Section VI large schools sent all 15 weight class champions as well as seven wildcards to Albany. Overall, the Section placed fifth out of 11 participating ‘sections’ including the Public School Athletic League and the Catholic High School Athletic Association.
It was good for Section VI as it was D1’s best finish since the 2010 team took third in the team standings. Niagara-Wheatfield finished 12th in the team standings with five wrestlers and Lancaster finished 14th overall placing three, a new program record. Out of the 22 wrestlers representing Section VI, seven wrestlers placed with four of them being top-3 finishes.
99: Seventh-grader Colin Coughenour from Wheatfield won the sectional title to earn his first trip to states. In the first round, he met Johnson City’s (IV) Dante Rigal and was defeated by tech fall. An injury default in the first wrestle back round to Nate Wade from West Genesee (III) knocked him out of the tournament. The Falcon grappler has years ahead of him and will look to defend his Section VI title and place at states next season. Second-seeded Stevo Poulin from Shenendehowa was the 99-pound large school champion.
106: North Tonawanda junior and Section VI champion Tyler Bartolomei defeated Section V wildcard and eight-seeded Anthony Surace from Webster-Schroeder in the opening round with a second period pin. He met top-seeded Matt Griffin from Jamesville-DeWitt/CBA (III) in the next round and fell by pin in the first period. Bartolomei was eliminated in the next round after a 7-6 loss to Commack’s Section XI champion Jake Eckerle. Bartolomei should be a favorite to place in Albany next season.
Lancaster senior Jake Harry made it to states as a wildcard. He lost a very close match in the first round to Section IX champion Greg Fischer from Newburg, 3-2 and was eliminated in the next round by Brian Hedding from Rush-Henrietta (V) 6-3. Msgr. Farrell’s (CHSAA) Terry Adams won the tournament title after falling in the championship in 2017.
113: In his second trip to Albany, Lancaster’s Parker Rozler looked to make the podium after falling short in 2017. Rozler entered the tournament as the eight-seed after defending his Section VI title. He was a winner in the first round and met eventual Greg Diakomihalis in the quarterfinal where he fell by pin. Rozler dropped into the wrestle backs where he won by major decision over Xavier Pommellis from Uniondale (VIII). The next wrestle back round was crucial, as the loser would be eliminated and the winner guaranteed to place. Rozler gutted out an overtime win 3-1 over CJ Monegal from North Rockland (I) to guarantee all-state status. Rozler would fall to Sea Carter from North Babylon (XI) and then Dylan Earl from Monroe-Woodbury (IX) to take sixth in NYS.
120: Clarence’s Aiden Rabideau entered the tournament seeded eight in the weight class and drew a very talented wrestler in the first round in Section V champion Ryan Burgos from Hilton. Rabideau would lose by pin in the second period to fall into the wrestlebacks. David Traub from Tottenville (PSAL) would end the weekend for Rabideau with a 7-2 decision in the first round of consolations. Six-seeded Zach Redding from Eastport South-Manor would storm to the state championship with wins over the third, second, and first seed on the weekend.
126: Defending state finalist Justin McDougald from Wheatfield made his third trip to Albany and entered the tournament as the three-seed. McDougald started the tournament with two very tough opponents in Massapequa’s (VIII) Nick Karamosshes and Mount Vernon’s (I) Najashi Sharpe. McDougald would defeat them by scores of 5-2 and 4-2 respectively. McDougald would take on the two-seed in defending state place winner Mike Gonyea from Columbia High School (II) in the semifinal. Gonyea defeated McDougald 5-3 in OT at the Eastern States in January. The Falcon sophomore would exact revenge with a 4-2 win to return to the state final. McDougald would have to settle for second place for the second year in a row as he lost by pin to now four-time NYS champion Adam Busiello from Eastport South-Manor.
Anthony Corigliano from Clarence was a wildcard to the state tournament. He was defeated by Busiello in the first round by tech. Corigliano was eliminated in the wrestleback after a hard fought 9-7 OT loss to Matt Patrizio from Commack.
