Shenendehowa nabs wrestling title

Class A meet decided on final match
Niskayuna senior wrestler Willie Thacker won the Section II Class A 138-pound title Saturday at Shenendehowa High School.
Niskayuna senior wrestler Willie Thacker won the Section II Class A 138-pound title Saturday at Shenendehowa High School.

CLIFTON PARK — All the Shenendehowa wrestling team could do was watch and hope as the final match of the Section II Class A tournament unfolded Saturday night.

“If Shaker pins, Shaker wins,” Shenendehowa assistant coach Frank Popolizio said.

Brian Garrity of Shaker decisioned Colonie’s Hayden Roe 2-1 in the 285-pound final to conclude the competition, and with that, Shenendehowa snared another team title to go with the Section II large-school dual crown it copped a few weeks ago.

Shenendehowa finished with 196.5 points, while Columbia closed with 196. Shaker totaled 195.5.

“We were rooting for Colonie for six minutes,” Shenendehowa coach Rob Weeks said, before outlining the points scenario. “If they [Shaker] win, they get four points. If they pin, add two additional points.”

Shenendehowa sent five wrestlers to the finals and had winners in 106-pounder Stevo Poulin and 145-pounder Brock Delsignore.

“I thought the key was the wrestleback rounds,” Weeks said. “Guys are tired at that point, and we had guys step up. Those points helped.”

Poulin got his second Class A title with three pins, the last a 19-second fall against Antonio Encarnacion of Saratoga Springs, as the sophomore state champion ran his season record to 36-0 and two-year varsity mark to 81-1.

“This weekend was a good warm up for next week,” Poulin said of the Section II state meet Division I qualifier in Glens Falls. “I got a few pins and got some points for the team. This weekend was more of a team thing for me.”

Delsignore won his third class title after securing two while at South Glens Falls with a 16-7 major decision over Columbia’s Michael Altomer. The sophomore recorded two pins before claiming his title.

“Every championship feels good,” Delsignore said. “Every bout I go into, I go into it to win.”

Niskayuna senior Willie Thacker notched one of the more significant wins Saturday when he decisioned Saratoga’s Eric Griskowitz — last year’s 120-pound champion — in the 138-pound final 5-3.

“He beat me at the Saratoga tournament in the semifinals in double overtime,” Thacker said. “I planned on meeting him here in the final. All week, I practiced defending his moves.”

Thacker survived overtime to set up  rematch with the top-seeded Griskowitz. Thacker was seeded third.

“We were 7-7 going into overtime,” Thacker said of his semifinal bout with Shenendehowa’s Seamus Leavey. “With five seconds left he took a shot. I pushed him aside and I countered for the win. It was a good day.”

“It’s a confidence boost for him,” Niskayuna coach Shaun Neely said. “He’s going into the sectionals knowing it’s there for the taking.”

Niskayuna had a meet-leading six finalists and two other Silver Warriors emerged as champions, with Ben Catrambone decisioning Jacob Slovak of Columbia 6-3 at 126 pounds, and Peter Meshkov decisioning Colden Dorfman of Shenendehowa 8-2 at 160 pounds.

“It feels great, especially to dominate a kid like that and not let them get a reversal at the end,” said Meshkov, who lost in the 145-pound final last year to eventual state runner-up Kiernan Shanahan. “This is great for my confidence.”

Catrambone was also a 2018 Class A runner-up, to Griskowitz.

“We hadn’t seen that kid from Columbia, so Ben was a little cautious,” Neely said. “We know he [Slovak] is an upper body thrower. Ben played it safe and got the win on points.”

Before Garrity, Shaker got wins from Jashon Holmes at 99, Michael Santore at 113 and Tyler Stanton at 152. Other Class A champions were Aiden Scott of Columbia at 120, Anthony Canova of Bethlehem at 132, Logan Stark of Colonie at 170, Liam Mooney of Colonie at 182, Brant Robinson of Saratoga at 195, and Doug Cooper of Saratoga at 220. The Saratoga seniors were repeat Class A champions.


Ballston Spa captured its third straight team title and second in a row at the Class B level with 224 points, and host Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (205.5) and Queensbury (186) followed.

