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LaPlante, Krzyszton, Sweeney Top Seeds For NYS Championships; WNY Wrestling State Tournament Preview

Fifty-three wrestlers representing western New York schools will compete in the 59th Annual NYSPHSAA Intersectional Wrestling Championships Friday, February 25th and Saturday the 26th at MVP Arena in downtown Albany.

The 2021-2022 NYS federation championships mark the return of the tournament that was cancelled in the 2020-2021 season due to the pandemic.

Both Section VI divisions I and II each have twenty-six entries in the respective large and small school tournaments while one wrestler representing Monsignor Martin will compete in the large school event. Tournament wide, forty-five 2020 state place winners and four state champions return to the field; seven such 2020 state placers from Section VI will represent again in Albany this weekend.

With the implementation of the new auto-qualifier system state-wide, each bracket is seeded 1 to 2o, 21, or 22. Wrestlers earned seeding points for previous state placement, winning 2021-2022 sectional titles, and beating previous state place winners, current section champs, and current state qualifiers. Also important to note, only a section’s individual champion representative in each weight is eligible to score team points for the sectional team race and for major power point considerations for the future.

Section VI has three top seeded wrestlers amongst the twenty-six weight classes, two in Division I and one in Division II. In Division I, Starpoint 8th grader Griffin LaPlante is the top seed at 132-pounds while Frontier senior Konrad Krzyszton is the top seed at 285-pounds. Iroquois senior Ryan Sweeney at 138-pounds is the lone Section VI top seed in Division II.

In Division II, Southwestern’s Carmine Calimeri (102-pounds) and Dontae Hoose (215) and Newfane’s Simon Lingle (189) earned the only 2-seeds out of all Section VI entries in the tournament.

Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 10am on Friday. Wrestling begins on Saturday at 9:30am with the finals scheduled to begin at 6:05pm on Saturday night.

Preview 

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Div. I: Chenango Forks (IV) 8th grader Ryan Ferrara holds the top seed position going into the tournament that consists entirely of first time state tournament qualifiers at the weight. Section VI champion Eian Peterson (9th grade, 25-8 record) from Niagara Falls earned the 6-seed in the bracket and has a first round bye on Friday morning. Peterson will take on Section XI champion Mason Mangialino from Comsewogue in the pre-quarterfinals. Mangialino (9th, 36-0) is the 11-seed in the bracket after capturing the Suffolk County large school title. The winner will likely get a shot at 3-seed Dunia Sibomana (8th, 31-2) from Section VIII Long Beach in the quarters.

Section VI finalist Cullen Edwards (8th, 33-8) will be one of the first wrestlers on the mats on Friday morning with an opening round preliminary bout. Edwards is the 21-seed in the bracket and will meet Section V champion Kiernan Magee (11th, 24-4) from Penfield in the very first round of the tournament. The winner of that match will meet Section I champion Joe Tornambe from Yorktown High School in the pre-quarters.

Div. II: A Section IV wrestler also owns the top seed at 102-pounds in Division II as BGAH’s Darren Florence, a 2020 NYS 6th place finisher, is the top seed in the bracket. Southwestern’s Section VI champion Carmine Calimeri (8th, 37-1) earned the 2-seed in the bracket with a big opportunity to make some serious noise in Albany. Calimeri will wrestle the winner of 15-seed Krish Ghandi (Horace Mann-AIS) and 18-seed Brock Frederick (South Jefferson/Sandy Creek-III) in the pre-quarterfinal round. Two wins on Friday would put Calimeri in the semifinals for a very possible matchup with Section III champion Gene Edwards (Central Valley Academy).

On the top side of the bracket, Medina’s Dominick Callara joins Florence as the only other returning wrestler with 2020 state tournament experience in the field. Callara (11th, 25-3) is the 5-seed in the weight class and will await the winner of 12-seed William Grass (Clarke-VIII) and 21-seed Quade Mather (Bayport-Blue Point-XI) in the pre-quarters. A potential quarterfinal matchup for Callara with 4-seeded Section V champion Christopher Noto (8th, 31-1) from Honeoye Falls-Lima would be a rematch of their December 4th meeting in which Noto was a winner by pin. However it happens, Section VI small schools could very possibly have two place winners at this weight.

