WEST NYACK – For two, it was redemption. For one, it was the next step in a season-long goal.
Three wrestlers from Dutchess County, Roy C. Ketcham High School’s Danny Murphy, Arlington’s Brady Robin and John Jay’s Jay Albis, captured Section 1 Division I titles on Sunday at Clarkstown South High School, earn earning places in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championship.
Murphy (145 pounds) and Robin (138) each earned their first titles, while Albis won his second consecutive 113-pound crown, having beaten Robin in the finals a year ago, ultimately advancing to the state semifinals.
Murphy lost in the sectional final last year as well, and swore he would come out on top in 2015. He proved himself right Sunday by winning an 8-2 decision over John Jay’s Grant Frederick
“Ever since I started in seventh grade this has been the end goal,” Murphy said. “This is great.”
Murphy and Frederick were already acquainted prior to the final, as they had wrestled each other three previous times this season. Frederick won the first match, but Murphy took the next three. Murphy didn’t notice a difference grappling with Frederick a fourth time.
“It wasn’t any different,” Murphy said. “This was Round Four. He (Frederick) has done everything the same (in the) other matches. He’s one of the toughest competitors I’ve ever wrestled; he never stops. He’s looking to beat you up, degrade you as a wrestler.”
Murphy said losing to Frederick the first time “woke him up.”
Ketcham coach Josh Shoemaker called Murphy’s performance “outstanding.”
“He wrestled him the best he has all year,” said Shoemaker, whose Indians finished 13th as a team with 54 points. “He just took it to him. He wanted this more than he wanted anything, and it showed. He dominated the match from start to finish.”
Murphy stands at 197 career wins. At the state tournament, which will be held Feb. 27-28 in the Times Union Center in Albany, his goal is to reach 200 career wins.
“Obviously I want to get the next three to reach 200,” he said.
John Jay finished fourth as a team with 111 points — 68 points behind the number one finisher, Suffern.
Albis pinned Jake Shore of New Rochelle with three seconds left in the first period to repeat as champion.
Albis battled back this season after sustaining a left knee injury in the Eastern States Classic.
“It’s big,” Albis said. “I’ve been working really hard to get catch up to everyone. What happened to my knee was just part of the journey; overcoming adversity, going out there and doing what I do best— and that’s wrestle.”
John Jay coach Jamie Weaver said Albis’ knee is at about 98 percent at the moment, and he hopes to see Albis perform well at the state tournament.
“I’m looking forward to him hitting his goal, and his goal is to be a state champ,” Weaver said.
Robin earned his first ticket to the state meet with a 2-1 decision over Brewster’s Grant Cuomo.
“It feels awesome,” Robin said. “All the hard work finally paid off, I’m happy to get this first one.”
Arlington coach Fred Perry was pleased with Robin’s effort.
“I think Brady just wrestled his match, his style,” said Perry, whose Admirals were eighth in the team standings with 79.5 points. “He composed himself real well out there. He was very determined this year, after taking second last year.”
Robin said he is happy he at last has a chance to compete in the state tournament as opposed to being a spectator.
“I’ve been watching it the last three years, finally I’m happy I can just be in it this year,” Robin said. “It’s not over, hopefully I can do good there.”
John Jay’s Randy Earl (106) was a runner-up, falling in the finals to Anthony Sulla of North Rockland. Earl was pinned with 1:20 to go in the first period.
Arlington’s Ulises Olmedo (106) took third place, while John Jay’s Brandon White (182) took fourth. Justin Warner of Beacon (220) also took fourth. The Bulldogs took 25th place with 22 points.
On Saturday, Pawling’s Chris Santana won the Section 1 Division II 145-pound title. The Section 9 Division II championships ended after the Journal went to press on Sunday.
A.J. Martelli 845-437-4836, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports