For Marcellus wrestling senior Cahal Donovan, earning a second consecutive Section III Division II wrestling championship was even bigger than his first title, just on account of who he beat for that title.
Donovan’s triumph over Central Valley Academy great Hunter Shaut in the 145-pound championship bout Saturday night at SRC Arena was, arguably, the biggest of his high school career, which spans nearly 200 wins
Not only did Donovan join Chris Barnes, Matt Barnes and Pat Bennett on the short list of Marcellus wrestlers to earn multiple sectional titles, he accomplished it beating a past state champion.
Shaut was a state champion at 138 pounds in 2017 and finished second at the state meet a year later at 145 pounds, just as Donovan was prevailing at 132 pounds on his way to a third-place state finish.
This winter, Donovan had gone 28-2, while Shaut had amassed a 47-3 record. Both were likely headed to the Feb. 22-23 state meet at Albany’s Times Union Center due to their strong season and career marks, whatever happened in the sectional meet.
Neither tripped up in the early rounds. While Shaut earned a pair of pins, Donovan disposed of Shaut’s CVA teammate, Kye Cook, with a pin seven seconds into the second period before a semifinal where he routed Canastota’s Nick Rouse 15-3.
The final between two wrestlers with more than 440 wins between them turned on Donovan executing a takedown of Shaut late in the first period to grab a 2-0 advantage.
From there, Donovan only surrendered an escape by Shaut in the second period, restoring his own two-point advantage with a third-period escape and deftly avoiding all of Shaut’s lunges to take the win.
Donovan was the only Marcellus wrestler to reach the finals, while West Genesee put two of its wrestlers, Nate Wade and Devin Earl, into Division I (large school) championship bouts.
Fresh of helping the Wildcats win the sectional Class AA team title, Wade, at 120 pounds, pinned Nick Loehr (Carthage) and stopped Thomas Hughes (Fulton) 5-1 in the semifinals to move to 39-2 on the season.
But in the final, only Central Square’s Kole Mulhauser went in front of Wade in the final with a single escape and rode him throughout the third period to take the title 1-0. Wade’s teammate, Gavin O’Neil, finished sixth at 120.
Up at 160 pounds, Earl, also a no. 2 seed, pinned Evan Emond (Central Square) in 66 seconds and edged Anthony Piscatelli (Liverpool) 8-5 in the semifinals, only to run into Fulton’s Camrin Galvin in the championship round and get pinned at the end of the second period, Earl’s record falling to 30-4.
Brady Ryan finished fourth at 140 pounds after a narrow 5-4 defeat to Whitesboro’s Jeff Robinson in the semifinals, while Colin McAvan was fourth at 145, winning twice in the consolation bracket before a 6-4 defeat to Spencer Lavin (Watertown) in the consolation bracket final.
Cole Wade earned a fifth-place finish at 220 pounds, as did Chandler McAvan at 285 pounds with a pin over Syracuse’s Josiah Carnegie in 2:42 while Jackson Taetsch (113 pounds) lost in the quarterfinals, as did Ejarian Burgin (132 pounds), with Mike Sarakos (170 pounds) taking a first-round defeat.
Marcellus had Rob Seeley reach the semifinals at 170 pounds before a defeat to eventual champion Dempsey Carroll (Copenhagen), Seeley eventually taking fifth place by beating Vernon-Verona-Sherrill’s Colin Forbes 3-2.
Tom Kinsella, up at 195 pounds, also finished fifth after entering the sectional meet unseeded, getting that fifth spot in a 4-2 decision over Little Falls’ Javion Marconi.
also had Carl Santiarello fall to CVA’s Kace Cook 4-2 in the 106-pound quarterfinals, with Ryan Moses (120) losing in that same round to Beaver River’s Andrew Walseman 4-1. Riley LaFrance (152 pounds) lost in the first round, as did Trevor Widrick (160 pounds) and Wilvon McKee (285 pounds).
Jordan-Elbridge got its best finish from Landry LaFleur, who made it to sixth place at 182 pounds. LaFleur went 2-2, with one win in the main bracket and another in the consolation bracket after a quarterfinal defeat to Onondaga/Tully’s Jack Bailey.
Marion Quigley, wrestling at 145, lost his quarterfinal to Shaut before Donovan beat him. Bryan Tanner lost in the opening round at 99 pounds to Aiden Munz (Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) 6-2, with Jared Lawrence (220 pounds) also taking a first-round defeat.