WNY Athletics

WNY Wrestling Weekend Roundup Three

Area match & tournament results and notes for the fourth weekend of high school wrestling (Friday, 12/20 – Saturday, 12/21).


Friday, December 20th

Brookville, PA 34 – Falconer 24

The visiting Raiders nipped the Golden Falcons in their Friday night showdown. Even though these towns are about two hours apart, the Brookville/Falconer match has become something of an annual rivalry between two perennial powerhouses. The gymnasium was packed with alumni and fans of both teams as Falconer also honored 2019 NYS champion Robbie Penhollow for his football and wrestling accomplishments as well as current senior Bryce Baglia’s state champion 4x400m relay track team. With the packed gym and the classic mat light illuminating the center of the gym, the atmosphere set the stage for a true Southern Tier wrestling experience.

The Falconer coaching staff knew they would need a little bit of magic to beat the powerful Brookville squad, even knowing that they would be accepting two forfeits. Karsen DePasquale went out first at 126-pounds for Falconer, falling by major decision 12-0 but in doing so set a nice tone for the home team as Brookville was expecting a pin from Brayden Kunselman who is a rising start in Pennsylvania. The Golden Falcons would win three of the next four weights courtesy of Joey Pillittieri, Even Phanco, and Bryce Baglia, all by decision. However, matches in which Falcons had leads were lost by decision at 160 and 170. After John Kozlowski accepted a forfeit at 182, Brock Johnson defeated 2018 King of the Mountain placewinner Elliot Park, 8-6. Collin Beichner saved his team a point at 220, while teammate Colin Mower fought hard against nationally ranked University of Pittsburgh commit Colby Whitehill at 285. Whitehill cost his team a critical point after the bout was over that helped give Falconer hope. Falconer elected to honor Brookville’s lack of a 99-pounder with a double forfeit as 99 isn’t utilized in PA along the lines of the NFHS weight classes. After Brayden Newman accepted a forfeit at 106, Brookville won the final two bouts of the night to secure the victory. The defeat was the first of the season for Falconer who are back in action on December 27th and 28th at the Dick Vincent Duals at Letchworth HS (V).

Friday, December 20th – Saturday, December 21st

1st Annual Linda Knuutila Memorial Wrestling Tournament @ Niagara County Community College

Thirty teams attended the first edition of the tournament named in honor of the late Mrs. Linda Knuutila at NCCC (formerly the NFWOA Tournament). Newfane added to its impressive resume this season with a champion, four finalists, and the team title, outpacing 2nd place Iroquois 196 to 191.5 points. The Chiefs had six finalists with one champion. Behind the two small school powerhouses Niagara Wheatfield finished third with 186.5 points and two champions, Lancaster with two champions and 177.5 points, and Frontier with a champion and 135.5 points. Rounding out the top fifteen were 6. Grand Island (132.5) 7. Williamsville North (132) 8. Hamburg (124.5) 9. Niagara Falls (112) 10. Eden (101) 11. Clarence (99.5) 12. Amherst (86) 13. Orchard Park (82.5) 14. Canisius (80.5) 15. Southwestern (78)

The brackets were chock-full of accomplished wrestlers, many of whom squared off in matches earlier than the semifinals, which guaranteed two-days worth of chaos. The individual results of this tournament will without a doubt weigh heavily on the rest of this season. Provided is a breakdown by weight class of the results.

99: Frontier’s sectional finalist Travis Browning was a 5-4 decision winner over Newfane’s rising star Aidan Gillings. As the 3-seed Browning took down 2-seed Matt Skowronski (East Aurora) by tech fall in the semis. In the top part of the bracket, the 4-seed Gillings was a winner by pin over another young rising star in Barker/Royalton-Hartland’s Gavin Ciarfella to advance to the final. Unseeded Caden Barrientos from Lewiston-Porter won six straight matches in the wrestlebacks over the 8th, 7th, 2nd, and 1st seeds to take 3rd overall.

