Heading to States
GLENS FALLS – Two area wrestlers reached the championship finals at the Section II Wrestling Championships on Sunday at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Canajoharie-Fort Plain’s Jon Payack and Amsterdam’s Brandon Lapi advanced to the finals of the Division II (small-school) and Division I (large-school) tournaments.
It was Payack’s first trip to the finals, while Lapi was seeking his fifth straight Section II title.
Lapi, the top seed at 138 pounds, punched his ticket to a fifth-straight state tournament with a 6-0 win over Shenendehowa’s Kevin Parker, the No. 2 seed.
“It’s definitely nice. I considered this a warm-up for the state tournament in two weeks,” Lapi said. “It’s a great feeling to know that I’ve done something that only a few in Section II history have done – win five titles.”
Lapi, a senior, scored a takedown in each of the three periods on his way to the shutout win, boosting his season record to 44-1 overall. Lapi, the all-time wins leader at Amsterdam, is 260-41 in his career.
In addition to his title, Lapi also was named the Division I Most Outstanding Wrestler.
“It’s definitely the highlight of everything for me to win in coach [Ken] Benton’s last year,” Lapi said. “He’s not only my coach, he’s like a second dad to me.”
In his only other match of the day, Lapi needed just 54 seconds to pin Ballston Spa’s Tyler Barnes in the semifinals.
“It’s no surprise. Brandon [Lapi] lives his life like this. He pushes himself to be successful at whatever he does, and he’s very intense at everything he does,” Benton said. “He’s very, very focused on what he wants to do.”
In addition to watching Lapi win a title, Benton also was honored prior to the finals with the Section II Division I Class 2 Coach of the Year Award.
“It’s a true honor,” Benton said. “There are so many people deserving of it. All of the coaches here work so hard all season.”
Payack came up short in his bid for a title, losing 11-6 to Schuylerville’s Anthony Cardinuto in the 106-pound championship match.
Payack finished his freshman season with a 30-7 overall record.
“Jon [Payack] had a great freshman year,”Canajoharie-Fort Plain coach Todd Jones said. “He finished with 30 wins and made it all the way to the sectional finals. He just didn’t have it tonight, but he had a great season.”
Payack, the No. 3 seed, reached the finals by pinning second-seeded Alex Lambert of Schalmont in the semifinals in 2:58.
In addition to Lapi, Amsterdam also had Chris Velazquez (106), John Rivera (152), Marcus Torres (182) and Chris Garrison (195) place among the top six in their respective weights.
Velazquez and Torres each finished third, Garrison was fifth and Rivera was sixth.
Velazquez opened the day, losing by pinfall to Columbia’s John Devine in the semifinals in 5:27.
In the consolation semifinals, Velazquez, a junior, posted a 5-3 win over Shaker’s Matt Spadoni.
In the consolation finals, Velazquez posted an 8-5 decision over Colonie’s Talah Hafeez to place third. Velazquez finished the season with a 24-7 overall record.
Torres lost in the semifinals to Columbia’s Dylan Dubuque, 2-1 in overtime, in his first bout of the day.
He bounced back to posted a 2-1 win over Mohonasen’s Joe Galusha and the consolation semifinals before posted a 4-2 overtime win over Schenectady’s Colin Derboghossian in the consolation finals. Torres finished his sophomore season with a 34-9 record.
Garrison lost his first match Sunday, 3-2, to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s Taylor Russell in the consolation semifinals. Garrison placed fifth after defeating Schenectady’s Alex Martinez in the fifth- and sixth-place match. Garrison posted a 30-15 record in his sophomore season.
Rivera (152) also placed for the Rams, finishing sixth. Rivera reached the semifinals Saturday, but suffered a concussion in his quarterfinal match. Unable to wrestle Sunday, Rivera, a junior, finished sixth, ending his junior season with a 30-11 record.
“I’m really happy with the way it worked out,” Benton said. “We had five place finishers and I’m happy with how we wrestled overall.”
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake won the Division I team title with 177 points, as the Spartans had three wrestlers earn titles.
Christian Gramuglia (99 pounds), Joey Butler (145) and Jake Ashcraft (170) all won individual titles for Burnt Hills.
Shenendehowa was second in the team standings with 163 pounds, while Columbia (156) was third. Colonie (142) was fourth and Queensbury (139.5) was fifth.
