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Salute to the Champions: 2023 NYSPHSAA DII State Kings

By NYWN Staff, 03/02/23, 2:15PM EST


Sorenson 3-Peats; Florance & Duncanson Repeat; Sibble Dethrones Hitchcock; Joslyn Knocks Off 2x champ; Aiello & Fahrbach Are Suffolk Strong; Bellis prevails in Clash of 3x NYS Medalists; Hoose, Steals 172-pound crown; Nevills & Bailey Bring Glory to S3; No one is Sweeter at 145; Cook Joins brother

102-Pounds: Tommy Aiello (John Glenn-11)


When the John Glenn sophomore [Aiello} made his NYSPHSAA debut in 2022, he did not get the results he desired, finishing 1-2 and off the podium....

From the moment his freshman campaign concluded, the goal was as clear as day and KNIGHT; Get back and get to the top of the podium!!!

That mission was accomplished this past Saturday night when the 2x Suffolk County Champion emerged as the last man standing out of the #4 spot in the bracket by defeating 2023 Section IV bronze medalist, Logan Bellis (Tioga), by a score of 3-0!!

The match scoreless thru 5:30 minutes following no breakthroughs on the feet in the 1st, and a by a rideout from Aiello in the 2nd, all signs pointed at the bout going extra frames before the Section 11 rep threatened a reversal, but settled for the E1 with :35 remaining in regulation to gain a 1-0 advantage...

In the final 15 ticks, Aiello solidified his perfect 36-0 season when he used a spun behind off of a front-headlock for the lone takedown of the match to account for the final tally....

No stranger to dramatic and/or 11th hour victories, his triumph over the Tiger freshman [Bellis] was the second time that day that Aiello would find a way to win late...

Leading his semifinal with top-seeded/2023 S4 champion, Maverick Beckwith (Norwich), 3-0, after recording a 2nd period escape and then striking for 2NF via a power-half, thing got quite interesting in the final 69 seconds of their semifinal bout, as the Purple Tornado youngster [Beckwith] secured a reversal and then locked up a cradle for his own 2pt near-fall to jump in front 4-3, with 15 ticks to go in the bout...

After breaking the cradle, Aiello would find himself in a Merkle-like position, but the initial call was that the clock had expired before the reversal had been completed....A lengthy review ensued and in the end, the mat officials elected to "reverse" the call, thus turning a 4-3 defeat into a 5-4 victory!

Day #1 was not nearly as stressful, as Aiello was barely on the mat for 2:00 cumulative minutes in his round of 16 and quarterfinal contests.  

In his first appearance, he's convert a TD and then a bar to stick 2023 Section II runner-up, Luke LeBlanc (Salem Cambridge), in a time of 1:37!

The eyes of the crowd focussed on his quarterfinal match, he'd allow 2x Section 9 champion/multiple-time USAW Women's Nationals Age-Group Champion/All-American, Charlie Wylie (Port Jervis), to spin behind him for a split second, but he'd have an amazing recovery, squaring up and then whipping his female counterpart to her back for the fall half a minute (0:29) into the opening period....Note: Wylie later went on to win her blood round match to become just the second woman to place in the NYSPHSAA tourney (Carlene Sluberski; State runner-up in 2009 @ 96)

The fifth wrestler in J.G. history to win the state crown (first since 2016; Edwin Rubio @ 285), Aiello is the first to achieve the feat since the school changed to the Division II classification! 

Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Tommy Aiello (John Glenn) dec. Logan Bellis (Tioga), 3-0
3rd: Maverick Beckwith (Norwich) dec. Jakob Lucinski (Newfane), 2-0
5th: Derek Walseman (Beaver River) dec. Charlie Wylie (Port Jervis), 7-1
7th: Joe Scott (Letchworth) dec. D`vante Ortiz (Tamarac), 6-4

110-Pounds: Darren Florance (BGAH-4)

"They called it luck; so I did it twice"....

Despite being an undefeated, state titlist in 2022, the sentiments of the BGAH junior [Florance] seemed to be that he was not receiving the level of respect deserved by a student-athlete of his caliber!  

If there were any strangling doubters in advance of Saturday night's 110-pound finale, those people have been shown the truth...

Facing off against undefeated (49-0)/2023 Section 11 champion/2023 Eastern States Classic titlist, Gavin Mangano (Shoreham-Wading River), with the crown on the line, the Bear 11th grader [Florance] wasted little time in surging into the lead, as he'd counter a front-headlock by hitting a dump for 2+2 during the initial :45 feeling out period to carry a 4-0 edge into the 2nd period.  

A reversal :25 into the middle stanza, complemented by another rideout, increased the cushion to 6-0.   

Mangano was able to rally during the final 2:00 of regulation, as he earned an escape point and racked up three takedowns.  But the early dominance of Florance proved to be too abundant to overcome, as the now 4x NYS medalist/3x finalist/2x champ hung on for the 8-7 decision...

