The seedings for this weekend's Section 6 Division II State Qualifier were released on Wednesday evening and, not surprisingly, the list is replete with wrestlers hailing from Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.
The Division II tournament will be held in conjunction with the Division I tournament at the University at Buffalo on Sunday. Weigh-ins kick off the grueling day at 8 a.m. and preliminary-round wrestling gets underway two hours later. The semifinals are scheduled for 1 p.m., with the finals set for 5:30 that evening.
Winners of the tournament are guaranteed a place at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships, which will be held at the Times Union Center in Albany on Feb. 22-23.
Salamanca’s Dustin Lewis, top, wrestles Frewsburg’s Trevor Spicer in last weekend’s Class D Tournament. Lewis is the top seed in the 195-pound weight class at this weekend’s Section 6 Division 2 state qualifier, while Spicer is No. 3. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
by Rob Tucker
In all, 75 of the area's best from Division II (that's Classes B to D) were seeded from No. 1 to No. 12 in weight classes ranging from 99 pounds to 285. Of those 15 classes, five have local athletes heading up the roll. They are Ryan Hetrick of Southwestern, Brad Bihler of Maple Grove, Dakota Gardner and Zach Buckley of Fredonia, and Dustin Lewis of Salamanca.
Each of those five recently earned titles at their respective Class Championships.
In the Class C Championship at Eden High School, Hetrick, at 99 pounds, won all three of his matches, including a 4-0 victory in the title bout over Sawyer Overhoff of Eden, who is seeded fifth for the qualifier. In addition to his class title, Hetrick has claimed titles at the Patrick J. Morales Memorial Wrestling Tournament, the Ripley Invitational and the Attica Blue Devil Challenge Wrestling Tournament this season.
Dakota Gardner, at 120 pounds, and Zach Buckley, at 170, had similarly easy runs in Eden. Gardner needed just 48 seconds to reach the finals and then topped third-seeded Mojed Mohamed of Lake Shore, 2-1, while Buckley collected a pair of pins and a dominating, 16-3 victory in his final match.
Bihler and Lewis, meanwhile, took care of things at the Class D Championships in Portville.
The 106-pound Bihler won by fall, technical fall and then blanked Jacob Peru of Falconer (seeded fourth) in the championship match. Meanwhile, Lewis, a 195-pounder, earned a technical fall, a major decision and a 5-4 decision over Trevor Spicer of Frewsburg - a third seed - in the finals.
This season Bihler, who helped lead the Maple Grove Red Dragons to their first league title in 15 years, was a runnerup in the Morales, the Ripley Invitational and the Salamanca Tournament, among others, and his main competition in each was Dunkirk's Hector Colom, who will be out of the picture this time around because he will be competing in the Division I State Qualifier.
Among those seeded No. 2 are Kyle Blake (99 pounds) and Brandon Muntz (126) of Falconer, Tyler Cassidy (132) and Jude Gardner (145) of Fredonia, Brian Westerdahl (138) of Southwestern, Austin Lynn (182) of Frewsburg and Matt Booth (195) of Cattaraugus-Little Valley/Pine Valley.
Rounding out those seeded in the top five are, at 99 pounds, Falconer's Rick Griffith (No. 4); at 113 pounds, Westfield-Ripley-Chautauqua Lake's Nick Hudson (No. 4); at 138 pounds, Gowanda's Lucas McKeever (No. 4) and Falconer's Kyle Ross (No. 5); at 145 pounds, Falconer's Jake Youngberg (No. 3), Maple Grove's Jed Micek (No. 4) and Gowanda's Cody Richter (No. 5); at 152 pounds, Randolph's Chris Doubek (No. 4); at 160 pounds, WRCL's Caleb Lawson (No. 4) and Cassadaga Valley's Tage Reuther (No. 5); at 170 pounds, Randolph's James Carr (No. 3), Frewsburg's Cody Haller (No. 4) and WRCL's Tyler Furlow (No. 5); at 182 pounds, Fredonia's Nick Nocek (No. 4); at 195 pounds, Frewsburg's Trevor Spicer (No. 3) and Falconer's Jake Penhollow (No. 4); at 220 pounds, Fredonia's Chris Saden (No. 3) and WRCL's Trevor Enterline (No. 4) and at 285 pounds, Falconer's Javen Newman (No. 5).
In Division I there are 16 local wrestlers seeded - all from either Jamestown or Dunkirk.
Top-five seeds include, from Dunkirk, Hector Colom (No. 2) at 99 pounds and brother Tito (No. 4) at 106.
For Jamestown, meanwhile, Mike Southwick is the third-ranked competitor in the 152-pound weight class while Kyle Liuzzo (120 pounds) and Mark Conklin (132 pounds) are both five seeds in their respective classes.