Amsterdam finished eighth with 80 points.
Other Division I champions included Guilderland’s Josh LoGuidice (106), Colonie’s Golan Cohen (113), Guilderland’s Mike Lainhart (120), Shaker’s Blake Retell (126), Queensbury’s Eric St. John (132), Shenendehowa’s Jesse Porter (152), Columbia’s Angelo Kress (160), Colonie’s Isaiah Cooks (182), Shenendehowa’s Levi Ashley (195), Colonie’s Wayne Burt (220) and Colonie’s Austin DiCerbo (285).
In addition to Payack, Canajoharie-Fort Plain had three other wrestlers post top-six finishes.
Gordon Trahan (138) finished fourth for C-FP, Trent DeBlock (132) was fifth and T.J. Hazzard (99) was sixth.
“Having four wrestlers place in the top six was excellent for us,” Jones said. “We wrestled well this weekend.”
Trahan defeated Cairo-Durham’s Ridge Sulkey by injury default in his opening match Sunday before losing 6-1 to Salem’s Luke Fronhofer. Trahan, a junior, finished the season 33-7 overall.
DeBlock, a senior, lost 13-2 to Warrensburg’s Denver Berry in the consolation semifinals before rebounding to notched a 15-5 major decision over Albany Academy’s Zach Zebrowski in the fifth-an sixth-place match. DeBlock finished the season with a 30-5 record.
Hazzard, a freshman, lost by pinfall to Schuylerville’s Orion Anderson in the consolation semifinals and dropped an 8-3 decision to Hudson Falls’ Connor Paige in the fifth- and sixth-place match. Hazzard finished the season with a 26-9 record.
“We’ve got a very good core of wrestlers coming back for whoever is taking over next year,” said Jones, who is retiring in June after 38 years of teaching and 37 years as a wrestling coach.
Fonda-Fultonville’s Zak Shaw finished third at 182 pounds. Shaw lost his opening match 4-3 to Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George’s Forrest Kubricky in the semifinals.
In the consolation semifinals, Shaw blanked Corinth’s Tyler McCarty, 4-0, and in the consolation finals, he recorded a 5-3 win over Whitehall’s Brandon Steves. Shaw finished his senior season with a 31-2 record.
Johnstown’s Austin Brand also posted a top-six showing, finishing fifth at 182 pounds. Brand lost his opening match 5-1 to Whitehall’s Steves in the consolation semifinals before pinning McCarty in the fifth- and sixth-place match. Brand finished his junior season with 28-7 overall record.
Hudson Falls won the Division II team title with 122.5 points, while Schalmont (122) and Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George tied for second with 122 points. Salem (118 points) was fourth and Hoosick Falls (112.5) was fifth.
Canajoharie-Fort Plain was eighth with 62.5 points, Fonda-Fultonville 20 points was 25th and Johnstown 11 points was 29th.
Other Division II champions included Duanesburg’s Zack Lawrence (99), Hoosick Falls’ Nolan Foster (113), Albany Academy’s Matt Morris (120), Salem’s Dan VanDyk (126), Salem’s Carter Merecki (132), Albany Academy’s Sam DeLarge (138), Duanesburg’s Andy Mollevik (145), Albany Academy’s Cam Milliken (152), Duanesburg’s Connor Lawrence (160), Hudson Falls’ Geno Brancati (170), Schalmont’s Nick Gallo (182),Schalmont’s Tim Flower (195), Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk’s Logan Kunkle (220) and Schalmont’s Marcus Ramundo (285).
Morris also was named the Division II Most Outstanding Wrestler.