The 110-pound field among the deepest regardless of division in 2023, just to reach the 'ship, Florance had to tangle with returning State 3rd, Chris Noto (HFL) in a semifinal that was unquestionably "finals worthy"....

Surrendering a TD in the last :40 of the 1st period, the brief 2-0 deficit was the only time all weekend that the #15 ranked wrestler in the land (per FloWrestling) found himself trailing....He'd immediately answer back with a reversal and rideout to send the bout to the 2nd all knotted at 2-2.  

A Florance escape in the 2nd being the only point recorded (to go up 3-2), the backbreaker came :26 into the 3rd, as he finished an insurance TD (single-leg on the edge of the mat) to make it a 5-2 edge...

After kicking free to draw within 5-3 with 1:15 still showing on the board, Noto would be in deep repeatedly, but the experience and poise of Florance held strong, as he'd fend off each and every attack to claim the 5-3 decision...

Florance went unchallenged on Friday, registering a pair of takedowns before sticking 2023 S1 champ, John Parisi (Nanuet), with a half in :48 to commence his journey...

In the quarterfinals, his prowess on the mat was on full clinic mode, as he racked up three sets of swipes (7 total points) and a reversal en route to a 13-0 major decision over 2023 Section III gold medalist/2022 NYS Blood Rounder,  Brock Frederick (South Jefferson-Sandy Creek)!

Florance, who wrapped up 2022-2023 as the owner of a 36-1 resume, will look to join Eric Decker (2004-2006) as the second three-time State champion in district history.   

Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Darren Florance (BGAH) dec. Gavin Mangano (SWR), 8-7
3rd: Aidan Shufelt (Groton) dec. Caleb Cole (Unatego-Unadilla Valley), 5-3
5th: Chris Noto (Honeoye Falls-Lima) dec. Ashten Haley (Cobleskill-Richmondville), 7-1
7th: Gary McDowell Jr (Bolivar-Richburg) pinned Ryan Farley (Avon-Geneseo) 2:31

118-Pounds: Chase Nevills (Copenhagen-3)

In his own personal version of Camelot. instead of being "Lancelot", the Copenhagen junior [Nevills] should forevermore be known as "WinsAlot", because that is what he did all weekend in running an absolute gauntlet to his first career State crown....

Going toe-to-toe with three returning and/or former NYS medalist on his journey to the small school brass ring, the 2022 NYS 3rd made it appear far easier than it ought to be as a true testament to his skill set...

Pitted against 2020 State 7th, Joey Florance (BGAH), in their third meeting of the season (Nevills already enjoying a 2-0 record in the series), unlike the previous two showdowns that ended in respective 3-1 and 5-3 decisions, the Golden Knight junior, was commanding in his effort from opening whistle to final buzzer, as he converted a pair of takedowns during the 1st period to lead 4-1 and then continued to push forward, adding one TD apiece in each of the last two periods (+ an escape in the 2nd) to runaway with an 9-1 major decision over his section 4 rival to cement a brilliant 39-1 campaign...

As cited above, the dub over the older of the two "Fab Florance" siblings was the third of a hat trick posted by Nevills in terms of navigating his way past his fellow members of the Empire elite...

Setting a tone for the kind of day it was going to be, Nevills came out of the gate on fire on Saturday, amassing three takedowns and two sets of near-fall to build a 12-1 cushion before switching from a tilt into a power-half to glue 2022 NYS 5th, Gene Edwards (Central Valley Academy) in exactly 3:00 to knock off his sectional teammate in a rematch of the 2023 S3 finals (won 14-5 by Nevills)...

His quarterfinal round match with 2022 State 4th, Jacob McVige (HFL), proved to be the "most competitive" outing of the two-day affair for Nevills, but even this bout seemed rather matter of fact, as he shook off surrendering the first takedown of the match by exploding for 10 of the next 11 points (reversal, escape, two takedowns, 3NF) between the 1st and 2nd periods to hold a 10-3 lead with just two minutes remaining....Each combatant would notch an escape + TD apiece to finish up with Nevills on the winning end of a 13-6 decision!

In the only match in which he did not topple a known NYS medalist, Nevills relied on five takedowns and two turns (both for the full count) to secure a 17-2 technical fall over 2023 Section 5 bronze medalist, Austin Hall ( (Canisteo-Greenwood) in the round of 16!

The second wrestler in school history to win the yellow medal, Nevills joined 2018 titlist, Dempsey Carroll, who took home the prize at 152 pounds!

Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Chase Nevills (Copenhagen) MD Joey Florance (BGAH), 9-1
3rd: Jayden Duncanson (Tioga) MD Gene Edwards (Central Valley Academy), 13-0
5th: Chris Colon (SWR) dec. Cade Sands (Addison), 6-4
7th: Carmine Calimeri (Southwestern) dec. Austin Hall (Canisteo-Greenwood), 11-6

126-Pounds: Jordan Joslyn (Chautauqua Lake-Westfield-Panama-6)

A modern-day "David vs. Goliath" story, if NYWN had taken a poll prior to the finals as to whom was going to win between a 2x State Champion and his seventh-seeded opponent, we are pretty sure we know what the numbers would have shown...And WE ALL WOULD HAVE BEEN WRONG!!

