Photo by Michael Johnson
Bryce Mazurowski’s last two visits to the state capitol were both learning experiences. This year the Avon junior wrestling standout has one thing on his mind when he gets to Albany — winning the NYS title. Mazurowski is 113-20 on his career.
LCAA Wrestling Preview
Mazurowski eyes state title!
AVON — Bryce Mazurowski knows how to get to Albany.
Now the Avon junior plans on staying longer. A lot longer.
After losing both his matches two years ago at the state wrestling championships in the state capitol, Mazurowski came one win away from making the state podium (top six) last year, finishing 2-2 in the 189-pound division.
Mazurowski, who sports an impressive 113-20 career record, went 40-7 a year ago placing second at the Supersectionals, losing a close 2-1 match to Letchworth’s David Wooley in the finals.
As a freshman, Mazurowski finished 41-4 on the season becoming Avon’s first wrestler to make the state meet since 1997 (Rob Hatch).
He will wrestle mainly in the new 195-pound weight class, and after spending the off-season wrestling and lifting, Mazurowski is primed and ready and has one thing on his mind — not just making the state podium — but being on top of it.
“I’ve been working really hard,” said Mazurowski. “I really want that state championship. Just being there the last two years has motivated me so much. Two years ago I was just happy to be there and last year I got close (to the podium) but fell short. I want it all now.”
Mazurowski wanted to put the wheels in motion for this run at a state title so bad that he gave up football last fall to concentrate solely on wrestling.
“I spent the time lifting and wrestling three or four times a week,” said Mazurowski, who attended wrestling sessions at both Batavia with technician specialist Dee Gugel, along with taking on Section V’s best in the rugged Rochester G2 wrestling room. “I’ve really improved on my feet and have learned to start riding tougher on top.”
Like a caged animal, Mazurowski is ready for the season to start.
“I’m really excited — I’ve been waiting for too long and I can’t wait to get going,” said Mazurowski.
Head coach Andy Englert feels Mazurowski’s work-ethic is a big reason why his state title chances should be taken seriously.
“Bryce’s appearance in the wrestling room sets a big standard for the rest of the team,” said coach Englert. “That extra motivation he brings to the room makes other wrestlers want to be like him. Bryce works out every night — either here at school or at the Avon Fitness Center. He is totally focused on what he wants. I can definitely see him winning the state title. The upper weights at the state meet is like a ‘battle of the beasts’ and that extra strength he’s added is important and he’s really worked hard on that.”
Englert also feels the experience from Mazurowski’s first two years at the state tournament, with the bright lights shining, will pay dividends down the road.
“That first year, the way the arena is set up, with the pre-tournament parade and all the hoopla, a lot of wrestlers get caught up in it and many are just happy getting there,” said Englert. “Last year we wanted to make it into that second day, which we did, and coming up just one match short of the podium really put a bad taste in his mouth to get back there and this time get on top of the podium.”
Englert is back for his eighth season at Avon after spending the previous 10 years coaching wrestling at Perry.
His 2011-2012 season started with a 45-33 loss to Le Roy last week.
But a solid nucleus, which includes Mazurowski, has Englert excited about this season.
Senior Adam Cappello, who went 23-12 a year ago, picked up a pin against Le Roy last week and he should be a contender for plenty of tournament titles this season wrestling in the 120-pound division.
Sophomore Dan Welch is mature above his years and his 28-win season a year ago will give him plenty of momentum as he wrestles this winter in the 182-pound division.
Other returners include junior Matt Kessler (138); junior Brandon McCaffrey (145); senior Matt Campbell (152); senior Grant Lyons (160); and junior Jared Matusak (285).
Top newcomers include sophomore Dean Yencer (138); junior Ryan McLaughlin (126); sophomore Austin Blood (120); and sophomore CJ Hamler (145).
“The numbers increased this year and we look to improve from last year’s 5-13 record,” said coach Englert. “Bryce Mazurowski, Dan Welch and Adam Cappello will be our team leaders and come into the season with the most experience. We still will be low at numbers in the lower weights but have a great group of experienced wrestlers in the middle and upper weights. Our goal is to improve and get better every day.”
Head coach Jim Proctor is back on the Bulldog mats for his fourth season and his squad will look to gain momentum as the season progresses.
