Even if Cazenovia senior wrestler Sam DeLeon did not carry a big name or reputation going into last Saturday’s Section III Division II championships at SRC Arena, he left feeling quite satisfied after a third-place finish.
DeLeon had the best effort of any of the Lakers in the fight for small-school honors and 15 automatic berths in the Feb. 22-23 state meet at Albany’s Times Union Center.
Starting as the no. 7 seed at 152 pounds, DeLeon was impressive in the opening round, shutting out Ethan Sanderson 9-0, and then sprang an upset in the quarterfinals, knocking off no. 2 seed Keith Lewis (Morrisville-Eaton) 6-5.
And DeLeon nearly reached the title bout, too, falling 9-6 in the semifinals to Camden’s Josh Mayden, who went on to take the sectional title, but DeLeon wasn’t done.
Moved into the consolation bracket, DeLeon won 7-3 over Andrew Hoffman (South Lewis) to reach the third-place bout, a rematch with Lewis where, again, DeLeon won it, this time by a 7-4 margin.
As for Cazenovia’s other wrestlers at the sectional meet, Casey Cunnigham, at 170 pounds, pinned Isaac Lyndaker (Lowville) in the first round before a quarterfinal loss to top seed and eventual champion Dempsey Carroll (Copenhagen).
Shaun Zampetti (99 pounds) dropped a close 8-7 decision to Copenhagen’s Chace Nevis in the first round, while John Frega (195 pounds) fell in that same round to Little Falls’ Javion Marconi.
Chittenango had a handful of wrestlers in the sectional Division II meet. At 99, Blayde DeBleiux won in the first round, 12-5, over Trey Kimball (Camden), but was pinned in the quarterfinals by Cooperstown’s T.J. O’Connor.
Devin Myers met the same fate at 152 pounds, beating Trevor Widrick (Marcellus) 8-1 in the first round before a quarterfinal defeat to Camden’s Gavin Vera. John Spencer (220 pounds) lost, 7-1, in the first round to Holland Patent’s Hunter Tarbania.