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Div. I: Three returning state place winners highlight the large school 110-pound field, one of whom is 5-seed Section VI champion Travis Browning from Frontier. Browning (12th, 28-1), a NYS 7th place finisher in 2020, will see the winner of 12-seed Jason Kwaak (Brentwood-XI) and 21-seed Joe Gabriele (John Jay-Cross River-I) in the pre-quarters on Friday morning. A possible semifinal could be Browning against the 4-seeded Section III runner-up Aidan Cali (12th, 24-6) from Baldwinsville. In all likelihood, the winner of that match would meet 2020 NYS finalist Joseph Manfredi (10th, 47-0) from Section VIII’s Herricks High School who is the top seed in the weight.

On the bottom side of the bracket, Section VI finalist Ken Schmitz (11th, 36-5) from Hamburg earned the 6-seed overall and will meet Section VIII finalist Angel Banegas (11th, 31-3) from Uniondale in the pre-quarters. That winner will likely see the winner of 3-seed Tomah Gummow (Indian River-III) and Wantagh’s (VIII) Anthony Clem in what could be a very interesting pre-quarters match, should Clem win in the opening round.

CHSAA champion Austin Zimmerman (10th, 29-8) from St. Joe’s earned the 15-seed in the bracket and will meet Burnt Hills’ (II) ‘true runner-up’ Tyler Whiteley (9th, 26-12) in the opening round on Friday morning. The winner of that match will have the task of taking on 2020 NYS 3rd place winner Mikey Manta (12th, 38-1) from Section XI Hauppauge in the pre-quarter round.

Also, keep an eye on the Dom Attardi (Victor-V) vs. Dillon Arrick (Arlington-I) pre-quarters bout that could be a very good matchup early in the day as well.

Should WNY area teams come out of the weekend with one or three place winners, they will certainly have to earn those podium spots this weekend in Albany.

Div. II: Section VI hosts another pair of top-5 seeded wrestlers in the small school light weights. With only one returning NYS tournament qualifier from 2020 in the weight class, an opportunity for two WNY place winners is a highly realistic goal.

Sectional champion Bryce DellaPenta (8th, 33-1) earned the 4-seed in the bracket and has an opening round bye on Friday morning. DellaPenta will await the winner of 13-seed Trevor Tufano (IX) and 20-seed Ryan Mashaw (Gouverneur-X) in the pre-quarters. Tufano is a two-time sectional champion from Port Jervis and the lone returning athlete with past state tournament experience in the entire bracket.

Just behind DellaPenta in the 5-seed spot is Southwestern’s sectional ‘true runner-up’ auto-qualifier Kenji Walters (10th, 31-11). Walters wrestled back to earn a spot in the NYS tournament at the Section VI Division II championships two weekends ago. Walters will see the winner of 12-seed Aidan Shufelt (Groton-4) and 21-seed Ryder Cox (Coxsackie-Athens-II) in the pre-quarter round. Should Walters and DellaPenta both win their first matches, a state quarterfinals showdown will be on deck for the Section VI pair.

Expect big-time fireworks in this weight as any combination of eight wrestlers will look to podium for the very fist time in their careers.

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Div. I: The higher the weight, the bigger the stakes in Division I as the bracket features three 2020 NYS place winners and six total state tournament qualifiers. Two-time Section VI champion Jaden Crumpler (12th, 29-2) from Niagara Falls will take on Section IX champion Alex Greco (11th, 30-2) from Warwick Valley in the pre-quarterfinal round. Greco is a 2020 NYS 8th place finisher. The winner of that match will most likely meet 3-seeded Section II champion Michael Santore from Shaker HS in the quarterfinal round. Santore was a state tournament qualifier two years ago.

On the top side of the bracket, Williamsville North’s Zach Dellinger (12th, 38-9) is the 17-seed and will meet 16-seed Section I champion Neil Paulerico from Briarcliff/Byram Hills in the opening round. The winner gets a pre-quarters bout with top seeded Matthew Marlow, the Section XI champion from Northport HS. 4-seeded CHSAA champion Mike Adams (Msgr. Farrell) and 2-seed Christian Lievano (Ward Melville-XI) are the other returning NYS place winners from the 2020 championships in the bracket.