Section II Tournament
99: Christian Gramuglia (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) dec. Anthony Sgorrano (South Glens Falls), 5-0
106: John LoGuidice (Guilderland) dec. John Devine (Columbia), 4-1
113: Golan Cohen (Colonie) major dec. Max Tempel (LaSalle), 8-0
120: Mike Lainhart (Guilderland) dec. Dominic Inzana (Saratoga Springs), 6-3
126: Blake Retell (Shaker) dec. Jordan Maynard (Shenendehowa), 3-0
132: Eric St. John (Queensbury) dec. Ryan Moore (LaSalle), 2-1 (2 OT)
138: Brandon Lapi (Amsterdam) dec. Kevin Parker (Shenendehowa), 6-0
145: Joey Butler (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) dec. Jim Devine (Columbia), 6-0
152: Jesse Porter (Shenendehowa) pinned Dillon Deckert (Queensbury), 1:11
160: Angelo Kress (Columbia) major dec. Nathan Sisler (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake), 14-2
170: Jake Ashcraft (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) pinned Franky Nassivera (Queensbury), 3:23
182: Isaiah Cooks (Colonie) dec. Dylan Dubuque (Columbia), 6-3
195: Levi Ashley (Shenendehowa) pinned Chris Goudy (Queensbury), 4:50
220: Wayne Burt (Colonie) pinned Chris Tanora (Bethlehem), 0:41
285: Austin DiCerbo (Colonie) tech. fall Matt Holton (Saratoga Springs), 2:23 (15-0)
99: David Wolanski (Guilderland) dec. Trent Svingala (Columbia), 3-1
106: Chris Velazquez (Amsterdam) dec. Talah Hafeez (Colonie), 8-5
113: Mahesh Bhoge (Mohonasen) dec. Rowen Braga (Bethlehem), 2-0 (2 OT)
120: Nick Robbins (Queensbury) dec. Josh Reed (Schenectady), 4-0
126: Tristan Canova (Bethlehem) major dec. Eoghan Sweeney (Niskayuna), 13-0
132: Kyle Greene (Columbia) dec. Mason Rabideau (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake), 4-2
138: Tyler Barnes (Ballston Spa) def. Anthony Laniewski (Niskayuna), inj. default
145: Kody Bruno (Queensbury) dec. Joseph Clemente (LaSalle), 7-5
152: Matt McHugh (Columbia) dec. Brandon Bruttomesso (South Glens Falls), 8-5
160: Paul Citone (Colonie) dec. Ryan Betts (Shenendehowa), 2-1
170: Ditaye Douglas (Schenectady) dec. Andy Cummings (Guilderland), 4-0
182: Marcus Torres (Amsterdam) dec. Colin Derboghossian (Schenectady), 4-2 (OT criteria)
195: Taylor Russell (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) dec. Gerrick Golish (Ballston Spa), 4-3
220: Kevin Leonard (Shenendehowa) dec. Khaled Abdoun (Niskayuna), 4-3
285: Jake Groesbeck (Bethlehem) def. Ryan Eustace (Shaker), inj. default
Fifth-and Sixth-Place Matches
99: Kyle Pergolino (Shaker) def. Derek Finnegan (Queensbury), inj. default
106: Matt Spadoni (Shaker) pinned Shiva Bhoge (Mohonasen), 1:45
113: Chris Pavelec (Shaker) dec. Joe Cauwenberghs (Averill Park), 8-5
120: Kevin Guardino (Shenendehowa) pinned Jack Canova (Bethlehem), 2:30
126: Joe Toth (Averill Park) def. Matt Saville (South Glens Falls), inj. default
132: Zach Morris (South Glens Falls) dec. Gabe Naviasky (Bethlehem), 4-0
138: John McHugh (Columbia) dec, Abdellah Campbell (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake), 4-0
145: Anthony DiNallo (Shenendehowa) def. Brian Knodler (Guilderland), inj. default
152: Elijah Clemente (Guilderland) def. John Rivera (Amsterdam), inj. default
160: Xavier DeLuke (South Glens Falls) dec. Logan Virkler (Ballston Spa), 5-0
170: Nick Horton (Averill Park) dec, Fahmeed Islam (Columbia), 4-2
182: Joe Galusha (Mohonasen) dec. Anthony Papa (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake), 5-0
195: Chris Garrison (Amsterdam) def. Alex Martinez (Schenectady), inj. default
220: Nico Fragale (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) dec. Jacob Parker (Shaker), 9-3
285: Roz Warren (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) pinned Jordon Gougler (Shenendehowa), 0:21
