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Fearsome 14

Eagles, Trojans each send 4 wrestlers to states in Albany

Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama/Clymer's Jordan Joslyn

ALBANY — A year ago, 14 local wrestlers made their way to Albany with a lot to prove at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association wrestling championships.

This Friday, another 14 grapplers head to Albany to compete at MVP Arena, split between the Division 1 and 2 championships. This year, several wrestlers seek to uphold lofty expectations while the rest look to make a name for themselves.

The greatest expectations are on the shoulders of the two returning state champions, Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama/Clymer senior Jordan Joslyn and Southwestern sophomore Tavio Hoose, both making a jump in weight classes and seeding from last year’s tournament.

Hoose has received top billing at 190 pounds, improving from the No. 7 position last year when he won the Division 2 title at 172 pounds.

As the No. 1 seed, Hoose receives a first-round bye and awaits the winner between No. 16 Asa Nunberg of Section I Pleasantville and No. 17 seed Denzel Perez of Eagle Academy Bronx in the Public Schools Athletic League of New York City. Hoose’s record sits at 43-1 and his potential opponents Nunberg and Perez are 28-4 and 24-4, respectively.

Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama/Clymer's Thandon Bensink

However, the biggest threat to a Hoose repeat is the wrestler he narrowly defeated 5-4 in last year’s final, Section VIII Cold Spring Harbor junior Greyson Meak. The 2023 172-pound runner-up Meak is the No. 2 seed this year and he comes into the 190-pound bracket with a 37-1 record.

The 2023 126-pound champion Joslyn moves up to 138 pounds, but unlike Hoose, Joslyn is not the only state champion in his bracket. That is what keeps him from the No. 1 seed. Joslyn is instead the No. 2 seed with a 44-0 record, and will first battle the winner of No. 15 Justin Dvorak of Section VIII Locust Valley and No. 18 Ethan Badillo of Section I Nanuet, with 25-7 and 23-4 records, respectively.

Pushing Joslyn to the No. 2 seed is the 2023 131-pound champion Brayden Fahrbach of Section XI Mount Sinai. Fahrbach is the first of three state champions in the bracket and first of three undefeated records at 35-0.

The third state champion in the bracket is the 2022 118-pound champion Gianni Silvestri of Section IV Tioga with a 30-0 record. Joslyn defeated the now No. 3 Silvestri in last year’s 126-pound final and the two could meet again in this year’s semifinals.

Hoose and Joslyn are the only two local returning champions, but Southwestern sophomore Carmine Calimeri makes his third state championship appearance as the No. 2 seed in the 131-pound bracket, hoping to improve from his seventh-place finish at 118 pounds last year. Calimeri boasts a 43-5 record and will first battle the winner of No. 15 Jacob Strain of Section III Adirondack and No. 18 Kenan Djokic of Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy in the PSAL.

Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama/Clymer's Mason Maring

Southwestern senior Kenji Walters joins Calimeri at 131 pounds, coming in as the No. 11 seed and he will begin Friday against No. 22 Sasha MacAdam of Collegiate School in the Association of Independent Schools with a record of 20-9. Walters boasts a record of 38-11 and will look to reach the podium in his final season. The 131-pound No. 1 is freshman Gavin Mangano of Section XI Shoreham-Wading River with a 47-1 record and returns as the runnerup from 110 pounds last year.

Maple Grove senior Matt Trim is looking for a higher finish than eighth-place last year at 189 pounds, coming in as the No. 5 with a 41-2 record at 215 pounds. Trim is set to wrestle the winner between No. 12 Jared Haers of Section V Palmyra-Macedon and No. 21 Chase Bandy of Section X Canton with 40-11 and 17-7 records, respectively.

Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama/Clymer junior Mason Maring is right behind Trim as the No. 6 seed with a 42-5 record. Maring will take on the winner of No. 11 Trey McGee of Section VII Northern Adirondack and No. 22 Alex Wlodarczak of Dalton School in the AIS with records of 33-5 and 17-4, respectively.

After years of getting close, Southwestern senior Neves Hoose makes his first appearance at states as the No. 6 seed in the 170-pound bracket. Hoose boasts a 35-9 record and will fight the winner of No. 11 Mark Winchell of Section IV Maine-Endwell and No. 22 Bryan Araujo of Section VIII Clarke with 28-4 and 15-7 records, respectively. The top seed at 170 pounds is Section V Palmyra-Macedon senior Braidon Woodward with a 50-1 record.

