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  • Matt O'Rourke

Maple Grove’s Trim, Seventeen Place Winners Land Section VI Division II in Top Three; NYSPHSAA Wrestling Championships Roundup

Cover photo courtesy of Jeff Pataky

Seventeen place winners led by 215-pound champion Matt Trim pushed the Section VI Division II state tournament team to a 3rd place finish at the conclusion of wrestling at the 61st NYSPHSAA Intersectional Wrestling Championships in Albany on Saturday, moving up two spots from last year’s 5th place finish.


Seventeen place winners in one tournament for the Division II squad is the third highest total for Section VI in the twenty split division format tournaments going back to 2004. Only the 2020 (20), 2011 (20), and 2013 (18) Section VI small school state tournament teams placed more wrestlers than the 2024 team.

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

1. Section IV 263-points

2. Section III     246

3. Section VI   225

4. Section V       207

5. Section XI      128

6. Section II        118

7. Section VIII    93.5

8. Section IX      74

9. Section I 61

10. Section VII    53

11. Section X      50.5

12. AIS                22

13. PSAL             21



The 3rd place finish for the section’s small school representative team was the highest for Section VI since the 2018 team’s 2nd place finish, however the 225 team points scored was the 2nd highest total for Section VI since the 2016 team’s runner-up finish and 234.5 points.


Maple Grove senior Matt Trim was the lone champion for the Section VI small school team out of six total finalists on Saturday evening at MVP Arena in downtown Albany.


The returning NYS 8th place winner opened as the 5-seed in the 215-pound bracket. After a 4-0 decision in the pre-quarter, Trim was an impressive winner by pin in the second period over Eagle Academy’s (PSAL) returning place winner 4-seed Christian Solano to advance to the semifinal.


In the Saturday morning semi, Trim met top seeded 2022 state place winner Sean Kelly from Section III’s Lowville. A 1-1 tie after six minutes went into overtime where Trim earned the match sealing takedown with thirty seconds remaining in sudden victory to advance to the title match.

Trim // Pataky

At the same time, Chautauqua Lake junior Mason Maring reached the quarterfinal on the bottom side of the bracket as the 6-seed at 215. A 12-7 decision in the quarters advanced Maring to the semifinal, guaranteeing a podium finish in his second trip to Albany, the fifth different Chautauqua Lake wrestler to do so since 2018.


In the semifinal, Maring met dangerous 18-seed Dominic Jones from Mt. Markham (III). Holding onto a 4-3 lead with little time remaining in the third period, Maring was able to defend against a last ditch takedown effort from Jones to earn the takedown himself and hold on for the 6-3 decision win, meaning an all-WNY, all-Chautauqua County state final would be in store at 215.


Maring // Pataky

In the Saturday night state final, the fourth meeting of the season between Trim and Maring ended tied 0-0 after the first two minutes of the bout. However, the Red Dragon senior jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the second half of the second period with two sets of three near falls.


Trim // Pataky

After choosing down to start the third, Trim escaped with only a minute remaining in the match, eventually earning another takedown and set of near fall points, ultimately holding on to win the NYS Division II 215-pound title by an 11-0 major decision.

Trim // Pataky

Trim // Pataky

Trim is the second NYS champion in Maple Grove’s program history (Brad Bihler, 2016) and his state place finishes account for two of the thirteen for the Red Dragons in the last ten years.

Trim // Pataky

In addition to Trim and Maring, four more Section VI wrestlers reached the small school finals in their respective brackets on Saturday including Newfane senior JJ Lucinski (101-pounds), Wilson junior Jacob Stephenson (160), Southwestern sophomore Tavio Hoose (190), and Wilson sophomore Willy Wortkoetter (285).


Stephenson // Pataky

Newfane, Southwestern, and Wilson accounted for nine of the section’s seventeen place finishes as all three teams landed three place winners each which also helped to land all three in the top-10 of the individual team scoring race. Section IV powerhouse Tioga again locked up the team title with a staggering 210.5 team points.