Div. II: Section VI state title hopefuls Dan Kirsch and Jordan Joslyn landed in the 4 and 5-seed spots, respectively, in the brutal Division II 118-pound bracket meaning a huge showdown could be coming up in the state quarterfinals. Pioneer’s three-time sectional champion and 2020 NYS 4th place winner Kirsch (40-1) is one of five returning 2020 state place winners and seven state qualifiers in the bracket that includes top seeded 2020 99-pound champion Gianni Silvestri from Tioga (IV) and the runner-up, Xavier deJesus-Remchuk from Canisteo-Greenwood (V) as the 2-seed.

Kirsch will meet the winner of 13-seeded Section VIII champion Jack Godoy from Seaford and 20-seed Section X champion Ashtyn Amo from Ogdensburg Free Academy in the pre-quarters. A Godoy/Kirsch might be a very good match so keep an eye on it. Meanwhile, Chautauqua Lake sophomore Joslyn (41-1) will take on the winner of Section III 3rd place winner Patrick Grimsey from Lowville (12-seed) and 21-seed Section XI true runner-up Cade Delgado from Port Jefferson. Should Kirsch and Joslyn win those pre-quarterfinal matches, a state quarterfinal head to head for their third meeting of the season will be inevitable. Regardless of the deep bracket, Section VI boasts two talented wrestlers with state title darkhorse capabilities.

There is a strong likelihood we will see at least two quarterfinals that feature 2020 state tournament place winners in this bracket. BGAH’s Joey Florence (7th) and Onondaga/Marcellus’s (III) Carl Santariello (6th) are the other two returning 2020 place winners in the weight class.

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Div. I: Get ready for an all-Section VI pre-quarters matchup as 8-seed sectional champion Amarfio Reynolds, Jr (30-1) from Niagara Falls and 9-seed sectional finalist Myles Gronowski (41-6) from Lancaster will meet for the third tournament in a row when they face off on Friday morning. ‘Junior’ Reynolds is one of eight returning state tournament qualifiers from 2020 that also includes three returning place winners. The winner of the Reynolds/Gronowski match will likely take on Section IV champion and 2020 Division I finalist Tyler Ferrara from Chenango Forks who is the top seed in the weight class. A number of high level quarterfinals could take place in this weight, especially on the bottom side of the bracket. If Section XI finalist and 2020 state placer Vincent Ziccardi wins an opening round match against Rome’s (III) returning qualifier Ashton Thompson, he would meet Mt. Sinai’s 2020 Division II 3rd place winner Brayden Fahrbach just in the quarterfinal round.

The path to a podium finish for each of the Section VI representatives in this weight is certainly possible, but expect this bracket to be battle in every single round.

Div. II: Both Section VI wrestlers will be presented with competitive, winnable matches in Friday’s pre-quarters and with wins could each see the top 1 and 2-seeds, respectively.

Eden’s sectional champion Johnny Vicario (12th, 37-7) is the 7-seed in the bracket and will meet 10-seeded Section II runner-up Dylan Winchell (12th, 43-2) from Warrensburg in his first match at states. A win for Vicario could set up a meeting with the 2-seeded 2020 NYS 7th place finisher Mason Welch from Tioga in the quarters.

Meanwhile on the top side of the bracket, Section VI true runner-up Gavin Ciarfella (30-2) will make his second appearance at the NYS tournament, this time as the 8-seed in the weight class. Ciarfella is one of seven 2020 state tournament qualifiers in the bracket. The sophomore from Medina will meet Section II champion Dylan Devine (9th, 33-6) from Schalmont in the pre-quarterfinal round. A win for Ciarfella would likely put him against top seeded 2020 NYS Division II finalist Max Gallagher from Section XI Bayport-Blue Point.

Despite plenty of returning state-level talent, only two wrestlers in the bracket have placements on their resumes leaving a big opportunity for the Section VI wrestlers and the rest of the field to earn guaranteed podium finishes.

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Div. I: Newly crowned Section VI champion Griffin LaPlante (8th, 42-5) earned the top seed in the weight class in his first trip to the NYS tournament. Out of 21 athletes in the bracket, Griffin is the youngest and only one of four sophomores and younger. LaPlante has an opening round bye but will see the winner of Section I champion 16-seed Justin Gierum (11th, 28-3) from Fox Lane and local rival and sectional finalist 17-seed Tremell Mathews (11th, 38-9) from Niagara Wheatfield. Mathews, the 2021 sectional champion, will make his first appearance at the NYS tournament as well. Griffin does have all wins in three head to heads with Tremell this season, and also owns a head to head win over Gierum from the state dual meet tournament, 6-4.