“We have a lot of young wrestlers who are working hard,” said coach Proctor. “If the kids get to the weight classes that they should be at, we could be competitive and start climbing out of the bottom. If all of the new wrestlers stay with it the future should be very promising.”
Key returners include seniors Steve Churchill (160) and Matt Hierlwimmer (17); juniors Pat Mattice (132); Scotty McKay (138); and James Jason (145); and sophomore Connor Halstead (155).
Top newcomers include Lucas Brisbane (195); Joe Lynch (220); John Stockslader (182); Louis Valentine (132); and Alex Kinney (120).
This year’s success could be a team effort says Proctor.
“Rock Vinci has joined the coaching staff as the new assistant,” said coach Proctor. “Rock wrestled at Spencerport in the 80s and brings a lot of knowledge and enthusiasm to the team. (Livonia AD) Mark Kress has been very helpful along with Mike Cronmiller Jr. and Coach G (Steve Girolmo) — by getting kids out of the hallways and off the football field and into the wrestling room. We have a lot of kids who do not have much wrestling experience, but are working hard to learn the sport and could be a very good year.”
Geneseo Blue Devils
Head coach Danny Carman is back for his 20th season after guiding last year’s Blue Devils to their first sectional title in 30 years as the blue and white earned the Class B lumber with a narrow victory over cross-river rival York.
Lower numbers this season will make repeating that sectional title a tough chore.
Senior Devon Rodriguez returns after winning both the LCAA and Class B titles a year ago. Rodriguez is hopeful to make a run at the state meet in Albany in the 120-pound division.
Other key returners include seniors Billy Dunn (113, 120); Justin Bono (138); and Ryan Koch (220); juniors Connor Ragan (120, 126); Tony Vanburen (160); Forrest Buchanan (171), Joey Frost (182); and Andy O’Connell (220); sophomore Cody McDonald (145) and freshmen Jameson Moran (99); Robert Lukaszonas (113); and James Lukaszonas (152).
Top newcomers include Matt Brothers, Mike Macauley, Jordan VanLare, and Donnie Rice.
York Golden Knights
Had there been one given away last year — the ‘Most Surprising Team’ award honor would have easily gone to the Golden Knights, who captured the LCAA D-III title with a big dual meet victory over Geneseo.
Head coach Jeff Schirmer (14th season overall) has done a great job getting that program off life support and solid numbers also led to a second place finish at the Class B championships.
This year’s Golden Knights return 11 of 12 placewinners from sectionals so they should be serious contenders for a block of wood this February.
York will be hosting this year’s Class B championships.
Three returners are back that won sectional titles last year including freshman Corey Easton (113); senior John VanSlyke (138); and junior Ruben Beardsley (171).
Those three could win another this winter as well.
VanSlyke, a two-time LCAA champion, has his eyes set on the big prize as well — a first-ever trip to the state championships.
Other key returners include seniors Jesse Gleason, Derek Emond and Ed Garland; juniors Derek Draper and Josh Kane; and sophomores Rielly Andrews, Thomas Cuozzo, Brandon Easton and Jacob Powell.
Top newcomers include Luke Switzer, Josh Palmer, Ian Shepard, Jim Zambito, Blane Rachford, Raymond Garland, and Jason Richardson.
“Thanks to some very focused student-athletes, York wrestling is proud to be competitive with some outstanding area wrestling programs and we are looking forward to the 2011-12 season,” said coach Schirmer. “Best of luck to all the LCAA and Section V teams.”
Head coach Mike Uveino (16th season) will figure out all about LWK — ‘Life without Korey.”
Korey Gillen left Keshequa as the Indians’ all-time wins leader and was a five-time sectional champion.
While Gillen has graduated, also gone is Jordan Shute, who along with Gillen made the state meet in Albany a year ago. Add to that with three-time LCAA champion Travis Baker also graduating and that lethal threesome leaves Uveino with more than 500 career victories to replace.
Senior Zac Todd is the top returner back on the mats and he should be tough as he tries to defend his 160-pound LCAA title.
Todd finished second last week at the Byron Bergen Tournament at 160.
Senior Aaron Bennett (120/126) is also back after placing second a year ago at both LCAA’s and sectionals. Bennett is an AAU powerlifting champion and will be a solid contender for a sectional crown.
Top newcomers include seventh-grader Colton Davis (99); eighth-grader Austin Galton (106); and seventh-grader Connor McEvoy (120).
