After one day of competition at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Wrestling Championships, four Dutchess County grapplers are still alive to pursue state titles today.
John Jay’s Jay Albis and Brett Perry, Arlington’s Alfredo Olmedo and Beacon’s Andrew Grella all won a pair of matches on Friday at the Times Union Center in Albany to reach the Division I semifinals.
The semifinal round will begin at 10 a.m., with the championship round scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Wrestlebacks and consolation finals will be held from 12:30-3:30 p.m.
Perry, a 182-pounder, reached the semifinals a year ago at 170 before finishing fifth.
“He’s very focused,” John Jay coach Jamie Weaver said. “He’s got that one thing on his mind, and that’s a state championship.”
Perry pinned Baldwinsville’s Gunnar Sutphen in 4:54, and decisioned Union-Endicott’s Sammy Davis, 10-5. Perry will face Spencerport’s Collin Pittman in the semifinals.
Albis, Perry’s 113-pound teammate, decisioned Clarence’s Ryan Burns, 8-5, before beating Colonie’s Golan Cohen by a 6-2 decision. He’ll wrestle Syosset’s Vito Arujau today.
Weaver said Perry’s experience in the semifinals last year will benefit both Patriots.
“It’s definitely a big part of it. You come back the next day and your first match is the semifinals,” Perry said. “You got to get yourself up and going. … You saw it a lot today, a lot of these kids, their second match was their better match of the day.”
That was the case for both Olmedo and Grella.
Olmedo blanked Tottenville’s Joe Marino in the 99-pound first round, before beating Newark Valley’s Bennie Baker by a 6-1 decision. He’ll face Long Beach’s Jacori Teemer in his first match today.
“The first match I think he had a little bit of jitters in him,” Arlington coach Fred Perry said. “The second match, he was wrestling real well. He was in control of the match the whole time.”
At 195 pounds, Grella recorded a first-round major decision over Nnamdi Uchendu, 18-7, and defeated Spencerport’s Trent Egenlauf 5-2 in the quarterfinals. His semifinal match against Cornwall’s Erik Jessell will be a rematch of a Dec. 28 match in which Grella won by pin in 43 seconds.
Beacon coach Ron Tompkins, though, said the December match will not matter today.
“Every match is different. We just focus on one match at a time,” Tompkins said. “He’ll just continue to go out and wrestle the way he’s been wrestling the whole year.”
The quartet helped Section 1 place second in the Division I team standings with 83.5 points, 15 behind Section 11, after the quarterfinal round.
The mid-Hudson Valley’s Division II wrestlers did not fare as well, with all nine knocked out of championship contention on Friday.
Red Hook’s Matt Rauch (126 pounds) and New Paltz’s Troy Grant (220) each won first-round matches before losing in the quarterfinals.
Highland’s Mike Feliciano (106), Austin Ingraham (120), Andrew Suleiman (132), Samuel Cruz (152) and Teddy Mapes (170); Red Hook’s Taylor Benson (113); and New Paltz’s Karl Linneman (145) all lost in the first round. Ingraham placed sixth in the state at 113 a year ago.