Ranked WNY teams battled one another and a host of powerful Section V squads all weekend long. Falconer and Iroquois flexed their muscles in winning individual tournament team titles in Athens, PA and Portville, respectively. A handful of other squads went out of section to places like Penfield, Batavia, and Lyndonville. Overall, WNY squads had a quality weekend of wrestling. Some teams already dealing with injuries will try to regroup as we close in on just over a month until the Section VI Dual Meet Championship.
14th Annual Cheektowaga Warrior Duals (Saturday, 12/8/2018)
The defending Section V large school champion Spencerport Rangers rolled into town on Saturday and stormed to the tournament title for the second straight year. In pool action, the Rangers earned dual wins over Cheektowaga, Hamburg, Lake Shore, and Chautauqua Lake. In the second pool, Niagara Wheatfield earned wins over Webster-Schroeder (V), St. Joe’s, and Frontier. In the first place match the Rangers got the best of the Falcons 50-22. In consolation matches Webster beat Hamburg for third, St. Joe’s took down Lake Shore for fifth, and Frontier beat Chautauqua Lake for 7th place. In pool action, WNY #9 small school Lake Shore trailed #5 Chautauqua Lake with only three bouts left. In those three bouts the Eagles earned a major decision, pin, and a decision win from sectional finalist Julian Martin in the last match of the dual to upset the Thunderbirds 34-33.
Hillcrest Company Pioneer Duals (Friday, 12/7-Saturday, 12/8/2018)
The Pioneer Duals featured four WNY ranked teams and possibly the best large school team in the state in Section V’s Hilton Cadets. In the marquee match of the weekend WNY #1 small school Pioneer defended home turf against #4 Fredonia, 42-36. Both squads were without at least one key piece as Fredonia’s state tournament wildcard Giovanni Russo was out of the lineup and Pioneer was forced to forfeit at 195-pounds missing an athlete from the lineup. Tied 36-36 at the last bout, freshman Dan Kirsch earned a pin to seal the victory for the Panthers. Hilton was first in the team standings with a 7-0 tournament record. Pioneer was second with a 6-1 record and earned wins over Fredonia, #7 big school West Seneca West, and #6 small school Newfane. Fredonia and Newfane both finished 4-3 overall. Newfane earned a 40-39 victory over West for the Panthers second victory over the Indians in a week. Dave Recor recorded his 200th career victory as head coach of the Indians during the tournament.
Jon Vesper Memorial Duals (Saturday, 12/8/2018)
Clarence hosted and won the tough 2018 Jon Vesper Memorial Duals with a 5-0 dual record on the day. The #6 Red Devils earned wins over #4 Grand Island, #8 Amherst, #9 St. Francis and talented Section V squads Pittsford and Perry. The tournament was very evenly matched with many close team scores. Clarence defeated Pittsford for first place in a back and forth 43-39 win. St. Francis senior and CHSAA tournament runner-up Nolan Thomas was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler posting a 5-0 record on the day. The Red Raiders were without CHSAA champion Dominik Thomas this weekend. Following the team’s final win of the day over Perry, 54-30, Clarence head wrestling coach Jason Chase said “The team always seems to step up for the Jon Vesper Duals. None of these wrestlers knew Jon but they know that we take a lot of pride in performing well in his honor and that’s exactly what they did this weekend. They stepped up and found a way to get it done in tight matches.”
44th Annual Portville Invitational Wrestling Tournament (Saturday, 12/8/2018)
WNY #3 Iroquois ran away with the team title at one of WNY’s longest running scholastic wrestling tournaments. Four Chiefs won individual titles and three more were runner-up at their weights. With the support of consolation round points, Iroquois earned 273 team points to outpace runner-up Liverpool (Sec. III) who finished with 219.5. The host #7 Panthers finished in fourth place less than ten points behind Bolivar-Richburg (V). Jake Jozwiak, Tyler Barry, Jake Vergien, and Cory Day were the Chief’s champions. Franklinville’s Cleon Lawton was a champion at 170-pounds and Frewsburg’s Nick Marsh was the 182-pound champion. Cattaraugus-Little Valley’s standout senior Sam Grey earned a 6-1 decision win over Portville’s young star Dakota Mascho to take the 152-pound tournament championship. Grey was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.
