Hayden Head (Beekmantown) against Derrick Cumber (Peru) at 285-lbs.
Northern Adirondack junior wrestler Justin Kellett is going to have a tough challenge early at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s wrestling state championships.
Kellett, who finished the season with a 39-1 record, will open his quest for a title at 160-lbs. with senior Chris Nevinger of Letchworth Friday, Feb. 24, at the Times Union Center in Albany.
Nevinger is a two-time returning state champion, having won the title at 152 last year and at 145 in 2010.
The Section VII contingent of wrestlers did receive several rankings at the state event, with Beekmantown’s Hayden Head (37-2) receiving the second seed in the 285-lbs. weight class when the brackets were announced Saturday, Feb. 18. Head will open his tournament against Robert Salinas of Carle Place, a junior making his first appearance in the state meet.
Former state champion Jacob Goddeau (36-0) of Peru received an eight seed at 132, opening against Matt Herringshaw of Holland Patent. The unseeded senior is 41-5 and making his first appearance at the tournament. If seeds hold, Goddeau would face top seed Wesley Blanding of Chittenango in the quarterfinals. The senior is 36-0 on the season and finished third at 135-lbs. in 2011.
A pair of VII wrestlers received five seeds, with Troy Seymour of Peru (38-0) will open at 170 against Tomasz Filipkowski of Mattituck, who was 1-2 at last years state tournament at 160.
Ben Perry (31-0) of Saranac will also be a fifth seed in a loaded 195-lbs. division. He wil open against Chris Baglivi, also of Mattituck, who is making his first state tournament appearance.
Opening for the Section VII contingent will be Ethan Feazelle (22-8) of Peru, who was not a beneficiary of the draw at 99-lbs., opening with top seed and 2011 runner-up at 96 Joe Nelson of Oxford Academy. The sophomore has a record of 28-1.
Kyler Agoney (32-3) of Peru also received a bad break with the draw, and will open against second-seeded Ryan Snow of General Brown. Snow compiled a 2011-12 record of 39-2, but is making his first state tournament appearance while Agoney is back for his third run at a state crown.
At 113, Peru’s Max Marte (25-10) will open with freshman Cody McGregor of Towawanda, who finished in fourth place at 96-lbs. last year.
Codie Gillette of Saranac (28-4) will open against a familiar face to Section VII wrestling fans, as he will take on Anthony Calvano of Nanuet. Calvano, a junior, has a combined 2-6 record at the state tournament, with two of the losses coming against Peru grad and four-time state champ Arik Robinson.
At 126, Jordan Bushey (28-7) of Peru will open against junior Drew Longo of Ardaley. Longo finished in fifth place at 112 in 2011 and was a state finalist at 99 in 2010.
Peru Sophomore Nick Forget (33-3) will open his 138 bracket against Matt McCauley of Royalton-Hartland, who was 0-2 at 130 last year.
Another Royalton-Hartland wrestler awaits Section VII in the opening round, as Drew Hull, who placed sixth at 135 last year, will take on Hunter Carpenter (28-6) of Northern Adirondack, who scored an overtime upset against Noah Phillips of Peru to make it into the state draw.
Jackson Sunderland (29-2) will open his quest in the 152 bracket against Tyler Newton, a senior from Bolivar Richburg making his first trip to states.
Saranac’s Nate Wood (27-7) will be the second wrestler for Section VII to open against a top seed, taking on 2011 finalist at 171 in Tony Lock, a senior from Pioneer.
Luke Mckee of Peru (28-7) will face second seed Nick Talcott of Tioga in the opening round at 220. Talcott (20-2) is an at-large wrestler making his first appearance at the state meet, as he wrestled in the same section as top seed Kyle Stanton and seventh seed Dillon Hurlbert.
Wrestling begins at the Times Union Center with the Parade of Champions at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 24, and continues with the opening round starting at 10 a.m., quarterfinals at 2 p.m. and wrestlebacks starting at 4 p.m.
On Saturday, Feb. 25, there will be award presentations starting at 9:30 a.m., with the semifinals at 10 a.m. along with the continuation of the consolation wrestlebacks, which will run through 12:30 p.m., when consolation semifinals will begin. Consolation finals will start at 2 p.m., while the state championship matches will take place at 6 p.m.
For more information, visit the state wrestling championships website at www.nysphsaawrestling.com.