Wrestling like a bat out of hell and like a person with a point to prove, the Thunderbird 11th grader [Joslyn] would strike for a pair of takedowns in the final 75 seconds of the 1st period to propel himself to a 4-1 lead versus 3x State medalist/aforementioned two-time titlist, Gianni Silvestri (Tioga)...

A full rideout of the 2nd period maintained the Section 6 rep's lead and put him just 2:00 away from being the upset of the tournament...

Hit for his second stall warning :45 into the 3rd to cut the lead to 4-2, Joslyn iced the crown in the last :40 of regulation when he was able lock up a cradle from bottom for a 2pt reversal to go ahead 6-4...

Fighting like a champion should, Silvestri reversed back shortly thereafter, but with only :10 remaining, he'd be unable to generate the NF needed to extend the bout...

Pulling off the rare accomplishment of beating #1, #2, and #3 seeds all in the same weekend, while nothing could equal winning the hardware, a close second might have been the euphoria that comes with vengeance, which is what Joslyn garnered in the semifinals...

Facing the individual that denied him a place on the podium last year (2-0 loss in the blood round), 2x State 5th, Trevor Cortright (Chenango Valley), it was Joslyn's turn to throw up a goose-egg, which he did when his TD late in the 1st period (:02) was all the scoring that be needed in his own 2-0 triumph!

Joslyn hammered his way through Friday, ending his round of 16 bout with a bang, as he transformed a 3-2 advantage into a quick trip to the office by taking 2023 S3 runner-up/2022 NYS Qualifier, Colin Scherer (Marcellus/Onondaga), to his back for what would have been 2 +3 if not for the fact that the slap of the mat came with 41 ticks remaining in the 2nd period.  

His most authoritative display came in the semis, as Joslyn would turn second-seeded/2023 S5 champ, Waylan Winseman (HFL), four times in two periods to stockpile 12 of the 16 points he scored in emerging with a 16-0 2nd period TF....The other four points came on a 1st period TD and a reversal in the middle stanza! 

As the cherry on top of his championship sundae, Joslyn (45-2) was later named as the Outstanding Wrestler recipient of the DII tourney...

Since the merging of Chautauqua Lake with Westfield & Panama, he is the first in program history to ascend to the top of the podium...Bryce Rowe won it all for just C.L. in 2018 at 160 pounds!

Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Jordan Joslyn (CLWP) dec. Gianni Silvestri (Tioga), 6-4
3rd: Trevor Bishop (Tamarac) dec. Trevor Cortright (Chenango Valley), 5-3
5th: Liam English (Cobleskill-Richmondville) dec. Deakon Bailey (Tioga), 4-0
7th: Kolton Kelley (Camden) dec. Esuar Ordonez (Putnam Valley), 3-2

132-Pounds: Brayden Fahrbach (Mount Sinai-11)

Photo by The Shot Photographer

Evidently one of the most under the radar superstars on the Evil Empire Wrestling map, all weekend, we were asked why the Mt. Sinai junior [Fahrbach] had not received more spotlight and/or fanfare...

Having tracked his career since his youth days, we can say with total certainly, he had our admiration then, and he especially has it today!

A two-time State medalist who finished as the Division I runner-up [to Tyler Ferrara] last season, the Mustang found instant prosperity among the DII ranks this year, fulfilling his prophecy to be atop the podium when he capped off an unblemished 34-0 season by earning a 6-4 decision Saturday night on the blue mat against three-time placer, Aidan Gillings (Newfane)!

Doing his best John Smith impression less than 10 ticks into the 1st period, the Section XI rep converted the takedown to enjoy a 2-1 advantage at the conclusion of 2:00...

On top to begin the 2nd period, after applying an imposing ride for the first half minute, Fahrbach capitalized in a big way when he was able to utilize a bar tilt for 2NF to increase his cushion to 4-1.

An exchange of reversals highlighted the first 1:00 of the 3rd period to transform the score to 6-3, and Gilling would get as close as 6-4 with an escape in the last :05, but with such short time remaining, the championship flex was soon coming!! 

Adding the NYSPHSAA gold to the Eastern States Classic prize he seized in January, our #12 2024 prospect [Farhrbach] was among among boys in his three prior bouts, as he accumulated a 35-5 scoring margin in the midst of procuring the finals berth...

Pitching two shutouts along the way, his title tale kicked off when he struck for a TD + two turns in the 1st period (7-0), and then continued to pour it on with a TD and three additional turns (halfs + cross-wrists) in the 2nd and 3rd periods to come away with a 16-0 technical fall in the round of 16 over 2023 Private School State champ, Leo Tansey (Collegiate School)...

Going takedown + turn, rinse + repeat during the first 4:00 of his quarterfinal match-up with 2x S7 titlist, Alex Clancy (Saranac), to establish a 10-1 lead at the end of the 2nd period, the Long Islander surrendered his only TD of the tournament with :47 remaining in regulation, but quickly escaped to clinch the major decision, 11-3!

