This weekend, the best scholastic wrestlers from five states will invade Loch Sheldrake.
And for the 15 grapplers from the mid-Hudson Valley who are competing in the 15th annual Eastern States Classic at SUNY Sullivan, the competition could be as fierce — if not more intense — than next month’s state championships.
“Teams bring in high-quality wrestlers,” said John Jay coach Jamie Weaver. “It’s not just the top wrestlers in the state, it’s the top wrestlers in other states. Most coaches would agree it’s tougher than the (New York) state tournament.”
The first two rounds will take place Friday, with the semifinals and finals happening Saturday. The tournament will feature wrestlers from New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine.
Weaver will send Randy Earl (126 pounds) and Tyler Albis (120). Albis collected his 100th career win in Roy C. Ketcham’s Mat Duals on Jan. 7. Earl, who is seeded third in his weight class, enters with 194 career wins and has a chance to break the program record of 196, set by Dale White.
Weaver pictures Earl making a run for the title, while he hopes Albis, seeded 23rd, places in the top eight.
“He could get a good draw and find himself in the finals,” Weaver said of Earl. “And I’d like to see Tyler get into the medal round.”
Dennis Robin (No. 4 at 99 pounds), Ulises Olmedo (No. 25 at 120), Chris Gresis (unseeded at 145) and Jacquez Poole (No. 17 at 285) will represent Arlington. The Admirals finished first at Ketcham’s Mat Duals and placed second at their own Mid-Hudson Invitational on Dec. 28.
Kyle Davis (No. 6 at 195) will represent Beacon. Like Earl, he won a championship in the Mid-Hudson Invitational. Bulldogs coach Ron Tompkins said it will be “a good test” for his top wrestler.
Tompkins, likewise, knows the tournament will provide a brutal overall challenge.
“I think it’s just as tough as the state tournament,” Tompkins said. “You’re bringing your best kids, and they do a good an excellent job bringing in good competition.”
Isaac Matthews (No. 20 at 160) will represent Ketcham, and enters the tournament with 99 career wins. Matthews began his career wrestling for Highland’s team while attending Marlboro, and left his freshman year with nine wins.
After transferring to Ketcham and building up his record, collecting his 100th career win at the Eastern States Classic “would mean something,” Ketcham coach Josh Shoemaker said.
“(Isaac) was told it’d be hard for him to get 100 wins,” Shoemaker said, “and to get 100 wins at Eastern States would be good.”
Pawling’s representatives include Noah Fleischman (unseeded at 126), Jack Wrobel (No. 20 at 138), Paul Bellucci (unseeded at 160) and Matt Kulhmann (unseeded at 170).
Wrestling for New Paltz will be Ben Cuppett (No. 12 at 182) and Chris Massaro (No. 24 at 126), while Tristen Schiafo (No. 18 at 152) will wrestle for Red Hook.
A.J. Martelli: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports
Eastern States Classic
Where: SUNY Sulivan, Loch Sheldrake
Tickets: $18 for a two-day pass or $10 for seniors and students; $12 for a one-day pass or $5 for seniors and students
7 a.m. — Doors open
10:40 a.m. — Preliminaries (Round of 64)
11:25 a.m. — Round of 32
4:45 p.m. — Round of 16
8 a.m. — Doors open
9:15 a.m. — Quarterfinals
1 p.m. — Semis
2:45 p.m. — Consolation semis
4:15 p.m. — Finals