Eleven NYS tournament place winners helped lead the Section VI Division II sectional team to another top-5 finish at the state federation wrestling championships in Albany.
The Section VI small school state team has placed 5th or better in all nineteen NYS tournaments since the split division format was introduced in 2004. This year’s team matched the 5th place finish in 2022, and only one of the eleven 2023 place winners is an outgoing senior this spring. The section should also return seven juniors and below who competed in this year’s tournament but missed placing.
Individual champions Jordan Joslyn from Chautauqua Lake at 126-pounds and Tavio Hoose from Southwestern at 172-pounds led a surprising WNY unit that featured only nine seniors and seventeen juniors or below, suggesting that the section’s 2023-2024 squad might be primed to make a big climb in the team standings in Albany next February.
The ten returning place winners, and seven state qualifiers who missed placing coming back next year,
Despite having two less place winners than a season ago, the section was able to maintain its top-5 streak which surely was helped by Joslyn’s and Hoose’s title.
Two place winners for Chautauqua Lake helped the Thunderbirds to a 5th place finish in the final individual team scoring followed by Newfane in 11th place who placed (at least) three wrestlers in the state tournament for the 3rd consecutive tournament.
This year’s tournament represented the 10th time that Section VI small schools crowed at least two champions in the same tournament since 2004. 2022 has been the only year since 2004 where Section VI Div. II did not have a NYS champion.
Newfane junior **JJ Lucinski** was the first of five Section VI Div. II wrestlers to reach the semifinals at the conclusion of wrestling on Friday evening. The 3-seed Panther ultimately landed a valuable 4th place finish in NYS and was one of only three Section VI wrestlers in either division to reach their respective bracket’s 3rd place match.
JJ earned the 3-seed in the Div. II 102-pound bracket after winning the Section VI title to capitalize on a breakout year. Lucinksi started the tournament off with a familiar foe in Falconer’s 19-seed Dylan Newman and was a 9-6 decision winner to advance to the quarterfinals. JJ was a close 4-3 winner in their sectional final meeting.
A 7-3 win over Beaver River’s (III) Derek Walseman sent Lucinski to the Saturday morning semifinal against Tioga’s (IV) star freshman Logan Bellis while also guaranteeing a top-6 NYS place finish.
After falling behind 6-1, JJ had a late push in the third period with an escape and takedown but unfortunately time ran out as he fell 6-4.
In the consolation bracket, Lucinski would meet Port Jervis’s (IX) 5-seed and outstanding female athlete Charlie Wylie and advance to the 3rd place match by decision, 7-2. In the meantime, Wylie would become New York’s second ever female to place in the state wrestling championships.
In the consolation final, JJ would meet top seeded Section IV champion Maverick Beckwith from Norwich, ultimately falling by decision, 2-0. Lucinksi became Newfane’s 15th different wrestler to place at states and is one of three Panthers to place last weekend, all of whom will bring those valuable place finishes to the 2023-2024 season. JJ’s final season record this year is 44-9.
Southwestern freshman **Carmine Calimeri** earned a second straight NYS tournament place finish, this time up two weights from his 6th place finish at 102-pounds in 2022.
Calimeri started out as the 11-seed in the weight class and took out the 6-seed Chris Colon from Shoreham-Wading River, 5-2, in the pre-quarterfinal round. In the quarter, Calimeri would fall by pin to the 3-seeded Section V champion Cade Sands from Addison to drop to the wrestle backs.
A narrow 9-8 decision win over Malone’s (X) Tanner King on Saturday morning would ensure another NYS place finish for Carmine. A rematch with Colon was next on deck for Calimeri, and the S-WR junior would avenge the Friday meeting by the same score of 5-2 to send Carmine to the 7th place match.
In his final match of the tournament, Calimeri was an 11-6 winner over 17-seeded Austin Hall from Section V small school powerhouse Canisteo-Greenwood to earn 7th place in NYS Div. II. Carmine’s place finish is the 26th all-time in Trojans program history and he ends the 2022-2023 campaign with a 39-7 overall record.