Starpoint Spartan Duals (Saturday, 12/8/2018)
The #3 Niagara Falls Wolverines won their second dual meet tournament in as many weeks with a championship at Starpoint. Falls went 5-0 on the day with wins over Kenmore West/East, Barker/Royalton-Hartland, Williamsville South, Maple Grove, and # 10 Starpoint to push the season record to 14-0. In the first place dual with Starpoint, Falls gutted out a 47-27 win against the full lineup and well-rounded Spartan squad. The score was nearly identical to the 49-30 win the Wolverines posted against Starpoint in Tonawanda in week one. Starpoint senior Sam Stoelting was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler with a 5-0 record on the day.
52nd Annual Penfield Hunter Holiday Tournament (Saturday, 12/8/2018)
Three WNY teams traveled to Penfield on Saturday to compete in the classic tournament named in honor of the Penfield Patriot’s first wrestling coach Jack Hunter who started the program in 1959. Williamsville North/East crowned two champions in 7th grader Cameron Catabrone at 99-pounds and sophomore 126-pound champion Mike Catanzaro. Catabrone was a winner by pin over Lancaster’s Michael Schaefer. Catanzaro earned four wins on the day including three pins (one being in the final) and a decision win to capture the 126-pound title. Lancaster’s Ryan Stencel and Codie Scotland were both runners-up at 160 and 195-pounds, respectively. In a battle of sectional champions and state place winners, Tonawanda’s Zach Braddell lost a close 5-3 decision to Devin Woodworth from Section IV’s Horseheads in the tournament semifinals. Braddell went on to place 3rd at 138-pounds. Lancaster’s Myles Gronowski and Bryce Bolognese were 3rd place finishers at their weights as well. The #2 Legends placed fifth in the team standings.
St. Mary’s Lancer Duals (Saturday, 12/8/2018)
East Aurora, St. Mary’s, Maryvale, and Albion wrestled one another in different team vs. team matchups so that all teams wrestled five duals each. East Aurora was the tournament champion with a win over Albion and two wins over both St. Mary’s and Maryvale on the day. Blue Devil senior Johnny Putney was the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.
45th Annual Batavia Christmas Tournament
Canisius senior Matt Baldwin continued his great start with a tournament championship at 160-pounds and was named tournament Most Outstanding Wrestler. Canisius placed fourth overall and had two wrestlers in Josh Kracker and Braydon Vandenburg take second at their weights. Lewiston-Porter’s Caden Barrientos was runner-up at 99-pounds and Lockport 8th grader Kevin Daskavitz fell to Baldwin in the 160-pound final. Alden also represented Section VI in Batavia.
SGI Duals (Saturday, 12/8/2018)
Saturday was #5 big school Olean’s first tournament action of the season. The Huskies won the event with a 5-0 dual record earning wins over Gowanda, Lackawanna, North Tonawanda, Randolph, and Eden. Eden was the runner-up team with only one loss to Olean. The Raiders earned an impressive eighteen-point win over #8 small school Randolph 48-30. In two dual tournaments in the first two weeks of the season, Eden has shown up and challenged the competition each time even in losses. Head coach Tom Page may have his scrappy Raiders in line to win the ECIC III title by season’s end.
14th Annual Harold Jarvis Memorial Wrestling Tournament (Saturday, 12/8/2018)
#2 Falconer made its annual trip to Athens, PA at the meeting point of the Chemung and Susquehanna Rivers and cruised to the team title outpacing second place State College, PA 231.5 to 190 points. Three Golden Falcons in Brayden Newman, Jimmy Kramer, and Nick Saeger won tournament titles while seven more ‘Falcons placed top four. Falconer was without Section VI champion Robbie Penhollow and still dominated the field.
Fred Large Memorial Wrestling Tournament (Saturday, 12/8/2018)
Depew/Cleveland Hilll crowned three individual champions in placing second in the team standings behind only Livonia/Wayland-Cohocton (V). Brothers Carson and Michael Alberti won the 106 and 113-pound weight class titles and Magd Asbtani won the 145-pound title for the Wildcats who are off to a surprisingly good start this season. Carson was also recognized for the fastest pin and teammate Griffin Sirdevan was the tournament’s aggregate pinner. Akron’s Travis Fry was the 99-pound champion and Tiger teammate Millard Young pinned all four of his opponents in winning the 195-pound title. Medina’s Colby Petrie was the sixth Section VI winner at 126-pounds. Petrie was the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler for the lower weights. CSAT, St. Joe’s, and Gow School competed as well.
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