The state wrestling championships will be held next door at Rochester's Blue Cross Arena in more than four months (March 8-9, 2008), but the road there has already started in wrestling rooms across Western New York.
At last year's state championships, Section VI had a good showing in the Division II (small schools) tournament as it finished third in the sectional team standings while Fredonia took fourth among schools with sophomore Kenny Betts winning the title at 135 pounds.
Other underclassmen who placed at states in Division II last year were (grades listed are last year's): 103 -- 2, Matt Peters (East Aurora–10); 112 -- 5, Chris Conti (Fredonia-11), 6, Rob Broda (Eden–11); 119 -- 4, Matt Metzler (Salamanca–11); 152 -- 3rd, Nick Czapla (East Aurora-11).
In the Division I (large schools) state tournament, Section VI was fifth of 12 teams with Niagara-Wheatfield taking 11th among schools.
The underclassmen who placed were: 125 -- 2, Mark Lewandowski (Lancaster-11); 160 -- 4, Angelo Malvestuto (Niagara-Wheatfield-9); 275 -- 2, Randy Colling (Pioneer–11).
Malvestuto went on to win a national title in the 160-pound freshman division at the National Wrestling Championships in Virginia Beach, Va.
Niagara-Wheatfield finished atop the Western New York Wrestling Review large school poll, followed by Cheektowaga and Lancaster. Fredonia was tops among small schools, followed by Medina and Falconer.
So which athletes will be headed to Rochester in March? Which will be the deepest and most dominant teams in dual meets?
Coaches, make sure you send your rosters and schedules to us via fax (849-4587) or email (email@example.com). Thanks.
-- Keith McShea