106: Iroquois’s Peter Gaglio claimed the 106-pound title as the 3rd seed in the weight class. Gaglio was an 11-9 winner over 4th seeded Brendan Dellinger from Williamsville North in the final. Gaglio used a tech fall, a pin, and a major decision to punch his way to the title bout. Unseeded Amarfio Reynolds (Niagara Falls) defeated the 2-seed in the first round but fell to Gaglio eventually in the semis. Dellinger was an overtime winner over top seeded Nolan Skowronski in the semifinal. Then, Skowronski and Reynolds met in the 3rd place match where Nolan was a 3-0 winner.

113: Newfane’s returning state finalist Andy Lucinski separated himself from the pack in this one, although the field was very deep and provided plenty of drama on the weekend, and possibly some of the best quarterfinal matchups of the tournament. In the quarters, Lucinski defeated Lancaster’s sectional finalist Myles Gronowski by decision. 5-seed Brett Ricker from B/R-H was an impressive winner by major decision, 10-0, over Clarence star Ian Howell. On the bottom side, Newfane’s Adam Huntington was also a 10-0 winner over a young Wheatfield star in Tremell Mathews. Then, Iroquois’s Michael Schiffhauer upset 2-seed Michael Schaefer, 4-1, to advance to the semis. Schiffhauer earned a pin over Huntington late in the match to ensure there wouldn’t be an all-Newfane final. Ultimately, Lucinski was a winner by tech fall in a match that was also critical in regard to team scoring. Gronowski gutted out four straight wins, all by decision, in the wrestlebacks to claim 3rd place. The placement matches were all inner-divisional in this bracket, potentially setting up some serious post-season rematches with everything on the line.

120: It was a matchup of state tournament representatives in the final, but returning Section VI champion Cam Catrabone (WN) was an 8-1 winner over Iroquois’s Donovan Bukaczeski for 1st place. The top two seeds dominated the field on the way to final, as Catrabone earned two pins and a major decision while Bukaczeski pinned all three of his first opponents. 5-seed Luke Brydges from Canisius was a winner by fall over the 4-seed Kaleb Schurkus from Lancaster to earn a chance at Catrabone in the semi. Brydges and Schurkus would meet again, this time for 3rd place, however the result was the same as Brydges claimed bronze at 120.

126: Top seeded Colin Coughenour (NW) stormed to the 126-pound title using four pins to secure a spot in the championship. 2-seed Jack Randle had the toughest first round match as returning Section VI champion Carson Alberti was unseeded and the two met right in the pre-quarterfinal. Randle gutted out a 5-3 overtime win to advance. Alberti then toughed out six wrestleback wins (including a matchup against brother Mike) to take 3rd in the weight class. Meanwhile, Randle earned a 10-2 win over a quality opponent in Eden’s Blake Colantino and an 8-6 win over Wheatfield’s Anthony Kuhn in the semi to advance and meet the other NW star. In a high scoring affair Coughenour edged Randle, 15-12, setting up what could be another Division I title showdown in February.

132: Williamsville North’s returning sectional champion Mike Catanzaro dominated his way to the final where he met the 2-seed in Iroquois’s sectional finalist Ryan Sweeney. The Spartan got the best of the Chief sophomore, 6-2, for 1st place. In one of the big upsets of the day, unseeded Zach Ash (St. Mary’s) defeated 4-seed and defending Section VI champion Alex Skowronski 5-4 in the pre-quarterfinal. Ash then defeated 5-seeded Sammy Esaleh from Sweet Home to punch his ticket to the semifinal. Zach’s brother, Matt, was the 3-seed and feel by a 12-8 score to Sweeney in the bottom semifinal. The Ash brothers both wrestled back all the way to the 3rd place match where Matt was an 8-1 winner. Returning sectional 3rd place winner Mark Kuhn (NW) went unseeded and had to take on Sweeney in the first round. Kuhn won four of his five wrestleback matches to land in the 5th place bout, including a win over Skowronski, 8-5.

