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McDougalds, Heers bring home state wrestling titles

By Tyrell Feaster, Special to the News

ALBANY — Three Section VI wrestlers took home state championship medals Saturday, and two of them made it the usual family affair.

No. 2 seed Justin McDougald of Niagara Wheatfield defeated top-seeded Ryan Burgos of Hilton, 3-1, to win the Division I, 138-pound championship at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships at the Times-Union Center.

“First thing I’m feeling is completion. I feel like I’ve completed a chapter in my life that I’ve worked several decades for,” said Justin, the school's career wins leader. “Another thing I’m feeling is very proud of myself, proud of my family. ... excitement for McDougalds.

"McDougalds have set such a high bar for history and records. We just smashed a bunch of records so I’m excited.”

Justin, a five-time Section VI champion, won his first state title to cap his senior season at 45-1.

Little did Justin know that immediately after his victory his cousin, top-seeded Willie McDougald of Niagara Falls, would dominate his match to win the Division I 145-pound title with an 8-2 win against Lee Mauras of Hempstead.

Willie finished his high school career as a two-time state champion and with a 44-1 mark as a senior.

“Very, very excited for me and my family. Me and my cousin won it back-to-back matches,” said Willie. “ I knew what he did, I knew what I could do so I went out there prepared and I did my stuff. I knew if I did that I would win.”

Finally, to close out the event, fourth-seeded Jaden Heers of Newfane won the Division II 285-pound championship, topping Mike Leibl of Canastota, 5-4.

A year ago, Heers was knocked out of the state tournament by Leibl.

“I came into this tournament, I was a underdog,” said Heers. “I was a four seed, I knew had to beat the one seed. I knew I was going to have that guy.”

Several other local wrestlers competed in Saturday’s finals, including two second-place finishes.

Second-seeded Andy Lucinski of Newfane lost the Division II, 106-pound final to top-seeded Jace Schafer of Palymra-Macedon, 4-1.

Second-seeded Giovanni Schifano of Eden lost the Division II, 160-pound final to top-seeded Jacob Null of Dolgeville, 7-3.

Other local place-winners:

• DI, 99 Travis Browning of Frontier 7th.
• DI, 120 Cameron Catrabone of Williamsville 6th
• DI, 126 Michael Catanzara of Williamsville 8th.
• DI, 145 Zicdn Fzbideau of Clarence 8th.
• DI, 182 Ryan Stencel of Lancaster 5th.
• DI, 195 Codie Scotland of Lancaster 8th.
• DI, 285 Ryan Bitka of Amherst 8th.
• DII, 99 Aiden Gillings of Newfane 4th.
• DII, 106 Andy Lucinski of Newfane 2nd.
• DII, 113 Daniel Kirsch of Pioneer 4th, Michael Schifhauer of Iroquois 7th.
• DII, 120 Darson Alberti of Alden/Depew 5th, Donovan Bukaczeski of Iroquois 7th.
• DII, 132 Julian Martin of Lake Shore 8th.
• DII, 145 Kameron Riordan of Pioneer 5th.
• DII, 195 Dontae Hoose of Southwestern 6th.
• DII, 220 Conner Walsh of Olean 5th.
• DII, 285 Cody Wilson of Albion 6th, Jake Skinner of Fredonia 8th.

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