Wrestling: With three top seeds, Colonie ready to roll
While Shenendehowa, Columbia and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake were fighting for supremacy in the Suburban Council this season, Colonie flew under the radar.
The Garnet Raiders dropped their opening match of the season to Columbia, and lost to the Plainsmen and Spartans for a 5-3 league record, but lost only two other dual meets all season.
After edging Guilderland for fourth place at last weekend’s Division 1, Class 1 tournament, the Garnet Raiders are looking to have multiple wrestlers qualify for the state tournament at this weekend’s Section II Championships.
“I was happy with last weekend,” said coach Jeremy Eggleston. “Now, the goal is to get as many as we can to states.”
Colonie has a tournament-best three No. 1 seeds for the Division I tournament, which opens this morning, along with the DII tourney, at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The finals are scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday.
Returning champ Golan Cohen, fourth in the state in 2013, is the favorite at 113 pounds, and 2013 runner-up Austin DiCerbo drew the top spot at 285. Eggleston expected both to be sectional favorites from the start of the season.
The third top seed, 220-pounder Wayne Burt, bumped up a weight class for the postseason.
“Golan and Austin are right where we thought they’d be,” said Eggleston. “We moved Wayne up and he got a top seed [last weekend] and beat a really good, unbeaten kid in [Bethlehem’s Chris] Tangora. He’ll probably see him again.”
The jump in weight class allowed Burt, a standout football player, to stay at a more natural weight, and avoid Shenendehowa’s unbeaten returning state 195 finalist Levi Ashley.
“Ashley is so tough, and Wayne’s not a year-round [wrestling] kid, and we felt better about him going up,.” Eggleston said.
Shenendehowa, Columbia and Burnt Hills all have a pair of No. 1 seeds in DI.
Ashley and Jesse Porter, who missed the 2013 postseason with a hand injury, are Shen’s top seeds. Kevin Parker, a 2012 champion and runner-up last year, is seeded second to four-time champ Brandon Lapi at 138.
“Jesse is a workhorse in the room, and he’s having some success,” said Shenendehowa coach Rob Weeks. “Kevin Parker has seen a lot of good kids from around the state all year.”
Three-time runner-up and four-time place-finisher Joey Butler (145) and 99-pounder Christian Gramuglia (99) got No. 1 seeds for Burnt Hills, which has five wrestlers seeded second.
Two-time winner Angelo Kress (160) and Kyle Greene (132) are the favorites from Columbia, while returning champ Josh LoGiudice drew the top spot at 99.
In the DII tourney, Schalmont has top seeds in two-time champ and 2013 state finalist Nick Gallo (182) and Tim Flower (195), with Marcus Ramundo, second last winter, No. 2 at 285.
Duanesburg junior Connor Lawrence (160), a two-time champ, is joined by younger brother, Zack (99) as a No. 1 seed. Senior Andy Mollevik is second at 145.
Galway has three No. 3 seeds, including returning placer Steven Culbert at 145.
Hoosick Falls senior Luis Weierbach, the only reigning state champ from Section II, will go after his fourth DII title from the second seed. Weierbach, 35-4, was placed behind unbeaten 2013 champ Matt Morris of Albany Academy at 120.
The 15 weight-class champs in both tourneys advance to the state tournament in two weekends in Albany. Other top-three place finishers could get spots in the state tournament when the wild cards are announced next week.