LaPlante and Mathews each have a big opportunity to go far in the top side of the bracket that does not feature any wrestlers with past state tournament experience, however a potential quarterfinal matchup with Eastport-South Manor’s (XI) Stephen Lukas could present a challenge for any opponent.

The bottom side of the bracket features all three of the returning 2020 state qualifiers in the weight class in the 2, 3, and 7-seed positions, none of whom are returning placers.

A path to the final is there for both Section VI wrestlers, and even when someone inevitably falls in or by the pre-quarterfinal, a big opportunity for two placers is still very realistic at this weight.

Starpoint’s Griffin LaPlante is the top seed in the Division I 132-pound NYS wrestling championships bracket this weekend. Photo courtesy of Bob Koshinski. 

Div. II: Five 2020 state tournament qualifiers and three place winners highlight the small school bracket which includes two-time sectional champion and 2020 NYS 4th place winner Aidan Gillings from Newfane. ‘Gilly’ (9th, 38-1) is the 3-seed in the bracket behind fellow 2020 state placer Caden Bellis (10th, 37-1) from Tioga who is the 2-seed. Bellis handed Gilly his only loss of the season, a 4-3 decision in the state dual meet tournament on January 29th. Aidan will meet either Section III finalist Culley Bellino from Canastota or Section IX champion Rocco DeAveiro from Rondout Valley in the pre-quarters. A very possible Gillings/Bellis rematch might make for some serious fireworks.

Also representing Section VI is Chautauqua Lake junior 9-seed Trent Burchanowski (36-6). Burchanowski earned an auto-entry to states with his runner-up finish in the sectional championship. Burchanowski will meet Warrensburg’s Section II champion Tanner McKenna (12th, 40-3) in the pre-quarter before a potential showdown with top seeded Section V champion Nick Noto from HF-L in the quarters.

Also keep an eye out for Mattituck’s (XI) 2019 NYS 4th place winner Joe Sparacio in this bracket who has potential to upset things as the 4-seed. Eagle Acadmey’s (PSAL) Cameron Mayfield is the other returning NYS place winner from 2020 in the bracket.

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Div. I: Some of the most individually talented wrestlers in the entire tournament will convene at 138-pounds large schools this weekend. Seven returning state qualifiers and four place winners populate the 22-man ranks led by top seeded 2020 NYS champion PJ Duke from Minisink Valley (IX). Four-time Section VI champion Collin Coughenour (11th, 25-3) from Niagara Wheatfield is the 9-seed and will make his fourth appearance in Albany starting with a pre-quarters match against Section III champion Manuel Gonzales from Indian River. The winner of the match will most likely face Duke in the quarterfinal round.

Wheatfield’s Te’Shaun Mathews (10th, 37-6) will make his first appearance at the state tournament representing the Falcons as the 14-seed in the bracket. ‘Juicy’ will meet Section V runner-up 19-seed Tyler Jeffers from Churchville-Chili (12th, 33-6) in the opening round on Friday. Waiting for the winner of Mathews/Jeffers is 3-seeded George Oroudjov (12th, 32-0), the Section IV champion from Ithaca and returning 2020 NYS finalist. MacArthur’s (VIII) Killian Foy and Attica/Batavia’s (V) Casper Stewart are returning 3rd and 4th place winners respectively and are the 2 and 5-seeds, respectively in the weight.

There are a number of other returning qualifiers as well as first time competitors in this bracket that could make 138 Div. I possibly the best bracket in the tournament.

Div. II: Division II may not have the same the same top-4 place winner pedigree as Division I coming into the tournament, however eight total 2020 state tournament competitors and three place winners lead a very experienced small school group.

Iroquois senior and two-time sectional champion Ryan Sweeney (39-4) earned the top seed in the weight class with more than a podium placement in mind. Sweeney will meet the winner of returning qualifier 16-seed Cole Joseph (11th, 27-4) from Hackley School (AIS) and Eden’s sectional finalist and 17-seed Shane Walczyk (12th, 40-5) in the pre-quarterfinal round. 2020 state placers Kieran Cullen (Greenville-II) and Craig Jablonski (Shoreham-Wading River-XI) are also in the top side of the bracket which could make for some big quarter and semifinals showdowns. Returning NYS 5th place winner Jordan Soriano from Clarke (VIII) is the 2-seed in the weight class.