138: Another top two showdown saw Hamburg’s Ryan Forrest taking on 2-seed Nik Voelker from Newfane in the final. Forrest, a returning state tournament representative, was a winner by decision 6-0 to take the 138-pound title. In another surprising no-seed, Lake Shore’s sectional champion Julian Martin was drawn in and met Forrest in the quarterfinal. After falling by decision, 8-3, Martin defeated the 4, 6, and 5 seeds to take 3rd in the weight. In the bottom side of the bracket, 6-seeded Ciaran Edwards (L-P) defeated 3-seed Shane Walczyk 8-6 in the quarterfinal and fell by a narrow 4-3 margin to Voelker in the semi. However, the Eden sophomore returned the favor in the 5th place match with a 13-6 victory.

145: In possibly the deepest bracket of the tournament, Wheatfield’s three-time NYS place winner defeated three-time state representative Aiden Rabideau (Clarence) 5-3 for 1st in the weight class. The top seeded Falcon senior cruised to four straight pins to get a spot back in the final. Rabideau fended off the 7th and 3rd seeded wrestlers on the way to the final, including an impressive 11-1 major decision over Hamburg’s young star Devin Collins in the semifinal. After falling to Rabideau in the quarterfinal, Newfane’s Ryan Nugent wrestled all the way back to 3rd place defeating the 3-seed (Collins), 6-4, and the 4th and 6th seeded wrestlers in the process. Taking 5th was Grand Island’s unseeded Jake Miller, who defeated the 5th, 8th, and 4th seeds in the wrestlebacks.

152: Niagara Falls senior Willie McDougald broke the Wolverines’ program win record on Friday and won the 152-pound title with a 6-1 decision over 2-seed Dylan Collins (Hamburg) on Saturday. McDougald teched and pinned all four of his first opponents. Southwestern’s Dagon Bryant was unseeded and drawn into the tournament, and immediately started off with a pin over the four seed in the very first round. Another pin and a major decision set up a bout with McDougald in the semifinal. Bryant would ultimately capture 3rd in the bracket finishing with a 3-1 decision win over 3-seeded Phil Stevenson (Newfane).

160: It was a 1 vs 2 small school final as Eden’s state tournament representative Giovanni Schifano was a 1-0 winner over Iroquois’s Tyler Barry for 1st place. Schifano was a one point winner over Barry on 12/6, and it looks like if both remain at the weight it could be a possible Division II sectional final match. Grand Island’s unseeded Brian Bielec took out the 4th and 5th seeds and pushed Schifano in the semifinal, but fell 3-2. Bielec ultimately captured 3rd in the weight class, defeating Clarence’s 3rd seeded Jack Feltz, 7-1.

170: The final featured two wrestlers who have spent the first few weeks of the season on pinning rampages. Grand Island’s NYS 4th place finisher Adam Daghestani was finally slowed down but took 1st place with a 9-2 decision over Canisius’s Joe Dixon in the final. It was only the first loss of the season for Dixon, who earned a huge pin over a returning Section VI champion in the semifinal. Jake Thibeault fell in the semi to Daghestani by major decision, and ultimately the same to Tonawanda’s Jason Frazer in the 3rd place match. Keep in mind Thibeault didn’t place in the 2019 post-season.

182: Lancaster’s Ryan Stencel continues to dominate this season, and did so in convincing fashion on Saturday with a 14-0 finals win over Iroquois’s Ryan Current (who previously held Stencel to a 4-0 decision) for 1st place. Stencel was a major decision semifinal winner over Orchard Park’s sectional champion Mike Pataky while 3-seed Current took down 2-seed Dylan Wojciechowski 6-2 in the bottom semifinal. Unseeded Kevin Daskavitz gutted through a series of tough matches, including a 7-0 loss to Stencel in the pre-quarterfinal, to end up taking 5th overall. The Lockport freshman defeated the 8th, 6th, and 7th seeds and a close 2-1 win over Niagara Falls’ Levi Cox for 5th. In the 3rd place bout, Pataky was a 6-5 winner over Wojciechowski, taking revenge on the Frontier star for a 9-4 loss in the first match of the season.

