Few wrestlers have a name so fitting for their sport.
Sure, there are a few Matthews who go by “Mat” during the season. But Hunter Meys is just that — a hunter, an efficient predator on the mat who has made three trips to the state wrestling tournament, mostly by ending his matches well before the regulation six minutes are up.
“That’s what I’m going for every match. That’s the way I wrestle, I’m trying to get back points and a pin,” said Meys, a senior who, in all probability, will establish the national record for
career varsity pins when his Plainsmen host the Shenendehowa Invitational today. Meys, who pinned his way through the brackets to win a state title at 171 pounds last season, is 14-0 this season with 14 pins, giving him 188 for his five-plus year on the varsity.
That ties him with former Blair Academy standout heavyweight Steve Mocco for the
record recognized by Amateur Wrestling News.
Meys has been piling up pins since debuting as a seventh-grader, when he made the Plainsmen varsity as a 96-pounder.
“This is something that means a lot to me, because it’s something I’ve done over my high school career,” said Meys, who is as unassuming off the mat as he is dominant on it. “It wasn’t something I was thinking about or knew much about until last year.
“I’ve had a lot of great coaches who have taught me a lot about the sport.”
Meys went 47-0 in 2006-07, and only three opponents managed to go a full match with him, including Ravena’s Nate Graham, who went on to win the state Division II title at 171 pounds.
Since scoring decisions over Graham and MacArthur’s Dan Mahoney a year ago next week at the Eastern States Classic, Meys has ripped off 35 straight pins, including all 14 of his matches this winter.
Eleven of this year’s bouts ended in the first period, seven inside of a minute.
“I go out there looking for a pin, but I don’t go out there thinking about getting it in the first minute,” said Meys. “If it happens, it’s less time on the mat, which helps, especially in a tough tournament.”
Meys has never been one to be impressed by his own numbers, caring only to see the six points his team registers in dual meets.
But the numbers are staggering.
Meys, 221-10 for his career, has won 96 percent of his high school matches. Eighty-five percent of his wins have been pins. And, Meys has picked up a pin 81 percent of the time he has stepped onto the mat as a varsity wrestler.
“I really don’t pay attention to how many wins I have,” said Meys, who is within striking distance of the state record of 246 career wins.
Amsterdam, coming off an 8-2 effort at the two-day Cicero/North Syracuse, headlines today’s Patriot Invitational at Schenectady.
Four Rams — Brian Benton, Giuseppi Lanzi and Rob Morey — take 18-0 records into today’s event. Benton, third in the state last year, shows 218 career wins, Morey is second on the school’s all-time win list with 144, and Lanzi shows 128 career wins.
Saratoga Springs and Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk also host their invitationals today. Queensbury, Ballston Spa and Section IV’s Windsor should battle for the Saratoga title.
A proposal to add a regional qualifying level to the state individual tournaments will be considered by a committee Tuesday.
The current proposal, which would have to pass at least three steps in the administrative process before its inception, would break the 11 sections, plus the Catholic High Schools Athletic Association and the Public Schools Athletic League, into regions, with a format in place to determine how many athletes from each section would advance to the state Division I and II tournaments.
Under the initial proposal, Section II would be part of the Capital Region, along with Sections I and IX, at the DI level.
Section II would send four representatives from each weight class to battle in 12-man bracktes to send four wrestlers from the region to the states.
In Division II (small schools), Section II and Section VII would comprise the Capital Region. Section II would have five of the six wrestlers in each weight class in that tournament.
“This is just a proposal, and its the first stage,” said Section II chairman Marty Sherman, who will be part of the committee that looks at the proposal on Tuesday. “There has always been the question of whether we are getting all of our best kids to the state tournament, and this is another proposal designed with that in mind.
“This is another idea that has been proposed with the idea of fairness in mind.”
Details of the proposals can be seen at www.-nywrestling.com.
Ken Baker, who began the wrestling progam at Columbia High in 1963 and went on to coach numerous Section II champions at Hoosick Falls, died Wednesday at the age of 69.
Baker compiled a record of 243-57-6, including a mark of 192-46-5 in 17 years at Hoosick Falls. LaSalle Institute coach Jim Sutton was one of Baker’s Section II champions.
Baker also was a very successful football coach at Hoosick Falls and Cambridge.
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