ALBANY – Chenango County send 10 wrestlers from from five different schools and from all across the weight ranges to the New York State Wrestling Tournament Division II.
Wrestlers have already arrived at the Times Union Center in Albany and wrestling will commence at 10 a.m. on Feb. 26 for the preliminary and quarter-final rounds. Semi-final rounds and the finals will be held tomorrow, Feb. 27.
•BGAH will be sending the most wrestlers to represent Section IV, as they had three wrestlers earn bids to this years State Tournament.
-Chris Cirigliano is a senior wrestling at 113-pounds for BGAH and has racked up an amazing 30-0 season record. His career accomplishments include: 121-16 overall record, a 4 time Section IV Champion, 2 time NYS Place Finisher, taking third last year (2015). Cirigliano is the number one seed at his weight and faces Nick Conetta of Chester for his first match.
“Chris is looking to get a state title that has eluded him the past three years,” said BGAH head coach Brandon MacNaught.
-Madison Hoover is a junior for BGAH at 152-pounds who was wild carded into the State tournament and currently has a 36-4 overall record. Hoovers accomplishments include: a 159-36 overall record, two time NYS wildcard entry going 1-2 last year (2015) at the State Tournament. Hoover will face off first against Caleb Beach of South Jefferson.
“Losing both matches in the last 20 seconds to the guys who finished fifth and sixth, so we need to limit that kind of mistake and should be able to get on the podium,” said MacNaught.
-Austin Carr is a junior wrestling 160-pounds for BGAH, he has stacked up a 34-3 record this season. Carr's accomplishments include: 112-19 overall record, won first sectional title this year and has earned the fourth seed in Albany. Carr will face Zack Loomis of Avon first.
“We believe he can do better than fourth. Needs to stay focused and not be in awe of his first trip to states,” said MacNaught.
•Norwich will send two wrestlers to represent Section IV at the New York State Tournament.
Eli Rodriguez an eighth grader for Norwich will wrestle at the 99-pound slot for Section IV after being wild carded into the state tournament and is currently34-6 with a 68-18 overall. Rodriguez is set to take on Shahram Turakolov of Brooklyn International first.
-Ty Rifanburg is and tenth grader for Norwich and will be wrestling at 126-pounds, Ty is currently42-6 and has 108-37 overall. Rifanburg will face off against Rolland Lapoint from Northern Adirondack first.
“They look ready. They're in great shape and healthy. I told them not to be happy with just qualifying. They dreamed of being here, now they’re here. Now it is time to do something, its simple. I told them this opportunity is promised to no one take advantage of it,” said Norwich head coach Bob Hagenbuch.
•Greene will send one wrestler at the 195-weight class,
-Braxton Howell is a senior for Greene high school and earned a trip to Albany with his first Section IV title and a 36-6 record. Opening match will be against Colby Staley of Section IIIX's Saranac.
“Braxton has worked hard this season and he is as prepared as he is going to be heading in to the State Championships this weekend. With his weight not being an issue, Braxton has been able to focus on his strengths and staying focused on drilling during practice. Braxton's goal coming in to the season was to be a Sectional Champion, now the goal is to climb as high on the podium as he can this weekend,” said Greene head coach Jason Goldman.
•Sherburne-Earlville will only be sending one individual but they may be sending the most accomplished wrestler to the state tournament, besides Cirigliano, for Section IV.
-Jack Buell senior who is a two time Section III Champion, with career record of 197-34 with a 36-1 this year. Buell is and has been ranked number one in Division 2 in New York all year. Buell, the number one seed will face Devin Hills of Candor first.
“He is looking to become the first New York State Champion for Sherburne-Earlville since Jerry Seifert accomplished this way back in 1969. Yeah, 47 years ago,” said coach Brian Hicks.
•Oxford originally had three entries qualify for the state tournament, one by championship and two by wildcard selection. However, due to injury will only be sending two wrestlers now.
-Garett Sylstra is a senior for Oxford at 182-pounds with a season record of 38-6 and career record of 99-52. This will mark Sylstra's first appearance at states. Sylstra is first up against second seeded Aaron Paddock of Section V.
-Garyn Huntley was originally going to wrestle at 220-pounds for Oxford as a junior with a season record is 14-1 and career record of 98-30. However, due to injury will not be permitted to wrestle this weekend.
-Kordell Huntley, senior and older brother of Garyn is wrestling at 285-pounds for Oxford and has season record of 36-5 and career record of 103-39. First match is against Spencer Matthei of Section VIII.
“We are excited to have three (two now) wrestlers compete in this year's state tournament, this is most guys we have sent to Albany ever. We are also extremely happy that our seniors, Garett and Kordell get to finish their high school wrestling career at the biggest tournament of the season. It shows that their hard work over the last four years has paid off,” said Oxford head coach Craig Tefft.
Wrestling begins at 10 a.m. today, Feb. 26, at the Times Union Center in Albany and will continue on into tomorrow evening.