Tyler Barnes of Ballston Spa, Orion Anderson of Schuylerville and Trent Svingala of Maple Hill — state wrestling champions from a year ago –return to the tournament Friday as No. 1 seeds.
Section II has four top seeds, with Zack Lawrence of Duanesburg joining the 2017 bracket winners for the mat showcase at the Times Union Center.
Competition begins Friday at 10 a.m. with the preliminary round, while championship quarterfinals start at 2 p.m., and the consolation wrestlebacks start at 4 p.m. Saturday’s slate features the championship semifinals at 10 a.m. and the championship finals at 6:30 p.m.
Barnes (43-0) pinned his way through the Section II Class B and Division I tournaments to earn a shot at a second straight New York 170-pound title. The North Carolina State-bound senior hasn’t lost since his sophomore year at the states when he placed fifth.
“I’m ready to go again,” said Barnes, who will open his bid against Jake Wright of Jamesville-DeWitt/CBA of Section III. “I’m going to go out and wrestle and do the best I can. Getting to the top of the podium again, that would be very cool.”
Anderson (35-1) will be striving for the Division II 126-pound title after winning state crowns in 2017 at 120 and 2016 at 106. The senior took second in the state at 99 pounds in 2015.
“I want to wrestle at the Division I level,” said Anderson, who is weighing his future options. “This is important for college. I think winning another state title will help.”
Svingala (38-0) has also moved up, to 120, after capturing the state 106-pound Division II title last year as a sophomore.
Lawrence (47-2) is No. 1 in Division II at 152. The state meet veteran was fifth last year as a sophomore at 145, and fourth at 113 in 2015.
Section II’s No. 2 seeds are first-year high school competitor Stevo Poulin of Shenendehowa (DI, 99 pounds, 41-1), Michael Gonyea of Columbia (DI, 126, 38-3), and 2017 145-pound state runner-up Kiernan Shanahan of Shenendehowa (DI, 145, 43-2).
Niskayuna is the only Section II team with three seeded wrestlers, with Thomas Minahan (138, No. 7), Eoghan Sweeney (160, No. 8) and Reggie Melvin (195, No. 7) in Division I.
“I’ve been going to states since since I was 6-years old, and this will be my fourth time wrestling there,” Sweeney said. “I haven’t been on the podium. I have the mindset that I don’t want to get left out.”
Melvin avenged three losses to get to the state tourney. Melvin beat top-seed Nico Mattia of Queensbury in the Section I Division I final after losing to him at the Saratoga invy. Melvin also beat second-seeded Parker Brooks of Shenendehowa in the Section II Division I semis after losing to him in a league dual and in the Section II Class A title match.
“When I lost to Brooks the second time, you start to question yourself. Is everything you’re doing for nothing?” Melvin said. “The answer was no, it wasn’t for nothing.”
Section II has a trio of seeded wrestlers in the Division II 160-pound bracket with Ethan Cooper of Cobleskill-Richmondville (No. 4), Dillan Palaszewski of Galway (No. 5) and Charlie Grygas of Duanesburg (No. 6).
SECTION II TOP 8 SEEDS
Stevo Poulin, 9, Shenendehowa, 99 (No. 2); Michael Gonyea, 12, Columbia, 126 (No. 2); Thomas Minahan, 11, Niskayuna, 138 (No. 7); Kiernan Shanahan, 11, Shenendehowa, 145 (No. 2); Eoghan Sweeney, 12, Niskayuna, 160 (No. 8); Tyler Barnes, 12, Ballston Spa, 170 (No. 1); Jake Cook, 12, Ballston Spa, 182 (No. 4); Nico Mattia, 12, Queensbury, 195 (No. 6); Reggie Melvin, 12, Niskayuna, 195 (No. 7).
Joey Scheeren, 9, Galway, 106 (No. 7); Trent Svingala, 11, Maple Hill, 120 (No. 1); Orin Anderson, 12, Schuylerville, 126 (No. 1); Daniel Motta, 11, Mechanicville/Stillwater, 132 (No. 7); Dylan Callahan, 12, Schoharie, 132 (No. 8); Zack Lawrence, 11, Duanesburg, 152 (No. 1); Ethan Cooper, 10, Cobleskill-Richmondville, 160 (No. 4); Dillan Palaszewski, 12, Galway, 160 (No. 5); Charlie Grygas, 11, Duanesburg, 160 (No. 6); Reggie Poulin, 12, Cohoes, 220 (No. 6).
Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.
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Categories: High School Sports, Sports