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Section VI Division I State Qualifier Wrestling Roundup

The top seeded wrestlers in twelve of the fifteen weight classes won Section VI titles on Saturday at Starpoint HS. One second seeded wrestler, one third, and one fourth seed won individual titles as well to punch tickets to the NYS Championships in Albany. By mid-week the state-wide wildcard recipients should be announced and Section VI should be able to send at least half a dozen state qualifier runners-up to Albany. The Niagara Frontier League led all others with ten wrestlers claiming Section VI titles. Four champions came from schools representing the ECIC, and the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus League had one champion.


Williamsville North’s 7th grade star Cam Catrabone continued his impressive rookie season by winning the Section VI Div. I title. The top seeded Catrabone earned two pins and a finals major decision over Frontier’s 3-seed Travis Browning, who upset Wheatfield’s 2-seed Te’Shaun Mathews in the semifinal. Catrabone improved his season record to 34-1 and could be a contender for the NYS title in two weeks.


Top seeded Carson Alberti from Depew/Cleveland Hill won his first Section VI title after having placed 2nd two years ago and 3rd in 2017-2018 (both while in Division II). Alberti was a 2-0 decision winner in the final over Lancaster’s Myles Gronowski who was the bracket’s 2-seed. Alberti went 3-0 in head to head bouts against Gronowski this season and improved his record to 36-2 overall.


North Tonawanda’s now two-time Section VI champion Tyler Bartolomei defended his title with a 6-1 win over 2-seed and season long rival Jack Randle from Grand Island. Bartolomei earned two pins on the way to the final and improved his season record to 44-2. One of Tyler’s only two losses on the season was to Randle from January 12th, but the two met two more times since then with Bartolomei winning each of those bouts. Randle was a tight 3-0 winner over Depew/Cleveland Hill’s Michael Alberti in the semifinal.


After somewhat of an up and down season, Niagara Wheatfield’s Collin Coughenour had a strong last two weeks and topped it off with his second straight Section VI title on Saturday. The Falcon freshman met Niagara Falls’ Michael Snowden for the second time this season and earned a 6-4 decision win in the final. Snowden, the 3-seed, was a 5-1 winner over the 2-seed in Lancaster’s Nick Barberio in the semifinal, avenging a loss from the Class AA final. Coughenour improved to 28-8 on the season.


Williamsville North’s Mike Catanzaro had met Clarence’s Aiden Rabideau three times this season before Saturday’s final and lost all three of those bouts. However, the Spartan sophomore won the one that mattered most as he upset the top seeded Red Devil grappler 5-2 for his first Section VI title. 3-seed Catanzaro has racked up some excellent wins this season and improved to 29-7 overall. Rabideau is a two-time Section VI champion and should receive a wildcard to the NYS tournament.


Niagara Wheatfield’s Justin McDougald pinned his way through the field to earn his fourth Section VI title. The Falcon junior met Hamburg’s 2-seed Ryan Forrest in the final and earned the pin right at the end of the second period. Forrest defeated Olean 3-seed and returning state tournament representative Nick Bierfeldt in the semifinal, 10-6. Justin improved to 42-0 on the season and should be a favorite to win a NYS title in Albany.


Defending NYS champion Willie McDougald won his fourth sectional title for Niagara Falls. McDougald earned two falls before meeting Hamburg freshman Devin Collins in the final. The 3-seed Collins took down West Seneca West 2-seed Jacob Mancuso, 8-5, in the semifinal after having lost both of their previous meetings by major decision. In the final, Collins held McDougald to a major decision for the second time this season. McDougald improved to 40-1 and is on a collision course for the state title with the only wrestler to beat him this season.


Top-seeded Jake DeWolf has placed 2nd, 3rd, and 2nd in the Section each season leading up to this and finally earned his due with a Section VI title on Saturday. DeWolf went to Albany as a wildcard after a runner-up finish in the 2017-2018 final. Jake has had an outstanding senior season for the Falcons but has at times been limited by injury. However, he’s toughed his way to a 28-5 record and a Section VI title. DeWolf met West Seneca’s 2-seed and Class AA champion Kyle Bauer in the qualifier final.


In Saturday’s highest profile final another Wheatfield senior in Warren McDougald won his fourth Section VI title beating Lancaster’s two-time defending champion Ryan Stencel in the final. McDougald advanced on a major decision, a pin, and finals major to secure his last sectional title. Warren, a two-time state place winner, improved to 37-3 with the win and should be one of the top seeds for the NYS tournament. Stencel should be a shoo-in for a wildcard to States.


Grand Island’s Adam Daghestani remained undefeated with another dominating performance to win his first Section VI title. Daghestani was a runner-up last season and went to Albany as a wildcard. Adam improved to 45-0 this season and was one of three Viking champions on Saturday. Daghestani met Olean’s 3-seed Icar Simon in the final and was a winner by decision, 9-2. Simon upset 2-seed Jojo Dixon from Niagara Falls in the semifinal by decision, 8-2.


Wheatfield’s fifth winner of the night was now two-time defending Section VI champion Josh Thibeault. Thibeault used a tech fall and two pins to win his second sectional title and improve his season record to 39-4. Thibeault met Olean’s Devan Moore in the final and was a winner by pin in the second period. The 2-seed Moore had a come from behind win against the 3-seed in Frontier’s Dylan Wojciechowski in the semifinal to advance to the final.


Olean’s defending state place winner Pat Walsh was the top seed, but defending Section VI champion Connor Kenney avenged a 9-6 loss from the Class A final to repeat as sectional champion with a 10-3 finals win on Saturday. Kenney earned two falls on the way to the championship match and earned his second straight trip to Albany. Walsh, a 6th place finisher in NYS Division II last season, will likely receive a wildcard back to States this week. Kenney improved his season record to 38-7.


Orchard Park’s top seeded Mike Pataky became the first Quaker Section VI champion since Jason Weber in 2005. Pataky earned two falls and avenged a Class AA finals loss to Lancaster’s Codie Scotland in the sectional final, winning by decision 4-3. Pataky and Scotland met three times previously this season with Pataky winning two matches to Scotland’s one. Pataky improved to 40-2 overall heading into the NYS Div. I tournament. The 2-seed Scotland was a winner in the semifinal over Olean standout and 3rd seeded Conner Walsh.


Grand Island’s Blake Bielec was a runner-up in 2017-2018 and missed out on a wildcard to the state tournament. The Viking junior made sure to not let that happen again as he pinned all three of his opponents on Saturday to win his first Section VI title. Bielec met Hamburg’s John Haberman in the final and earned a pin a quarter of the way through the second period. It was the third meeting of the season between the grapplers. Bielec needed overtime to defeat the Bulldog junior in the Class A final. With the win, Blake improved to 41-2 overall this season.


Olean’s Tanner Hulse was the lowest seeded wrestler (4th seed) to win a Section VI title on Saturday in either Division I or II. Tulse earned a pin in the first round, then faced off with the top seed in Amherst’s Ryan Bitka. Hulse got in good position and threw the Tiger strongman to take the lead and hold on to it for the remainder of the match, ultimately winning 5-2. In the final, Tanner wrestled Niagara Wheatfield’s Kevin Halford for the second time in a week. Halford was a winner by fall over the Olean senior for 3rd at the Class A tournament. Saturday’s final went into overtime but Hulse came out a winner, 4-2, for his first Section VI title.

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