By Saturday night this could be anyone’s title to claim, and so could all seven of the other top podium spots.

Iroquois’s Ryan Sweeney is the top seed in the Division II 138-pound NYS wrestling championships bracket this weekend. 

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Div. I: 145 presents another powerful lineup led by 2020 NYS finalist and University of North Carolina commit Jayden Scott from Rush-Henrietta (V) as the top seed in the weight class. Section VI representatives Cam Catrabone (10th, 42-1) from Williamsville North and Gage LaPlante (10th, 38-3) are two of the five past state qualifiers here and Cam is one of three returning placers with a 6th place finish in 2020.

The 3-seeded Section VI champion Catrabone will meet the winner of 14-seed Paul Lichter from MacArthur and 19-seed Nicholas Campanella from James Madison HS (PSAL) in the pre-quarter round. A quarterfinal bout would put Catrabone against either the Section V runner-up or Section II champion before a very possible semifinal showdown with 2020 NYS 7th place winner and 2-seed Angelo Centrone (12th, 35-1) from Mahopec (I) which would be a top-tier tournament bout.

In the top side of the bracket, sectional finalist LaPlante will look to disrupt things as the 5-seed in the weight class. Gage has a first round bye but will meet the winner of 12-seed Daniel Parker from Ithaca and 21-seed Matthew Masch from Section I Roy C. Ketcham HS. A pre-quarters win for LaPlante would most likely set up a rematch with Minisink’s 4-seed Luke Greiner in the quarters. Greiner was a 3-1 decision winner in their meeting this season in the NYS dual meet championship semifinals. Besides Greiner, another first time state qualifier to keep a close eye on is Massapequa’s (VIII) Anthony Conetta in the 10-seed spot. Conetta/Centrone could be big fireworks if they meet in the quarters.

Div. II: Seven past qualifiers or placers fill out the 22-man field in this weight with only one 2020 state placer, leaving a prime opportunity for one or both of Section VI’s entries to reach the podium.

Maple Grove’s Luke Tomlinson (12th, 41-1) will make his second appearance in Albany this time as the sectional champion representative. Tomlinson is the 8-seed in the weight class with a first round bye. Luke will meet Section III runner-up Aaron Briones (12th, 24-4) from SJ/SC in the pre-quarters round. Awaiting the winner of that match will most likely be top seeded returning NYS 3rd place winner Jackson Polo from Section VIII’s Cold Spring Harbor in the quarterfinal.

Meanwhile, Newfane senior 19-seed Adam Huntington (31-6) will get his first ever states action with an opening round bout with Section XI champion 14-seed Joe Steimel (11th, 24-11) from S-WR. That winner will take on the very tough 3-seed Section III champion Sixx Cook from CVA, another in a long line of Cook brothers from Ilion in the quarterfinal round. Section IV champion Donovan Smith from Tioga is the 2-seed in the bracket.

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Div. I: Some of the most seasoned state tournament veterans appear in this bracket as all seven of the returning state qualifiers are seniors and likewise all six of the 2020 place winners. Only five of the twenty entries in the bracket are juniors, the rest are seniors.

Three-time Section VI champion and 2020 NYS 5th place winner Carson Alberti (12th, 20-2) from West Seneca/Depew is the 3-seed overall in the weight class. Alberti will meet the winner of 14-seed Aslanbek Sharipov from Franklin D. Roosevelt HS (PSAL) and 19-seed Gordon Murray from Saratoga Springs (II) in the pre-quarter round. A win in that match would likely set up a quarterfinal showdown with fellow returning NYS top eight place winner Ben Rogers, the Nassau County champion from Wantagh (VIII).

Sweet Home’s sectional finalist Cam Millender (11th, 27-11) is the 18-seed in the bracket with his first appearance at the state tournament coming up. Millender will meet Section X representative Rocco Ferriero (12th, 13-5) from Massena in the opening round. The winner gets a match with Arlington’s (I) undefeated returning NYS 7th place winner Tim Bova in the pre-quarters.

