Pictured is Mike Zupan working on an escape against Indian River.

Jesse Puchales has his opponent in a headlock during his match at Indian River.

Ben Marshall is shown defending against his opponent at the Section 2 duals.

Mat Madness

By John AlbaneseMike Zupan working on an escape against Indian RiverJesse Puchales of Canastota with a headlock against Indian RiverBen Marshall of Canastota defending against an Russian vs. Indian River at Section 3 Duals

(Canastota, NY – Jan. 2013) Sorry, I have dropped the ball in keeping up, but a busy work and wrestling schedule and the loss of Tim Tyler have had me at a disadvantage.

I’ll leave out some of the older events as they are old now with the exception of the Canastota Raiders losing a close one to Camden, leaving Camden in the sole possession of the CSC League Division 1.  The match was a 42-42 tie with the tie breaker being the team that won the most matches; Camden won 8 the Raiders won 7.  It will be the first time in four years that the Raiders have not won or shared the league title.

A few of the Raiders traveled to the prestigious Eastern States Classic, held at the Sullivan County Community College.  118 teams participated and with only 6 wrestlers the Canastota Raiders placed 20th.  Zach Zupan placed 1st at 182 lbs., Jake Morris placed 7th at 285 lbs., and Conner Russ went 3-2 at 126 lbs. but did not place in arguably one of the toughest weight classes at this tournament.

Wyatt Albanese went 2-2 and was one match away from placing.  Nate Walker went 1-2 at 120lbs. And Owen Albanese went 1-2 as a freshman at 220 lbs., which at that weight is an accomplishment as a 14 year old.

Prior to the Eastern States Classic was our home tournament, The Dick New Memorial.  Seventeen teams participated at this two day tournament and for the first time in 13 years the Canastota Raiders won their home tournament in style. Eclipsing the nearest team Phoenix 238-214, individual champions for Canastota were Nate Walker, Conner Russ, Jesse Puchales and Jacob Morris.  Other place finishers Zach Zupan 2nd , Wyatt Albanese 3rd, Owen Albanese 4th, and Marshall Bruggeman 5th.

This past weekend the Raiders were invited to the Section III Duals as the #4 seed, but the raiders were upset by the Indian River Warriors 38-32, in a very close match.  The loss of Joe Tiller at 138 with a broken arm has left a hole in the Raider line up and has limited the strategizing of the coaching staff.  The Raiders then wrestled Lowville in the consolations and won the match 41-37.

Currently the Raiders have six wrestlers ranked in the section: Zach Zupan and Wyatt Albanese lead the team with number one rankings at 182 and 195 respectively.  Conner Russ at 126 and Jacob Morris at 285 are both ranked 3rd, Jesse Puchales is ranked 4th at 170 and Nate Walker is ranked 5th at 120.

Just a note, Wyatt Albanese has not lost a match in dual meet competition since his sophomore year and with only three dual meets lefts it appears that he may complete his senior year in the same fashion.  That’s 24 dual meet matches thru his junior and senior seasons and he could close it out with 27 dual meet victories.

Zach Zupan is ranked 1st in the state and is also nationally ranked; the actual position depends on the poll.

Coming into the stretch with only three duals left, Sherburne Earlville was rescheduled for Jan. 23 at SE, Adirondack rescheduled for Jan. 24 at Canastota and Hannibal rescheduled for Jan. 29 at Canastota.

The Raiders were in Whitesboro for the CSC League Tournament Jan. 26 at the Whitesboro High School.

John Albanese is a Canastota High School wrestling coach and town of Lenox resident.


By martha

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