Fred Perry was nervous.
The retiring Arlington High School wrestling coach knew his career might be extended for one more weekend, but couldn’t be completely sure.
On Wednesday, he let out a sigh of relief, as three of his wrestlers were named wild card entrants into the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Division I championship tournament.
Despite not yielding a Section 1 champion this year, Arlington will be represented by Dennis Robin (99 pounds), Ulises Olmedo (120) and Jacquez Poole (285) at the state meet, which will be held Feb. 24-25 at the Times Union Center in Albany.
“It was stressful waiting to see (if anyone would make it),” Perry admitted. “But when we finally got the word, I was proud of these guys. I had an idea of who could go, but until I got official confirmation, I was nervous.”
In all, 11 wrestlers from the mid-Hudson Valley are headed to Albany.
Arlington’s Chris Gresis (145) and Roy C. Ketcham’s Isaac Matthews (160) were named alternates.
And now that a group of his wrestlers will be going to Albany, Perry has an idea of what to expect from them.
Robin lost to Port Chester’s Ivan Garcia in the section finals. This is the second consecutive year he earned a wild-card berth to the state tournament.
“Dennis had a great season. The good thing is, he was there last year,” Perry said. “It won’t be a three-ring circus to him this time.”
Olmedo was beaten by John Jay’s Tyler Albis in the section final, 4-3. His bracket at the state tournament, Perry said, is going to be full of excellent wrestlers.
“Ulises has a tough road ahead of him,” Perry said. “But he’s capable.”
Poole lost to John Jay-Cross River’s Benji Gecaj at the section finals. His coach insists that if he goes in with the right mentality, things will work out.
“If his head’s right and he wrestles well, he’s going to place,” Perry said. “I’m expecting big things from him.”
Albis (120), teammate Randy Earl (126) and Beacon’s Kyle Davis (195) are headed to Albany by virtue of their Section 1 Division I titles. Likewise, Pawling’s Jack Wrobel (138) and Alex Santana (99) won Section 1 Division II championships, and Highland’s Matt Malheiro (138), Red Hook’s Jeff Kiluba (170) and New Paltz’s Ben Cuppett (182) each won section 9 Division II titles.
A.J. Martelli: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports