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6th Section VI Dual Meet Wrestling Championships On Deck for Saturday

By Matt O'Rourke
Published on January 5th, 2023 @ 10:00am

Unbeaten Starpoint opens as the top seed in the large school bracket while Chautauqua Lake is the top seed in the small school bracket.

(Cover photo courtesy of Bob Koshinski/AllSportsWNY)

LANCASTER - The 6th NYSPHSAA Section VI Division I and II Dual Meet Championships will take place on Saturday, Jan. 7th at Lancaster High School’s Russell J. Salvatore Field House. Wrestling begins at 10am with the quarterfinal round for both divisions on six mats. Semifinals and wrestle back duals are scheduled for a noon start, consolation semifinals at 2pm, and championship (1st) and consolation (3rd) finals slated for a 4pm start.

Admission to the tournament is $7.00 and tickets must be purchased via GoFan at this link (https://gofan.co/app/events/839853?schoolId=NYSHSAAVI). Fans are encouraged to bring their own chairs as seating will be limited on the day of the event.

WNY Athletics will provide a live stream of each division's championship final with commentary exclusively on the NFHS Network.

The 2023 tournament will be a welcome return to all participating teams meeting on site, at the same location for the day of the event. The 2022 tournament featured quarterfinal duals at the higher seeded team’s school (and no consolations) while only the semifinalist teams in each division met at Lancaster for the championship event.

The first Section VI tournament was held in the 2016-2017 season, one year before the first official NYSPHSAA Dual Meet Championships in Syracuse that crowned the very first NYS dual meet champions. Section VIII powerhouse Wantagh was the first large school state champion while Section XI’s Mt. Sinai claimed the first small school team state title in late January 2018.

Niagara Wheatfield (Div. I) and Pioneer (Div. II) captured the team sectional titles at the first Section VI Duals in 2017. Lancaster (Div. I) and Falconer/Cassadaga Valley (Div. II) captured dual meet sectional titles in 2018 and represented Section VI at the first state duals that season.

The 2019 tournament was cancelled so Olean in large schools and Falconer in small schools advanced to the state tournament by default as the top seeded teams in the Section VI tournament. In 2020, Wheatfield captured its second duals title with a 34-33 win by tie breaking criteria while Falconer cruised to its third straight title. The tournament was cancelled in the 2020-2021 season due to the pandemic. Finally, Lancaster captured the program’s second duals title in winter 2022 while top seeded Newfane captured the small school team title.

Thus far, Falconer leads the area with three Section VI Duals titles (2018, 2019, 2020) and have made the final in all four contested events. The 2020 Golden Falcons captured the sectional title and became the first team from Section VI to capture the NYS dual meet title. Falconer has made the small school state semifinals in each of the last three tournaments.

Wheatfield and Lancaster both own two Section VI dual meet titles. In both years that the Falcons won, they did not start the tournament as the top seed in the large school bracket. Up until last season, only the same four teams had earned #1 seeds in each bracket for the entire tournament: Falconer (2017, 2019, 2020), Olean (2018, 2019), Lancaster (2018, 2020), and Clarence (2017). Niagara Falls and Newfane each earned the 2022 tournament top seeds.

The 2023 event will feature two more first time top seeds as Starpoint (17-0) and Chautauqua Lake (16-1) have earned the 1-seed in their respective brackets. The Spartans appeared at the first Duals in 2017 as the 7-seed. The 2021-2022 Spartans earned the 2-seed at the sectional duals but fell in the championship match to 4-seed Lancaster. The Thunderbirds will make their first appearance at the Duals this weekend since the inaugural event in 2017 where they finished 4th in small schools.

Advancement to the state duals doesn’t have to come by way of winning the sectional dual meet tournament (at least in Section VI).

In the last three consecutive NYSPHSAA Dual Meet Championships tournaments (out of four total) Section VI has sent five total ‘wildcard’ entry teams to the state duals. Most recently in 2022, both Starpoint and Falconer were runners-up in the section, earned wildcards to Syracuse, and reached their respective division semifinals – a first for the history of the event. Past WNY duals wildcard recipients also include Lancaster and Iroquois in 2020 and Niagara Wheatfield in 2019 who also reached the semifinal round.

Saturday’s tournament will feature a full slate of eight large school teams while six small school squads will compete for the sectional title. Five total teams including Orchard Park and Amherst in Div. I and Southwestern, Wilson, and Charter School for Applied Technologies in Div. II will make their first ever appearances at the sectional event.