As was his pattern from beginning to end, Fahrbach got off to another fast start in the semifinals versus 2022 State 7th, Jazz Spaulding (HFL)....Getting penetration with the single-leg, he'd lift and trip for the TD :28 into the match and then later add a 3NF via a cross-wrist tilt to grab the early 5-0....Not one to allow complacency to set in, he further pulled away with a takedown and rideout in the 2nd, and a stall point in the third (while on top) to account for every point in his 8-0 major decision victory!

Fahrbach is the fourth Mt. Sinai wrestler to win NYSPHSAA gold, joining Ryan Bernholz (1996 @ 132), Mike Zariff (2018 @ 138), and Matt Campo (2020 @170)!

Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Brayden Fahrbach (Mount Sinai) dec. Aidan Gillings (Newfane), 6-4
3rd: Culley Bellino (Canastota) pinned Jazz Spaulding (HFL) 0:43 
5th: Patrick Grimsey (Lowville) dec. Ayden Buttery (Newfane), 4-2
7th: Alex Clancy (Saranac) dec. Dylan Devine (Schalmont), 3-2

138-Pounds: Caden Bellis (Tioga-4)

A year removed from the nightmare of seeing his 3-0 lead in the 3rd period of the state finals get turned into a 6-5 loss (to Joseph Sparacio), the Tiger junior [Bellis] went above and beyond to prove that history does not always have to repeat itself...

Engaged in a match that every NYS wrestling aficionado had circled on their printed brackets in advance of Saturday night, it was the 2022 NHSCA AA-American/2022 Fargo AA out of section IV, completing the two-match sweep this season of HFL senior, Nicholas Noto, 6-1, in a collision of respective three-time NYS placers...

A 5-1 match when they squared off in the finals of the Windsor Christmas Tournament in late-December, after an escape and takedown in the 2nd period have him a 3-0 lead, Bellis found himself in the deja vu scenario...But alas, unlike his 2022 trip to Albany, this time, running a bar-half combination over to expose Noto for the full allotment to double his lead to 6-0 with less than 1:00 separating him from a destiny one-year in the making....

Fighting till the last moments, Noto would get on the board with an escape in the final :05, but the night belonged to Bellis!!

Picking up his 30th, 31st, and 32nd victories (as part of a 33-1 overall season) between Friday and Saturday morning, the #6 prospect in the NYWN class rankings commenced the road to Victoryville when he pinned 2023 Nassau silver medalist, Justin Dvorak (Locust Valley), at the 98-second mark of their round of 16 contest...

The fall over the Section VIIIer was the first of a pair garnered by Bellis, as one day later, he amassed a 13-3 lead before sticking surprise semifinalist/3x Private School State titlist, Cole Joseph (Hackley School), with arm bar in the last 25 seconds of the 3rd period (5:35)...

His only close call went down in the quarters, as an escape with :21 remaining in duration proved to be the winning-point in a 3-2 decision over 2023 Section 6 champ, Xander Kirsch (Pioneer)....The first period going scoreless, Bellis drew first blood with a 2nd period turn + rideout to carry a 2-0 edge into the 3rd....Unable to find an equalizer from the top position, Kirsch would cut Bellis with :30 to go in the match to make the score 3-0...He recorded a counter TD via Merkle with :15 to go, but could not muster any additional offense...

By virtue of Bellis's title (as well as teammate, Ousmane Duncanson; see below @ 160), the Tioga program has now crowned at least one individual champion in four of the past five years...The Tigers also earned a NYSPHSAA four-peat in the team standings (winning the tournament title in 2019, 2020, 2022, and 2023)!

Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Caden Bellis (Tioga) dec. Nicholas Noto (HFL), 6-1
3rd: Cameron Mayfield (Eagle Academy) dec. Benny Merrill (Alexander), 4-2
5th: Wyatt Meade (Unatego-Unadilla Valley) pinned  Cole Joseph (Hackley) 2:44
7th: Cooper Reed (Central Valley Academy) dec. Jack Lamson (JE/PB/US/CM), 7-5

145-Pounds: Caleb Sweet (South Seneca-5)

As the saying goes, "Patience is bitter; but the fruit is SWEET"...

A year after suffering a 10-1 major decision in the 2022 NYS DII State finals (to Jordan Soriano), the roles were reversed last weekend for the senior out of South Seneca [Sweet]...

Colliding with returning state bronze medalist/2022 Fargo GR All-American, Owen Hicks (FFJ), in the "match for the marbles", the future Binghamton Bearcat was nothing short of remarkable in controlling and/or dictating terms in every position on the mat en route to a 17-4 major decision on centerstage!

The title contest scoreless for the first 80 seconds, Sweet changed that when he got the better end of a scramble where both guys appeared close to finishing....Hicks fully behind but unable to free his leg, the gent from Section V hit a roll and stepped over on bottom, catching his S2 foe on his back to threaten a fall before settling for 2+3 to take the 5-0 lead at the end of the 1st period...

