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Countdown to Friday Night Lights: Class D

By Keith McShea

Who’s who: The six-team division consists of the Cassadaga Valley Cougars, Ellicottville/West Valley Eagles, Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake Red Dragons, Portville Panthers, Randolph Cardinals and Westfield/Brocton Wolverines.

Continue reading "Countdown to Friday Night Lights: Class D" »

Wrapping up the Section VI wrestling championships

Here are the Division I and Division II stories from the Section VI wrestling championship. And here are plenty of extras from the Division II meet Saturday night at Niagara County Community College. But first, a couple observations.

1. This was the second straight year NCCC served as host for the event, and it's a great venue. There's plenty of parking, and NCCC coach Eric Knuutilla (one of the nicest men you could ever meet) does a great job having the gym ready. The support staff, including announcers and officials, also do a good job of keeping everything moving as close to on time as possible.

2. Another thank you to Ross Conti, an assistant coach at Fredonia and committee member of the Wrestling Review of Western New York, the group that does such a great job seeding and ranking area wrestlers. Conti is a walking encyclopedia of wrestling knowledge.

112-pound champion Tom Page, Eden: Page moved ahead with a takedown in the second period to defeat teammate eighth-grade teammate Alex Smythe. Here's Page's father, also Tom Page, on what it's like for two teammates to wrestle each other: "It's extremely difficult because they're so familiar with each other's style. It's unfair to both, but some coaches say it's a privilege. I'm proud of both of the athletes, because they've done a fantastic job."

The elder Page said he wrestled both at 112 because they were the best at that weight class and deserved a chance to showcase what they could do at the sectional level. Nothing wrong with that logic.

119-pound champion Kevin Strong, Frewsburg: It's the second trip to states for Strong, who improved to 43-2 on the season. Here he is on his game plan from Saturday: "I was working on holding him down and taking it slow. Once I got my points I was very careful." Strong beat Newfane's David Ciaramella, 9-0.

125-pound champion Emory Rowe, Ripley: The smallest wrestling school in Western New York had two finalists, including one champion in Rowe. He scored a late takedown to earn a 5-3 decision over Jake Baer of Olean, a raw talent in just his third year of wrestling. Here's Rowe on the end of the match: "I was just looking for an opening and I saw him loosen up, so I dove for it and got it."

140-pound champion Devin Kramer, Depew: The Most Outstanding Wrestler of the meet scored three late points to break a 2-2 tie with Ben Haas of Salamanca and win his second sectional title (he won at 130 last year). The 130- and 140-pound divisions are packed with talented wrestlers. Kramer, a senior who is a member of the Cobra Wrestling Academy, is 36-4 on the season.

145-pound champion: Dominic Montesanti, Medina: Montesanti put forth a dominant performance despite being hampered by a knee injury. He's wrestling on a torn meniscus in his right knee. Here he is on competing hurt: "It's been a real bother, but it's my senior so I couldn't get surgery. It would put me out for the rest of the year. I have one last chance to be a state champion, so I have to tough it out."

Montesanti took sixth at the state tournament last year after dislocating his elbow and having to injury forfeit two matches at 140.

171-pound champion John Mistretta, Southwestern: Mistretta beat Greg Burroughs of Fredonia for the third time this season, never the easiest thing to do. Mistretta has a unique style that could make him a tough out at the state tournament.

189-pound champion Colin Palmer, East Aurora: Palmer is unbeaten on the season (24-0) after missing time early due to injury.

215-pound champion Pat Langworthy, Southwestern: Langworthy (33-6), a junior, won a wild weight class. Consider: the seventh seed, Panama's Cody DiDomenico, beat No. 2 Bashar Srouji of Lew-Port in the quarterfinals. Langworthy, the third seed, then beat DiDomenico. On the other side of the bracket, top seed Justin Taylor of Portville was upset by fourth seed Jake Eddington of Gowanda in the semifinals.

285-pound champion Theo King, Roy-Hart: King and 96-pounder Zach Bickle won titles for the Rams. Here's King on what he hopes it means for the Niagara-Orleans League school: "I hope it can inspire more people to come out for the team next year and continue to build the tradition of the program."

That's it for now, although we may have some video later of a few matches (if I can figure out the technology).

---Jay Skurski






Who's going to win Class D football?

Last year the Section VI champion won the state title? Before Maple Grove can try to repeat as a state champion, it has to do so as a sectional winner. Can they do it?

As with all of our polls, we want to hear how and why you voted. Let us know in the comment space below.

Be sure to vote in all of the polls: Class AA, Class A, Class B and Class C

---Keith McShea

Football schedule updates after the dropout fallout

These are the updates to the football schedule we have received, almost all a result of the dropout fall out caused by Brocton, Hinsdale and Walsh pulling the plug on their seasons:

Week One
Sherman vs. Forestville at Silver Creek - Friday, Sept. 4, 7:30 p.m.
Clymer at West Valley - Saturday, Sept. 5, 1:30 p.m.
Week Two
Portville at Silver Creek - Friday, Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Falconer at Randolph - Friday, Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Pine Valley at Westfield - Friday, Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Week Three
West Valley at Pine Valley - Friday, Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m.
V-Charles Finney at Salamanca - Saturday, Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m.
Bishop Timon-St. Jude has a bye week (after being scheduled against Walsh)
Week Four
Cattaraugus-Little Valley vs. Forestville at Silver Creek - Friday, Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m.
Week Five
Randolph at Portville - Friday, Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m.
Week Six
Silver Creek at Franklinville - Friday, Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m.
Week Seven
Frewsburg at Ellicottville - Friday, Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m.
Niagara Catholic at Allegany-Limestone - Friday, Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m.

All of the changes have been made to the 2009 week-by-week schedule accessible via the high school home page.

---Keith McShea

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About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

@KeithMcSheaBN | kmcshea@buffnews.com

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