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Catrabone Repeats, Leads Nine Section VI Division I Place Winners; NYSPHSAA Wrestling Championships Roundup


Cover photo courtesy of Jeff Pataky


Defending NYS champion and Michigan bound Williamsville North senior Cam Catrabone repeated as a NYS Division I champion on Saturday at MVP Arena in Albany, capping off one of the most decorated careers amongst WNY high school athletes in the history of the region.

 

Pataky


Cam’s second state individual title set a new milestone as the first two-time champion in Williamsville school district history amongst all three of its high schools. Also, Catrabone joined an elite group of fourteen Section VI alumni who achieved two NYS wrestling titles, and seventeen total who have achieved multiple titles.

 

Pataky


With a final individual record of 223-16, Catrabone lands solely in 21st place all-time in the WNY high school wrestling career wins leaderboard.

 

Catrabone posted dominating pins over his first two opponents on Friday to earn a third straight trip to the Saturday morning semifinals. In the 152-pound semifinal, Cam built a 5-1 lead in the second period against Brentwood’s (Section XI) returning 5th place finisher Jason Kwaak, breaking a 0-0 tie score from the end of the first period. By the end of the third Cam would hold on to win, 6-3, to advance back to the title match.

 

Pataky


In the final, Catrabone met a familiar foe in St. Francis sophomore Griffin LaPlante representing the NYS Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA).

 

Pataky


In the title match, Catrabone earned the first points of the bout with a takedown with a minute remaining in the first period. A scoreless second period conducted totally in neutral kept a 2-0 margin going into the third. An escape quickly into the period gave Cam a 3-0 lead, which would be the final point scored of the bout as he would hang on to win the 2024 NYS Division I 152-pound title.

 

Pataky


Catrabone’s place finish was the highest of the nine Section VI wrestlers who reached the large school podium by Saturday night out of twenty-six total entries from the section. Four total Section VI large school wrestlers reached the Saturday morning semifinals as well, but Catrabone was the only one to reach the title round.

 

Pataky


In the individual team scoring, Catrabone helped lead Williamsville North/East to tie for 11th place in the final tally, the highest score amongst Section VI teams competing in Albany. Section IX powerhouse Minisink Valley won the team title with 88.5 points.

 

Cam with Williamsville North/East coaches Joe Muscarella (l) and Jeff Catrabone (r) // Pataky


In the final sectional team scoring, Section VI wasn’t able to extend the streak of top-5 place finishes to three years as the section landed in 9th place by the conclusion of the finals on Saturday, the section's lowest place finish since 9th in 2015.

2024 NYSPHSAA federation wrestling championships – Division I sectional team scores:


Section IX       229.5

Section VIII    213.5

Section XI       180

Section V        170

Section I         146

CHSAA            136

Section II        132

Section III       125

Section VI      108.5

PSAL               96

Section IV       14

 

Section VI benefited from a pair of place winners in the 215-pound bracket with Lafayette/Buffalo Public Schools’ Kahmari Cook taking 3rd, defeating Orchard Park’s Jack MacDonald in the consolation final.

 

Buffalo’s first Section VI champion, state tournament qualifier, and now state tournament place winner reached the semifinals as the 5-seed in the weight class earning an impressive technical fall and pin on the way.


On Saturday morning, Cook met top seeded returning 6th place winner and eventual champion Coy Raines from Section V’s Churchville-Chili. Kahmari took a 5-4 lead early in the third period, but a takedown and extra near fall points ultimately gave Raines the win late in the match, 8-5

 

However, Cook would win each of his next two matches to secure a 3rd place finish in NYS, becoming the first to do so in the inaugural varsity wrestling season of the BPS team.


Cook // Pataky


Meanwhile at 215, returning NYS 7th place winner MacDonald reached the quarterfinals, but fell to Raines to drop into the wrestle backs. Jack dominated each of his first three consolation round opponents, pinning all three, including a thirty-six second pin in the critical consolation blood round to guarantee a place finish.

 

MacDonald became the first Orchard Park wrestler in nearly twenty years to place at the state championships a season ago, and with this year’s 4th place finish becomes the Quakers’ first two time state placer since Bob Breidenstein (1982, 1984) and Pat Hughes (1980, 1981).

 

MacDonald // Pataky


Niagara Wheatfield senior Te’Shaun Mathews was the lone 5th place finisher for Section VI large schools, his second consecutive NYS 5th place podium finish.

 

Mathews cruised to the 145-pound semifinals as the 4-seed in the bracket to set up a meeting with top seeded two-time place winner and returning finalist Liam Carlin from Burnt Hills (II).

 

A tie 1-1 score at the end of six minutes of wrestling went all the way to the ultimate overtime tie breaker, where Carlin was able to maintain control for thirty seconds in referees’ position to seal the win. Carlin would go on to win the state title with a 3-1 finals decision.

 

In the consolation semifinal, another narrow overtime loss, 5-3, landed Te’Shaun a spot in the 5th place bout against Pittsford’s (V) Zach Gerby. In that match, Mathews took a 2-1 lead into the third period. Gerby choose to start from bottom for the final two minutes, but Mathews was able to stay in control on top, ultimately turning Gerby for three near fall points with only seconds remaining to ensure a 5-1 decision victory.

 

Te’Shaun’s place finish is the 46th different state tournament podium finish in the history of the Niagara Wheatfield program, and the 10th place finish since 2017, whereas NW did not have a state place winner from 2013-2016.

 

Mathews // Pataky


Williamsville North/East’s Brayden Kellison reached the 116-pound semifinals upsetting the 2-seed in the bracket with an impressive 6-1 decision in the quarterfinal.