Chautauqua Lake junior **Jordan Joslyn** captured the 126-pound Division II NYS title cruising through the bracket as the 7-seed in the weight class, the lowest seed of any of the twenty-six 2023 state champions.
Joslyn pinned in his first match before seriously raising some eyebrows with a technical fall over 2-seeded Waylan Winseman from Honeoye Falls-Lima (V) in the quarters. A semifinal victory, 2-0, over returning NYS 5th place winner and 3-seeded Trevor Cortright from Chenango Valley (IV) landed Joslyn a spot in the in final against the two-time NYS champion Gianni Silvestri from Tioga.
In the final, Joslyn built an impressive 4-1 lead by the end of the 1st period and led 6-2 late in the third period, ultimately holding on to win 6-4 for the NYS title. Joslyn was also awarded as the Division II tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.
Joslyn is Chautauqua Lake’s second ever NYS champion and along with five other teammates in Albany and place winner John Watson at 152-pounds helped lead the Thunderbirds to a 5th place team finish in the final small school individual team standings.
For more on Joslyn’s state tournament please visit the link below via WNY Athletics:
Two Newfane Panthers sophomores occupied state place finishes on the Div. II 132-pound podium on Saturday night.
Two-time returning NYS place winner **Aidan Gillings** earned the 2-seed in the weight class and cruised through his first three opponents in electrifying fashion on the way to the final, all by way of pin. After a pre-quarterfinal pin, ‘Gilly’ earned a thirty second fall over Schalmont’s (II) Dylan Devine in the quarters. In the semifinal, Aidan forced a defensive pin over Canastota’s (III) 6-seeded senior Cully Bellino, who had taken out the 3-seed returning NYS place winner in the quarterfinal.
One of the better small school finals of the tournament featured two, two-time returning NYS place winners as Gilly would meet up with Mt. Sinai (XI) junior Brayden Fahrbach, a 2022 NYS tournament finalist.
Fahrbach earned the first points of the title match shortly into the first period but Aidan responded with an escape for a 2-1 score at the end of two minutes. Gillings choose bottom to start the second, but Fahrbach was able to get near fall points and not allow an escape or reversal by Gillings for two minutes to take a 4-1 lead into the final two minutes.
About a minute into the last period, Gillings earned a reversal but Fahrbach countered with his own to hold a 6-3 lead. One final escape for Aidan made it 6-4, but Fahrbach was able to hold on for the win from neutral to end the match.
Gilly became the 4th different Newfane wrestler to reach the NYS tournament final while helping to lead the Panthers to an 11th place finish in the final team standings. Aidan has placed in all three of his first NYS tournament appearances thus far in his career. Gilly also finishes the season with a 47-5 record.
Newfane’s **Ayden Buttery** also earned a top-6 place finish in Albany over the weekend. Buttery opened as the 7-seed in the bracket and met Schalmont’s Devine in the pre-quarter but fell by a close 4-3 decision.
In the consolation matches, Buttery would battle to three straight decision wins on the way to the consolation semifinal.
Ayden was first a 4-0 winner over Duanseburg/Schoharie’s (II) Scott Nicolella. Then, a big showdown with Tioga’s 3-seeded returning NYS 5th place winner Tyler Roe was next for Buttery in the Saturday morning blood round.
Down 3-0 with only a minute to go in the 3rd period, Buttery earned a point for stalling by Roe, then got an escape to make it 3-2. A takedown with less than fifteen seconds left gave Buttery a 4-3 lead that he would hold onto through the final whistle of the match. Buttery’s win over Roe guaranteed a top-8 finish for Ayden’s first appearance at the state tournament.
A second matchup with Devine in the consolation quarters gave Buttery a 5-3 decision win before falling to returning NYS 7th place winner Jazz Spaulding from Honeoye Falls-Lima in the consolation semifinal.
In the 5th place match, Buttery met Lowville’s (III) Patrick Grimsey but fell by a 4-2 decision to land a 6th place NYS Division II place finish.
Buttery is Newfane’s 16th different NYS place winner and made sure of it early on Saturday with the blood round victory and ends this season with a 42-8 record. Ayden also ensured a third straight NYS tournament of three or more Newfane place winners in the same championship.
