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Falconer, Lancaster represent Section VI at NYS Duals

The first ever NYSPHSAA Dual Meet Championship was wrestled Saturday at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse and for the first time two true state dual meet champions were crowned. Wantagh out of Section VIII (Nassau Co./Long Is.) defeated Section IX (Rockland & Sullivan Counties) powerhouse Minisink Valley 37-28 to claim the large school state championship. Section XI (Suffolk Co./Long Is.) Mt. Sinai defeated Section V (Rochester/Genesee Valley) Canisteo-Greenwood 33-30 in the final to win the small school state title. “I think this has been a great event. It’s been a long time in the making and I think people are going to be happy with us” said NYSPHSAA wrestling coordinator Marty Sherman. Mr. Sherman added “Overall I think it has been very successful, great venue too.”

7th seeded Falconer started the day wrestling the eventual champion in 2nd seeded Mt. Sinai in their pool. The Golden Falcons were down 34-11 with the ‘meat’ of lineup from 152-195 pounds on the horizon. An unexpected turn of events in the middle weights unfortunately put the dual meet out of reach for the Golden Falcons at 39-11 as Mt. Sinai was able to forfeit the final four bouts of the dual and still come away with the win 42-35.

In the second round Mt. Sinai defeated Section X’s (Northern New York) Gouvernuer 45-30 to secure their advancement into the semifinal, but that did not mean Falconer’s day was over. The Golden Falcons met Gouverneur and earned a dual meet tournament win with a 46-30 victory over one of upstate New York’s perennially solid programs to go 1-1 on the day. “I think it was a step in the right direction for New York wrestling” said Falconer head wrestling coach Drew Wilcox. “Although it didn’t go how we were hoping it was a great experience for all involved.” The 2017-2018 Golden Falcons won the program’s first Section VI Dual Meet Championship last weekend and will be recorded as the first Section VI team to win a dual at the state tournament.

In the large school tournament Lancaster began the day as the 7th seeded team. In the first round the Legends met eventual tournament runner up in 2nd seeded Minisink Valley and lost by a score of 60-13. The Warriors won 12 out of 15 bouts in the dual. In the second round of the pool Minisink defeated Section IV (Binghamton-Elmira Region) wildcard team Horseheads to secure advancement to the semifinal. The Blue Raiders would go on to defeat the Legends 43-33 in pool action to go 1-1 on the day while the Legends fell to 0-2.

“We didn’t perform the way I had hoped or expected to today” said Lancaster head coach Ron Lorenz. “A goal of ours this season was to win the Section VI Duals and come here and compete for a championship. Making it to Syracuse but going 0-2 today will give us as a program a benchmark of where we need to get to going forward.”

While three of the top four seeds made the semifinals in the large school tournament, only one of the top four seeds in small schools reached the semis. #1 seeded and state ranked Locust Valley (VIII) was upset by 8-seed Warrensburg (Section II-Albany Region) and unseeded Peru out of Section VII (Champlain Region). Warrensburg defeated Peru to reach the semifinal out of that pool.

The 5th seeded and #6 state ranked Canisteo-Greenwood Redskins defeated the Section IV champion and 4th seeded Norwich as well as the Section I (Hudson Valley) champion Pearl River to make the semifinal and ultimately the championship match.

Section IX’s Port Jervis cruised to an upset win over 3rd seeded and state ranked Central Valley Academy out of Section III (Central New York) 46-27 in pool wrestling but were then defeated by Section IV wildcard Tioga 61-23. CVA had already beaten Tioga with an exciting pin in the final bout to win 37-36, however the three-way tie was broken because CVA had been charged a team point for unsportsmanlike conduct in the dual with Tioga. And, since they held the head to head win over Port Jervis, Tioga was awarded advancement into the semifinal.

Personally, I correctly predicted 10 out of 12 duals correctly in the large school pools good for 83.3%. I was 100% choosing the semifinal teams, the finalists, and the overall champion Wantagh.

In the small school tournament, I was 8 for 12 in the pools for only 66.6%. I picked only one pool winner (Canisteo-Greenwood) correctly for 25%. I was 50% with semifinal winners since I had predicted C-G to make the final and then 0% in the final since Mt. Sinai came away with the title.

Overall, it was a great tournament with plenty of great wrestling and a handful of upsets in the small school tournament. The best teams won and were crowned NYS Dual Meet Champions just like any other team sport championship in New York State. Teams will still have the opportunity to win the individual state tournament in Albany, February 23-24.

I was able to have a brief conversation with NYSPHSAA wrestling coordinator Marty Sherman as well.

Matt O: Is this going as well, competition wise, in terms of the seedings and team scores, as you and the committee thought it might be?

Marty S: Pretty much. There have been a couple of upsets here. Locust Valley was seeded #1 based on last year’s results and Warrensburg and Peru both beat them [today]. It looks like Warrensburg is going to advance into the next round.

Matt O: For the first year of this tournament and having to create this criterion were you satisfied with how the seedings were finally settled?

Marty S: Yes. It’ll be tweaked again next year because there are a few factors that we need to work on, more than likely we will probably try to put in some of the results from this year and a few other things. But, being the first year, the criteria we came up with was pretty much unanimous with the committee, but I definitely feel we will be tweaking it.

Matt O: Do you think that there’s any plan in the future to expand, either the teams, two-day, or having a true consolation wrestle back?

Marty S: Probably not at this time because we are just trying to get a dual meet champion we’re not looking for a third and fourth and fifth and sixth so I would probably say at this point no there’s been no talk and there probably wouldn’t be.

Other News:

St. Francis won the New York State Catholic High School Athletic Associations Dual Meet this past weekend out in Long Island, New York.

The Red Raiders dominated, going 5-0 at the meet. Junior Slade Merk, wrestling at 132 pounds won his 100th match via pin.

2018 CHSAA Dual Meet State Champions pic.twitter.com/YoLDxHnhgE — St.Francis Wrestling (@SFHSwrestlingNY) January 28, 2018

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