The Western New York Wrestling Coaches Association (WNYWCA) held its 14th annual ‘Luncheon of Champions’ on Sunday at Ilio DiPaolo’s Restaurant & Banquet Facility.
Wrestlers, coaches, and contributors were honored with awards and the WNYWCA Hall of Fame Class of 2018 was inducted as well. Former Lockport head wrestling coach and WNYWCA chairman Joe Scapelliti hosted the event.
The 52 large and small school wrestlers from Section VI who made it to the NYS tournament in Albany were recognized individually, starting with special recognition of Section VI’s three state champions in Niagara Falls’ Willie McDougald (Div. 1-132 pounds), Chautauqua Lake’s Bryce Rowe (Div. 2-160), and Starpoint’s Anthony Robinson (Div. 2-285).
Local college wrestlers were honored as well. NCCC head wrestling coach Keith Maute introduced NCCC sophomore Troy Keller (North Tonawanda) who recently won the NJCAA national championship at 165-pounds and teammate John Riena (Garden City HS-Long Is.), who is an NJCAA All-American at 149. Cameron Page (Falconer) was also recognized as an NJCAA All-American at 165 wrestling for Jamestown Community College.
Scapelliti introduced the coaches of the year, the Hall of Fame inductees, the Ilio DiPaolo Family Commitment to Wrestling Award, the Jon Vesper Award, the Al Feuz Memorial Contributor’s Award, as well as the ‘Champion of Champions’ Award. Lancaster senior Joe Andreessen received the award as the large school representative.
It was an emotional scene as the small school ‘Champions’ award was given to the friends, family, and teammates of Johnny Fiebelkorn and the Akron-Alden wrestling community as a whole for their response in the wake of the tragic and untimely death of the Akron star wrestler last summer. Fiebelkorn would have been a senior at Akron High School this year.
2017-2018 Division Champions
ECIC I – Lancaster: 7-0 league record, head coach Ron Lorenz
ECIC II – Iroquois: 7-0 league record, head coach Troy Almeter
ECIC III – Pioneer: 7-0 league record, head coach Chris Edwards
Niagara-Orleans – Newfane: 5-0 league, head coach Miguel Periera
Niagara Frontier League – Grand Island: 6-0 league, head coach Craig Hoplight
Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Assoc. Div. 1 – Falconer: 6-0 league, head coach Drew Wilcox
CCAA Div. 2 – Randolph: 6-0 league, head coach Todd Conley
Msgr. Martin High School Athletic Assoc. – St. Francis: 4-0 league, head coach Mike Messore
Section VI Dual Meet Champions
Division 1 – Lancaster
Division 2 – Falconer
‘Champion of Champions’ Award
Joe Andreessen – Lancaster HS
Johnny Fiebelkorn – Akron HS
Coaches of the Year
ECIC I – Ron Lorenz, Lancaster
ECIC II – Dennis Bauer, Amherst
ECIC III – Chris Edwards, Pioneer
Niagara-Orleans – Dan Klonowski, Akron-Alden
NFL – Craig Hoplight, Grand Island
CCAA 1 – Drew Wilcox, Falconer
CCAA 2 – Matt Milne, Portville
MMHSAA – Zach Weiss, St. Mary’s of Lancaster
Rookie Coach of the Year
Miguel Periera – Newfane
Assistant Coach of the Year
Dan Morales – Falconer
Ilio DiPaolo Family Commitment to Wrestling Award
In recognition for your continued promotion and commitment to Section VI wrestling.
Joe Russo – contributor, former coach
Jon Vesper Award
In recognition of your passion for the sport of wrestling and your tireless and unselfish efforts as a coach in supporting and promoting wrestling and wrestlers in Western New York.
Jason Chase – head wrestling coach, Clarence
Al Feuz Memorial Contributor’s Award
In recognition of your unselfish dedication, commitment, and work for the betterment of wrestlers and wrestling, on all levels, in Western New York.
John DiBlasi – contributor, secretary of WNYWCA
Hall of Fame Inductees
Kyle Cerminara – wrestler, Lewiston-Porter HS, 2001 NYS Champion, 2004 UB All-American
Chris Lawson – wrestler, Kenmore East HS, 1975 NYS Champion
John Morello – wrestler, Lockport HS, 1992 NYS Champion
Brad Rowe – wrestler, Ripley HS, 1996 NYS Champion, NJCAA All-American at NCCC, NCAA Div. III All-American at Brockport
Marty Rowe – coach, Ripley HS, record 141-42-2, 12 league titles, four Section VI titles, eight state place winners and one state champion.
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