Falconer, Wheatfield Fall in State Semifinals
Two of WNY’s premier high school wrestling programs each reached a new milestone on Saturday in Syracuse.
Both the Falcons and Golden Falcons went 2-0 in pool action against other top teams in NYS to reach the state Dual Meet Championship semifinals in Division I and Division II, respectively.
In the large school tournament, #2 seed Niagara Wheatfield took down Section I champion Fox Lane in the opening round, 50-30.
In the third round, Section IV champion Chenango Forks jumped out to a 16-6 lead on Wheatfield. However, the ‘teeth’ of the Falcon lineup in the lower and middle weights hammered the Blue Devils and led Wheatfield to a 60-21 win.
In the large school semifinal Wheatfield met Section V champion Hilton. The Cadet’s high-powered lineup was too much for the Falcons as Hilton handed Wheatfield a 63-23 loss. This was the Falcon’s first appearance at the NYS Dual championships.
“We’re coming away happy,” stated Wheatfield head coach Rick Sweney. “The kids wrestled well and had some good matches. Top four in the state isn’t bad…we’ll take it.”
Going 2-1 at the Duals, Wheatfield’s overall record is 12-2. The Falcons are the #15 ranked large school in NYS and #1 in WNY currently.
Falconer got off to a hot start in its first match of the day jumping out to a 34-6 lead against Section VII champion Saranac. The Golden Falcons cruised to a 45-27 win against the Chiefs in the opening round.
In the second round Falconer took on Section II champion Warrensburg. In very similar fashion to the first round win, the Golden Falcons stormed to a 26-0 lead and never looked back as they took down the Burghers 47-26.
In the small school semifinal, Falconer took on Section III champion Central Valley Academy. The Golden Falcons kept it close for a while against the star-studded Thunder lineup but were ultimately defeated 48-24. Falconer finished the day 2-1, an improvement on last year’s 1-1 finish at the NYS Duals.
“We made a run at it,” said Falconer head coach Drew Wilcox after the semifinal loss. “I’m proud to coach this group of guys and work with such great coaches. Losing is never an easy thing but someday these kids will look back and be extremely proud of what they have accomplished.”
Falconer is 28-2 overall and ranked 3rd in NYS small schools and 1st in WNY, currently.
Olean went 0-2 at the Duals but wrestled tough in losses. The Huskies wrestled Section V runner-up Spencerport but fell 47-33 in the opening round. In the next match Olean fell to Section III champion Fulton, 42-27. This was Olean’s first appearance at the NYS Dual Meet Championships.
The Huskies are 20-3 overall, a NYS Honorable Mention team, and ranked 6th in WNY big schools, currently.