After a brutal Week 7 dual meet schedule, area teams took advantage of one of the last remaining weekends of non-post season wrestling to rack up matches and head to head wins. The Eastern States Classic at Sullivan County Community College stole the attention of wrestling fans everywhere. Meanwhile, local teams battled from Falconer to Albion and Canandaigua to Lockport as post-season competition looms.
19th Annual Patrick J. Morales Memorial Wrestling Tournament @ Falconer (Fri 1/11 – Sat 1/12/2019)
Another tournament, another team title for the WNYA #1 Golden Falcons. Falconer won the team title named in honor of the late brother of assistant coach Dan Morales by 33 points over second place regional Pennsylvania rival Eisenhower. In winning the team title two Falcons earned first place in their weights: Brayden Newman at 99-pounds and Jimmy Kramer at 138. Section champion Robbie Penhollow lost his only match of the season to Austin Hinzman from Coventry, Ohio in the final. Two more Golden Falcons earned runner-up finishes and head coach Drew Wilcox placed fourteen total wrestlers 1st through 6th places. WNYA #6 Chautauqua Lake earned fourth place in the team standings and had a champion in Derek Ecklund at 145-pounds. Three other Thunderbird finalists earned second place honors. Maple Grove finished seventh in the team scoring and sectional finalist Luke Tomlinson fell in the 120-pound final. Cheektowaga finished just ahead of Randolph and had a champion in top seeded Tyler Le at 126-pounds. Randolph crowned one champion as well in Mason Pagett at 285-pounds. Cattaraugus-Little Valley’s Sam Grey was a champion at 152-pounds.
53rd Annual Niagara-Orleans All-League Wrestling Championships @Albion (Sat 1/12/2019)
Newfane wrapped up their sixth straight N-O dual meet title and league undefeated season (30-0 against N-O opponents in that time) this week by cruising to the league tournament team title and crowning seven champions. Defending Section VI champion and state place winner Andy Lucinski was the 99-pound champion for the Panthers followed by Adam Huntington at 106. Josh Gill won the 120-pound title for Newfane. Nick Voelker, Ryan Nugent, and Phil Stevenson won titles at 132, 138, and 145-pounds successively. Ty Casinelli was the final Newfane winner in the 285-pound bracket against teammate Jaden Heers, 3-2. Akron was second in the team scoring and crowned two champions in Timothy Longwell at 182 and last weekend’s NFWOA champion Millard Young at 195-pounds. Albion was third overall but had a trio of champions. Amilicar Morales was the 113-pound champion, Jesse Cruz the 170-pound champion, and Bryce Kelly the 220-pound champion for the Purple Eagles. Barker/Royalton-Hartland, Wilson, and Medina finished 4, 5, and 6 in the team scoring and each had one champion. B/RH’s Andrew Schafer was the 152-pound N-O tournament champion; Trent Kenny was Wilson’s champion at 160-pounds; and Colby Petrie was the 126-pound champion for the Mustangs.
Robert Bradshaw Invitational @ Canandaigua Academy (V) (Fri 1/11 – Sat 1/12/2019)
Pioneer placed fifth as a team in the twenty-four team field and had two individual champions at the historic 44th Annual Bradshaw Invite. ECIC champion Daniel Kirsch won the 113-pound Bradshaw title after a dominating 5-0 performance earning three pins and two major decisions including an 11-3 major in the final over Horseheads (IV) sectional place winner Tommy Dale. Kirsch is 31-3 this season. Also winning a tournament title was defending Section VI champion and state placer Mike Rigerman. Rigerman pinned his first three opponents before winning a 5-1 decision over Webster-Thomas’s (V) Sean Howlett in the semifinal. In the 220-pound final, Rigerman maintained his perfect record earning a 4-1 overtime decision over defending Section IV Division II champion Lucas Scott from Chenango Forks. Teammate Ather Phommatha fell in the 138-pound final to former NYS finalist John Worthing from Tioga (IV). Eight total Panthers placed at the event.
26th Annual Lockport Boosters and Sunrise Optimists Invitational Wrestling Tournament (Fri 1/11 – Sat 1/12/2019)
Three of the top four scoring teams came from Section V for the two-day event which featured wrestlers representing twenty teams. Spencerport (V) rolled to the tournament title outscoring second place Grand Island by 59.5 points and crowning five champions with two runners-up. The Vikings were the highest scoring area team and had two champions. Adam Daghestani won the 160-pound title defeating Spencerport’s Dexter Craig in the final, 11-7. Daghestani, a wildcard to the NYS tournament last season, remains undefeated this year with a perfect 37-0 record. Fellow state representative and sectional champion Connor Kenney earned a fall to win the 182-pound Lockport title. A total of seven Vikings placed. Fredonia had one champion in state tournament representative Giovani Russo at 132-pounds. In a final of two of the tournament’s most experienced wrestlers, defending Section V champion Mason Wersinger from Spencerport got the best of Fredonia’s two-time Section VI champion Dalton Gardner at 138-pounds, 9-3. Seven Hillbillies placed to help the team to a fifth place finish. Clarence finished sixth in the team standings but without a champion. Two-time sectional champion Aiden Rabideau lost only his second match of the season, 5-1, to Fairport’s (V) Section V finalist Austin Sergeant. Sergeant earned the Outstanding Wrestler Award. Other area winners include Depew/Cleveland Hill’s Carson Alberti who was a winner by major decision, 13-4, over Section V sectional place winner Dom Vinci from Spencerport. After losing his only match of the season last weekend, Amherst’s Ryan Bitka won the 285-pound tournament title on a 5-1 decision over St. Joe’s standout Caleb Lesswing in the final.