99: Zack Lawrence (Duanesburg) dec. Dillan Palazewski (Galway), 4-3
106: Anthony Cardinuto (Schuylerville) dec. Jon Payack (Canajoharie-Fort Plain), 11-6
113: Nolan Foster (Hoosick Falls) major dec. Win Myint (Rensselaer), 11-1
120: Matt Morris (Albany Academy) dec. Luis Weierbach (Hoosick Falls), 4-3
126: Dan VanDyk (Salem) pinned Garon LeClair (Corinth), 5:48
132: Carter Merecki (Salem) dec. Tyler Mulcahy (Corinth), 9-5
138: Sam DeLarge (Albany Academy) dec. Mike Matatt (Hoosick Falls), 5-0
145: Andy Mollevik (Duanesburg) dec. Jason Hoffman (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George), 4-1
152: Cam Milliken (Albany Academy) pinned Logan Brunick (Tamarac), 5:42
160: Connor Lawrence (Duanesburg) dec. Connor Tuttle (Tamarac), 3-0
170: Geno Brancati (Hudson Falls) dec. Brad Perry (Granville), 6-1 (OT)
182: Nick Gallo (Schalmont) major dec. Forrest Kubricky (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George), 12-1
195: Tim Flower (Schalmont) dec. Tom Clark (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George), 8-2
220: Logan Kunkle (Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk) dec. Patrick Barber (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George), 4-2
285: Marcus Ramundo (Schalmont) dec. Nick Scott (Cohoes), 4-2 (OT)
99: Orion Anderson (Schuylerville) dec. Ryan Allman (Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk), 6-1
106: Alex Lambert (Schalmont) dec. Arsilan Zahid (Lansingburgh), 7-2
113: Luke Pondillo (Lansingburgh) dec. Gideon Jardine (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George), 15-8
120: Dalton Weils (Hudson Falls) dec. Jordan Sartin (Galway), 5-3
126: Brandon Merchant (Cobleskill-Richmondville) dec. Mike Kelly (Hudson Falls), 4-1
132: Denver Berry (Warrensburg) dec. Tom Peabody (Hoosick Falls), 3-1
138: Luke Fronhofer (Salem) dec. Gordon Trahan (Canajoharie-Fort Plain), 6-1
145: Steven Culbert (Galway) pinned Zeke Thomas (Albany Academy), 4:37
152: Nathaniel Palmer (Granville) dec, Colby Davendonis (Hoosick Falls), 5-1
160: Mike Parker (Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk) dec. Joshua McIlhenny (Greenville), 5-2
170: George Pooters (Cairo-Durham) pinned Kevin Paskevich (Schalmont), 0:57
182: Zak Shaw (Fonda-Fultonville) dec. Brandon Steves (Whitehall-Fort Ann), 5-3
195: Dan Ackley (Warrensburg) pinned Nate Millington (Hudson Falls), 2:35
220: Nathan Winchester (Cambridge) dec. Brandon Farrell (Mechanicville), 4-1
285: Jordan Keys (Salem) def. Tyler VandenBogaard (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George), inj. default
Fifth- and Sixth-Place Matches
99: Connor Paige (Hudson Falls) dec. T.J. Hazzard (Canajoharie-Fort Plain), 8-3
106: Chris Jett (Hudson Falls) def. Richie Conte (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George), inj. default
113: Deven Lampron (Cobleskill-Richmondville) pinned Jusa Stratton (Green Tech), 2:39
120: Doug Hall (Salem) major dec. Kyle Miano (Rensselaer), 11-0
126: Paul Lambert (Schalmont) dec. Kyle Jasenski (Albany Academy), 4-0
132: Troy DeBlock (Canajoharie-Fort Plain) major dec. Zach Zebrowski (Albany Academy), 15-0
138: Bobby Newton (Hudson Falls) def. Ridge Sulkey (Cairo-Durham), inj. default
145: Taylor Epting (Cobleskill-Richmondville) pinned Collin O’Brien (Watervliet), 3:34
152: Zac Cooper (Cobleskill-Richmondville) dec. Dustin Humphrey (Salem), 2-0
160: Jake Gregory (Whitehall-Fort Ann) dec. Keivon Wood (Lansingburgh), 8-6
170: Garrett Wright (Hoosick Falls) dec. Chris Kawola (Mechanicville), 4-3 (2 OT)
182: Austin Brand (Johnstown) pinned Tyler McCarty (Corinth), 2:32
195: Dan Hayner (Mechanicville) dec. Jacob Jameson (Salem), 7-3
220: Brett Harrington (Glens Falls) dec. Matt Roden (Tamarac), 5-2