Good workout partners can make the difference between success and a tough postseason loss.
“We push each other every day to be better,” said Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 132-pounder Joey Butler, who joined training partner Jake Ashcraft as quarterfinalist winners Friday at the Section I Division I wrestling championship tournament at the Glens Falls Civic Center. “I have two or three moves that I’m good at, and Jake is more of a scrambler.
“I pound on him with those moves, and his ability to come up with moves has helped us both this year.”
Butler — a three-time place finisher and third seed in his weight class — and Achcraft will be joined by teammate Race Viedt in this morning’s semifinals at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Viedt inherited the No. 4 seed when Joe Mazzei of Glens Falls was a scratch at 195.
Shenendehowa has built itself into a state power with its depth, every wrestler having a variety of strong workout partners. That showed Friday, as the defending team champion Plainsmen put a DI (large school) tournament-best 10 wrestlers in the semis.
Three-time champ Nick Kelley (132), two-time winner Tony Fusco (195) and returning champ Cole Lampman (285) led the way. The Plainsmen also have wrestlers still going forward in the four lightest weight classes, top-seeded David Almaviva is in at 138, senior Will Mars moved on at 220 and soph Levi Ashley is alive at 182 after a pin and an 18-5 win.
Almaviva will get once-beaten Schenectady senior Gus Clark in the semis.
Ashley is one of the few 10th-graders in the 182 field
“It’s OK. I’ve being doing that all year,” said the 33-6 Ashley, who works with the other upper weights every day. “They’re all seniors, too.”
State third-place finisher Brandon Lapi (113) and senior 160 Mike Garrison top a group of five Amsterdam wrestlers in the semis.
“Senior year, it’s my last chance,” said Garrison, who would likely see state champ Connor Sutton of LaSalle if he wins this morning.
Mohonasen senior Cory Quintana hopes to cap a personal transformation with a trip to the state tournament.
“That would be great,” said the third-seeded 285-pounder. “Wrestling has basically saved my life. I came from a ghetto in New Mexico, lost my parents and I’ve been staying with a family here while I went to high school.
“I was 2-27 as a freshman, then I won 30 matches as a sophomore. I started training a lot at [Frank Popolozio’s] Journeyman club, and went to every tournament I could.”
Queensbury has eight in the DI semis, led by 182-pounder Matt Lashway, second in the state a year ago. Columbia will have seven in the 10 a.m. semis, including returing champ Evan Wallace, the top seed at 145.
Duanesburg senior Dallas Mesick is on a mission. A winner here last winter, Mesick is coming from the No. 2 seed in the DII (small school) tourney at 182 after losing to Salem’s Tyler Morris in last weekend’s DII Class 3 final.
“It was a blessing in disguise, I guess,” said Mesick, one of four Eagles, including returning champ Curt Rowley (132), in the DII semis. “It woke me up. I told my coach it sucked to lose, but I knew that I had to work extra hard if I wanted to win again.”
Schalmont’s Nick Gallo earned a wild-card berth to the state tournament after finishing second last year as an eighth-grader. Two pins Friday have put him in the DII semis.
“Last year, that was great for my confidence,” said Gallo, who recently went over 100 career wins. “It made me want to go back. I’m still just a freshman, so I’m in the weight room all the time to get stronger.”
Among the other II semifinalists are the Hudson Falls senior duo of Noah Valastro (126) and Aaron Dudley (160), who both have more than 200 varsity wins and own five Section II titles between them; four-time champ Zach Diekel of Whitehall (195); and 2010 champ Zach Marcel (120), who was second last year.
“As a senior, you know it’s getting near the end, and you want to get to states again,” said Valastro after seeing a DII-best Tigers advance. “You work that much harder.”
Hoosick Falls soph Luis Weirbach (99) is on track to win his second title in as many years, as is teammate Brad Burns (160).
Corinth also saw freshman Garon LeClair upset the fourth seed in the 99 quarters to join Marcel and brothers Tyler (126) and Kyle (145) Mulcahy in the semis.
Schalmont also had Paul Lamber (113) advance, and Alexis Bleau (99) gave Schoharie its only — and either division’s lone — female quarterfinalist.
