FREEDOM PLAINS – Kyle Davis thought for a second. Then the 195-pound senior Beacon High School wrestler made the decision.
His first-ever Section 1 Division I medal was going to hang on his closet door.
“Everybody can see it,” he said. “Once I wake up in the morning, it’s right there.”
Freshman Tyler Albis (120) of John Jay likewise earned his first section championship on Saturday, at Arlington High School. Senior teammate Randy Earl (126) won a second medal, to go nicely with the one he captured a season ago.
For all three the feeling was great. But hopefully, just a prelude to a better feeling in Albany, as all three will aim for New York State titles.
“It would be such an amazing thing to have happen,” Albis said. “My ultimate goal is (to place at states) and go from there.”
The New York State tournament will take place at the Times Union Center in Albany Feb. 24-25. Wrestlers who won section titles are automatically entered into the state tournament. Wrestlers who didn’t win section championships can earn wild card berths into the tournament.
This year will be Albis’ first shot at a state championship, and his section title capped a regular season in which he collected his 100th career win. His brother, Jay Albis, placed second at the state tournament as a senior in 2015.
“I’d really love to see Tyler go far. He’s in a tough weight class, so it’s going to be a difficult road,” John Jay coach Jamie Weaver said. “It’s a deep weight class, but it could set the tone for the next three years after this year.”
Albis defeated Arlington’s Ulises Olmedo, 4-3, to win the section title.
As for Earl, he heads into the state tournament with past experience. A year ago, he placed fifth in Albany and learned “not to look past anybody.” With the goal in mind of winning a state championship, Earl isn’t taking any opponent lightly.
“Everybody has a chance at this level,” Earl said. “It’s important to go out and give it your all every time. Maybe in some of the earlier matches, be a little more conservative, save your energy for the bigger matches. But I’m going to stay focused and stay on task.”
Earl won an 8-0 decision over Matt Kramer of John Jay-Cross River for his second section championship.
Davis was fifth at last year’s large schools meet, and has had the “one match at a time” approach all season long. It’s given him confidence for the state tournament.
“I’m going in with the mindset of ‘I’m going to win this, too.’ I have a really good chance of winning state,” said Davis, who beat Johnny Santos of Fox Lane, 10-3, to win his section title. “I’m going to work out every day.”
Beacon coach Ron Tompkins said Davis is focused and ready.
“I’m happy with where he is right now,” Tompkins said. “When we get to state practices, he’ll fall in line and continue to wrestle well. He’s worked hard to get here.”
Olmedo, along with teammates Dennis Robin (99), Chris Gresis (145) and Jacquez Poole (285) were the runners-up in their respective weight classes. Arlington finished second with 161 points, behind team champion John Jay-Cross River, which scored 176.5 points.
It marked Admirals’ coach Fred Perry’s last section tournament, as he will retire now that the season ended. However, he hopes some of his wrestlers can extend his career for one more weekend, and earn wild card berths into the state tournament.
Robin accomplished the feat last year.
“I’m hoping some of them make it,” Perry said. “They wrestled so well all season. So much better than I anticipated. I just can’t say enough good things about these guys.”
Roy C. Ketcham placed seventh (77 points), while John Jay was 11th (66 points). Beacon tied for 15th with Harrison (47 points).
A.J. Martelli: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports