Two weeks from now, Johnson City senior Zach Colgan will take aim at a third straight Section 4 title, one he hopes will send him on his way to that elusive state title.
Until then, Colgan is concentrating on joining the fraternity of four-time Southern Tier Athletic Conference champions. He got off to a good start Friday with a pin of Maine-Endwell’s Justin Gilmer in 1:28 of their 160-pound quarterfinal match at Union-Endicott.
Colgan was one of nine semifinalists for JC, which held a narrow lead over U-E, 87½-84, after the first day of the two-day tournament. Wrestling resumes at 10 a.m. Saturday with semifinal matches, with the championship finals at 5.
Should Colgan win two more matches, he would secure his third straight STAC title. His first came as a seventh-grader when he won the 96 title. He won at 152 last year and 160 in 2012.
“When I won my first STAC title, my head coach said I could be the first six-time STAC champion,” Colgan said with a smile. “That didn’t quite happen … I got a little sloppy my eighth-grade season.
“But if I can win (today) it’d be nice to be lumped in with some of the greatest of Section 4.”
The Colgan name has been synonymous with JC wrestling for last two decades. Zach’s uncles Jim and Jon came through the program in the late 1990s and his father Dave wrestled with the Wildcats earlier in the 1990s.
Zach, however, was the first Colgan to win a Section 4 title, doing so his sophomore year when he captured the Division I 160 title with a 12-5 decision over U-E’s Sammy Davis. He added the Section 4 Division I 152 title last year, then went on to finish fourth at the state tournament.
“From seventh-grade on, I had always wanted to win sectionals, because nobody in my family had ever done it before,” Colgan said. “I finally conquered that in 10th grade, and ever since then I’ve been looking forward to a state title.”
Off the mat, Colgan tends to be quiet and a bit subdued. On the mat, it’s a different story.
“He’s been one of the leaders of the program,” JC coach Jordan Glenn said. “He’s been a staple in the program for the last six year, he’s meant a lot.”
Also seeking their fourth STAC titles are Colgan’s teammate, Reggie Williams, and Norwich’s Tristan Rifanburg. Williams easily advanced to the 195 semifinals and Rifanburg likewise at 138.
All 15 No. 1 seeds emerged unscathed Friday, as did every No. 2 seed with the exception of Elmira’s Mitch McGowan, who lost to Chenango Forks’ Seron Mullings by fall in 1:28 of their 182 quarterfinal match.
It appears the team title race will come down between JC and U-E. JC has 13 wrestlers still alive while U-E has 16, including eight in the semifinals.
M-E was in third out of 16 teams with 59½ points, just ahead of Vestal (59), Norwich (54) and Chenango Forks (51½).