Section VI Division 2 sends fifteen sectional champions as well as an additional fifteen wildcards – the most among all NYS small school sections – to this year’s state tournament. A total of 30 wrestlers in the Division 2 tournament could set the team up to win the area’s first ever intersectional state title in the 60-year history of the NYS tournament. Section III (CNY) small schools have won the last four Division 2 titles in Albany. Only four Section VI place winners return from a year ago in Fredonia’s defending state finalist Hector Colom and the Falconer trio of Dylan Ingrao, Dan Torres, and Corey Keefe. Defending small school tournament champion Central Valley Academy (III) returns three place finishers to Albany, all of whom are seeded first. Falconer returns the fifth most state tournament team points out of all teams and adds Robbie Penhollow as a representative this season. All four Falconer wrestlers are seeded second in their weights, putting the Golden Falcons in prime position to potentially win the tournament team title as well as crown individual champions. Three of the fifteen weight classes feature three Section VI wrestlers.
99 pounds: Newfane freshman Andy Lucinski punched his ticket to Albany with a Section VI title in an unusually deep weight class at the state qualifier. The Panther grappler has drawn Section IV (Binghamton region) wildcard wrestler Cody Merwin from Walton-Delhi. Merwin is the 7-seed. Defending state place winner and Eastern States finalist Mason Bush from CVA is back at weight and is the weight’s top seeded wrestler. In section rival Devin Coleman from Camden (III) is the 2-seed.
106: Section VI sends Springville’s 2x sectional champion Mikey Evans and former section champion Doug Ciszak from Pioneer. Both were participants in Albany in 2017 but neither placed at their weights. The top two seeded wrestlers in Jordan Titus from Center Moriches (Sec. XI-Suffolk Co.) and Anthony Noto from Honeoye Fallls-Lima (Sec. V-Rochester region) met in last year’s 99-pound state final where Noto won by fall late in overtime to claim the state title. Evans is the 6-seed and will wrestle the winner of a pigtail match between Saranac’s (Sec. VII-Plattsburgh region) Robert Foley and the independent school league’s Robert Horan from Hackley School (Tarrytown, NY). Ciszak will face off with defending champion Noto on Friday morning.
113: Lackawanna’s Mohamed Alshawi entered the state qualifier as the 4th seeded wrestler and wound up earning a trip to states with a Section VI championship. The Steeler 8th grader will take on the weight’s top seeded wrestler in CVA’s Marek Bush in the opening round. Bush and three other returning place winners are seeded at this weight, as well as a host of others who either have wins over or have been extremely competitive with 2017 state place winners. Look for 113 Division 2 to be one of the best brackets in Albany this weekend.
120: Two wrestlers will represent Section VI. Chautauqua Lake’s Brendan Ramsey won the Section VI title and will face Public School Athletic League (NYC) champion Michael Hernandez from Bronx Studio in a preliminary bout. Olean’s Nick Bierfeldt took 3rd in Section VI but had enough points to earn a wildcard to Albany. Nick will wrestle the 5-seed in Section VIII (Nassau Co.) champion Keith Cassar from Oyster Bay in the first round. Defending state champion Trent Svingala from Maple Hill (Sec. II-Albany region) is the bracket’s top seeded wrestler. Section IV finalist and wildcard wrestler Brady Worthing from Tioga is the 2-seed, while defending state finalist and Section IV champion Caleb Robinson from Walton-Delhi is the 4-seed. Pen this as one of the weekend’s most interesting brackets.
126: Another weight class with multiple Section VI entries. Tonawanda’s sectional champion Zach Braddell looks to get back to the podium after placing two years ago and missing last year. Braddell is the 5-seed and will wrestle Section IX (Catskill region) champion Nick Ross from Onteora in the Friday opener. Akron/Alden senior Owen Kissell made it to Albany as an at large qualifier and will see 6-seed Mikey Squires from Norwich (IV) in the first round. Squires was a place winner in the 99-pound bracket in 2017. 2x NYS champion Orion Anderson from Schuylerville (II) leads the weight as the top seed. Section I (Hudson Valley) champion Victor Perlleshi from Pleasantville is the 2-seed.
132: The best bracket from the Section VI state qualifier sends three wrestlers – the sectional champion and two wildcards – to Albany at 132. Defending NYS finalist Hector Colom defended his sectional title and is the 3-seed heading into Friday morning action. He’ll wrestle Section IV wildcard Bryant Sexton from Spencer-Van Etten/Candor first. Randolph’s Matt Evans is seeded 4 and will see PSAL champion Hector Rodriguez from Eagle Academy in the opening round. Also representing Section VI is Iroquois’s Jake Vergien. He’ll wrestle Section II wildcard 8-seed Dylan Callahan from Schoharie on Friday morning. Four top five wrestlers return at this weight from 2017. Top seeded Cahal Donovan from Marcellus (III) was 4th in Albany last year and defeated the 2-seed Nick Young from Alexander (V), also a defending state place winner, by decision for 3rd place at Eastern States in January. Another returning state finalist in Mattituck’s (XI) Luke Bokina returns to Albany at 132 as the 5-seed. This WILL be one of the toughest, if not the toughest, brackets in Albany this weekend.
