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Section VI Division II Wrestling State Qualifier Preview and Predictions

Eight defending Section VI Div. II champions (nine total) and three state tournament wildcards are back from the 2017-2018 team. The Section sent thirty total wrestlers to the NYS tournament in February 2018, which included the fifteen Section VI champions and fifteen wildcards which was more than any other section. Section VI finished behind only Section III (CNY) in the team standings and crowned two state champions for the second time in three years (four champs in 2016).

With only twelve returning athletes with state tournament experience, Saturday’s qualifier at Lake Shore will send many wrestlers to Albany for the first time. Sparks are guaranteed to fly in weight classes that feature accomplished veterans and others where a new champion will be crowned.


Top seeds:

  1. Andy Lucinski – Newfane – 10th grade

  2. Brayden Newman – Falconer – 10

  3. Martin Ohlsson – Chautauqua Lake – 8

  4. Nolan Skowronski – East Aurora – 9

Lucinski is the defending Seciton VI champion back at weight and a 6th place finisher in NYS last season. The Panther sophomore is currently 35-2. Of the other top seeds, Lucinski has only met Skowronski and was a major decision winner, 12-3, then a winner by decision 10-3 in the Class B final. Newman (37-10) has a head to head win by decision over Skowronski and two majors over Ohlsson. Ohlsson (32-6) and Skowronski (35-8) have been excellent for their teams this year. Keep an eye on some additional opening round draw-in matches that need to be wrestled as a result of the five-match rule in the class tournaments from last weekend.

Final prediction: Andy Lucinski maj. dec. Brayden Newman, 12-2


Top seeds:

  1. David Ball – Gowanda – 10

  2. Donovan Bukaczeski – Iroquois – 10

  3. Nick Szortyka – Tonawanda – 11

  4. Adam Huntington – Newfane – 9

  5. Trent Burchanowski – Chautauqua Lake – 8

Ball placed 4th in Section VI Div. II at 99-pounds in 2018 and enters Saturday’s qualifier undefeated at 31-0. Ball has only seen Huntington and Burchanowski this season and has two decision wins over the former and major over the latter in the Class C/D final. Bukaczeski (34-6, 4th in 2018) has been wrestling great lately and has two wins by fall over the three seed and an 11-2 major win over Huntington from the Class B final. Szortyka (28-10, 6th in 2018), Huntington (26-8), and Burchanowksi (23-11) are all capable of having huge days. Ball should be the favorite in this weight class, but don’t be surprised if the bracket gets flipped upside down.

Final prediction: David Ball dec. Donovan Bukaczeski, 8-2


Top seeds:

  1. Alex Skowronski – East Aurora – 11

  2. Daniel Kirsch – Pioneer – 9

  3. Michael Schiffhauer – Iroquois – 9

  4. Garrett Swan – Southwestern – 10

  5. Trent Reid – Lewiston-Porter – 9

The weight class is wide open for any of the top seeded wrestlers to become the 2019 Section VI Div. II 113-pound champion. Skowronski (40-4) has quietly put together an outstanding season after starting the 2018-2019 campaign 18-0. Alex was 5th in Section VI at 113 last year and was the top seed at the weight. He’s got two head to head decision wins over both Reid and Kirsch and one over Schiffhauer. Kirsch (37-5) has three decision wins over Schiffhauer this season, two of them decided by four points or less. Kirsch also has a major decision win against Swan and an overtime loss to Skowronski. Schiffhauer (28-10) has a handful of strong wins including an OT win against Swan, as well as some disappointing losses. He’s wrestled very tough for the Chiefs this season and is in position to possibly avenge his losses to Kirsch should the pair make the semifinal. Swan (14-2, 3rd in 2018 at 106) has seen limited action this season on account of recovering from injury. However, he’s one of only two returning place winners in the bracket and might be thinking upset. Reid (28-15) has wrestled strong in the second half of this season. Regardless of the outcomes, this may be one of the most entertaining weight classes this weekend as a host of athletes look to make a name for themselves.

Final prediction: Daniel Kirsch dec. Alex Skowronski, 4-2


Top seeds:

  1. Josh Gill – Newfane – 12

  2. Luke Tomlinson – Maple Grove – 9

  3. Ryan Sweeney – Iroquois – 9

  4. Hunter Harris – Chautauqua Lake – 10

  5. Blake Colantino – Eden – 11

Another wide open weight class in Division II. Gill (34-6) has a win over Tomlinson, 9-4, and Sweeney, 5-1, whom he beat for the Class B title. Tomlinson (39-3) was a sectional finalist in 2018 but didn’t receive a wildcard to the state tournament. He’s got three wins over Harris (two pins) and one over Colantino, 13-6. Sweeney (34-10, 4th place 2018) has some excellent wins this season but a few subpar losses. He does have a 9-3 win over Colantino and met Gill in the Class B final. Harris (24-10, 5th in 2018) has looked strong at times this season wrestling as high as 132 for the Thunderbirds. Harris has a 4-2 win over Colantino from the Class C/D tournament. Colantino is 32-11 and was 6th in Div. II at 113-pounds last season.