Ballston Spa’s champions were Nick Palso at 99, James Prastio at 160 and Jake Stangle at 285. Palso and Stangle secured their third straight class titles, as did 220-pounder Nik Koch of Averill Park. Among the other winners were Owen Hicks of Fonda-Fultonville at 106, John DeConno, Jakai Townsend and Vincent Daviero of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake at 120, 170 and 182, respectively, Jake Deguire of Mohonasen at 132, and Nick Rodecker of Amsterdam at 145.

Duanesburg 152-pounder Zack Lawrence was among the Class D championships, with the senior collecting his fifth class crown after logging three pins. Other Class D victors were Joe Scheeren of Galway at 113, Austin Lints of Schoharie at 126, and Charlie Grygas and Joe Boni of Duanesburg at 160 and 170, respectively.  


Team scores

Shenendehowa 196.5, Columbia 196, Shaker 195.5, Niskayuna 178, Saratoga Springs 150, Guilderland 124.5, Colonie 119, Bethlehem 61.5, Albany 30, Schenectady 21.


99 — Jashon Holmes (Shak) pin David Ensminger (Shen), :57; 106 — Stevo Poulin (Shen) pin Antonio Encarnacion (Sara), :19; 113 — Michael Santore (Shak) pin Matt Whelan (Nisk), 5:!8; 120 — Aiden Scott (Colu) major dec. Austin Sill (Shak), 12-1; 126 — Ben Catrambone (Nisk) dec. Jacob Slovak (Colu), 6-3; 132 — Anthony Canova (BC) tech fall Zach Strope (Colu), 3:03, 18-3; 138 — Willie Thacker (Nisk) dec. Eric Griskowitz (Sara), 5-3; 145 — Brock Delsignore (Shen) major dec. Michael Altomer (Colu), 16-7; 152 — Tyler Stanton (Shak) dec. Cody Deuel (Shen), 7-1; 160 — Peter Meshkov (Nisk) dec. Colden Dorfman (Shen), 8-2; 170 — Logan Stark (Colo) dec. James Murphy (Nisk), 8-4; 182 — Liam Mooney (Colo) pin Cameron Durant (Guild), 5:05; 195 — Brant Robinson (Sara) dec. Tyler Grupe (Guild), 2-0; 220 — Doug Cooper (Sara) dec. Derek Meisner (Nisk), 8-2; 285 — Brian Garrity (Shak) dec. Hayden Roe (Colo), 2-1.


Team scores

Ballston Spa 224, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 205.5, Queensbury 186, Averill Park 175, South Glens Falls 140.5, Amsterdam 127, Mohonasen 99, Fonda-Fultonville/Johnstown 88, La Salle 72.5, Albany Academy 36.


99 — Nick Palso (BS) pin Jack Taylor (BH), :50; 106 — Owen Hicks (FJ) dec. Colin Carlin (BH), 2-0; 113 — Ryan Sleezer (Q) dec. Dylan Sleezer (Q), 9-8; 120 — John DeConno (BH) dec. Andrew Lee (AP), 9-4; 126 — Vincent Santilli (SGF) dec. Trevor Robbins (Q), 4-3, 4-3; 132 — Jake Deguire (Moh) pinned Dan Brady (Q), 2:31; 138 — Nick Pino LSI) dec. Amir Abdellatif (BS), 6-2; 145 — Nick Rodecker (Amst) dec. Chris Estep (FJ), 4-2; 152 — Sean Malenfant (AP) dec. Caiden Mondore (LSI), 6-2; 160 — James Prastio (BS) dec. Drew Bogdan (AA), 7-3; 170 — Jakai Townsend (BH) pin Peter Hansen (BS), 1:30; 182 — Vincent Daviero (BH) dec. Colby Harblin (BS), 7-1; 195 — Seth Guay (Q) pin Robert Boyer (Amst), 3:35; 220 — Nik Koch (AP) pinned Chris Serafini (BH), 5:00; 285 — Jake Stangle (BS) pin Camrin Russell (Moh), 1:17.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

Categories: High School Sports, Saratoga County, Schenectady County, Sports, Your Niskayuna

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