 

In the semifinal, Kellison held a late lead over Lindenhurst’s (XI) 3-seed Anthony Severino, however a throw by Severino was able to secure a takedown and back points to earn a 6-3 victory over Kellison to advance to the final.

 

Kellison // Patkay


In the match, Brayden unfortunately suffered an injury that forced him to bow out of the tournament early, however his appearance in the semifinals thus ensured at least a 6th place finish for the freshman in his first trip to the state championships as the Section VI champion-representative.

 

Lancaster’s Michael Schaefer and Frontier’s Mike Welsh each secured 7th place finishes in their respective brackets while North Tonawanda’s Dylan Gagnon and Clarence’s AJ Didas landed 8th place finishes.

 

In his third and final trip to the state tournament, Schaefer was able to reach the podium. Michael reached the quarterfinals with an 8-7 decision in the pre-quarter round, but fell to the 3-seed and eventual runner-up next to fall into the consolation bracket.

 

In the wrestle backs, Schaefer guaranteed a podium finish with a crucial third period pin over Half Hollow Hills West (XI) senior Brendan Ridge in the blood round.

 

A 7-3 loss in the consolation quarterfinal sent Schaefer to the 7th place match where he was a quick winner by pin over Rocky Point’s (XI) Aidan Barry to become the Legends’ 20th different state place winner for the program’s 30th state podium finish.

 

Schaefer // Pataky


As the Section VI 285-pound sectional runner-up, Welsh earned the 4-seed in Albany for his first trip to the state tournament. A loss in the pre-quarter round sent him to the consolation bracket early, but a 3-0 decision followed by an 8-1 blood round decision in back to back rounds was enough to ensure a top-8 podium finish for the Falcon junior.

 

A loss in the consolation quarterfinal sent Mike to the 7th place match where he was an impressive 5-1 decision winner over Section V champion Gael Sanchez from Churchville-Chili.

 

Welsh is the second Frontier heavyweight to place in the last three state tournaments (Konrad Krzyston, 2022), and the fifth different Frontier wrestler since 2014 to place under head coach John Chowske; from 1966 to 2013, only five Frontier wrestlers placed at the state championships.

 

Welsh // Pataky


Clarence’s Didas and NT’s Gagnon each landed top-8 finishes in both of their second trips to the state championships. Didas reached the 138-pound state quarterfinal, falling narrowly to top seeded and eventual runner up Luke Nieto from the powerful state dual meet champion team Plainedge (VIII), 9-7, to drop to the consolation bracket. AJ was a 7-0 winner over Hewlett’s (VIII) Eric Gendlin in the blood round to guarantee a top-8 place finish.

 

With his place finish, Didas is Clarence’s 12th different NYS tournament place winner in program history. He will look to become the Red Devils’ first two-time place winner and potential champion since Jeff Ellis won back to back 215-pound state titles in 1984 and 1985.

 

Didas // Pataky


Finally, at 160-pounds, returning state qualifier Gagnon was able to reach the podium for the Lumberjacks to become the sixth state place winner in program history, and the first since Tyler Bartolomei in 2019.

 

Dylan reached the quarterfinals in Albany with an 11-5 decision in the pre-quarter. A narrow 6-4 decision loss to 2-seeded eventual runner-up Matthew Rodriguez from East Meadow (VIII) sent Gagnon to the consolation side of the bracket on Saturday morning.

 

In the critical consolation blood round, Dylan was a 5-3 decision winner over Indian River’s (III) Brady Lynch, breaking a 3-3 tie with a match sealing takedown with only sixteen seconds remaining in the bout to guarantee a podium finish this time after having fallen in the blood round in 2023.

 

Gagnon // Pataky


In total, twenty-six Section VI Division I wrestlers competed in Albany on Friday and Saturday.

 

Out of those twenty-six, only six of the thirteen Section VI champion representatives reached the podium. Out of the nine Section VI place winners, six are seniors, while seven of the thirteen sectional champions are seniors. Three of those six seniors are multiple time NYS place winners (Catrabone, Mathews, MacDonald).

 

Out of the twenty-six Section VI Division I wrestlers competing in Albany, twelve will graduate in the spring leaving fourteen wrestlers returning next year with state tournament experience led by six returning champions but only three state place winners.

 

2024 Section VI Division I state tournament competitors (missed placing):


(* = Section VI champion)

 

101: Tanner Catrabone, 8th-grade (Williamsville North/East)*


Catrabone // Pataky


101: Cameron Crumpler, 8th (Niagara Falls)

 

108: Sean McDonald, 10th (Starpoint)*


108: Zach Little, 10th (Jamestown)


Little // Pataky


116: Eian Peterson, 11th (Niagara Wheatfield)

 

Peterson // Pataky


124: Dylan Castiglia, 11th (Grand Island)*


Castiglia // Pataky


124: Sam Berti, 12th (Hamburg)


Berti // Pataky


131: Trevor Mueller, 8th (Clarence)*


Mueller // Pataky


131: Tyler Zwald, 11th (Jamestown)


138: Garrett Chase, 11th (NW)


Chase // Pataky


145: Chase Richards, 10th (NW)


152: Zak Saeed, 12th (Amherst)


Saeed // Pataky


160: Joe Cicco, 12th (NW)*

 

Cicco // Pataky


170: Evan Braunscheidel, 11th (Hamburg)


190: Liam Whalen, 12th (Lockport)*


190: Iain O'Donnell, 12th (NW)


285: Bryce Hawes, 12th (Clarence)*


Hawes // Pataky


Opening ceremonies of the 2024 NYSPHSAA Intersectional Wrestling Championships – MVP Arena, Albany – 2.23.2024 // Pataky

 

 


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