2017-18 High School Wrestling Preview: Shooting for success

Teams look for experienced wrestlers to lead the way

Galway's Dillan Palaszewski, top, controls the action during the 138-pound championship bout against Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George's Conner Spellburg at the Section II Division II Championships at the Glens Falls Civic Center on Feb. 11. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)

The area’s five high school wrestling teams have plenty of experience returning as they head into the new season.

Fonda-Johnstown, Canajoharie-Fort Plain, Amsterdam, Dolgeville and Galway all return sectional place finishers.

Fonda-Fultonville and Johnstown are competing in the Western Athletic Conference after merging for this season. The move has helped increase numbers for the team, which went a combined 5-25 last season.


Though it has wrestled just two dual meets this season, Fonda-Johnstown is 1-1 heading into a busy week this week.

Fonda-Johnstown's Na'Jon Subik, top, works to turn Amsterdam's Nathan Lucente during their 220-pound bout Thursday at Fonda-Fultonville High School. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)

Fo-Jo is slated to host Cairo-Durham in a non-league match Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Fonda-Fultonville High School, and it is set to host Galway in a Western Athletic Conference match Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

So far the merger has produced dividends in a fuller, more competitive lineup.

“This merger so far has been accepted by both schools with positive attitudes, and so far has produced large numbers at the varsity level – a total of 24 wrestlers. The modified team has about 20 total wrestlers.” Fonda-Johnstown coach Jim Rodecker said. “We finally have a chance to competitive and looking forward to competing for the WAC championship this season.”

Fonda-Johnstown lost Nate Rose, Mike Nourse, Jared Ercolino and Brandon Laboy to graduation.

Rose went 31-7 last season, while Ercolino was second in the Section II Class CC Tournament.

Fonda-Johnstown returns several experienced wrestlers, including Justin Kearns, Kyle Gray, Chris Hernigle, Na’Jon Subik and Marquise Johnson.

Subik went 28-8 last season and placed second at the Class CC tourney and fourth in the Section II Division II Tournament. Johnson was 22-10 and placed second at the Class CC tourney, and Kearns won the Class C tournament and placed third at the Division II tourney. Gray posted a 19-11 record last season.

Loretta Newcomer, Kyle Morton, Owen Hicks, Jackson Croucher, Jonathan Cranker, Zenmatsu Myles, Dom Lodestro, Triston Zito, Cameron Sweet, Nasire Sanchez, Kyle Salamack, Mike Martindale, Mike Rumberger, Joel Thomas, Jackson Haverly, Zach Maxson and Ryan Dorfman round out the Fo-Jo roster this season.

Canajoharie-Fort Plain

In his first season as coach, Bob Van Slyke inherits an experienced roster at Canajoharie-Fort Plain.

Van Slyke, who was an assistant for three seasons, takes over for Clay Oeser, who retired after last season following 31 years of coaching.

C-FP returns Jared Bentz, Orion Burke, Hunter Congdon, Derek Countryman, Chris Estep, Adam Oertel, Lucas Sunderland and Andrew Towse from last year’s team, which went 8-13 overall and 2-3 in WAC matches.

Bentz and Estep placed fourth at last year’s Section II Class C Tournament, while Congdon was fifth. Oertel added a sixth-place finish at the Class CC tourney for C-FP.

“We’re looking to improve from last year. We’re hoping to have some personal bests from Jared Bentz, Adam Oertel, Lucas Sunderland, Andrew Towse, Derek Countryman, Chris Estep and Hunter Congdon. I’m very excited to see how this year turns out.”

Newcomers Jacob Cook, Wade Cook, Caleb Crouse, Cody Haig, Zack Kaye, Dylan Kessler, Matt Lambert, Patrick Meunier and Gabe Root round out the C-FP roster.

C-FP lost sectional place finishers Tangen Rush (third) and Trent Logan (fourth) from last year’s team.

VanSlyke will be assisted this season by Fred Congdon and Elaine Krum.


The Golden Eagles have no shortage of experience this season, with a roster that includes 13 returning letter winners.

That group includes Dillan Palaszewski, Billy Ous, Jonathan Hoyt, Colin Bayer, Ddraig Bouchard, Sam D’Alessandro, Riccardo Dery, Shane Henderson, Brandon Grupe, Jake Sicard, Damian Novack, Russell Cook and Joey Scheeren.

Palaszewski won a Section II Division II title last season, while Hoyt, Bayer, D’Alessando, Grupe and Scheeren all posted top-four finishes at the Class D Tournament. Scheeren also placed fifth at the Section II Division II tourney, while D’Alessandro was sixth.

Newcomers Adam Henderson, Dylan Collins and Jimmy Grogan round out the roster for Galway, which won the WAC title last season.

Galway also was honored with the Section II Sportsmanship Award last season.

The Golden Eagles, who went 13-4 overall and 5-0 in Western Athletic Conference matches, are coached by Rick Poplaski, Brad Gregg and Jonn Gochenour.


After going 13-13 overall and 4-3 in Foothills Council matches, Amsterdam is looking to improve on both marks this season.

The Rams return several key contributors from last season, including Brennan Rivas, Daniel Montalvo, Tyler Krackow, Nick Rodecker, Chris Lent, Jacob Garcia, Jon Santiago, Randy Faria, Robert Boyer, Kyle Taylor, Logan Marrone and Mike Rieken.

Faria was second at the Class B tournament last season, while Rieken was third. Rivas and Rodecker both finished fourth, and Boyer was fifth.

Amsterdam will look to replace Francisco Alejandro, who went 33-9 last season as a senior, placing second at the Class B tourney and third at the Section II Division I tourney.

Newcomers Carlos Montalvo, Zachary Gillis, Michael Swank, Patrick Kelly, Eladio Montalvo, Nathan Lucente round out the Amsterdam roster.