2024 NYSPHSAA Wrestling Championships – Section VI teams in the top-25:


1. Tioga (IV)                           210.5

2. Palmyra-Macedeon (V)       80

3. Wilson (VI)                      71

4. Southwestern (VI)           59

5. Copenhagen (III)                 56

6. Honeoye Falls-Lima (V)         54.5

7. Canisteo-Greenwood (V)    48.5

7. Port Byron/US/CM/JE (III)  48.5

9. Shoreham-Wading River (XI)  43.5

10. Cold Spring Harbor (XI)     42

10. Newfane (VI)                 42

14. Chautauqua Lake (VI)   39.5

25. Lewiston-Porter (VI)      29.5

Newfane senior JJ Lucinski reached the final as the 2-seed in the 101-pound bracket after having placed 4th in NYS a season ago. Lucinski opened on Friday with a pin and a major decision to be the first of ten Section VI wrestlers to advance to the small school semifinals.


A convincing 9-3 decision over Jordan-Elbridge’s (III) Mason Tanner advanced JJ to the title match against another Section III wrestler in 5-seeded Andrew Juliano, who was an overtime winner by pin over the 1-seed in the semifinal.


Lucinski // Pataky

In the title match, JJ would score the first points with a takedown in the first period. In the second period, choice was deferred to Lucinski who took bottom, however Juliano’s attack on top led to a pin in the second period.


Lucinski // Pataky

Nonetheless, Lucinski’s place finish made him one of six multi-time state placers in the history of Newfane Wrestling while also becoming the sixth different Panther to reach the state final.


At 160-pounds, returning state qualifier Jacob Stephenson picked up three impressive pins on the way to the title match.


In the quarterfinal, Stephenson earned a fast one minute, forty-five second pin over 3-seed returning 5th place finisher Beau Zeh from Canisteo-Greenwood to shock the crowd.

In the semifinal, Stephenson again demanded the crowds’ attention with a late pin over the 2-seeded Mason Rowley from Little Falls (III) to advance to the title match, becoming the first Wilson Lakemen wrestler to reach the NYS finals in program history.

Stephenson // Pataky


In the final, Jacob met Tioga’s two-time defending NYS champion in senior Ousmane Duncanson, who would go on to win his third title with a technical fall.


Stephenson // Pataky

Defending NYS champion Tavio Hoose returned the state tournament as the top seed at 190-pounds. Tavio advanced to the quarterfinal with a pin in his opening match before gutting out a 4-2 decision over Section III’s 8-seeded Avery Canzano from Cortland to return to the Saturday semifinal.


In the semi, Hoose fell behind 2-1 by the end of the first period conceding the first takedown to Hudson Falls’ (II) returning 5th place winner and 5-seeded Jesse Mullis. However, an explosive second period from Tavio gave him a 6-3 lead going into the third period, where he would eventually hold on to win 6-5 to advance back to the title match.


Hoose // Pataky

The 190-pound final featured a rematch of the 2023 172-pound final as Tavio would meet 2-seeded Cold Spring Harbor (VIII) junior Greyson Meak for the second consecutive year; Hoose was a 5-4 decision winner over Meak for the title a season ago. However, this time around, Meak was able to edge out Tavio with key takedowns in the first and third periods and good control on top.

Hoose // Pataky


Tavio’s appearance in the final was the 8th different state title match appearance by a Trojan, while he also became the sixth wrestler in program history place at least twice at the state tournament.


Rounding out the finalists for Section VI was Wilson’s sophomore heavyweight William Wortkoetter.


‘Willy’ entered as the 2-seed in the 285-pound bracket and opened with an 8-0 major decision in his first appearance in Albany. A 6-3 decision over Saranac’s (VII) Dylan Cogswell in the quarters advanced Wortkoetter to the semifinal, guaranteeing a top-6 place finish.


In the semi, Willy met Windsor’s (IV) 6-seeded Gabe Soundararaj, who was just coming off an upset over the 3-seed in the quarters. A well executed 7-2 decision for Wortkoetter over Soundararaj was enough to send him to the state tournament final, joining teammate Jacob Stephenson and helping to set a new Wilson Wrestling program milestone.


