High School Notebook: Watkins Glen to host IAC wrestling championships Saturday

Tioga will try to win its fourth consecutive Interscholastic Athletic Conference wrestling tournament title Saturday at Watkins Glen High School.

The 15-team meet starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Watkins Glen Field House. The finals are expected to begin at 7 p.m., though it’s possible they could start sooner.

In addition to Tioga, other teams are Candor, Dryden, Thomas A. Edison, Groton, Lansing, Marathon, Moravia, Newark Valley, Odessa-Montour, Southern Cayuga, Spencer-Van Etten, Watkins Glen, Waverly and Whitney Point.

Watkins Glen is coming off an impressive showing at its own Mike Watson Invitational two weeks ago, with Brandon Gould (99 pounds), John Wasson (152) and Josh Burge (170) winning their weight classes to help the Senecas place fifth. Watkins Glen led all IAC teams that competed at the 20-team event, with Tioga sixth and Waverly seventh.

Newark Valley, which is 11-4 in dual meets and has decisive wins over Watkins Glen, Tioga and Waverly, did not compete at the Watson meet. Newark Valley finished three points behind Tioga last year.

Before Tioga’s current run, Waverly won five straight IAC team titles.

Waverly junior Ryan Wolcott (220/285 pounds) is seeking his third straight IAC tournament title. Odessa-Montour sophomore Joe Rorick (106/113) is also a defending champion. Both wrestlers won titles at the Watson tourney.

Horseheads trio to join Hall

Three key figures in the storied history of the Horseheads softball team will be among 18 inductees into the New York State High School Softball Hall of Fame.

Retired Horseheads coach Warren Conklin and two of his top players — Christina Kowalski and Sara Surosky — will be inducted at the ceremony, to be held at 4 p.m. June 15 at the Mudville Softball Complex in Herkimer.

This is the second class of inductees for the Hall.

Conklin finished with a New York state record 570 career victories and guided the Blue Raiders to state championships in 1991, 1993 and 1996.

Kowalski was the winning pitcher for Horseheads in the 1993 and 1996 state championship games, earning New York State Class A Player of the Year honors in 1996. She went on to a record-setting career as a hitter and pitcher at Division I St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and was inducted into the university’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.

Surosky was named New York Co-Player of the Year in Class A as a senior in 2003 after posting a 22-3 record. She finished with school records for career wins and strikeouts, with her 68 victories one more than Kowalski.

Kowalski threw the first perfect game in Horseheads softball history in 1996 and Surosky tossed the second in 2003.

Hall of Famer Giardina dies

Last month, Elmira lost one of its true heroes of high school sports when Mike Giardina died at age 77.

Giardina volunteered as a trainer at Elmira Free Academy for three decades. The enthusiastic Giardina was a constant presence at sporting events involving athletes from EFA and other area schools. In addition, he set numerous national records as a powerlifter and was a 10-time World Masters champion.

He was inducted into the Chemung County Sports Hall of Fame in 2007 as a contributor.

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