winning a national crown of his own this spring, as he went all the way to the finals of the NHSCA Juniors, finishing as the runner up to Ethan Ramos of New Jersey. It was the third appearance on the national podium for Seymour, but for now, his focus is on getting to the top of the stand in Albany for Peru.
Who else is a medal threat in February? There are quite a few wrestlers very capable of making the leap. Among these grapplers are the Saranac duo of Codie Gillette and Nate Wood. The juniors both were within one win of placing last season. Gillette went 2-2 at 120 pounds in Albany after a 29-6 campaign for the Chiefs. His teammate Wood, who also had close to 30 wins, drew eventual state and national champion Tony Lock of Pioneer in the first round at 182, but responded with a pair of victories in the consolations before dropping a match to Tyler Morris of Salem to end his run.
“Codie Gillette works his tail off,” said Peru head coach Mike Hogan. “He’s an awesome kid who works out with us quite a bit, goes to camps and does everything he can to get better. Nate Wood is also tough – a street-tough type of kid.”
Like Wood, Justin Kellett of North Adirondack also met the top seed in his opening bout at the state tournament (Chris Nevinger of Letchworth Central). Kellett came back to record a technical fall in his next match and after a 41-3 campaign, will look to grab a few more wins this year in Albany. He certainly has compiled a large number of victories in his career – more than 150 – and the Section 7 record of 183 wins is within his grasp (and that of Troy Seymour).
“Kellett will be very hard to beat,” Hogan said. “He’s a bright kid with a high academic average and he’s also a very tough kid on the mat. He had a difficult draw at states getting Nevinger first and it impacted him, but he’ll be back and he’ll be someone to watch.”
He’s not the only one to watch in the Northern Adirondack room. Kellett has some tough workout partners, including Jackson Sunderland, who returns after a 30-4 campaign at 145.
Also Keep an Eye On . . .
Hogan believes a pair of Peru state qualifiers from a year ago, junior Nick Forget and sophomore Jordan Bushey, are candidates for breakout campaigns. Forget, who went 32-5 at 138 a year ago, may move down to 132 after the graduation of multiple time state placer Jacob Goddeau. Meanwhile, Bushey garnered a 27-9 mark as a freshman. Both picked up valuable experience at Fargo this summer.
There are also wrestlers who didn’t step on the mat at the Times Union Center in 2012 who could make some noise in Albany. Noah Phillips of Peru is one of them. He won his first 38 matches a year ago at 145 pounds, including 31 by bonus points, before losing what turned out to be his last bout of the season – in overtime to Northern Adirondack’s Hunter Carpenter in the Section 7 final. Phillips had defeated Carpenter twice earlier in the campaign – by fall and by seven points. He will no doubt be on a mission to make his mark this season.
Scott Kellett of Northern Adirondack, who dropped a one-point decision to Gillette in the Section 7 title bout in 2012, could have a breakout season after compiling a 24-9 record as a freshman.
The Team Race . . .
Peru's Kyler Agoney, Photo by Boris V
In 2012, Peru won the Section 7 team crown by 25 points over Northern Adirondack. The Indians are in the driver’s seat again. In addition to the seven returning qualifiers mentioned above, the squad brings back 20 match winners Brandon Goddeau and Tanner Phillips, as well as junior Josh Wright, who captured 30 victories a year ago at 152 pounds.
Northern Adirondack will try to mount another strong challenge with their trio of returning champions (Carpenter, Sunderland and Justin Kellett) and four Section 7 silver medalists from a year ago Austin Trombley (99 pounds), Rusty Pombrio (106), Scott Kellett (120) and Dallas Page (195).
“I really like our team this year,” Peru coach Hogan said. “We have a lot of kids returning who have been very successful. But we know Northern Adirondack is a good wrestling town. They’re tough farm kids and they’re workers. There are only 30 boys per class and they still get good numbers for the wrestling team. And Saranac will be tough too. Those kids have worked like crazy this summer.”
Special thanks to those who contributed to this story, especially Mike Hogan of Peru.
More Season Previews:
Section 1 Preview
Section 3 Preview
Section 9 Preview
Season Preview Feature (more to come):
Section 1 Feature: Aslanian and Realbuto, All-State Wrestlers and Workout Partners, Seek to End Their Careers on Top of the Podium