Wortkoetter // Pataky

In the final against 5-seeded Troy Beeman from Section IV’s Wavely, Wortkoetter got the first takedown but traded an escape, a takedown for Beeman, and an escape of his own to tie the match 3-3 after two minutes. Escapes by both wrestlers in each of the next periods took the bout into overtime tied 4-4.

In the first sudden victory OT period, Wortkoetter attempted a takedown to the seal the win, but Beeman capitalized and added near fall points, going on to win 9-4 for the Division II heavyweight title.


Wortkoetter // Pataky

3rd place: Southwestern sophomore Carmine Calimeri landed his third and best state place finish yet posting a 4-1 record in Albany for a 3rd place finish at 131-pounds. Carmine opened as the 2-seed in the bracket but fell in the semifinal. With another place finish already secured, Calimeri dominated his final two opponents on Saturday with a fifty-nine second pin in the consolation semi before a fifty-second pin in the 3rd place bout. All four of Carmine’s wins were by pin in Albany where he now has three place finishes with two years left at Southwestern which is a new program record.


Calimeri // Pataky

3rd place: Certified fan favorite Wilson junior Hamza Merrick once again electrified the crowd in Albany. The returning 8th place winner opened as the 4-seed at 285-pounds and won his first match by pin in less than a minute. An OT loss to the eventual finalist landed him in the consolation bracket where he earned a forty-two second pin in the blood before an electric eleven-second pin in the following round. A 5-2 decision advanced Hamza to the 3rd place match where he capped off another exciting performance with a first period pin to capture state tournament bronze while becoming the first Wilson wrestler to place multiple times at the state championships.


4th place: Lewiston-Porter senior Caden Barrientos reached the semifinal at 124-pounds as the 3-seed in the bracket for his first appearance at the state tournament. A pre-quarter pin and narrow 3-2 decision in the quarters landed him a spot in the semifinals against eventual champion Chase Nevills from Section III’s Copenhagen. After a 5-2 decision in the consolation semifinal, Caden had to settle for 4th in NYS falling by decision in the 3rd place match.


Barrientos // Pataky

5th place: Junior Jaron Barrientos, like Caden, was the 3-seed in his respective weight class for his first appearance in Albany. An opening round technical fall followed by a 4-0 decision advanced him to the semifinal to meet 2-seed Anthony Valls from Chenango Valley (IV). In that match, an escape by Jaron with thirty seconds left in the 3rd period tied it, but Valls got the OT takedown to advance to the final. After falling in the consolation semi, Jaron ended his tournament with a statement 12-1 major decision over two-time state placer Joe Scott from Section V’s Letchworth for 5th at 108-pounds. Caden and Jaron became the 12th and 13th different wrestlers in program history to place at the state tournament from Lewiston-Porter.


Barrientos // Pataky

5th place: Randolph’s Caden Inkley was a 5th place winner at 152-pounds in his first trip to the state championships. Caden started with an impressive 14-3 major in his first match before falling to the top seed in the quarters. In the blood round, Inkley’s takedown with less than a minute in the second period proved to be the difference maker as he would hold on to win by decision 2-1 to guarantee a top-8 podium finish, the first Cardinal to do so since 2018 and only the fifth in program history to reach the podium. Eventually, a close 4-0 loss to three-time place winner Vandavian Way from Gouverneur (X) sent Inkley to the 5th place match where he earned a quality 8-3 decision over Honeye Falls-Lima’s (V) Waylan Winseman for 5th in NYS.


6th place: The 138-pound Division II bracket was without a doubt the deepest weight class amongst both divisions in Albany. Three state champions, eight total place winners, and thirteen wrestlers with state tournament experience occupied the twenty-entries. 2023 state champion and 2-seeded Jordan Joslyn from Chautauqua Lake earned a technical fall before picking up a 7-4 decision over HF-L’s tough Jacob McVige in the quarterfinals. A 5-2 decision loss to Tioga’s Gianni Silvestri in a rematch of their 2023 126-pound state final classic sent Jordan to the consolations, where he unfortunately was forced to bow out due to injury.