“We’re looking to work on the team’s skills and technique to compete at a more advanced level,” Amsterdam coach Ken Pfeiffer said.


Heading into his 11th season as Dolgeville coach, Jeremy Calkins returns an experienced team this season.

The Blue Devils lost Justin Kopet, Anthony Chromczak and Justus Richardson to graduation, but return several wrestlers from last year’s team, which went 13-7 overall and 3-1 in Center State Conference matches.

Richardson won a Section III Class D title, Kopet was second and Chromczak was third. Dolgeville finished second in the team standings at the Class D tourney.

Though the Blue Devils lost three sectional place finishers they return nine others that posted top-six showing at last year’s Class D tourney.

That group included Jacob Null, Bradley Lamphere, Andrew Brado, Treay Jaquay, Oscar Lozada, David Pierce, Riley Beaulieu, Kyle Getman and Mike Krasko.

Null won a Class D title last season, Lamphere was third and Brado was fourth. Jaquay, Lozada, Pierce and Beaulieu all finished fifth at the Class D tourney, while Getman and Krasko both placed sixth.

Also returning for the Blue Devils are Cameron Manchester and Sabbith VanOlst,

Rounding out the Dolgeville roster are Andrew Doolittle, Philip Keeler, Seth Richardson, Dylan Randall, John Monk and Codey Petkovsek.

“We have a lot of new guys in our lineup this year but they look tough and I believe that they will only get tougher as the year goes on,” Calkins said. We will struggle with forfeits especially early in the year with giving up two or three weight classes. After Christmas we will fill all but one weight class and will be even more competitive. We have a good core of returning wrestlers that will drive our overall success.”

High School Wrestling Schedule

Monday, December 18

Cairo-Durham at Fonda-Johnstown, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, December 19

Dolgeville at Mount Markham, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, December 20

Queensbury at Amsterdam, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 21

Dolgeville at Oneonta, 4 p.m.

Berne-Knox-Westerlo at Canajoharie-Fort Plain, 6 p.m.

Galway at Fonda-Johnstown, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 28

Fonda-Johnstown, Amsterdam at Galway Tournament, 10 a.m.

Friday, December 29

Amsterdam at Mountain Duals (Dolgeville), 9 a.m.

Fonda-Johnstown, Amsterdam at Galway Tournament, 10 a.m.

Saturday, December 30

Amsterdam at Mountain Duals (Dolgeville), 9 a.m.

Tuesday, January 2

Poland at Dolgeville, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, January 3

Scotia-Glenvlle at Amsterdam, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 4

Schoharie at Canajoharie-Fort Plain, 6 p.m.

Berne-Knox-Westerlo at Galway, 6 p.m.

Fonda-Johnstown at Duanesburg, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, January 5

Dolgeville at Peru Invitational, TBA

Saturday, January 6

Dolgeville at Peru Invitational, TBA

Canajoharie-Fort Plain at Saratoga Springs Tournament, 10 a.m.

Galway at Ketcham Duals (Wappingers Falls), 9 a.m.

Sunday, January 7

Galway at Ketcham Duals (Wappingers Falls), 9 a.m.

Tuesday, January 9

Cooperstown at Canajoharie-Fort Plain, 6 p.m.

Dolgeville at Holland Patent, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, January 10

Amsterdam at South Glens Falls, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 11

Canajoharie-Fort Plain at Duanesburg, 6 p.m.

Galway at Schoharie, 6 p.m.

Fonda-Johnstown at Berne-Knox-Westerlo, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 13

Amsterdam, Fonda-Johnstown at Schenectady Tournament, 9 a.m.

Galway, Dolgeville at Red Devil Invitational (Vernon-Verona-Sherrill), 10 a.m.

Wednesday, January 17

Dolgeville at Cooperstown, 6 p.m.

Hudson Falls at Amsterdam, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 18

Canajoharie-Fort Plain at Fonda-Johnstown, 6 p.m.

Duanesburg at Galway, 6 p.m.

Little Falls at Dolgeville, 6 p.m.

Friday, January 19

Amsterdam at Wrangle in the Plains Tournament (Schenectady Armory), 3 p.m.

Amsterdam at Ichabod Crane Duals, 4 p.m.

Saturday, January 20

Canajoharie-Fort Plain, Fonda-Johnstown at Schoharie Tournament, 9 a.m.

Amsterdam at Wrangle in the Plains Tournament (Schenectady Armory), 9 a.m.

Amsterdam at Ichabod Crane Duals, 9 a.m.

Tuesday, January 23

Vernon-Verona-Sherrill at Dolgeville, 6 p.m.

Thursday, January 25

Amsterdam at Galway, 6 p.m.

Saturday, January 27

Canajoharie-Fort Plain at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Tournament, 9 a.m.

Galway, Fonda-Johnstown at Corinth Tournament, 9 a.m.

CSC Tournament (Dolgeville) 10 a.m.

Monday, January 29

Scotia-Glenville at Fonda-Johnstown, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, January 30

Canajoharie-Fort Plain, Rensselaer at Berne-Knox-Westerlo, 6 p.m.

Saturday, February 3

Amsterdam at Section II Class B Tournament ((Mohonasen), 10 a.m.

Fonda-Johnstown at Section II Class CC Tournament (Glens Falls), 10 a.m.

Galway, Canajoharie-Fort Plain at Section II Class D Tournament (Salem-Cambridge), 10 a.m.

Dolgeville at Section III Class D Tournament (Cooperstown), 10 a.m.

Saturday, February 10

Section II Championships (Glens Falls Civic Center), 10 a.m.

Section III Championships (SRC Arena, Syracuse), 10 a.m.

Friday, February 23

State Championships (Times Union Center)

Saturday, February 24

State Championships (Times Union Center)