ALBANY – The end of Kyle Stanton’s high wrestling journey ended with him falling to his knees in the center of the Times Union Arena in celebration.
The Greene senior culminated his varsity career at Greene with a New York State championship, and he did so with devastating efficiency. He pinned all four of his opponents using just two minutes and 57 seconds of mat time. His title bout was the only one to last more than a minute with Hornell’s Zachary Bacon succumbing in all of 68 seconds.
“I knew coming into the tournament that I wanted to get in and get out; to do what I had to do to win,” Stanton said. “Everything just starting clicking from the first match, and I felt really confident in the finals. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be.”
Stanton realized a dream that was born as a second-grade pee wee wrestler. He came up through the ranks with Greene state champions Tyler Beckwith and Nick Wilcox, but it appeared he would never have the opportunity to follow in their footsteps. A birth defect in his vertebrae was discovered in the seventh grade, and he was forbidden by doctors to wrestle. Three years later after corrective surgery to repair the defect, Stanton was cleared to wrestle again in the tenth grade. “I came back to wrestling, and just tried to get back into it and see what would happen,” he said. “I maintained a lot of the skills from the time off, and it was pretty awesome getting to the section finals that first year.”