Feb 26, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Twelve long months ago, Morrisville-Eaton wrestler Ryan LeBlanc came within a couple of victories of notching a state Division II championship.
Now LeBlanc, in his junior campaign, has earned a chance to go all the way, as he dominated the 160-pound weight class during last Saturday’s Section III championship meet at Cicero-North Syracuse to advance to the March 8-9 state meet at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester.
For the entire Warrior team, it proved to be a fine effort, as M-E finished with 84.5 points and took sixth place in a deep field of more than 30 squads. Phoenix (153 points) held off Watertown IHC (126.5 points) for the team title.
As for LeBlanc, he is merely following in the illustrious path blazed by his two older brothers, Treavor and Paul, both of whom reached multiple state meets, with Paul taking a state title at 140 pounds in 2005.
Going into the sectional meet as the top seed, LeBlanc would have little trouble adding three more victories to his ledger, improving his record to 39-2.
After a first-round bye, LeBlanc methodically took out Ilion’s Jon Treen, needing just 2:24 to secure the 15-point margin necessary for a technical fall.
Moving on to the semifinals, LeBlanc met Tyler Mann, from Holland Patent, and spent even less time on the mat, taking just 25 seconds to pin Mann and move to the finals.
In the evening title match, Little Falls’ John Wratten stood in the way — but not for long. Piling up points in six minutes of clinical work, LeBlanc beat Wratten 19-5, giving himself a second consecutive chance at a state championship.
Of course, LeBlanc was just one of six M-E wrestlers in the sectional meet, and every one of them would earn a top-six finish and a spot on the awards podium.
Mike Barker fared best, earning third place at 285 pounds. As the no. 3 seed, Barker started by pinning Glenn Garrett (Holland Patent) midway through the third period, only to take a 9-4 loss to Cato-Meridian’s Austin Lee in the semifinal round.
Relegated to the consolation bracket, Barker coped well, needing two overtimes to edge past Tom Freeman (Lowville) 8-7, then beating Logan McNitt (Sandy Creek) 7-5 in the third-place match.
At 135 pounds, Cody Frost started as the no. 4 seed and beat Canastota’s Nate Hopkins 3-2 to reach the semifinals, where Mark Crisafulli (Phoenix) pinned him on his way to the title. Frost did beat Luke DelGrego (Ilion) to reach the consolation final before losing to Frank Sanders (Frankfort-Schuyler) 9-1, so Frost finished in fourth place.
Ethan Childs, as the no. 3 seed at 189 pounds, held off Josh Bobette (Fabius-Pompey) 7-4 in his opening match but fell to another eventual winner, Phoenix’s Chad Dahlin, 10-5 in the semifinal round. Childs then beat George Dobrovsky (Skaneateles) 5-2 and, in the consolation final, fell to Andrew Penree (Frankfort-Schuyler) 2-1 in double overtime to match Frost’s fourth-place finish.
Rourke Devlin, working at 125 pounds, beat Phoenix’s Seth Allen 6-4 to reach the semifinals, only to fall to IHC star (and yet another eventual champion) Brian Kampnich 12-1. Still, Devlin recovered to take fifth place, beating Eric Munk (General Brown) 7-5 with a takedown in the second overtime period.
Alex Meyers managed his own fifth-place finish at 171 pounds. He beat Josh Dietterich (General Brown 5-2 to reach the semifinals before IHC’s Brian Piarulli pinned him midway through the third period. Eventually, Meyers found himself in the fifth-place match and won it, again beating Dietterich, this time in a 5-3 decision.