Falconer senior **Austin Chase** battled through a solid 145-pound bracket to earn a top-7 place finish in NYS.
Chase opened as the 6-seed in the bracket and earned a first period pin over Pearl River’s (I) Aidan Veirun in the pre-quarterfinal round. The quarterfinal match put Chase against outstanding Section II champion and returning NYS 4th place winner Owen Hicks from Fonda-Fultonville/Johnstown. Chase pushed Hicks, but ultimately fell by decision, 6-3, to drop to the consolation bracket.
A Saturday morning blood round match with Section IV finalist and 10-seed Owen Emmick landed Chase a 5-0 decision victory to guarantee a podium placement.
A consolation quarterfinal loss to Copenhagen’s (III) returning NYS 8th place winner Tavian Camper would put Chase in the 7th place match for his final bout as a Golden Falcon.
Finally, Austin would go on to defeat Eagle Academy’s (PSAL) Vakramogo Dosso to finish 7th in NYS Division II 145-pounds.
Chase’s place finish is the 25th different NYS placement in Golden Falcons history, and the team’s first since 2019 whereas they went without one in 2020 and 2022 (no tournament in 2021). Austin finishes his senior season with a 49-5 overall record after having also been a part of three NYS Dual Meet tournament appearances (2019, 2020, 2022) with Falconer including the 2020 NYS Division II championship squad where had a crucial pin to start the title match against Mt. Sinai.
Chautauqua Lake junior **John Watson** earned a NYS top-6 finish for the Thunderbirds in Albany.
As the 7-seed in the bracket, Watson opened with a 3-2 decision over Camden’s (III) Sean Seymore in the pre-quarterfinal. A loss to Gouverneur’s (X) returning 4th place winner Vandavian Way sent Watson to the consolation blood round to meet Palmyra-Macedon’s (V) Gage Burgess.
A 7-4 victory over Burgess on Saturday morning would ensure a NYS place finish at least two place winners for Chautauqua Lake.
In the consolation semifinal, Watson met Eagle Academy 4-seed Devone Bogie but fell in that match to ultimately land in the 5th place bout.
John’s tournament would end with a loss to Canisteo-Greenwood’s Beau Zeh to earn him a 6th place finish in NYS Division II at 152-pounds.
With teammate Jordan Joslyn reaching the semi and then final at 126, Watson’s place finish helped set a new Thunderbirds program milestone with two state place winners in the same year. Two place winners and six total competitors helped land a 5th place team finish for the T-Birds. Four of the six CL state tournament wrestlers will return next season which will amount to critical power points as the Thunderbirds hope to have another shot at the small school dual meet state title.
Watson finishes the season with a 40-8 overall record and also won the Section VI Div. II title.
Southwestern freshman **Tavio Hoose** opened as the 6-seed in the weight class on the way to the small school 172-pound NYS title.
After missing placing in 2022, Tavio cruised to the 2023 state final with three straight decisions over seniors in the pre-quarter, quarterfinal, and semifinals.
In the final, Tavio would meet 4-seeded Cold Spring Harbor (VIII) sophomore Greyson Meak, who took down the 8-seed who had already taken down the 1-seed on the top side of the bracket.
Down one point with less than twenty seconds remaining, Hoose was able to take a final shot and secure the takedown with only three seconds left in the title bout for 172-pound NYS title.
Tavio became the 4th different NYS champion in Trojans program history and joined older brothers Mason, Giuseppe, and Dontae as the 4th NYS place winner in the family.
For more on Hoose’s state tournament please visit the link below via WNY Athletics:
Maple Grove junior **Matt Trim** captured a top-8 place finish for the Red Dragons as the 11-seed in the bracket.
Trim started out with an opening round pin over Horace Mann’s (AIS) Ivan Dolphan to advance to the pre-quarter.
A narrow 3-0 loss to 6-seed Brent Perry from Granville/Ft. Ann (II) sent Trim to the consolation bracket. Perry went on to defeat the 3, 4, and 1-seeds on the way to 3rd place in the weight class.