“We will have a rebuilding year after the loss of a great core last year,” said coach Uveino. “Aaron Bennett will lead the way as the team captain for a young group of kids.”
Head coach Jeff Baroody takes over for Jimmy Fowler, who stepped down following the 2010-2011 season.
Baroody is no stranger to coaching as he has been a part of the Rams’ coaching staff for 25 years at the youth, modified, JV and varsity levels.
This year’s key returners to the Rams will be seniors Brian Hojnoski and Brian Wilson, and juniors Mitchell Buckley, Jesse Conrad and RJ Metz.
Hojnoski is Bath’s most polished wrestler and he should make a serious run at a repeat appearance at the state meet. He finished second at 112 pounds at Class BBB sectionals a year ago.
Top newcomers include juniors Matt Baroody and Suraj Patel.
“I tell my kids, “Go hard or go home,” said coach Baroody. “We are glad to have Sean Wheeler as our modified coach and BJ Madigan as JV coach. They will both be a great asset to the program.”
Pavilion Golden Gophers
The future looks bright for Pavilion wrestling as head coach Kyle Banser (12th season) and assistant Jason Flint have solid numbers, this despite just one senior on their roster and a modified program that was cut a year ago.
“We are glad to see some new faces in the room this season, despite losing our modified program last year due to budgetary cuts,” said coach Banser. “With only one senior on the squad we are going to be asking our underclassmen to step up and fill some gaps in the line-up. We are optimistic that our returning sophomores and juniors are primed for a successful season.”
That lone senior is Tony Hulme (195) who placed fourth at Class B’s and sixth at the LCAA’s a year ago in the 189-pound division.
Other key returners include juniors Jakob Sepor; Cody Schrier; Dan Majchrzak; and Caleb Luckenbach; and sophomores Cody Greene; Jaacob Farraro; and Jacob Legg.
Top newcomers include eighth-grader Gian Miranda; freshmen Jacob Dettman; Sam Baudanza; Tyler Hoyt; Ryan Leo and Mike Weaver; sophomores Will Barrett and Greg Solomonidis; and junior Josh Weaver.
Le Roy Knights
If the Le Roy High School wrestling team is going to find its way back to the glory days of yesteryear, they are going to have to do so with an extremely young and relatively inexperienced group of grapplers in the 2011-2012 season.
The Knights lost four decorated seniors to graduation in Tyler Fenstermaker, Jake Harvey, Jerry Green and Matt Lyons and this season’s pack has the services of only two seniors, lightweight Dave Leach and middleweight John Gombos.
“For many of the wrestlers, this season could be a baptism by fire,” said head coach Joe Christopher.
Last season, Le Roy finished the season with a 2-2 LCAA record, good enough for third place, and a 3-5 overall dual meet record. To meet or exceed those numbers this year, the Knights are going to have to rely on a team consisting of only four juniors, seven sophomores and three freshmen.
With a solid nucleus of three stellar grapplers returning this season, head coach Chad Wittenrich is expecting big things from this year’s Indians on the mats.
Leading the way again this season is exceptional senior Chris Nevinger, a two-time defending state champion and co-All-Greater Rochester Player of the Year for 2010. Nevinger has already signed on to wrestle at the University of Buffalo next fall and will be looking for that third state title this season. With brute strength and great technique, Nevinger went 92-0 last season to move his career mark to 209-24 and will be entering his sixth season on the varsity squad.
Following the lead of Nevinger will be two athletic and talented juniors in Jeff Day and Austin Hedges. Day placed third at sectionals last season and fourth at SuperSectionals, while Hedges has placed at sectionals for four consecutive seasons and is expected to be even stronger this year.
There are also five other returnees expected to play a major role this season – Joe Navert, Keith Koerner, Dakota Woolley, Ben Schery and Jeff Day.
“We are looking forward to a successful season,” said Wittenrich. “Our tournament schedule should allow us to compete against the top wrestlers in the area.”
Junior co-captain Corey Hollister and senior co-captain Mitchell Johnston return to lead the Yellowjacket grapplers, as they look to continue to improve on a couple of solid seasons.
Hollister was a state representative last season and will be joined by two brothers, as freshman Christian and eight-grader Andrew will also be on the mat this season.
Sophomore Dylan Bush also returns as a middleweight competitor and will try to help fill the void left by his older brother, Tyler, who was one of only two graduates from last year’s team.