Stay tuned for some very possible top-tier quarterfinal matches in this weight should Alberti/Rogers meet, should Bova meet past state qualifier and 7-seed Eric Tigue from Minisink, and should Brockport’s (V) returning 8th place winner Isaiah Rodriguez (12-seed) meet 4-seeded Fox Lane NYS 5th place winner Jake Hoffman, all before the semis. The top seed in the bracket is Hilton’s (V) unbeaten returning 3rd place winner Rocco Camillaci.

Div. II: State title hopeful Dakota Mascho (32-0) is the lone unbeaten wrestler in the field that includes six 2020 state qualifiers. The Portville senior is a returning NYS 5th place winner and will start the weekend as the 3-seed in the weight class. Mascho should be in favorable position to reach the semifinal round, assuming he collects wins in the pre-quarters and quarterfinal. Dakota will first meet the winner of 14-seed Anthony Evangelista from Port Jefferson (XI) and 19-seed Joey Reed from Section III’s Mexico. A quarterfinal matchup would put Mascho against any three potential wrestlers who are all making their first appearances at states.

On the bottom side of the bracket, Pioneer’s sectional finalist Brady Heckathorn (11th, 37-5) is the 7-seed and will take on Section IV champion Ryan Kennedy (12th, 29-10) in the pre-quarter. A win in that match will most likely put Heckathorn against the 2-seeded Ousmane Duncanson from Tioga in the quarterfinal round.

Alexander’s (V) Mitch Gaiser is the 4-seed in the bracket and a returning NYS 6th place winner. Gaiser could meet in-section rival 5-seed Braidon Woodward from C-G, also a 2020 NYS qualifier, in the quarterfinals. Another Gaiser/Woodward showdown would be their fifth meeting of the season with the head to head record currently split, 2-2.

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Div. I 160: Top seeded 2020 NYS champion Zack Ryder (Minisink) has over half as many points as the 2-seed in the bracket and is the odds-on favorite in the weight.

Niagara Falls junior Mike Syposs (11th, 30-6) has earned the 3-seed in the bracket coming off his first sectional title. Syposs will meet the winner of 19-seed Luke Ciolino from Massapequa and 14-seeded Wolverines teammate Jesiere Carter (12th, 29-6) in the pre-quarter. Carter and Syposs will each make their state tournament debuts in a bracket that features only three 2020 state tournament qualifiers which leaves an incredible opportunity to be had for Section VI and Niagara Falls to place both wrestlers in the top eight and possibly reach the Saturday morning semifinal.

The Syposs/Carter or Ciolino winner will get either Section I champion Dillon Carter from Yorktown or Section XI champion Tom Andria from Islip in the quarterfinal.

The only quarterfinal between returning state competitors in the bracket that could happen is if 2-seeded Section V champion Nick Sanko (Pittsford), defending NYS 4th place winner, meets returning qualifier Ethan Hart from Corning (IV) in that round.

Div. II: Top seeded 2020 NYS champion Carter Baer from Gouverneur (X) and returning 7th place finisher 2-seed Emmett Wood (Tioga) are the only two returning qualifiers and placers in the weight.

Section VI champion Nick Brown (12th, 31-5) is the 7-seed in the bracket will wrestle Suffolk County small school runner-up Anthony Pipia (11th, 29-5), the 10-seed, from Port Jefferson in the pre-quarter with the winner getting a bout with Wood in the quarters. For Brown, any placement at all this weekend would make him the first Griffin since Ryan Feltz in 2002 (3rd, 189) to make the podium at the NYS tournament.

Another Section VI on XI match will take place in the top side of the bracket between sectional finalist Donald Bennett from Pioneer (12th, 21-7) who is the 8-seed going into the weekend. Bennett will meet Pipia’s counterpart in 9-seeded Section XI champion Joe Lacorte (12th, 26-2) from John Glenn HS in the pre-quarter. Likewise, the winner most likely gets the top seed in the quarters. An opportunity is there for one or both of WNY’s representatives to place here this weekend.

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Div. I: Grand Island senior Brian Bielec is the lone undefeated wrestler (42-0) left in WNY this season going into his third and final NYS tournament. The three-time Section VI champion is the 5-seed in the weight class with some other contenders appearing on his side of the bracket.

Bielec will see the winner of 21-seeded Jaiden Burdick (12th, 23-7) from Section III’s Central Square and familiar foe Evan Stencel (11th, 42-9), the sectional runner-up from Lancaster who is the 12-seed in the weight. For the wrestler that moves on from that pre-quarter match, they will likely have to meet 4-seeded Section V champion Elijah Diakomihalis (9th, 28-1) from Hilton in the quarterfinal bout.

