If it wasn’t well-regarded already, Warrensburg established itself as one of the best small-school wrestling programs in the state last season.
A year ago, the Burghers went 27-1 overall, won their third straight Adirondack League and Class D titles, and reached the Division II final four of the inaugural State Dual Meet Tournament.
With a loaded lineup coming back, there’s no reason to doubt Warrensburg could return to the top of Section II, as it has in the last two state qualifiers. The Burghers will have to fend off challenges from Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George, Whitehall-Fort Ann and Corinth.
Queensbury lost the Foothills Council title to Amsterdam last season, only the second time in the last 12 seasons the Spartans have surrendered the crown. With seven returning sectional place-finishers returning, Queensbury could be back on top by the end of January, as most of the league appears to be in a rebuilding mode.
The greater Glens Falls area lost one of its brightest stars when three-time state champion Orion Anderson of Schuylerville graduated. Then, promising South Glens Falls standout Brock Delsignore transferred to Shenendehowa. Now it will be up to a new crop of talented wrestlers to carve their own paths to the state meet.
The State Dual Meet Tournament is set for Jan. 26 at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse. The individual state tournament is set for Feb. 22-23 at Albany’s Times Union Center.
Glens Falls: The Indians have some senior leadership mixed with young athleticism this season. Veteran coach Dan Perry can build around senior Kaleb Dingmon (220 pounds), a sectional place-finisher at the same weight last season, and sophomore Jacob Francato (113). Perry said the freshman group is very athletic and several promising newcomers mean Glens Falls will improve over the season.
Hudson Falls: The Tigers lost six sectional qualifiers to graduation, and veteran coach Mike Prendergast has 14 freshmen on a team of 26, so they will be young this season. There is talent there, however, led by sophomore Chris Petteys (106), who comes off a season where he finished second in Section II. Also returning are Seamus Paige (113), Jack Repsis (120), Pat Mercure (145), Eamon Foster (182) and Eric France (195).
Queensbury: Coach Bob Winchip’s team has set goals to take back the Foothills Council title and qualify for the State Dual Meet Tournament. Queensbury is led by two sets of senior twins — Ryan (113) and Dylan Sleezer (120), and co-captains Dan (132) and John Brady (138). Ryan Sleezer is a returning Section II champ. Other key returnees include Trevor Robbins (126), Kaiden LaLuna (120), Will Fraser (170) and Seth Guay (220), as well as junior Luke Little (152), a transfer from Virginia Beach.
Schuylerville: The Black Horses are led by a new coach in Fred Lefton, who replaces former coach Buck Anderson. However, the Schuylerville-Greenwich merger has no wrestlers from Greenwich this season. There are only 13 on the roster. With state champ Orion Anderson off to the University of Maryland, the Horses will build around veterans Kyle Burnham (138), Andrew Dumas (170-182), Jordan Zakrzewski (132) and Jeremy Brownell (182-195). Logan Drumm (145) and Ethan Liptak (152) are the only seniors on the squad.
South Glens Falls: The Bulldogs have a new coach in Charles Dickens, but will be without two of its top wrestlers, as sophomore Brock Delsignore transferred and Logan Barody graduated. Dickens will build around seniors Vincent Santilli (132-138) and Connor Melton (126-132), and junior Ethan Weller (138-145). The Bulldogs hope to be competitive and will have strong senior leadership from Santilli, Melton and Adam Basile (170).
Corinth: Veteran coach Dick Whitaker has a solid core of wrestlers to build around as the Tomahawks hope to improve on a 7-11 season. They are solid in the middle weights, with Alec Richards (138), Sam Tromblee (145), Conor Eversole (152) and Nate Warrington (170), as well as Devlin Blanchard (99-106) and John Freebern (113). All six were 25-plus-win wrestlers and/or sectional place-finishers last year.
Granville: The Golden Horde return most of their starters from a solid 12-8 season a year ago, so coach Steve Palmer will have an experienced squad, led by David Regimbald (195), Cole Haines (170) and Carlos Medrano-Garcia (132). Regimbald, Medrano-Garcia, Jon Hermance (220) and Andrew McEachron (152-160) are the senior nucleus. Andrew Reed (152-160) returns to the lineup missing his his junior season to injury, and junior Ben Chilkott (160-170) is a promising newcomer.
Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George: The WarEagles’ lineup will be more spread out than in recent years, so veteran coach Larry Rounds and co-coach and Mike Varmette hopes to be able to fill more weight classes, and thus challenge Warrensburg for supremacy in the Adirondack League. Half of the team is made up of talented veterans who hope to challenge for state meet berths, like Cody York (170-182), Logan Duers (152-160), Gary Spotswood (145-152), Will Mitcham (285), Justin Hoffman (160-170) and Mike Fuss (138-145). The rest of the team includes varsity newcomers filling the lighter weights.
Salem-Cambridge: Veteran coach Frank Fronhofer has a hard-working young squad this season that lost state place-finisher Zac Cummings, plus David McFarland and Seth Turcie to graduation. Of the 15 varsity spots, nine or 10 will be earned by ninth- and 10th-graders, with little or no varsity experience. Salem-Cambridge will be led by veterans Charlie Dill (106), Jacob Lisowski (120), Jamie Olvera (145) and Hunter Day (160).
Warrensburg: While the Burghers lost five standouts to graduation, including state place-finisher Jack Binder, coach Mark Trapasso’s team is still loaded and expects to contend in Class D. The Burghers feature Section II champ Nolan McNeill (182) and five returning Section II place-finishers — Tanner McKenna (99), Dylan Winchell (106), Zack Davis (138), Hunter McKenna (145) and Chris Wilson (195). They also have solid newcomers in Tristan Hitchcock (182) and Jacob Clear (285).
Whitehall-Fort Ann: Longtime coach Bob Diekel has a mix of very talented youngsters and established veterans on the combined squad. Sectional place-finishers David Austin (145), Jake Moore (182), Brendan Covey (195) and Spencer Dickinson (220-285) are all back to lead the way. Diekel is excited about newcomers like eighth-graders Troy Austin (120) and Sawyer Ostrander (132), and freshmen Ollie West (113) and Aiden McLeod (126). He said the team will take its lumps early, but be turning heads by January.
Mechanicville-Stillwater: The Red Warriors are a young squad led by senior Daniel Motta (138), a two-time Section II champion with 133 career wins coming into the season. Alex Motta (106), Sam Pisculli (126) and Shawn Ferrell (160) are experienced, while Jake Richardson (182) and Nick Mayo (195) return after missing last season. Coaches OC West and Fred DeCelle can count on strong senior leadership and some talented young wrestlers moving up.
Saratoga Springs: The Blue Streaks return several Section II place-finishers on a team that rolled to an 18-3 record last season, including two-time runner-up Eric Griskowitz (138). He’s joined by heavyweights Devin Crowe (182), Brant Robinson (195) and Doug Cooper (220), and lightweight Griffin Biviano (113), and newcomer Kyle Griskowitz (99).