138: Section VI champion Johnny Putney from East Aurora will not compete at states, so sectional finalist Giovanni Russo from Fredonia gets the nod to Albany after being pegged as an alternate. Russo will see Section III finalist 3-seed Riley Gerber from Camden in the first round. 4x state tournament participant Ian McKenna from New Hartford (III) is the weight’s top seed. McKenna was a 3x states participant in Division 1, however the school dropped to Division 2 smaller schools this season. Bainbridge-Guilford-Afton/Harpursville’s (IV) defending state place winner Ben Bivar is the 2-seed.
145: Iroquois’s Section VI champion Cory Day is the 4-seed and will wrestle the Section I champion Emmet McCann from Pearl River in the first round. Also representing Section VI is sectional finalist Caleb Riordan from Pioneer. Riordan will face off against the 1-seed in defending NYS champion Hunter Shaut from CVA on Friday morning. On the opposite side of the bracket are defending state finalist Jack Bokina from Mattituck who is the 2-seed and Shaut’s in section rival TJ Philpotts from Holland Patent/Sauquoit Valley. Philpotts was 3rd in NYS 2017.
152: After a huge upset win the Section VI state qualifier, Newfane’s Zach Brown earned the 3-seed in this weekend’s Division 2 152-pound bracket. Brown will see Section VII champion Johnny Devins from Saranac in the opening round on Friday morning. Defending NYS place winner Dylan Ingrao from Falconer is the 2-seed and has Section II wildcard Rich Forbes from Catskill in the opening round. An all Section VI semifinal rematch between Brown and Ingrao could happen on Saturday morning. Section II champion and 2x state place winner Zack Lawrence from Duanesburg is the weight’s top seeded wrestler.
160: Two more Section VI wrestlers are entered in this weight, and another set of 2 and 3 seeded wrestlers they are. Falconer’s Dan Torres (54-1 record this season) defended his Section VI title on his way back to Albany where he was a 5th place finisher a year ago. The season long rivalry with Chautauqua Lake’s Bryce Rowe could very well come to a dramatic head if the two make it to Saturday’s semifinal. Torres is the 2-seed and will wrestle Section XI champion John O’Neill from Center Moriches in the first round. Rowe is an at-large qualifier and is the 3-seed. He will wrestle the winner of the preliminary match between BGAH’s Mike Wilmot and Malone’s (Sec. X-Northern NY) Tyler Tambini. Saranac’s Jacob Nolan is the bracket’s top seeded wrestler coming off of a 4th place finish in 2017.
170: Falconer’s Robbie Penhollow is the 2-seed behind Phoenix’s (III) 2x state finalist and Eastern States champion Ross McFarland. Penhollow has looked dominate all season, entering the tournament with 54 wins on the season. Robbie will begin the tournament wrestling the winner of the preliminary match between Section VIII’s Bailey O’Brien from Locust Valley and the PSAL champion Brandon Bido from Eagle Academy. Akron/Alden’s Jacob Sarow earned an at-large bid and is the 4-seed heading into Friday morning. Sarow will wrestle Section II champion Rich Conte from Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George in the opening round.
182: Section VI enters three wrestlers at the weight. Sectional champion Giuseppe Hoose from Southwestern leads the locals as the 4-seed. Hoose will begin the weekend wrestling Section X champion Kyle Jenkins from Gouverneur. Newfane’s Julian Nixon was the sectional runner-up and is the 7-seed this weekend. He’ll face off against Section II champion Nolan McNeil from Warrensburg/Bolton on Friday morning. Olean’s Pat Walsh took 3rd in Section VI and earned an at-large bid to states as well. Pat will see Section V wildcard Zack Thurston from Hornell in the first round. The top seeded wrestler is Chance Lapier from Ausable Valley (VII). Lapier was 3rd in NYS in 2017.
195: Another Section VI pair are the top two seeds in the bottom bracket. Section VI champion and defending state place winner Corey Keefe from Falconer is the 2-seed while sectional finalist and at-large qualifier Zak Trim from Maple Grove is #3. Keefe will face the winner of the preliminary match between Ervis Spahiu from Petrides (PSAL) and Jake Croston from Mt. Sinai (XI). Trim will wrestle Section III wildcard Harrison Sherman from Cato-Meridian on Friday morning. Defending state finalist Doug Simmons from Canastota (III) is the weight’s top seeded wrestler.
220: Pioneer’s section champion Mike Rigerman is the 2-seed behind 2x state finalist and Eastern States champion Joe Benedict from South Jefferson/Sandy Creek (III). Rigerman will wrestle Section I champion James Bellucci from Pawling in the opening round. Chautauqua Lake’s Ben Szymanowski earned an at-large entry to Albany after a runner-up finish at the Section VI state qualifier. Ben will take on 3-seed Tylor Barnhart from Livonia/Wayland-Cohocton (V) on Friday morning.
285: Section VI is sending 52 athletes to Albany this weekend to compete in both the large and small school wrestling tournaments, and only one is the top seeded wrestler at his weight: Starpoint’s Anthony Robinson. Robinson is the top seed in a bracket that includes two other Section VI wrestlers. Robinson, coming off a 4th place finish at Eastern States, will wrestle Section I champion George Lebberes from Dobbs Ferry/Ardsley in the opening round. At large qualifier Kiar Parker from Cheektowaga will wrestle Section IX champion 6-seeded Liam Dietrich from Red Hook in the Friday opener. Randolph’s Nick Becker earned a wildcard and will wrestle 5-seed Bailey Wood from Walton Delhi (IV) in the first round.