Besides Bielec, the only other wrestler in the bracket with 2020 states experience is top seeded returning NYS 5th place winner Mikey Altomer from Minisink. The 2- and 3-seeds on the bottom aren’t returning qualifiers, though both are undefeated in Queensbury’s (II) Dylan Schell in the 2-spot and Sayville’s (XI) Mack Murtha as the 3-seed.

A final run at a state title and podium finish is on the line for Bielec, and a top placement for Stencel would be huge for the Legends going into next season.

Div. II: It’s anybody’s title and podium spots to take in the small school bracket where no 2020 state qualifiers return for the 2022 tournament. Section III wrestlers own the top 1 and 2-seed spots but Section VI champion Tavio Hoose (8th, 37-4) ascended to the 3-seed position for his first appearance in Albany. Hoose will meet the winner of the Section IX champion 14-seed Wyatt Konjas from Onteora or the 19-seed Trevor Harrington from Section IV’s Sidney HS in the pre-quarter. Hoose has as good a shot as any to go deep into the championship side of the bracket with no other wrestlers with state tournament experience ahead of him.

Randolph senior Luke Pagett (34-3) earned an auto-entry to states with a runner-up performance in the sectional tournament. The 21-seed Pagett will take on 12-seed Ryan Mastropaolo (12th, 31-2) from Section VIII Island Trees HS in the preliminary round on Friday morning. Pagett could see Section II champion 5-seed Reed Douglas from Canajoharie/Fort Plain with an early round win.

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Div. I: First time state tournament representatives Jack MacDonald from Orchard Park and Chris Bargy from Olean/Allegany-Limestone will represent Section VI in another wide open (for the most part) upper weight division. Central Square’s top seeded returning NYS 3rd place winner Kole Mulhauser is the only returning past qualifier and place winner and is the likely favorite to capture a state title going into the weekend.

Sectional champion Bargy (11th, 32-6) is the 10-seed and will take on 7-seed Section V champion Joe Marcello (12th, 29-0) from Spencerport in the pre-quarter round. The winner there will likely see 2-seeded Section VIII champion Kwasi Bonsu from Baldwin in the quarters. Meanwhile on the top side of the bracket, 20-seeded MacDonald (10th, 27-5) will meet the 13-seed Connor McGannon (12th, 22-4) who is the Section I champion from Lakeland-Panas. That winner will meet Minisink’s 4-seeded Andrew Filip in the quarterfinal round.

Div. II: Newfane’s Simon Lingle (12th, 38-1) earned the 2-seed in the bracket after claiming the Section VI title and an auto-entry for his first trip to states. The top seed in the bracket is Section IV champion and 2020 NYS 4th place winner Gabriel Monroe from Windsor who is one of two returning qualifiers but the only place winner in the field.

Lingle will meet the winner of 15-seed Alon Alkeali from John Glenn and 18-seed Ivan Figueroa from Port Jervis in the pre-quarter round. A win there would put Lingle against either the Section I or II champion, and a likely semifinal could be against the 3-seed and returning state tournament qualifier Ethan Randall from CVA.

On the top side of the bracket, Barker/Royalton-Hartland’s Zack Hill (12th, 31-9) is the 21-seed coming off an incredible run to the ‘true 2nd’ spot in Section VI two weekends ago. Hill will face 12-seeded Section XI champion Brad Brockhaus (12th, 9-1) from Southampton in the preliminary round with the winner of that match moving on to meet Section III runner-up 5-seed Jared Bilinski from Dolgeville.

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Div. I: Returning state qualifiers take up three of the top four seeds in the weight led by unbeaten Minisink junior Ethan Gallo (34-0) who returns as the only state placer in the bracket, taking 6th in 2020.

Section VI champion Kevin Daskavitz (11th, 6-0) from Lockport may be primed to cause some damage in Albany as the 14-seed in the weight class in his first trip to states. Daskavitz will wrestle PSAL champion 19-seed Jake Gulino (12th, 21-2) from Tottenville in the preliminary round before possibly moving on to have a shot at the 3-seed Robert Smith from Huntington (XI). Daskavitz’s size and athleticism may surprise some folks in Albany who may be wondering about his limited mat time this season. Also on the bottom of the bracket is 2-seed returning state qualifier and Section II champion Ryan Stein from Shaker.