6th place: Southwestern senior Neves Hoose became latest of the brothers to place at the state wrestling tournament. The Section VI champion fell in the quarterfinal to the eventual runner-up, but a 3-0 decision over Cold Spring Harbor’s Ethan Eoanidis in the blood round ensured a top-8 podium finish. Another close win, 3-1, over Sackets Harbor’s (III) Kayleb Martin ensured at least 6th place in the 170-pound Division II bracket. Neves is the 23rd different wrestler to place at the state tournament in Trojans Wrestling history.


7th place: 22-seeded freshman Mason DellaPenta reached the podium in his first trip to Albany representing Eden. Mason fell in the very first round of the tournament but won three consecutive consolation matches to guarantee a place finish. In those three matches, Mason upset the 16, 19, and 7-seeds in that order, and all by decision, just to ensure a podium finish. In the 7th place match, he earned another close decision, 3-0, over 9-seeded Colton Schmiesing from Oyster Bay (VIII) to leave Albany on a winning note.


DellaPenta // Pataky

7th place: Newfane’s Ayden Buttery earned a second straight state tournament place finish taking 7th place at 145-pounds. Ayden earned a quality win over Tioga’s Deakon Bailey in the pre-quarter but fell to South Jefferson’s (III) Riley Monica thereafter, but a pin over AIS’s Leo Tansey from Collegiate School in the blood round guaranteed a place finish. In the 7th place bout, a reversal early in the third period proved to be the difference maker for Ayden as he would hold on to win, 3-2, over Central Valley’s (III) three time state placer Cooper Reed.


8th place: Medina’s Section VI true 2nd place winner from the sectional championships, Reece Senske, made the most of his opportunity by reaching the 108-pound small school podium in Albany. The Mustang junior won three consecutive consolation matches in impressive fashion starting with a pin, a major, and capped off by an 8-6 sudden victory win over Adirondack’s (III) Seth Strain in the consolation blood round.


Senske // Pataky

8th place: Going back to the 138-pound Div. II bracket…Newfane’s three time state place winner and returning finalist Aidan Gillings battled for a podium finish along with the rest of the returning stars in the bracket ultimately landing 8th in the weight class. In a rematch of last year’s 132-pound title match, ‘Gilly’ met returning state champion Brayden Fahrbach from Section XI’s Mt. Sinai in the quarterfinal. A narrow 4-2 loss sent Aidan to the wrestle backs to meet up with Marcellus/Onondaga’s (III) Colin Scherer where Gillings was a third period blood round winner by pin. A sudden victory overtime loss to Tamarac’s (II) fellow returning state placer Trevor Bishop landed Aidan in the 7th place match against another tough opponent in HF-L‘s McVige. Sections V and VI occupied four of the eight place finishes at 138 by Saturday night. Naturally, the eventual champion Fahrbach was named Division II tournament Most Outstanding Wrestler.


Gillings // Pataky

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


Of the thirteen sectional champions, a remarkable twelve of them reached the podium in their respective weight classes including all five senior Section VI champions.

Out of the seventeen place winners, only the five senior placers graduate in the spring, meaning twelve state place winners will return for Section VI next season including eight defending sectional champions led by finalists Stephenson, Hoose, and Wortkoetter, three time place winners Caimeri and Gillings, and two time placers Buttery and Merrick.


Out of the twenty-six competing athletes in Albany, ten total will graduate in the spring while a whopping sixteen will return next season.


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

(* = Section VI champion)

116: Dylan Newman, 9th (Falconer)*


Newman // Pataky

116: Thandon Bensink, 9th (Chautauqua Lake)


Bensink // Pataky

124: Trevor DellaPenta 10th (Eden)


131: Kenji Walters, 12th (Southwestern)


145: Ethan Coleman, 12th (Portville/Cuba-Rushford)


152: Michael Horth, 12th (Gowanda)

Horth // Pataky


160: Ronan Klug, 11th (Barker/Royalton-Hartland)


170: Evan Leonard, 12th (Franklinville)


190: Jayden Malecki, 12th (Chautauqua Lake)


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




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