195: Lancaster’s 2nd seeded Codie Scotland defeated top seeded Konrad Kryszton from Frontier to extend his undefeated start to the season, now at 19-0. Scotland earned a pin and two shut out major decisions on the way to the Saturday night final. Kryszton, who is having an outstanding season as well, earned two pins and decision over a strong opponent in Canisius’s Braydon Vandenberg in the semifinal. Vandenberg ultimately captured 3rd place, defeating the 7-seed Carl Ealy who had to wrestle all the way back from an opening round loss.

220: Section VI champion Blake Bielec (Grand Island) entered the tournament as the 2-seed behind Lyndonville’s (V) Mario Fidanza who was 3rd in Section V Division II last winter. Bielec was a winner by injury default in the final over Fidanza, who unfortunately was unable to finish the match. On the way to the final, Bielec earned an impressive pin over Class AA champion Matt Wagner (Orchard Park) and a 15-6 major over a strong opponent in Southwestern’s Dontae Hoose in the semi. Hoose would wrestle back to 3rd place, earning a 1-0 win over Hamburg’s sectional finalist John Haberman in the final bout, who defeated Wagner 1-0 in the consolation semi. Wagner then went on to win, 1-0, in the 5th place match.

285: It’s been an ongoing rivalry for two accomplished wrestlers and football stars. Amherst’s Ryan Bitka was a winner over Newfane’s Section VI champion Jaden Heers with a late pin in the 1st place match. Bitka defeated the 7th and 6th seeds on the way to the final, earned his 100th career win, and was named the Ilio DiPaolo Most Outstanding Wrestler for his efforts. 4th seeded Chris Kinney (North Tonawanda) earned 3rd place in the bracket with a close 2-1 win over Amherst’s Tyree Orange, who was unseeded, lost in the first round, and wrestled all the way back.


34th Annual Southern Tier Wrestling Official’s Association Holiday Classic Tournament @ Seneca Nation Allegany Community Center, Salamanca

The 34th edition of the STWOA Tournament collected some of the Southern Tier’s top talent, strong Pennsylvania teams, and a perennially strong Section IV squad. Port Allegany (PA) captured the team title in convincing fashion, outpacing 2nd place Fredonia by nearly 50 points. As the top area team, Fredonia crowned two champions and placed three runners-up, two 3rds, one 4th, and two 6th place finishers. Capturing titles for the Hillbillies were returning sectional champion Ceric Kristan at 170-pounds and Jake Skinner at 285 in his first action of the season after signing a national letter of intent to play football at Central Connecticut State University last week. The next highest placing WNY team was Portville, lead by one champion in Dakota Mascho at 152-pounds. Right on the heels of Portville was Chautauqua Lake, who were without a champion but had three runners-up in a row at 99, 106, and 113-pounds. Olean had a lone champion in Gavin Kulp at 160-pounds and supported with seven more place winners in 3rd-5th places. Maple Grove crowned one champion as well with sectional finalist Jacob Tomlinson at 195 and Franklinville’s returning Division II runner-up captured the 170-pound title. Tioga’s (IV) returning NYS champion Brady Worthing was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.

Saturday, December 21st

2019 Rambler Duals @ Cathedral Prep HS, Erie, PA

St. Joe’s was the only area team to cross the state line. Going 3-2 on Saturday, the Marauders picked up close wins over strong Pennsylvania teams in Girard, 33-32, and Harbor Creek, 39-33, and a win over Iroquois (PA) 58-6. Also, for measurements sake, in their loss to Cathedral, the Marauders took on a very strong Ramblers team that featured an Iowa State commit as well as a Bucknell commit. While there were no undefeated Maraduers, Ronnie Jones, Ben Parish, Nicholas Valentino, Aidan Wright, and Joseph Juncewicz all went 4-1 on the day. In addition, Parish collected his 100th career win. While their dual record sits at 6-7 overall going into Winter Break, St. Joe’s has undeniably put together a brutal opening month of competition for themselves, so it will be interesting to see how battle tested Marauders wrestlers can translate those experiences into the second half of the season.


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