Head coach Warren Bush also anticipates very successful seasons from senior Mike Cipolla, juniors Brett Boyle and Craig Safford and sophomore Spencer Kramell.
“I am very optimistic about our season this year,” said Bush.
Cal-Mum Red Raiders
The Cal-Mum wrestling team is going to have to rely on a number of young, relatively inexperienced grapplers to improve on last season’s 4-17 record.
And it won’t be easy for the Red Raiders in the notoriously difficult LCAA, especially with only three seniors and one junior on the roster. The remainder of the roster is set up of six sophomores, seven freshmen and one each seventh- and eighth-grader.
A pair of seniors and a pair of sophomores are going to be looked at to lead this young squad. Upperclassmen Solomon Gominiak and Louie Restivo will provide age and experience on the mat, and 10th-graders Matt Condame and Joe Cappotelli will also be looked at to lead the way.
“Our goal is to wrestle hard and be competitive,” said head coach Paul Day.
Wayland Cohocton Golden Eagles
Head coach Jim Simons is back for his third season after his Golden Eagles finished last year’s campaign at 9-13.
Several key returners are back which could help Simons and company make a run towards the D-I crown, if they stay healthy.
Senior Levi Wormuth is the defending Class BBB champion and will be a tough chore for anyone in the 182-pound division.
Wormuth should also make a run towards a step on the podium at the state meet.
Other key returners include junior Jordan Rizzeri (132); sophomore Tyler Hamsher (106); freshman Mason Hamilton (126); junior Drew Lord (113); and senior Zach Wagner (170).
Top newcomers include freshmen Austin Olsheski (113) and Rece Chapman (152).
It is said that you can count on two things in life — death and taxes. Well, it is about time that you make it three when you take into account the continued dominance of the Warsaw wrestling squad.
And this season doesn’t expect to be any different.
Entering his 10th year at the helm of the Tigers grapplers with a career record of 139-34-1, head coach Rob Hirsch returns numerous members of last season’s incredible group that finished with a dual record of 29-2 and outscored its opponents 1,711 to 611.
In 2010-2011, the Tigers were division, county, sectional and SuperSectional champions, while being ranked fourth in New York State for dual meets and finishing fourth in the state as a team, only 13 points short of a New York State team title.
Hirsch’s top three returnees this season will, again, be junior Austin Keough at 113 pounds, sophomore Burke Paddock at 170 pounds, and senior Hanna Grisewood at 99 pounds. All three have already collected numerous accolades in their careers and are only expecting to continue to fill up the trophy case.
Keough has already racked up four appearances in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships, including a fourth-place finish last season and finished his sophomore campaign with a record of 42-5-1. A four-time LCAA champion, Keough was a Class BB sectional champion and All-Greater Rochester all-star last season.
As for Paddock, the sky seems to be the limit. As only a freshman, he finished with a record of 50-4, winning the LCAA title, Class BB sectional title and finishing second at the state tournament. Paddock, who continues to follow in the shoes of older brother Joey, was named Warsaw’s 2010-2011 Most Outstanding Wrestler and is Wrestling USA Magazine’s No. 1-ranked sophomore wrestler.
Grisewood enters her final season with the Tigers with 109 career wins. Last season, she won the Legends of Warsaw Tournament and finished second at the LCAA Tournament and third at the Class BB sectional tournament. The first girl ever to place at the Section 5 New York State qualifier, Grisewood has been the female state leader in wins for three consecutive seasons.
The Tigers, however, will be missing eighth-grader Aaron Paddock due to injury. As a seventh-grader, he finished with a record of 50-5, including first at the LCAA Tournament, Class BB sectionals and New York State qualifier and a sixth-place finisher at the state tournament.
Aaron Paddock is recovering at an amazing pace after his skull was crushed in a back yard accident over the summer.
Seniors Nate French, Zack Reynolds, Jake Royce, juniors Anthony Passamonte and Ty Flint, sophomore Ryan Convey and freshmen Colin Royce and Josh Griffith all have valuable experience, including the latter two, who posted 44-8 and 39-12 records last season, respectively. Royce finished the year strong with an LCAA and Class BB sectional championship and a fifth-place finish at the state championship.
Hirsch also has a solid nucleus of newcomers that include Caden Perrotte, Nick Kersch, Tim Schaffer, Tyler Boise, Aaron Mann and Dakota Higgins.