The two heralded student-athletes taking turns trading reversals in the 2nd, Sweet got the better of the deal, as he'd roll off the whistle to begin the stanza (7-0), and then after giving up a R2, would answer back with another roll that yielded 2+2 as the margin swelled to 11-2 heading into the 3rd...

The final 2:00 starting in neutral, Sweet got in deep on a single-leg and converted in the first half minute, trapping Hicks for yet another 2+2 to further pull away, 15-2...

An escape from the Braves superstar [Hicks] with 1:02 to in the 3rd served as a brief reprieve from the punishment; but Sweet was simply relentless, attacking with a misdirection shot, getting on on the single, lifting, and then dropping his nemesis to the mat for good measure for one final score....He rode out the last 50 ticks to close out his "Sweet" title display!!

The walking definition of of invincibility on Friday and Saturday, as mind-blowing as it is to fathom, the title match may have been his most competitive outing, as he produced falls in all three of his previous bouts...

Piling up four TDs, a reversal, and a 3pt NF to establish a 13-4 lead, Sweet would eventually stick 3x Section 10 finalist/2x champ, Hunter Mashaw (Gouverneur), in the round of 16 as his fifth takedown of the match would be a lift and dump straight to his opponent's back, smothering the Wildcat until the end came 1:08 into the 2nd period (3:08)!

He'd close out day #1 in an even more expedited manner, pancaking 2022 NYS 8th, Kieran Cullen (Greenville) to register the 42-second pin in the quarterfinals...

Saturday was a case of new day, same outcome, as a high-C for the takedown, followed by a 2pt exposure during a mat return resulted in Sweet jumping out to a 4-0 advantage at the end of the 1st period versus 2x S4 finalist/2023 champion, Drew Macumber (Tioga)...On top to begin the 2nd period, the Falcon devoured his prey, locking up a cow-catcher and using it to drive the Tiger 11th grader straight to his back for the fall at the 2:40 mark!

Sweet, who was 43-1 in his final season anchoring the program, is the first wrestler in South Seneca history to win the NYSPHSAA gold!!!

Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Caleb Sweet (South Seneca) MD Owen Hicks (FFJ), 17-4
3rd: Tavian Camper (Copenhagen) pinned Colton Havens (Canisteo-Greenwood) 2:56
5th: Kieran Cullen (Greenville) dec. Drew Macumber (Tioga), 7-3
7th: Austin Chase (Falconer/CV) dec. Vakramogo Dosso (Eagle Academy), 5-0

152-Pounds: Sixx Cook (Central Valley Academy-3)

"Brothers Don't Hug; They Win State Titles"....

On Saturday night, one of the legendary families in Section III added another bullet point to their collective resumes, as the CVA senior, [Sixx Cook] became the third member of the clan to reach the NYSPHSAA State finals, and the second to hoist the hardware following a statement-making 9-4 decision over top-seeded/returning NYS 7th, Sean Tansey (Collegiate School)...

A two-time State placer (3rd in 2022) when the weekend began, Cook drew first blood in the title match with a little over 1:00 remaining in the opening period, hitting a textbook fireman's carry to plant his private school opponent on his back for 2 +3 to jump out to a 5-1 edge at the end of the 1st...

An escape :24 into the 2nd period, complemented by a TD (temporarily had a cradle locked) in the final :25 further increased the lead to 8-1..

Tansey rallied slightly in the 3rd, earning an escape and TD during the initial :40 of the final period to get himself as close as 8-4; but after giving the S3 rep the free release, he'd be get in deep on a few promising attacks, but ultimately was unable to generate any additional takedowns to narrow the gap!

Cook's triumph over Tansey was the backend of a day #2 pair that he posted against state medal-winning peers, as he battled back from a 1-0 deficit late in the 3rd period by recording an escape (:30 to go) and a takedown (stuffed a shot, spun behind w/:10 remaining) to steal a 3-1 semifinal decision over 2022 State 4th, Vandavian Way (Gouverneur)!..This win avenged a previous loss from early-December!

Friday's festivities proved no obstacle for Cook, as his first step towards glory came in the form of a 17-2 technical fall (4 TDs; 3 turns) over 2023 S5 bronze medalist, Gage Burgess (Pal-Mac)...

He later concluded day #1 when trailing 2-1, he connected with a headlock to glue 2x finalist/2023 titlist, Dante Corriveau (Warrensburg Lake George), with :17 remaining in the 1st period! 

Sixx's heroics last weekend is just the beginning of the excitement for the Cook household in the coming weeks....Older brother, Tanner (2x State finalist/2017 Champion), will attempt to qualify for the NCAA DI National Tournament on behalf of the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State at the Big-12 Championships.  Flowrestling currently regards him as the #17 ranked wrestler in the 165-pound weight class...

The owner of a 50-2 record this season, as well as the youngest of six siblings, in addition to Tanner, the wrestling trail was previously blazed by Landry (2x S3 4th), Laken (2014 NYS runner-up), Kye, and Kace (2022 NYS Bronze medalist)!!! 

Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Sixx Cook (Central Valley Academy) dec. Sean Tansey (Collegiate School), 9-4
3rd: Devone Bogie (Eagle Academy) dec. Vandavian Way (Gouverneur), 7-2
5th: Beau Zeh (Canisteo-Greenwood) pinned John Watson (CLWP) 1:47
7th: Sean Seymore (Camden) dec. Joe Steimel (SWR), 5-3

160-Pounds: Ousmane Duncanson (Tioga-4)


During the past two years, it seems that everything the Tioga junior [Duncanson] touches turns to gold....

During the Winter, he was one of the primary ball-carriers on a Tiger gridiron gang that repeated as NYSPHSAA State Champions....

And in the midst of the last three months, not only has he led the section 4-based perennial powerhouse to a third straight NYS DII Duals crown and a 4th consecutive NYS Tournament team, he also polished off a perfect 37-0 vitae to become just the third wrestler (Derak Heyman in 2009/2011; Silvestri in 2020/2022)  in school history to win multiple individual brass rings...

A 2-1 decision victor (reversal in the 2nd period) versus Mitch Gaiser in the 2022 state finals at 152-pounds, his return trip to the 'ship was not nearly as suspenseful as Duncanson followed up a scoreless opening 2:00 by striking for an escape, a TD (go-behind), and a 2NF (turk) to jump in front, 5-0, against 2023 S5 silver medalist, Tayvn MacDonell (Bolivar Richburg)...

Starting the 3rd period on top, he'd quickly cinch in a cross-face cradle, turning the Wolverine sophomore to his back and holding him there until the ref pounded the mat at the 4:22 mark!

Extended the full 6:00 just once, Duncanson did not even see the 3rd period in either of his day #1 appearances, as logged pins in times of :36 and 2:53 in the round of 16 and quarterfinals over the sectional champs from 9 (Christian Hockx of Saugerties) & 2 (Luke Schirmacher of Mechanicville Stillwater)...  

Versus the former [Hockx), Duncanson defended a lat drop off the whistle for the takedown and then immediately transitioned into the cradle for the stick...

Against the Warrior senior [Schirmacher], he was well on his way towards earning a technical fall, building up an 11-0 edge (2 TDs, 2 turns) before ending it early with another signature cradle!

Facing off with returning state 4th, Mason McCombs (Windsor), in the semifinals, Duncanson did the bulk of his scoring in the middle stanza, earning an E1, converting a TD (drove through on a high dive), and then tacking on a 2NF (you guessed it; cradle!!!) to bring a 6-0 cushion into the final 2:00...

The 3rd period beginning on the feet, Duncanson tacked on one bonus takedown (single-leg + trip) with approximately 1:00 to go in duration; McCombs prevented the shutout by escaping in the last :22 seconds!

Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Ousmane Duncanson (Tioga) pinned Tayvn MacDonell (Bolivar-Richburg), 4:22
3rd: Luke Dendis (South Seneca) pinned Mason McCombs (Windsor) 4:39
5th: Raymond Hennessey (Adirondack) pinned Luke Schirmacher (Mech/S'water) 2:36
7th: Chris Shearing (Letchworth) dec. Kevin O`Sullivan (Pearl River), 3-2 

172-Pounds: Tavio Hoose (Southwestern-6)

If you want to know why coaches tell you to wrestle to the very last second, you need look only at the story of the Southwestern freshman [Hoose]...

Trailing his finals match 4-3 in the waning moments of the 3rd period, the Trojan frosh made magic happen, committing to an attack in the last 20 seconds and refusing to be stopped, as he hung onto a single-leg, and then limp-armed out to emerge with a title-stealing takedown in the final :04 of duration to come away with a 5-4 decision over Cold Spring Harbor sophomore, Greyson Meak, in a clash of 2022 underclassmen state qualifiers/2023 Sectional champs...

Seeded 6th (second lowest champion behind only Joslyn @ 126), the 2022 blood rounder was the first to get on the scoreboard in the 172-pound finals, as a reversal :46 into the 2nd period gave him a 2-0 lead....Meak responded with an escape and TD, before a penalty point (fleeing the mat from top; he deliberately pushed Hoose off the mat during the ride) squared the contest at 3-3 heading into the 3rd...

Meak having the option, he'd elect to start on bottom, and regained the lead (4-3) with 1:16 to go when after being hit with a stall warning, Hoose opted to give his Long Island opponent a free release to set up the dramatic conclusion!!!

The fourth decision in four outings for Hoose between Friday and Saturday, he may not have accrued any bonus points, but aside from the finale, he seemed to relish in complete sovereignty in his three previous bouts, as he only trailed for half a minute combined...

In the round of 16, he'd log one takedown in each of the three periods and tack on a 3rd period escape to pick up a 7-0 win over 2023 Section 1 champ, Michael McCarvill (Pearl River)....

