CLIFTON PARK — Brock Delsignore knew his moment was coming — eventually.
The Shenendehowa junior wrestler has a huge list of accomplishments on his resume, including three straight Section II Division 1 championships, but Delsignore put a lot of work into finally breaking through at the state level this season.
Delsignore took a major step in that direction last Saturday, when he claimed the 182-pound title in the prestigious Eastern States Classic at SUNY Sullivan, a tournament long considered as a top barometer for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships.
“It was a lot of years, a lot of effort and hard work put into that,” Delsignore said Wednesday following Shenendehowa’s 57-26 Suburban Council dual meet win over Niskayuna. “A lot of blood, sweat and tears, honestly. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs.”
“It was a lot of work I’ve put into this sport,” he added. “It’s a lifestyle.”
Delsignore entered Eastern States as the No. 3 seed at 182 pounds and rolled through three straight matches on his way to the final, where he outlasted a fellow Section II combatant — Cobleskill-Richmondville’s Ethan Cooper — and triumphed in a 3-1 decision.
It was a moment that the Shenendehowa coaching staff knew was a long time coming.
“Not for nothing, but we knew it was there,” Shenendehowa coach Rob Weeks said. “We were just waiting for it to happen. … He’s such a good human being. You want kids like that to reap the rewards.”
Shenendehowa assistant coach Frank Popolizio has spent years working with Delsignore, both through Popolizio’s role as the director of the Journeymen Wrestling Club and with the Plainsmen since Delsignore transferred to Shenendehowa from South Glens Falls before the 2018-19 school year.
Popolizio knew the time was ripe for Delsignore’s major breakthrough, with the first major indicator coming back in September when Delsignore captured the 170-pound title at the Journeymen Fall Classic.
“That really was the benchmark that we knew he’d arrived,” Popolizio said. “Now, it parlayed into this. He’s been knocking at the door here.”
Delsignore has verbally committed to wrestle at North Carolina State for Frank Popolizio’s brother, Niskayuna graduate Pat Popolizio. Delsignore will join a strong lineage of Section II standouts to wrestle for the Wolfpack, including former NCAA champion Nick Gwiazdowski of Duanesburg, 2019 Shenendehowa graduate Kiernan Shanahan and 2018 Ballston Spa graduates Tyler Barnes and Jake Cook.
“Brock fits the mold of what they’re looking for,” Frank Popolizio said. “They’re looking for clean-living guys that are extremely dedicated, and that definitely describes Brock.”
Shenendehowa had a pair of Eastern States champions crowned last Saturday, as junior two-time state champion Stevo Poulin steamrolled to the 113-pound title and the Plainsmen finished second as a team behind Pennsylvania powerhouse Wyoming Seminary.
“Every kid that we brought scored points for us,” Weeks said. "That’s how you finish in second place in a big tournament like that. It’s a team effort.”
Delsignore has made serious steps up in weight over the last two years. His previous Section II titles came at 99, 120 and 145 pounds before bulking up to 182 this season.
“It’s a lot of lifting, a lot of doing what I have to do to get bigger,” Delsignore said. “It’s the same as wrestling — a lot of time put into it.”
Delsignore’s post-Eastern States run started with a 19-7 major decision win Wednesday against Niskayuna’s James Murphy. Jacob Yang and Sebastian Underwood won by pin for the Plainsmen, who also got a decision victory from Malachy McGarry and five forfeits to pad their margin of victory. Jack Schiavo and Drake Brown scored pins for Niskayuna, which also got a technical fall win from Ben Catrambone and a decision win from Peter Meshkov.
132: Catrambone (N) tech. fall Lomascolo, 5:22. 138: Brown (N) pinned Smolovik, 5:15. 145: McGarry (S) major dec. Johnson, 11-2. 152: Leavey (S) by forfeit. 160: Dorfman (S) by forfeit. 170: Meshkov (N) dec. Bergin, 5-2. 182: Delsignore (S) major dec. Murphy, 19-7. 195: Yang (S) pinned Contompasis, 0:57. 220: Meisner (N) by forfeit. 285: Underwood (S) pinned Priddle, 1:06. 99: Deuel (S) by forfeit. 106: Grembocki (S) by forfeit. 113: Ensminger (S) by forfeit. 120: Poulin (S) by forfeit. 126: Schiavo (N) pinned Scheeren, 5:33.
Reach Adam Shinder at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Adam_Shinder.