Falconer/Cassadaga Valley freshman Dylan Newman makes his first trip to states as a high schooler, moving up from 102 pounds last year to the No. 6 seed at 118 pounds on Friday. Newman boasts a 43-5 record and will await the winner of No. 11 Richard King of Section VIII Clarke and No. 22 Nick Rodriguez of Section XI Port Jefferson with 37-4 and 31-8 records, respectively.

Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama/Clymer's Jayden Malecki

Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama/Clymer freshman Thandon Bensink joins Newman in the 116-pound bracket as the No. 12 seed. Bensink begins his tournament against No. 21 Devin Pellizzi of Section VIII Cold Spring Harbor who has a record of 16-19. The top seed at 116 pounds is two-time state champion, Section IV Bainbridge-Guilford/Afton/Harpursville senior Darren Florance, with a 31-1 record. Florance won the Division 2 title at 102 pounds as a sophomore and 110 pounds as a junior.

Randolph junior Caden Inkley is making his first trip to states, coming in as the No. 8 seed at 152 pounds with a record of 36-5. Inkley and his first opponent No. 9 Justin Gonzalez of Section VIII Clarke with a 34-3 record both received a bye into the prequarterfinals.

Gowanda/Pine Valley senior Michael Horth joins Inkley at 152 pounds as the No. 11 seed with a record of 34-13. Horth will take on No. 22 Carlos Rohm of Dalton School in the AIS with a 15-8 record.

Horth is on the bottom half of the bracket, while with a win, Inkley will likely have to face No. 1 Caden Bellis of Section IV Tioga. Bellis takes the top seed with a 30-1 record and returns as the 2023 138-pound state champion.

Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama/Clymer senior Jayden Malecki finds himself in a similar predicament as Inkley, but at 190 pounds. Coming in as the No. 9 seed, the 43-9 Malecki is set to face No. 8 Avery Canzano of Section III Cortland with a 38-1 record in the prequarterfinals and the winner will likely go against Tavio Hoose.

Gowanda/Pine Valley's Michael Horth

With plenty of high seeds in the Division 2 tournament, a pair of Jamestown wrestlers will look to make some noise in the Division 1 ranks this Friday.

Junior Tyler Zwald comes into the 131-pound bracket as the No. 17 seed with a 38-10 record and is slated against a familiar opponent in the prequarterfinals, No. 16 eighth-grader Trevor Mueller of Clarence who boasts a 36-11 record and beat Zwald in the Section VI state qualifier two weeks ago in a 4-1 decision.

The winner would have to face No. 1 Samson McKissick-Stale of Section V Pittsford, who boasts a 35-1 record.

Zwald is headed to states with sophomore teammate Zach Little who has the most to prove heading to states as the No. 20 seed at 108 pounds. Little is set to go against No. 13 Nicholas Fortugno of Section I Briarcliff-Byram Hills-Valhalla-Westlake with a 38-5.

Little was no stranger to upsets at the state qualifiers, knocking off both the No. 2 and No. 3 seed clinching his spot in Albany this weekend. The top seed at 108 pounds is Dunia Sibomana of Section VIII Long Beach with a 39-2 record and he won the 2022 102-pound state championship in eighth grade.

Falconer/Cassadaga Valley's Dylan Newman

NOTES: Doors open at MVP Arena on Friday at 8:15 a.m. with opening ceremonies set for 9:30 a.m. First-round matches are scheduled to start at 10 a.m.; second-round matches are set for noon; quarterfinals are scheduled for 3 p.m.; and consolation-round wrestlebacks are set for 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, doors open at 8:30 a.m. with semifinals and consolation matches set to begin at 9:30 a.m.; wrestlebacks and consolation semifinals are scheduled for 12:30 p.m.; and consolation finals are set for 2 p.m. After the arena is cleared, doors will reopen at 5:15 p.m. with opening ceremonies for the finals set for 5:50 p.m. Championship finals are scheduled for 6:05 p.m. … Tickets are managed by MVP Arena and can be purchased in advance through Ticketmaster’s website or at the ticket window on-site. Single-sessions tickets are $12 at the box office or $17.70 through the website. All-session, general-admission tickets are $38 at the box office or $47.45 online. Premium seating for the finals only is available for $58 at the box office or $72.60 online. … Follow all weekend on Twitter @Chris__Storms or at www.post-journal.com.

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