The quarterfinals versus 2x S4 bronze medalist/2x NYS Qualifier, Trevor Harrington (Sidney), was that aforementioned lone occasion where he temporarily faced a deficit, as an escape :05 into the 2nd period put him in a 1-0 hole....He battled back though to amass six of the bout's last eight points, converting a pair of TDs in the last 85 seconds of the middle stanza, and then notching some insurance with a reversal 27 ticks into the 3rd to go up 6-2....Harrington managed to escape as the clock dipped below :50 to go, but he could get no closer as Hoose claimed the 6-3 decision...

 Playing the role of the counter-puncher to perfection in the semifinals, Hoose turned defense into offense on three separate occasions, as he took advantage of his opponent, 2023 S4 titlist, Mason Edwards's (Norwich), aggressiveness, sprawling and spinning behind for a TD :33 into the 1st period, and then slipping two headlock attempts in the 3rd to account for his three takedowns...He'd also register a reversal in the 2nd and surrender only a trio of escape (+ a stall point in the last :15) to double up the Binghamton-area opposition, 8-4!

A rare freshman champion at such a large weight class, Hoose demonstrated that he is mature beyond his years, as he closed out 2022-2023 boasting a 44-1 overall record!

With three more cracks of the brass ring awaiting him in 2024-2026, the odds are very much in his favor that he will join Matt Mazgaj (back-to-back 215 pound champ in 2004 and 2005) as the only wrestler in Southwestern history to win multiple state golds!

Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Tavio Hoose (Southwestern) dec. Greyson Meak (Cold Spring Harbor), 5-4
3rd: Jordan Koenig (Holland Patent) dec. Sean Kelly (Lowville), 3-1
5th: Jesse Mullis (Hudson Falls) Med fft over Mason Edwards (Norwich)
7th: Trevor Harrington (Sidney) dec. Landen Smith (Saranac), 6-5

189-Pounds: Andrew Bailey (Chittenango-3)

Just call the Chittenango senior [Bailey], "Cardiac Kid", because the razor-thin nature in which he won three of his four bouts last weekend was enough to raise the blood pressure of any Bear staff member or program enthusiast!!!

A blood rounder in 2022, Bailey found himself deadlocked, 3-3, with 2023 S5 titlist, Shane Davidson (Wellsville), at the end of the 3rd period in their 189-pound title bout...

Having lost a 1pt (5-4) match to a wrestler from the same school (John Layfield) in the blood round of this tournament last year, there was no way that Bailey was going to accept defeat, as he attempted a snap + spin, before just pouncing on the Lion 12th grader for 2+2 in the last :05 of sudden victory to euphorically realize his dream of being a NYSPHSAA State champ!

As evenly-matched a contest as we witnessed all evening, Davidson was the first to get on the board, as he finished a TD with 1:11 to go in the 1st period and then rode out the remainder of the stanza...Bailey answered back in the 2nd with an escape, TD, and rideout of his own to carry a 3-2 lead into the 3rd...Davidson then tied the bout with an E1 in the last 0:52 of regulation to create the extra frame scenario...  

As suggested above, barn-burners and/or low-scoring affairs seemed to be habitual for Bailey, who reached the finale when he collected both ankles for a takedown on the edge of the mat in the last 1:40 of the 3rd period to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 victory against 2022 State 7th, Brent Perry (Granville Ft. Ann), during Saturday morning's semifinal round...

Bailey wrapped up an unbeaten day on Friday, when he escaped 29 ticks into the 2nd period and then proceeded to ride out the full 2:00 of the 3rd to prevail, 1-0, in the quarterfinals over 2023 section 4 champ, Mateo Goodhue (Oneonta)!

His round of 16 appearance was the only stress free endeavor for Bailey, as he was on and off the mat in half a minute, utilizing a bar + half to stick 2023 Suffolk County runner-up, Carmine Gerbino (John Glenn)!

Immaculate in his swan song (38-0), Bailey joined Connor Fredericks (2018 @182) as just the second Bear to deliver a crown to Bear Nation!!!

Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Andrew Bailey (Chittenango) dec. Shane Davidson (Wellsville), 7-3 sv
3rd: Brent Perry (Granville/Fort Ann) dec. Brent Perry (Granville/Fort Ann), 2-0 sv
5th: Jared Bilinski (Dolgeville) pinned Malachi Smith (Byron Bergen) 1:35
7th: Hunter Page (Oxford/Greene) dec. Matt Trim (Maple Grove) , 6-2

215-Pounder: Sam Sorenson (Homer-3)

133 WINS IN  A ROW!!!!

Making history in 2021 during the Covid plagued year, he became the first from his school to win a state wrestling crown, when he went all the way at the Journeymen States (after going 31-0 in a different state that same season)....In the two subsequence campaigns (2022, 2023), all he did was compile resumes of 47-0 and 50-0 to leave no doubt that he belongs on the Rushmore of Empire State big daddies...

