WNY Athletics

Weekend Wrestling Round-Up: Week 6

The annual Niagara Frontier Wrestling Officials Association tournament held at Niagara County Community College was the weekend’s marquee event as 38 teams battled over the two-day grinder. The event featured numerous state tournament level bouts and dozens more high level head to head matches that will be sure to affect post season seedings. Area teams attended only four other events this weekend in tournaments at Ripley, Red Jacket (V), Alexander (V), and Meadville, PA.

39th Annual NFWOA Classic (Fri 1/4 Sat 1/5/2019)

WNY’s #1 small school and #3 state ranked Falconer Golden Falcons crowned a champion and won the tournament team title by over twenty points with a total of 205.5. Ten Golden Falcons placed and defending Section VI champion Robbie Penhollow won the 182-pound title with a commanding 7-0 decision over St. Francis’s two-time CHSAA champion Dominik Thomas in the final.

“It was a good weekend for us” stated Falconer head coach Drew Wilcox after the win. “The guys competed hard. It wasn’t perfect but I was really happy with the effort. We need to continue to progress or we will not hit our team and individual goals.”

WNY #1 large school Niagara Wheatfield was the tournament runner up with 181 points. Three Falcons won tournament championships. Two-time NYS finalist Justin McDougald defeated Tonawanda’s two-time NYS place winner Zach Braddell 2-1 in the dramatic 132-pound final featuring two of New York state’s top wrestlers. Braddell faced off with Webster-Schroeder’s (V) state tournament wildcard Luke Lupisella in the semifinal and was a 3-0 winner. Two-time NYS placer Warren McDougald won the 145-pound title in a 5-3 decision over East Aurora’s Section VI champion Johnny Putney in what was probably the tournament’s most exciting bout. In the path to the final Putney needed overtime to defeat Churchville-Chili’s (V) Ty Raines, a defending NYS place winner. Fellow Wheatfield sectional champ Josh Thibeault was a winner by an 11-10 decision to win the 170-pound title.

#2 large school Niagara Falls was third in the team scoring. Defending NYS champion Willie McDougald earned a major decision, tech fall, and three pins including an impressive second period fall in the final to win the 138-pound tournament title. Grand Island crowned two champions in state tournament wildcard Adam Daghestani at 160-pounds who effectively thrashed the competition earning five pins in one minute and twenty seconds or less to also take home the Aggregate Pinner Award. The Vikings’ Blake Bielec used a quick reversal to catch St. Francis’s Nolan Thomas after trailing only moments before to earn a third period pin and the 220-pound title. Lancaster also had two champions. Nick Barberio was a winner by major decision 11-1 to win the 120-pound bracket and two-time Section VI champion Ryan Stencel gutted out a tough 6-2 win against Eden’s Giovanni Schifano for the 152-pound title.

Williamsville North’s 7th grade star Cam Catrabone continued his impressive rookie season by earning a 2-0 decision in the 99-pound final over Newfane’s defending sectional champion and state placer Andy Lucinski. Catrabone earned the Ilio DiPaulo Most Outstanding Wrestler Award for his tournament performance. Gowanda’s undefeated David Ball continued his outstanding season with a dominating 9-0 major decision in the 106-pound final. Clarence’s two-time Section VI champion Aiden Rabideau earned the 126-pound title in what was perhaps the event’s deepest weight class. Akron’s Millard Young upset the top seed in Orchard Park’s Mike Pataky in the 195-pound final to win the weight class. Finally, Newfane’s Jaden Heers handed Amherst’s Ryan Bitka his first loss of the season on the way to winning the 285-pound NFWOA title. Heers was the bracket’s third seeded wrestler.

The tournament seeding crew and criteria were nearly perfect as all fifteen number one seeds advanced to the Saturday night final at NCCC. Eleven of the number two seeds also advanced to their weight class final. Three number three seeds and one tenth seeded wrestler advanced to their finals as well.

26th Annual Ripley Invitational Wrestling Tournament (Sat 1/5/2019)

Fredonia crowned four individual champs and won the tournament team title as well. Two-time Section VI champion Dalton Gardner, state tournament wildcard Giovani Russo, Cole Golembieski, and Cedric Kristan all won their brackets for the WNY #4 small school Hillbillies who rolled to the team title with 236 points. #10 big school St. Joe’s trailed with 214.5 points and outpaced #6 small school Chautauqua Lake who ended with 208.5. The Hillbillies had four runners-up and a third place finisher as well.

Winning tournament titles for the Marauders were Matt Werts at 195-pounds and Caleb Lesswing at 285-pounds. Two more ‘Joe’s wrestlers placed second, two more were third, and one Marauder finished in fourth place. Chautauqua Lake placed third as a team and had three individual champions while three more were runners-up. Trent Burchanowski was the 106-pound champion for the Thunderbirds while Brendon Rowe and Austin Bourgeois won the 126 and 132-pound titles, respectively. Williamsville South placed fourth in the team standings and had a champion in top seeded Jaden Friel. Friel pinned all three of his opponents on the day in earning the 113-pound Ripley title. Maple Grove’s returning sectional finalist Luke Tomlinson pinned all three of his opponents on the day including a second period pin in the final over Chautauqua Lake’s Hunter Harris, also a sectional place winner in 2017-2018. Tomlinson earned the tournament Outstanding Wrestler Award.

Red Jacket Invitational Wrestling Tournament @ Red Jacket H.S. (V), Shortsville, NY (Sat 1/5/2019)

WNY #8 small school Portville traveled two hours to Shortsville, NY for the annual Red Jacket Invite. The Panthers took fifth in the thirteen team field and had one champion in Dakota Mascho at 152-pounds. Mascho (season record 26-3) defeated Irondequoit’s Section V placer Derek Woodall 7-3 in the final. Kirkland Hall, Roland Thompson, and Jayden Lassiter were runners-up for the Panthers. Portville placed six other wrestlers 3rd– 6th places.

Tool City Tournament @ Meadville, PA (Fri 1/4 – Sat 1/5/2019)

Olean traveled two hours west to the other side of the Allegheny Forest to compete in one of northwestern Pennsylvania’s toughest individual tournaments. The WNY #5 Huskies placed fourteenth out of twenty-five teams. The powerful Brockway Area H.S. (PA) team edged the #11 PA Class AA ranked team Penns Valley 178 to 176 for the team title.

Individually the Huskies placed seven wrestlers. Gavin Kulp was the runner-up at 145-pounds. State tournament place winner Pat Walsh was third at 182-pounds and state wildcard Nick Bierfeldt was seventh at 132. Devan Moore and Conner Walsh were both fifth at 170 and 195-pounds, respectively. Tanner Hulse was the sixth place finisher at 220-pounds and Nate Gabler earned eighth at 113-pounds.

Alexander Green & Gold Wrestling Tournament @ Alexander (V) H.S. (Sat 1/5/2019)

Wrestlers from Albion and St. Mary’s of Lancaster represented the area at Alexander’s annual round robin style tournament. Winning tournament titles for Albion were Jessy Cruz at 170-pounds and Cody Wilson at 285-pounds. Wilson earned the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler Award for the upper weights.


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