Feb 23, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
A whole slate of top local high school wrestlers went after Section III championships last weekend at Utica Memorial Auditorium, coming close on several fronts.
Solvay’s combined enrollment with Westhill meant that it would be part of the Division I (large school) tournament, where expectations were high.
Tom Bradley came in as the top seed at 215 pounds, with a perfect mark of 31-0. He made it 32 in a row during the quarterfinals, pinning West Genesee’s Pete Schoeneck in 1:56, but took a stunning 3-2 defeat to Cicero-North Syracuse’s Austin Morris in the semifinals.
Bradley would recover to finish third, beating Jacob Forster (Rome Free Academy), then Josh Morehouse (Cortland) 3-1 in the consolation bracket final. His 34-1 mark could still mean a wild-card bid to this weekend’s state meet at Times Union Center in Albany.
Solvay would get Aaron Benedict to the 130-pound championship match. Starting out as the no. 3 seed, Benedict beat Jason DeGouff (Cortland) 10-0 and held off Chittenango’s Wes Blanding 3-1 in the semifinal round.
Fulton’s Eric Smith would prove too tough in the final, though, beating Benedict 7-1. For the season, Benedict’s record is 23-6.
As for other Solvay wrestlers, J.T. Romagnoli (103 pounds) earned fifth place when he edged past Corcoran’s Mike Miranda 2-1 in overtime. Mike Warne was sixth at 152 pounds and John Sanson sixth at 285 pounds.
Riley Delaney (96 pounds) fell in the quarterfinals, and Mitch Anthony, despite a no. 6 seed at 130 pounds, lost a narrow opening-round match to Oneida’s Matt Fisher 8-6.
West Genesee saw Heitham Wady finish third at 145 pounds. He shut out Jacob Frezza (Carthage) 6-0, then took a 7-2 semifinal defeat to Indian River’s Dustin Shawcross. Forced into the consolation bracket, Wady won it, beating Montana Sanders (Cortland) 3-2 in overtime and Lamont Fleming (Corcoran) 4-2 in the third-place match.
Ian Coolican claimed fourth place at 103 pounds. From a no. 3 seed, he pinned Romagnoli in the quarterfinals, only to lose a tough 5-3 decision in the semifinals to the eventual champion, Whitesboro’s Mike Sardo. In the third-place match, Coolican (35-5 on the season) dropped a 3-2 decision to New Hartford’s Brandon Delmonte.
Connor Grome (112 pounds) beat Liverpool’s Tyler Eason 11-9 in an exciting first-round match, only to fall in the quarterfinals to Chittenango’s Cole Farsaci. Jason Fitch (125 pounds) fought hard in a 6-2 quarterfinal defeat to Rome Free Academy’s Mike Misurda. Pete Schoeneck (215 pounds) topped Chittenango’s Josh Wright 6-2 before losing to Bradley.
A day earlier, in the Division II (small school) meet, Jordan-Elbridge had two of its wrestlers reach the awards podium.
Bryan Murray took third place at 285 pounds. He needed two overtimes to beat Adam Smith (Phoenix) 4-2 in the quarterfinal round and came awfully close in the semifinals before falling to Glenn Garrett (Holland Patent) 1-0. Murray then pinned Travis Streeter (Ilion), then won a rematch with Smith 3-1 to win the consolation bracket.
Down at 112 pounds, Mike Nguyen routed Phoenix’s Rowdy Prior 12-1 before a quarterfinals defeat to Adirondack’s Ken Eaton. Later on, Nguyen beat Dan Haughton (Dolgeville) and would take out Ilion’s Keith Hacker 6-3 to finish in fifth place. For the season, Nguyen had a record of 32-7.