That is the milestone and/or legacy that the U.S. Military Academy bound senior out of Homer [Sorenson] will leave behind in the Trojan record book as he earned his third straight NYS crown (4th state title overall if you include his Wyoming crown in 2021) via a 5-2 decision versus 2022 NYS bronze medalist, Evan Day (Salem Cambridge), in the 215-pound finale...

Snapping and spinning for takedowns in each of the first two periods (not to mention an escape at the beginning of the second stanza), the only points that Sorenson allowed all weekend came on a pair of escapes from Day...

Possessing an absolute impenetrable defensive base, when you watch Sorenson compete, it is always a case of, "he shoots, he scores; you shoot, he scores."....This was a lesson that all four of his foes found out under the roof of the MVP Arena during the course of the weekend...

Like a matador evading the bull, Sorenson sidestepped, snapped, and circled around Section 1 titlist, Nick Espinal (Pearl River), to gain a 2-0 lead...He'd then use a power-half to secure the fall at exactly the 1:00 mark...

Against 2023 S5 bridesmaid, Hunter Worden (Waterloo), Sorenson took the fight to his opponent, attacking with a single-leg before doubling off for the TD :18 into the 1st period to go up 2-0...Transitioning directly into a turk off of the takedown, he'd muscle the Tiger senior to his back and squeeze until the mat was pounded at 1:11...

Against returning state 5th, Trevor Barry (Iroquois), Sorenson was afforded the opportunity to show that he is just as adept at scoring from bottom, as he hit a switch for the reversal :20 into the 2nd period and then rode out the last 1:40 to hold a  2-0 advantage at end of 2....In the 3rd, he did what he does best, applying a brutal snap + spin for his only TD of the bout to increase the lead to 4-0...As he succeeded in doing in the previous period, he stayed on top of Barry for the last 54 seconds to maintain the shutout!

Sorenson, who last official regular season defeat occurred in the consolation semifinals of the 2020 NYSPHSAA tourney, was 5th in 2020 to complement his trio of NYS crowns and the one top prize he garnered in the Equality State!

Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Sam Sorenson (Homer) dec. Evan Day (Salem/Cambridge), 5-2
3rd: Trevor Barry (Iroquois) dec. Matthew Oosterom (Port Jervis), 6-3
5th: Caden Allen (Bolivar-Richburg) dec. Garrett Bidwell (Windsor), 6-0
7th: Donovan Mitchell (Groton) MD Hunter Worden (Waterloo), 11-2

285-Pounds: Trent Sibble (Bolivar Richburg-5)

Live & Die on the mat!!!

Last season, the Bolivar-Richburg senior [Sibble] settled for NYS runner-up honors (losing to Sorenson in the finals) after an inability to escape in the alternating :30 rideout periods resulted in him dropping a 2-1 decision...

In 2023, it was his turn to ower the curtain on the NYSPHSAA Championships by serving as the hammer on top...

Knotted at 2-2 in the 3rd period against defending 285-pound champion, Tristen Hitchcock (Warrensburg Lake George), in a war of 2022 NHSCA National runners-up, the future Binghamton Bearcat made the most of his length, as he repeatedly threw in legs, breaking his West Point bound opponent flat to his belly on multiple occasions on what seemed likely be to a rideout to extend the match to sudden victory....Sibble had different plans!!

The clock approaching half a minute remaining, it was a power-half that doing the trick, as he exposed Hitchcock just long enough to secure the 2NF to take his first lead of the match, 4-2...He keep the pressure on, never allowing the S2 stud to get off his stomach as the clock struck triple zeros!!!

Sibble's leech-like abilities served him well even when he did not have to use them...

In the semifinals, 2022 State 7th, Noah Wazinski (North Rose Wolcott), who lost to Sibble, 1-0, in the 2023 Section 5 finals when he was unable to escape from bottom, would try a different method but met the same fate, as he was unable to score from neutral in the 3rd to lose a second straight 1-0 decision...

In the quarterfinals, Sibble finished takedowns in each of the first two periods (not to mention a 2nd period escape) and was content to keep the action on the feet in the 3rd, tossing up a 5-0 goose-egg over 2023 S6 runner-up, Hamza Merrick (Wilson)...

He'd convert three takedowns and get his E1 in the 2nd period to establish a 7-1 advantage before using legs + the power-half to pin 2023 S3 true 2nd,  Landon Andrade (Sherburne Earlville), with just :04 to go in the 2nd period!

51-1 in his last year repping the Wolverines, there was no more fitting a person to be the one to win the school their first NYSPHSAA crown!!

Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Trent Sibble (Bolivar-Richburg) dec. Tristen Hitchcock (Warrensburg/Lake George), 4-2
3rd: Noah Wazinski (North Rose-Wolcott) I.D. Colin White (Adirondack) 0:20
5th: Christian Solano (Eagle Academy) pinned Connor Bushey (Beekmantown) 0:45
7th: Kam Hills (Waverly) TF Hamza Merrick (Wilson), 15-0

Salute to the Champions: 2023 NYSPHSAA DI State Kings

By NYWN Staff 02/28/2023, 2:45pm EST

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