Final prediction: Luke Tomlinson dec. Josh Gill, 4-3


Top seeds:

  1. Mohamed Alshawi – Lackawanna – 9

  2. Julian Martin – Lake Shore – 10

  3. Kyle Killian – Lake Shore – 12

  4. Jake Jozwiak – Iroquois – 11

  5. Colby Petrie – Medina – 5

Alshawi had a day in the 2018 state qualifier winning the Section VI Div. II 113-pound title as the 4th seed. Alshwai (19-4) has some close matches with numerous seeded wrestlers in and around this weight class. Martin (26-13, sectional finalist in 2018) has a win over teammate Killian in the Class B final. Killian (28-11) has a win over Alshawi and split 1-1 with Jozwiak this season. Jozwiak is 32-10. Petrie (28-2) is a darkhorse who could really cause an issue in this bracket. Unseeded wrestlers in Southwestern’s Michael Carnes (3rd place 2018), Chautauqua Lake’s Brendon Rowe, and Franklinville’s Nolan Palmatier could be an issue for the favorites too. Iroquois’s Tristan DeGrace and Fredonia’s Brandon Wallace (5th in 2018) will wrestle a ‘rat tail’ match before the tournament’s first round even begins. This bracket has the potential for pure chaos.

Final prediction: Colby Petrie maj. dec. Julian Martin, 9-1



Top seeds:

  1. Austin Bourgeois – Chautauqua Lake – 12

  2. Jake Vergien – Iroquois – 12

  3. Giovani Russo – Fredonia – 12

  4. Tyler Le – Cheektowaga – 12

  5. Tyler Barry – Iroquois – 10

  6. Brendon Ramsey – Chautauqua Lake – 10

Bourgeois (29-3) was 3rd at 126 last February and earned the top seed for Saturday’s qualifier. The only other top six seeded wrestler Bourgeois has wrestled this season is teammate and defending Section VI champion Brendon Ramsey (22-14). Bourgeois and Ramsey split 1-1 against one another this season, as Ramsey won the first meeting 3-1, then Bourgeois 7-1 in the Class C/D final. Vergien (40-3) placed 3rd in Section VI last season and went to the NYS tournament as a wildcard. Vergien has been lights out for the Chiefs this season. Jake has a tech fall win over Le and a 5-4 decision win from the Class B final over Russo. Russo (29-3) is a defending sectional finalist and earned a wildcard to Albany. He’s put together an excellent season, earning wins over Ramsey (by pin) and Barry. Le (30-10) has had an up and down year for the Warriors. Le placed 4th in Section VI a year ago but took 4th in Class B last weekend after losses to Vergien and Barry. Tyler is 1-1 with Barry this season and has a win over Ramsey. He could play spoiler in a big way on Saturday. Barry (35-11) is an opponent not to be taken lightly.

Final predictions: Jake Vergien tech. fall. Tyler Le, 17-2


Top seeds:

  1. Zach Braddell – Tonawanda – 12

  2. Dalton Gardner – Fredonia – 11

  3. Ather Phommatha – Pioneer – 12

Braddell, a three-time Section VI champion and two-time state place winner and Gardner, a two-time sectional champion, met in the Class B final where Braddell was a 7-4 winner. Braddell (34-4) will be the favorite heading into Saturday as another final showdown with Gardner is the most probable scenario on Saturday evening. Gardner (37-4) has been excellent this season taking down many quality opponents. Phommatha (38-10) took 3rd in Class B and is back at weight after taking 5th in Section VI last season.

Final prediction: Zach Braddell dec. Dalton Gardner, 3-1


Top seeds:

  1. Jimmy Kramer – Falconer – 12

  2. Ryan Nugent – Newfane – 10

  3. Kameron Riordan – Pioneer – 10

  4. Derek Ecklund – Chautauqua Lake – 12

Kramer (45-5) has had an outstanding senior season and he’ll look to top it off with a Section VI title. Kramer finished 4th at 132 in 2018 and moved up to 145 for this postseason after spending much of the season at 138. Of the other top four seeds, Jimmy has only seen Ecklund and was an 8-5 winner for the Class C/D title. Nugent (29-10) was a sectional finalist at 120-pounds last season. He’s split 1-1 with Riordan this season with the most recent result a 2-0 win in the Class B final. Riordan is 33-13 and placed 6th in 2018. Ecklund has a season record of 24-3 but missed the first month. Ecklund has some quality wins and only two of his 24 victories were forfeits. Derek placed 5th at 145 in 2018.

Final prediction: Jimmy Kramer dec. Kameron Riordan, 7-2


Top seeds:

  1. Johnny Putney – East Aurora – 12

  2. Giovanni Schifano – Eden – 11

  3. Sam Grey – Cattaraugus-Little Valley – 12

  4. Dakota Mascho – Portville – 9

With a 39-3 record this season Putney has been outstanding. He’s a defending Section VI champion and moved up from 145 to 152 for the postseason. Putney has a major decision win over Schifano. Schifano (39-2) has had an outstanding season, posting decision wins over both Grey and Mascho. Schifano placed 3rd in Section VI at 145 in 2018. Third seeded Sam Grey is 36-3 this season and hasn’t received a forfeit. He placed 4th in the Section at 145 last year and has had quite a two-year rivalry with Portville’s young star Mascho. Grey is 2-1 against him this season, but Mascho won the most recent matchup by pin in Class C/D semifinal. Mascho is 37-4 and as 8th grader placed 3rd at 152.