Wheatfield’s Casey Robinson (10th, 37-11) earned the ‘true 2nd’ in the sectional tournament and with it a trip to Albany. Robinson enters as the 21-seed and will wrestle Section II finalist Darrien Insogna (11th, 29-6) from Ballston Spa in the preliminary round.

It would be huge for Section VI to have one or both underclassmen place at a heavy weight that is usually dominated by outgoing seniors.

Div. II: Southwestern star athlete Dontae Hoose (12th, 38-1) is the 2-seed in the weight class looking to make a final run at an individual state title which would be the first for the Trojans since Matt Mazgaj in 2005. Hoose, a two-time sectional champion and 2020 NYS 6th place finisher is one of two returning qualifiers & placers in the weight; undefeated top seed Sam Sorenson (43-0) from Section III Homer is a retuning 5th place winner in the state.

In order to make it to the final, Hoose will of course have to advance out of the bottom side of the bracket. Dontae will meet the winner of 15-seed Sean Roberts from Locust Valley (VIII) and 18-seed Trey McGee from Northern Adirondack (VII) in the pre-quarter. Down the road, a possible semifinal against Section IV champion 3-seed Garrett Bidwell could be on deck for Dontae on Saturday morning.

Section VI cohort Trevor Barry (10th, 40-5) from Iroquois earned the 5-seed in the bracket. Barry will meet either the 12-seed Liam Abraham from Hackley School or 21-seed Luc Angus from John Glenn in the pre-quarters. A potential matchup in the quarterfinal with 4-seed Logan Marissal (12th, 29-1) from Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George (II) might be a big opportunity for the Chiefs’ sophomore to land a spot in the Saturday morning semi, most likely against the strongman from Homer.

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Div. I: Surprisingly, no 2020 state qualifiers appear in this bracket. However, it does look like there will be plenty of talent to make up for the overall lack of state tournament experience. The field features four unbeaten wrestlers, three with only one loss, and six more with only two or three losses on the season.

The third of Section VI’s top three seeds in the tournament is Frontier senior Konrad Krzyszton (33-1) in the large school bracket. Konrad will meet the winner of 16-seed Roy Gamble from Massena and 17-seed Nicholas Rozo from Benjamin Cardozo HS (PSAL) in the pre-quarter round. A win in that match would guarantee for Krzyszton a quarterfinal showdown with one of the two representatives from Nassau County teams.

Lockport’s sectional runner-up and auto-qualifier to Albany, senior 5-seed Stefaan Fearon (29-4), has a bye in the first round too. Fearon will meet either Section V runner-up 12-seed Bobby Foltz from Pittsford or 21-seed Dylan Page from Kellenberg HS (CHSAA). A potential quarterfinal showdown with 4-seeded Marc Berisha from Fox Lane could be a huge match, especially if Krzyszton is in position to make the semifinal as well. Could we get Konrad/Stefaan round five in the state semifinal?

Either way, at least one of the Section VI wrestlers is guaranteed to not make the final, however both are completely capable of earning at least a top eight place finish.

Frontier’s Konrad Krzyszton is the top seed in the Division I 285-pound NYS wrestling championships bracket this weekend. Photo courtesy of Bob Koshinski. 

Div. II: Count the small school heavyweight bracket in as one that is essentially up for grabs as well. Only two past state tournament qualifiers return here, but neither are place winners. Warrensburg junior Tristen Hitchcock (11th, 43-2) is the top overall seed in the bracket. Section VI champion Charles LaRose (12th, 31-5) from Newfane will start the weekend as the 9-seed and meet Camden’s Josh Salsman (11th, 32-9), the Section III runner-up, in the pre-quarter. Should Hitchcock and LaRose advance to the quarters, a very exciting bout could ensure with a big opportunity for LaRose to take the ‘upset’ victory.

Meanwhile, Randolph’s Ryan Carpenter (11th, 23-8) is the 20-seed in the bracket entering as a ‘true 2nd’ winner at sectionals. Carpenter will take on returning qualifier Brody Fountain (12th, 18-4) from Malone (X) in the prelims. Carpenter could meet both retuning qualifiers in the weight if he advances from the prelims to see 4-seeded Connor Bushey from Beekmantown (VII) in the quarterfinals.

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