Johnson City positioned itself Friday to win its first league title since 2008, grabbing the team lead at the Southern Tier Athletic Conference wrestling championships at Southside High School.
The Wildcats lead with 911/2 points, with Vestal second with 84 points and defending champion Union-Endicott third with 671/2. Wrestling resumes 10 a.m. today with the finals expected to start around 6.
Last year, U-E captured the team title in decisive fashion, finishing with 219 points to runner-up JC’s 1651/2 total.
Among the 10 semifinalists for JC were No. 1 seeds Isaiah Colgan (106 pounds), Zach Colgan (152), and Reggie Williams (195). Zach Colgan and Williams were STAC champions last year.
Most of the top seeds moved into the semifinals with little trouble, including all 15 No. 1 seeds. That group included two-time state champion Kyle Kelly of Chenango Forks, who defeated Susquehanna Valley’s Josh Devine by fall in 1:20 of their 113 quarterfinal match.
Kelly could meet up with Corning’s Jimmy Overhiser, a Section 4 Division I champion and fourth-place state tournament finisher at 106 last season, in the finals.
Vestal’s semifinalists included a pair of reigning STAC champions, Alex Francik and James Benjamin. Francik pinned Corning’s Steven Burdick in 2:15 of the 160 quarterfinals while Benjamin pinned Ithaca’s Amus Guyton in 23 seconds of their 182 quarterfinal match.
Other STAC individual champions from a year ago still alive for titles are Forks’ Jacob Green (126), SV’s Ian Lupole (126), Norwich’s Tristan Rifanburg (132), and Windsor’s Matt Abbott (285).