132: Section VI Division 1 found its first state champion in six years in Niagara Falls sophomore Willie McDougald. McDougald is the Falls’ first state champion since Mel Cunningham won in 1967. McDougald was the two-seed and wrestled hard fought matches from the quarters through to the final. In the semifinal, McDougald defeated Ward Melville’s (XI) Raf Lievano 9-6, whom he had lost to in the 5th place match at Eastern States. The final was a showdown of the returning state champion Justin Vines from Wantagh (VIII) and McDougald who have numbers 1 and 2 ‘ranked’ all season. McDougald gutted out a 3-2 win in overtime to bring a championship back to western New York.
138: Both Vinny Catanzaro from Williamsville North and Jake DeWolf from Wheatfield lost opening round matches but won their next to stay alive in the wrestlebacks. DeWolf fell to the eight-seed Dom Vetrano from Minisink Valley (IX) in the first round.
Catanzaro lost a close decision 4-3 to CBA/JD’s Garrett Bauer. DeWolf earned a win in the next round and bonus points for the team score with a first period pin over Wesler Rode from Massena (X) in the next round of consolation but saw his season come to an end after injury defaulting a match in the consolation quarterfinal. Catanzaro was a winner by a score of 11-6 over the 4-seed Ben Howe form Elmira (IV), but lost to Section V champion Mason Wersinger from Spencerport 7-3 to be eliminated from the tournament. Chris Gomez from Patchogue-Medford (XI) was the 138-pound champion.
145: Wheatfield’s Warren McDougald may have received the lousiest seed of all entering the tournament. The defending state place winner received the 8-seed in the weight class and drew a very tough first round match in Justin Crawford from St. Anthony’s (CHSAA). McDougald was a winner by decision 9-2. In the quarterfinal, he met Penfield (V) senior and four-time NYS champion Frankie Gissendanner was overpowered falling by pin in the third period. After that, McDougald dropped into the wrestlebacks fairly early for a defending state place winner. McDougald survived two straight ‘blood rounds’ where one loss would have eliminated him from the tournament. He earned a 10-5 win as well as an overtime thriller 9-5 to guarantee placement for the second year in a row. He earned another overtime win over the 3-seed Kyle Mosher from South East Cyclones (VIII), also a defending place winner, in the consolation semifinal to advance to the third-place match. McDougald claimed third place in the bracket with a 9-7 win over Brockport’s (V) Troy Ferris.
152: Section VI sent two wrestlers in Grand Island’s Adam Daghestani and Lancaster’s Ryan Stencel.
Stencel earned the 6-seed and opened the tournament with a win over Abimael Luperon from Grand Street Campus (PSAL) with a first period pin. In the quarterfinal, Stencel met Section V champion Cooper Kropman from Penfield and dropped a 4-2 decision to drop to the consolation. In the first wrestleback he earned a major decision over Joe Pushman from Walkill (IX) 12-2. Stencel would fall one round short of placing with a 2-0 defeat to Anthony Dushaj from Half Hollow Hills West (XI) in the consolation quarterfinal. Daghestani opened the tournament with a loss to Kropman and would go on to defeat Luperon 10-8 and receive a forfeit win over Connor Thomas from Yorktown (I).
Daghestani would also fall one round short of placing with a 7-3 loss to Michael Marcy from Holy Trinity HS (CHSAA). However, Marcy was now guaranteed placement meaning that he would only be recognized as a federation place winner, not an NYSPHSAA place winner since CHSAA does not part of NYSPHSAA.
Stencel beat Daghestani to take sixth place in the Federation tournament. Long Beach (VIII) senior Jacori Teemer would go on to win the tournament and his fifth NYS title tying him with Troy Nickerson (Chenango Forks – IV) as the only five-time state champions.
160: Josh Thibeault from Wheatfield entered the tournament unseeded. In the opening round, he fell by pin to the 5-seed in JD Moore from Levittown Division (VIII). Thibeault would earn two wrestleback wins, including a sub-1-minute pin to make it within one round of placing. The Falcon junior would fall by the narrow margin of 8-7 to 6-seed Matt Majoy from Syosset (VIII) to miss placing. With a strong states performance that saw him ‘launch’ opponents using high flying headlocks, Thibeault should be the favorite to get back to Albany out of Section VI and place next season. Defending state finalist Jake Silverstein from Hauppauge (XI) was the tournament champion.
170: A total of three WNY’ers represented the area. Grand Island’s Dan Emblidge earned a trip to states after winning the Section VI title. Frontier’s Derek Wojciechowski was selected as a wildcard. St. Francis’ Dominik Thomas won the 170-pound CHSAA title and earned an automatic spot in the NYSPHSAA Division 1 wrestling championship.
Emblidge met eight-seed Chris Eames from Horseheads (IV) in the first bout and lost by decision, 9-6. Emblidge would earn two wins by decision to advance to the consolation quarterfinal. Wojciechowski started unseeded as well and fell by major decision to five-seed Matt Rogers from Wantagh. He would earn a consolation win over Dominic Palma from Sewanhaka East (VIII) only to wind up meeting Thomas in the blood round. Thomas started the day with a second period pin over Gevorg Arakelow from Maspeth HS (PSAL). A loss in the quarterfinal to three-seed David Miele-Estrel from North Babylon would drop into the wrestlebacks and a meeting with Wojciechowski. The Frontier senior would win that match 5-2 to wrestle off Emblidge for what would be guaranteed placement. Only nine seconds into the second period Wojciechowski wound up with a pin and would go on to place sixth overall in NYS at 170-pounds. In a matchup of two nationally ranked wrestlers, Brewster’s (I) Grant Cuomo was a winner over defending NYS champion Tyler Barnes from Ballston Spa (II), 13-10.
182: Grand Island’s Connor Kenney and Lockport’s Steve Daskavitz both won a match in Albany before being eliminated.
Kenney opened the tournament against Section V champion Sammy Deprez from Hilton and was dropped to the wrestleback after falling by pin. In the top side of the bracket, Daskavitz met five-seed Joe Franzese from John Glenn HS (XI) and also fell by pin. Kenney would earn a major decision win over Kevin Barry from Stepinac HS (CHSAA) 20-7 and was eliminated in the next round by Franzese who had fallen in the quarterfinal.
Daskavitz would earn a win over Zach Finn from Harrison HS (I) 2-1 but would be eliminated by 6-seed Liam McIntyre from Westhampton Beach (XI) in the following round.
195: Williamsville North’s Cam Walter received the eight-seed. He started the tournament off with a first period pin over Section III’s Matej Zavacky (Fulton) only to meet top seed Jon Loew from Wantagh in the next round and fall by pin. Walter would earn another win in the wrestleback by way of an 8-7 decision over Niskayuna’s (II) Reggie Nelson. However, Walter would fall one round short of placing with a12-8 defeat to Maxx DeCapua from Newburgh Free Academy (IX) in the consolation quarterfinal.
220: All eyes were on Lancaster’s Joe Andreessen going into Albany. Andreessen earned the second seed only behind Long Beach’s Elijah Rodriguez, who had defeated Andreessen at Eastern States back in January. Andreessen dominated his first two opponents with pins that totaled less than a full period of wrestling to make it to the semifinal. Three-seed Halil Gecaj from John Jay-Cross River HS (I) would defeat Andreessen 7-6 to steal the upset win and a place in the state final. Andreessen, guaranteed to place for the second year in a row, got back on track with another sub minute pin to advance to the 3rd place match. Up 3-2 on St. Anthony’s Maguire Horl, Andreessen took a single leg shot to avoid a stall call and was able to hold on to win the bout and take third place in NYS.
285: Local rivals Calik Kennedy from Amherst and Jaquan Johnson from Grand Island found themselves as the fourth and fifth seeded wrestlers, respectively.
Kennedy earned an 8-2 win in the first round over Rome Free Academy’s (III) Spencer Pisaneschi to advance to the quarterfinal. Johnson, seeded fifth, lost to Tim Nagosky from Smithtown West (XI) in the opener. Kennedy met Nagosky in the quarterfinal and was defeated by a score of 6-3 to drop into the consolation.
Meanwhile, Pisaneschi had earned a victory over Johnson to eliminate the Viking senior from the tournament. Kennedy, now in the consolation, earned a decision win 3-2 and a 3-1 overtime win to guarantee placement. A loss to Section IV champion Trentyn Rupert from Newark Valley dropped Kennedy to the fifth place re-match with Pisaneschi. The Tiger senior earned a 5-0 decision this time and fifth place.