In the consolation, Trim dominated his first three opponents, where a loss in any of those matches would mean elimination from the tournament. Trim was a major decision winner over South Seneca’s (V) Dakota Stewart, then a winner by pin in thirty-three seconds over Port Jervis’s Maddox McCormick to advance to the blood round.
Another pin, this time over the 7-seed Mateo Goodhue from Oneonta (IV) guaranteed a podium finish for Trim. Behind 8-7, Matt earned an escape and takedown in the third period with less than a minute remaining to take a 10-8 lead before getting the match sealing pin.
A loss to Dolgeville’s (III) Jared Bilinski would land Trim in the 7th place match, ultimately settling for 8th place with a 6-2 decision loss to Oxford/Greene’s (IV) Hunter Page.
With a 45-5 season record, a Section VI title, and a state tournament place finish, Trim is already set up nicely going into the 2023-2024 season.
Iroquois junior star athlete **Trevor Barry** improved on his 5th place finish from 2022 with a 3rd place NYS finish this weekend in the Albany, the only such placement amongst all WNY entries.
As the 4-seed in the weight class, Barry earned pins in each of his first two matches including over the 5-seed Caden Allen from Bolivar-Richburg (V) in the quarterfinal.
In the semifinal Barry would meet returning NYS champion and West Point commit Sam Sorenson from Homer (III). Sorenson was able to hang on to a 4-0 decision in a matchup two of NY’s elite heavyweight high school athletes.
In the consolation semifinal, Barry earned an impressive pin over Windsor’s (IV) returning 6th place NYS finisher Garrett Bidwell to earn a spot in the 215-pound Div. II bronze match.
Barry was able to take down another returning NYS place winner with a 6-3 decision win over Port Jervis’s Matthew Oosterom for 3rd place in the weight class.
Barry finishes the season with a second straight NYS tournament place finish and a 26-2 overall record. Trevor’s place finish is the 27th total in Chiefs program history and the 13th total top-3 finish in team history as well.
Looking ahead to next season, five of the top-8 place winners at 215 in Div. II graduate this spring as well as six of the top-8 at 189, suggesting Barry should likely be considered a heavy early favorite in the race for a state title going into his senior season should he be back at weight or even up at 285-pounds.
Wilson sophomore and sectional finalist **Hamza Merrick** quickly became a fan favorite in Albany as his style and preference for high flying neutral moves caught the attention of MVP Arena.
Hamza started as the 7-seed in the weight class and earned a 14-6 major decision over Locust Valley’s (VIII) Charles Kelly to move on and meet Bolivar-Richburg’s 2-seed and returning state finalist Trent Sibble in the quarterfinal.
Merrick fell by a close 5-0 decision to Sibble to fall into the consolation bracket.
An 8-2 decision over Palmyra-Macedon’s Luke Herendeen in the Saturday blood round ensured a state place finish for Merrick. In the following round, Section III champion Collin White from Adirondack would earn a 7-0 decision over Hamza, sending the Lakeman to the 7th place match.
A loss to 5-seeded Waverly (IV) sophomore Kam Hills would ultimately land Hamza an 8th place finish in NYS Division II 285-pounds.
Merrick’s state tournament place finish is only the 3rd in Wilson Wrestling history, and the first since Matt King’s 4th place finish in 2008. Hamza also smashed the program’s individual season wins record with a 43-6 overall record in 2022-2023.
**Non-placing Section VI competitors**
102: Dylan Newman (Falconer/Cassadaga Valley)
110: Kenji Walters (Southwestern)
110: Dominick Callara (Medina)
118: Victor Cusatis (Wilson)
126: Blake Hageman (Lake Shore)
138: Xander Kirsch (Pioneer)
138: Martin Ohlsson (Chautauqua Lake)
145: Trent Burchanowski (Chautauqua Lake)
152: Alex Schiffhauer (Iroquois)
160: Jacob Stephenson (Wilson)
160: Brodie Little (Falconer/Cassadaga Valley)
172: Brady Heckathorn (Pioneer)
189: Mason Maring (Chautauqua Lake)
215: Ison Shirley (Chautauqua Lake)
285: Ryan Carpenter (Randolph)
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