99 — Kevin Parker (Shen) vs. Josh La Giudice (Guild); Anthony Sgorrano (SGF) vs. Chris Velazquez (Ams). 106 — Corey Ali (Shen) vs. Allan McNeil (AP); Dominic Inzana (Sara) vs. Mike Lainhart (Guild). 113 — Brandon Lapi (Ams) vs. Matt Morris (Beth); Jesse Porter (Shen) vs. Brandon Winchip (Qby). 120 — Kyle Greene (Columb) vs. Casey Jones (Qby); Zach Joseph (Shen) vs. James Ronca (B Spa). 126 — Matt Greene (Columb) vs. Gary Goodermote (AP); Drew Oligney (Lans) vs. Josh St. John (Qby). 132 — Nick Kelley (Shen) vs. Justin Tuttle (LaSalle); Brendan Morgan (Columb) vs. Joey Butler (BH). 138 — David Almaviva (Shen) vs. Gus Clark (Schen); Jake Ashcraft (BH) vs. Sean Romanski (Beth).
145 — Evan Wallace (Columb) vs. Phil Bazicki (Colonie); Brendon Goldup (LaSalle) vs. Gaetano Lanzi (Ams). 152 — Thomas Carta (SGF) vs. Evan Myers (Qby); Angelo Kress (Columb) vs. James Marquez (Ams). 160 — Connor Sutton (LaSalle) vs. Frankie Nassivera (Qby); Mike Garrison (Ams) vs. Josh Fuchs (Colonie). 170 — Stephen Lumley (SGF) vs. Jared Strong (GF); Brian Adriance (Colum) vs. Mike Hewitt (Qby). 182 — Matt Lashway (Qby) vs. Kevon Johnson (Colonie); Levi Ashley (Shen) vs. Nick Gibbons (Sara). 195 — Tony Fusco (Qby) vs. Race Viedt(BH); Jon DiPace (Sco) vs. Jimmy McLaughlin (Guild). 220 — Jon Babson (LaSalle) vs. Mike McGill (Guild); Alex Pontiff (Qby) vs. Will Mars (Shen). 285 — Cole Lampman (Shen) vs. Austin DiCerbo (Colonie); El Shaddai Gilmore-VanHoesen (Colum) vs. Cory Quintana (Mohon).
99 — Luis Weirbach (HooFalls) vs. Garon LeClair (Corinth); Luke Fronhofer (Salem) vs. Alexis Bleau (Schoh). 106 — Carter Merecki (Salem) vs. Nico Riccio (Galway: Jerome Gladney (Rav) vs. Ridge Sulkey (Cairo). 113 — Kyler Harrington (HudFalls) vs Diego Cruz (MH); Connor Franzese (Cohoes) vs. Paul Lamber (Schal). 120 — Zach Marcel (Cor) vs. Ron Radley (MH); Al Aubin (White) vs. Dan Jardine (HL/LG). 126 — Noah Valastro (HudFalls) vs. Jason Hoffman (HL/LG); Tyler Mulcahy (Corinth) vs. Colby Davendonis (HooFalls). 132 — Curt Rowley (Dua) vs. Cory Seipp (IC); Zack Winney (HudFalls) vs. Adam Erno (Mech). 138 — John Diekel (White) vs. Jay Oakes (Gal); Cam Milliken (AA) vs. Bryan Sherman (HooFalls).
145 — Kyle Mulcahy (Corinth) vs. Nick Rehberg (CR) ; Connor Lawrence (Dua) vs. Geno Brancati (HudFalls). 152 — Nick Gallo (Schal) vs. Mark Caulfield (Dua); Victor Woodworth (HudFalls) vs. Joe Hulsebosch (Tam). 160 — Aaron Dudley (HudFalls) vs. Joe Groat (IC); Josh Veshia (Wvt) vs. Brandyn Ainsworth (John). 170 — Brad Burns (HooFalls) vs. Kyle Derepentigny (Coh); Matt Casullo (BKW) vs. Mike Green (C-R). 182 — Tyler Morris (Salem) vs. Jared Camacho (Cat); Dallas Mesick (Dua) vs. Gunnar Simpson (MH). 195 — Zach Diekel (White) vs. Zeby Romano (Wvt); Thomas Wilson (Salem) vs. Jeremy Barss (HooFalls). 220 — Joe Sprung (BKW) vs. Nick Scott (Coh); Andre Maxam (HudFalls) vs. Brad Pierson (Wvt). 285 — William Baker (TacHills) vs. Jeremy Stevens (Camb); Alex Soutiere (Rav) vs. Don Case (Voor).