Division I seeds:

  1. Starpoint
  2. Niagara Wheatfield
  3. Niagara Falls
  4. Lancaster
  5. Amherst
  6. Williamsville North/East
  7. Orchard Park
  8. Clarence

Division II seeds:

  1. Chautauqua Lake
  2. Newfane
  3. Southwestern
  4. Falconer/CV
  5. Wilson
  6. CSAT

Division I quarterfinals:

10am

1-Starpoint vs. 8-Clarence

2-Niagara Wheatfield vs. 7-Orchard Park

3-Niagara Falls vs. 6-Williamsville North/East

4-Lancaster vs. 5-Amherst

Division II quarterfinals:

10am

3-Southwestern vs. 6-CSAT

4-Falconer vs. 5-Wilson

1-Chautauqua Lake – bye

2-Newfane – bye

Many of WNY’s top wrestlers make up the rosters of the fourteen competing Section VI Duals teams. In total, 60 returning 2021-2022 sectional place winners will hit the mat Saturday, including 21 returning & past state tournament qualifiers, ten defending Section VI champions, and seven defending state tournament place winners.

Team info – large schools

Starpoint Spartans

Head coach: Steve Hart

Current record: 4-0 ECIC II, 17-0 overall

2021-2022 accolades: ECIC II champion, Section VI Div. I Duals runner-up, NYSPHSAA Dual Meet Championships semifinalist

Past Section VI Duals experience: 2022 (2nd), 2017 (no place)

Returning sectional place winners: 1st – Griffin LaPlante (fr) 2nd – Gage LaPlante (jr) 3rd – JR Leuer (sr), Caden Barrientos (jr), CJ Uptegrove (sr), Landon Grainy (sr), Matt Caldwell (sr) 4th – Kole Haseley (fr), Jaron Barrientos (so) 5th – Zach Caldwell (fr)

Returning NYS place winners: 5th – Griffin LaPlante, 7th – Gage LaPlante

Other names to watch: Sean McDonald (fr), Phil Pirinelli (sr), George Thompson (sr)

Niagara Wheatfield Falcons

Head coach: Rick Sweney

Current record: 4-0 NFL, 9-0 overall

2021-2022 accolades: 2nd place NFL, 4th place Section VI Duals

Past Section VI Duals experience: 2022 (4th), 2020 (1st), 2018 (3rd), 2017 (1st)

Returning sectional place winners: 1st – Collin Coughenour (sr) 2nd – Tremell Mathews (sr), Te’Shaun Mathews (jr), Casey Robinson (sr) 3rd – Dylan Pringle (so) 4th – Chase Richards (fr), Garrett Chase (so), Joe Cicco (jr)

Other names to watch: Gabby Barone (7th), Ethan Azbell (fr), Muntathar Abbas (so), Dante Difiglia (jr), Iain O'Donnell (jr), John Fike (fr)

Niagara Falls Wolverines

Head coach: Josh Eagan

Current record: 4-0 NFL, 7-1 overall

2021-2022 accolades: NFL champion, 3rd place Section VI Duals

Past Section VI Duals experience: 2022 (3rd), 2020 (np)

Returning sectional place winners: 1st – Eian Peterson (so), Jaden Crumpler (sr), Amarfio Reynolds, Jr (sr), Michael Syposs (sr) 4th – Grady Peterson (sr) 6th – Thomas Crumpler (so)

Returning NYS place winners: 2nd – Jaden Crumpler, 7th – Amarfio Reynolds, Jr

Other names to watch: Vincenzo Falsetto (jr), Thomas Crumpler (so), Jayden Hilson (sr), Luis Ubiles (sr), Atreal Mayfield (sr)

Lancaster Legends

Head coach: Clint Schaefer

Current record: 3-0 ECIC I, 6-3 overall

2021-2022 accolades: ECIC I champion, Section VI Div. I Dual Meet champion, 1-1 at NYSPHSAA Dual Meet Championships

Past Section VI Duals experience: 2022 (1st), 2020 (2nd), 2018 (1st), 2017 (4th)

Returning sectional place winners: 2nd – Evan Stencel (sr) 3rd – Michael Schaeffer (jr) 4th – Carter Tadusz

Other names to watch: Tommy Carlsen (sr), Alex Monile (sr), Joey Freiberg (jr)

Amherst Tigers

Head coach: Dennis Bauer

Current record: 4-0 ECIC II, 9-1 overall

2021-2022 accolades: 2nd place ECIC II

Past Section VI Duals experience: none

Returning Section VI place winners: 5th – Payton Mack (sr), Riley Kirst (8th), Zakira Saeed (jr)

Other names to watch: Josh Knobloch (jr), Joe Magnano (jr)

Williamsville North/East Spartans

Head coach: Joe Muscarella

Current record: 3-1 ECIC I, 4-2 overall

Past Section VI Duals experience: 2022 (np), 2020 (np)