17th Annual Eastern States Classic @ Sullivan County C.C., Loch Sheldrake, NY (Fri 1/11 – Sat 1/12/2019)
One of the northeast’s toughest high school wrestling tournaments attracted over 200 wrestlers from nine states. Area wrestlers from East Aurora, Lancaster, Iroquois, St. Joe’s, Niagara Wheatfield, and Niagara Falls made the near five-hour journey to south of the Catskills. Wheatfield’s three-time Section VI champion and two-time NYS finalist Justin McDougald won the 132-pound weight class and added a shining accomplishment to his resume. Eastern States placement is regarded so highly that it has become a factor in seeding the New York state tournament each year. Niagara Falls’ defending NYS champion Willie McDougald made the final at 138-pounds and took on Eastport-South Manor’s (XI) 4x NYS champion, 5x time NYS finalist and Arizona State commit Adam Busiello. In perhaps the tournament’s most impressive final, McDougald fell to Busiello 3-2 but not after taking a magnificent low single leg shot to end up in a wild, dramatic, scrambling finish. Busiello had to do everything he could to literally ‘hold on’ to McDougald’s leg and avoid being taken down with just under 30 seconds left in the bout. A NYS finals rematch between McDougald and Busiello could be something to look forward to from now until February 23rd. Lancaster’s two-time sectional champion Ryan Stencel earned 7th place at 152-pounds. Wheatfield’s Warren McDougald was 8th at 145-pounds and also earned his 200th career varsity win. East Aurora senior Johnny Putney missed placing, but recorded his 200th career win at Eastern States as well.
Williamsville North Spartan Invitational Wrestling Tournament (Sat 1/12/2019)
A tough Iroquois Chiefs squad was able to win the team title even without Cory Day and Jake Vergien who were competing at Eastern States. The Chiefs outpaced second place St. Francis 168.5 to 163.5. Niagara Falls finished third and without Willie McDougald, also at Eastern States. Donovan Bukaczeski and Michael Schiffhauer both earned pins in their final matches to win the 106 and 113-pound Spartan titles, respectively, for Iroquois. Three more Chiefs fell in finals matches. St. Francis had three champions in brothers Dominik and Nolan Thomas at 182 and 220-pounds, respectively, and Eric Schon in the 285-pound weight class. Dominik Thomas earned his 200th career victory at the tournament as well, the first Red Raider to do so. Falls crowned two champions in Mike Snowden at 120-pounds, who gutted out a tough 5-3 win over Iroquois’s Ryan Sweeney in the final. Fellow Wolverine Joe Dixon was also a decision winner, 6-4, over Frontier standout Dylan Wojciechowski at 170-pounds. The host Spartans had a pair of champions as well. 7th grade star Cam Catrabone earned another tournament title at 99-pounds with a dominating 15-2 major decision in the final. Catrabone is already 27-1 in his rookie season. Teammate Mike Catanzaro was able to take down Hamburg’s Dylan Collins, 6-5, in the final in what has become a season-long rivalry between the two. Hamburg’s Devin Collins, however, was able to win the 138-pound title with a quality win over St. Francis’s Slade Merck, 7-3. Tonawanda’s two-time state place winner Zach Braddell won the 132-pound Spartan title with a 7-2 decision over tough Chief grappler Tyler Barry in the final. Gowanda’s Dominik Rodriguez earned the 145-pound title by way of a pin the final match. Eden’s Giovanni Schifano was impressive in earning a pin in the finals to win the 152-pound Spartan title. Lake Shore’s Luciano Sciarrino was the 160-pound champion and Orchard Park’s ECIC champion Mike Pataky won the 195-pound bracket.
51st Annual Franklinville Invitational Wrestling Tournament (Sat 1/12/2019)
Franklinville hosted their traditional invitational. Portville won the team title in commanding fashion by 73.5 points over runner-up Olean, 267.5 to 194. The upper weight finals featured some really quality bouts. Portville had two champions and five total finalists. Bryan Randolph was Portville’s 99-pound champion. Freshman Dakota Mascho had another impressive outing beating Olean’s Gavin Kulp 4-1 for the 152-pound Franklinville title. Mascho is now 27-3 on the season with two of those losses to the same opponent. Olean had seven total finalists but only three champions. Nate Gabler was the 113-pound tournament champion for the Huskies. Icar Simon pinned all three of his day’s opponents to win the 160-pound Franklinville title. Connor Walsh continued his outstanding season with a tournament title in the 195-pound bracket. The host team placed fifth in the standings had a trio of champions. 126-pound Nolan Palmatier won the tournament title and in doing so became the third generation of wrestlers in his family to win their school’s event. Nolan’s uncle Dave and grandfather David Palmatier, Sr were also Franklinville Invite champions. Panther teammates Cleon Lawton and Kyle Wittenrich won the tournament’s 170 and 182-pound brackets, respectively. East Aurora’s Joplin Hess won the 138-pound title and Maryvale’s Nick Freyburger won the 120-pound Franklinville title.
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