Final prediction: Johnny Putney maj. dec. Giovanni Schifano, 9-1


Top seeds:

  1. Cory Day – Iroquois – 12

  2. Nick Saeger – Falconer – 12

  3. Tate Bryant – Southwestern – 11

  4. Roland Thompson – Portville – 11

Day (36-3) is a defending sectional champion and NYS 4th place finisher. He’s the clear favorite in the weight class for Saturday’s qualifier. Saeger is 42-9 this season and made the jump to 160 for the postseason. He placed 6th at 138 last season. Saeger was an overtime winner against Bryant (27-10) in the C/D final. Bryant has two decision wins over Thompson (28-8, 6th in 2018) this season.

Final: Cory Day p. Nick Saeger


  1. Ceric Kristan – Fredonia – 10

  2. Cleon Lawton – Franklinville – 11

  3. Austin Silwinski – Cheektowaga – 12

  4. Bryce Baglia – Falconer – 11

  5. Nick Marsh – Frewsburg – 12

The weight class is up for grabs. Kristan (33-6, 6th place 2018) won the Class B title with a win over Silwinski (24-10, 4th place 2018), 6-2, in the final. Kristan also has a win over Marsh and a pin against Lawton. Lawton is 28-2 and won the C/D title with a win over Baglia, 5-2, in the final. Lawton placed 4th at 170 last year. Baglia is 40-12 with only two wins by forfeit. Marsh enters the qualifier with a 27-6 record. He was 6th at 170 in the 2018 qualifier.

Final prediction: Ceric Kristan dec. Cleon Lawton 7-3


Top seeds:

  1. Jason Frazer – Tonawanda – 11

  2. Jake Tomlinson – Maple Grove – 11

  3. Hudson Johnson – Falconer – 11

  4. Austin Sitarek – East Aurora – 12

  5. Kyle Wittenrich – Franklinville- 11

Div. II 182 is another weight class that is there for the taking. Frazer is 31-7 and won the Class B title with a pin over Sitarek in the final. Tomlinson has been solid for the Red Dragons posting a 31-9 record this season and winning the C/D title with a 13-7 win over Johnson (33-15). Tomlinson was a 13-2 major decision winner over Johnson as well about a month ago. This is anyone’s weight class to win.

Final prediction: Jake Tomlinson dec. Jason Frazer, 7-5


Top seeds:

  1. Robbie Penhollow – Falconer – 12

  2. Millard Young – Akron – 12

  3. Karson Grover – Barker/Royalton-Hartland – 12

Penhollow is 42-1 and a defending Section VI champion. He’s been one of the most dominate wrestlers in WNY all season with no signs of slowing down. Penhollow wrestled the majority of the season at 182 but chose to move up for a run at a state title. Penhollow and Young have met twice this season. Robbie won by major decision 8-0 in the first meeting and a winner by pin in C/D final. Young (27-3, 3rd place 2018) has two wins over Grover by decision. Young’s only other loss is to an out of section opponent. Grover is 20-8 and was 6th at 195 in the 2018 state qualifier.

Final prediction: Robbie Penhollow p. Millard Young



  1. Mike Rigerman – Pioneer – 12

  2. Jake Skinner – Fredonia – 11

  3. Jacob Zachar – Randolph – 12

Rigerman is 36-0, a defending Section VI champion, and 4th place NYS finisher. After a late start to his season, Rigerman has looked dominate every week. Rigerman was a winner by pin over Skinner in the Class B final. Skinner (31-9) has wrestled Zachar three times this season. He was a 7-3 decision winner and then by pin. Zachar earned a 12-6 win their last meeting. Zachar (25-7) was 4th at 195 in 2018.

Final prediction: Mike Rigerman p. Jake Skinner


Top seeds:

  1. Ty Casinelli – Newfane – 12

  2. Jaden Heers – Newfane – 12

  3. Trevor Smith – Pioneer – 12

  4. Ben Szymanowski – Chautauqua Lake – 12

Teammates Casinelli (28-9) and Heers (21-3) have wrestled one another three times this season. Casinelli holds the head to head advantage 2-1. Heers has the most recent win with a 6-3 decision in the Class B final. Heers placed 3rd in 2018 at 220 while Casinelli was 4that 285 last season. Smith (31-7, 5th at 220) has two decision losses to Heers and an overtime win against Casinelli. Szymanowski (27-9) was a section finalist and NYS tournament wildcard at 220 last season. He spent much of this season at 220 and hasn’t encountered the three wrestlers seeded above him.

Final prediction: Ty Casinelli dec. Trevor Smith, 5-4

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