Returning sectional place winners: 1st – Cam Catrabone (jr)

Returning NYS place winners – 6th – Cam Catrabone

Other names to watch: Tanner Catrabone (7th), Andrew Ciambella (sr), Zaid El Nassar (jr)

Orchard Park Quakers

Head coach: Jared Teal

Current record: 1-2 ECIC I, 10-8 overall

Past Section VI Duals experience: none

Returning sectional place winners: 2nd – Jack MacDonald (jr) 5th – Brody Stevens (sr)

Other names to watch: Andrew Ciesielski (sr), Joe Ippolito (sr), Aiden Rodriguez (8th), Christian Riccio (sr)

Clarence Red Devils

Head coach: Keith Stoerr

Current record: 2-1 ECIC I, 7-6 overall

Past Section VI Duals experience: 2020 (np), 2018 (np), 2017 (3rd)

Returning sectional place winners: 3rd – AJ Didas (so), Reilly Popa (sr)

Other names to watch: Bryce Hawes (jr), Joey Keller (jr), Gabe MacVittie (8th), Zach Didas (7th), Trevor Mueller (7th)

Small schools

Chautauqua Lake Thunderbirds

Head coach: Ken Rowe

Current record: 4-0 CCAA I, 16-1 overall

2021-2022 accolades: 2nd place CCAA I

Past Section VI Duals experience: 2017 (4th)

Returning sectional place winners: 2nd – Jordan Joslyn (jr), Trent Burchanowski (sr) 3rd – John Watson (jr) 4th – Jayden Malecki (jr), Ison Shirley (jr), Gavin Segovia (sr) 6th – Jack Bourgeois (sr), Martin Ohlsson (jr)

Other names to watch: Brad Smith (sr), Mason Maring (so), Gavin Burchanowski (8th), Thandon Bensink (8th)

Newfane Panthers

Head coach: Matt Lingle

Current record: 3-0 N-O, 14-4 overall

2021-2022 accolades: Niagara-Orleans champion, Section VI Div. II Dual Meet Champion, 1-1 at NYSPHSAA Dual Meet Championships

Past Section VI Duals experience: 2022 (1st), 2020 (3rd), 2018 (np), 2017 (np)

Returning sectional place winners: 1st – Aidan Gillings (so) 3rd – Brayden Kellison-Neglia (8th), Ayden Buttery (so) 5th – Miguel Salas (sr) 6th – JJ Lucinski (jr)

Returning NYS place winners: 4th – Aidan Gillings

Other names to watch: Adan Harris (sr), Rian Czaja (fr), Richie Doxey (so)

Southwestern Trojans

Head coach: John Vogan

Current record: 4-0 CCAA I, 7-2 overall

2021-2022 accolades: 3rd place CCAA I

Past Section VI Duals experience: none

Returning sectional place winners: 1st – Carmine Calimeri (so), Tavio Hoose (fr) 2nd – Kenji Walters (jr) 3rd – Neves Hoose (jr)

Returning NYS place winners: 6th – Carmine Calimeri

Other names to watch: Adrian Torres (fr), Miles Torres (8th), Bo Wendell (jr), Peter Conley (jr)

Falconer/Cassadaga Valley Golden Cougars

Head coach: Drew Wilcox

Current record: 3-0 CCAA I, 11-3 overall

2021-2022 accolades: CCAA I champion, Section VI Div. II Duals runner-up, NYSPHSAA Dual Meet Championships semifinalist

Past Section VI Duals experience: 2022 (2nd), 2020 (1st), 2019 (top seed/1st), 2018 (1st), 2017 (2nd)

Returning sectional place winners: 5th – Karsen Lundgren (jr), Austin Chase (sr) 6th – Jacob Clark (sr), Dalton Caldwell (sr), Bryant Morrison (sr)

Other names to watch: Evan Newman (jr), Brodie Little (sr), Devyn Morrison (jr), Hunter Caldwell (jr), Charlie Reichenbach (so)

Wilson Lakemen

Head coach: Mike Carlo

Current record: 0-2 N-O, 14-6 overall

2021-2022 accolades: 2nd place N-O

Past Section VI Duals experience: none

Returning sectional place winners: 4th – Ben Wortkoetter (sr) 6th – Victor Cusatis (fr), Hamza Merrick (so)

Other names to watch: Jacob Stephenson (so)

Charter School for Applied Technologies Eagles

Head coach: Josh Sweeney

Current record: 1-3 NFL, 1-10 overall

Past Section VI Duals experience: none

Names to watch: Isiah King (jr)

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