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February 24, 2008

All-State Wrestling: Colace gets breakthrough win

Twice this year, Milford's Nick DiAntonio got the better of Franklin's Nick Colace, handing the Panther grappler his only two losses of the season.

Colace got one last shot at DiAntonio at yesterday's All-State High School Wrestling Finals at Salem High School, and the junior finally bested his nemesis, defeating DiAntonio by a 5-4 decision in a thrilling match to capture the All-State crown at 171.

Colace struck first, taking down DiAntonio with 30 seconds left in the first period to go up 2-0. DiAntonio responded in the second period, quickly escaping for a point and then taking the lead with a takedown moments later. Colace earned another two points with a reversal, taking a 4-3 lead into the deciding round.

The score didn't change until 40.3 seconds remained, when Colace escaped for an insurance point. DiAntonio battled back, and brought the score to 5-4 with 10 seconds left, but Colace kept him at bay for the rest of the match and collapsed in a mixture of joy and exhaustion at the buzzer.

"Nick just wrestled with a little bit of vengence this time," said his coach and father, Carmine Colace. "He wrestled tough, went after it. But also, we got a little bit lucky, we really did. Things went our way a little bit, positioning-wise.

"And during our match ... you know, I don't know," Carmine Colace trailed off momentarily as he watched his son embracing family and coaches. "I'm just really happy."

Colace's path to the finals was anything but easy. The junior met top-seeded George Hargrove of Springfield Central in the semifinals. Colace held Hargrove to just two points in the match, though, and advanced to the final with a 6-2 decision.

Colace started the tournament with a 6-4 decision over Shawsheen Tech's Alex Najjar, and beat Dave Lemoine of Minnechaug with a first-round pin in the quarterfinals.

DiAntonio needed a pair of overtime wins to reach the finals, finishing off Lowell's Colm Sullivan 9-8 in the quarterfinals and Malden Catholic's Chris Ciriamella with a 6-4 decision in the semis.

"We're really close with the DiAntonios," said Carmine Colace, "I consider Nicky family, and all the Milford people, we really appreciate it. Either way, it's tough. We'd been on the back end the last four times we've wrestled (DiAnotnio)."

Natick's Travis Moran squared off against Chelmsford's Lewis Bailey in the 160 final, a rematch of the Lowell Tournament semifinals which Moran won by a 3-2 decision. Moran was again the victor last night, taking a 6-4 lead with 40 seconds to go and holding on for the title.

"I knew it was going to be a dogfight," said Moran. "The final went good, I think it was in my favor going in. I was scared, though. He was up, and at the end he almost took me down. I thought he was going to beat me. I was wrestling kind of sloppy in the beginning of the match, but I just came through at the end."

The two began the third round with Moran ahead 4-3, but Bailey earned a point five seconds into the round for an escape. Moran almost grabbed two points with just over a minute remaining, but the ref ruled that he took Bailey down out of bounds and awarded no points.

"It was a tough weight class," said Natick coach Bob Anniballi. "We were a little overaggressive in the first period, he got taken down because he was trying to do too much. As the match got on he got stronger and stronger, and he did a nice job. I thought his opponent was a really good athlete and you didn't want to make many mistakes with him, but Travis really came up top on a couple scrambles and did a nice job."

Framingham sophomore Nick Flannery started the evening with a win at 103, edging New Bedford's Corey Melo in the final. Flannery went into the match looking for revenge, as he was defeated by Melo in last Tuesday's Division 1 State semifinal. And it was revenge that Flannery got, as he beat Melo 7-4 to take the title.

"I just had to go in there with a new mindset," said Flannery, "I knew what he had on bottom. Feels good to be champion."

Asked whether anything else factored into his win, Flannery said, "I think I wrestle better in front of a crowd. I really like being in the spotlight."

Framingham had two others place, as junior Dan Gilman took third at 112 and classmate Walter Pope was fourth at 130.

Wayland had a pair of wrestlers reach the finals - Mike Testa at 130 and Max Lewin at 145 - but both had to settle for runner-up. Testa was pinned in the final by Methuen's John Sughrue, who earned his third All-State title with the victory. Testa pinned Framingham's Walter Pope, who finished fourth in the bracket, in the quarterfinals and eked out a 3-2 decision over Catholic Memorial's Richie Wingert in the semis.

Lewin earned two decisions to reach the finals, but was downed 5-0 by Tewksbury's Jim Tarpey to finish in second.

"Overall I think we had a great tournament," said Warriors coach Sean Chase. "This is a tough tournament, it's a real meat grinder that beats kids up and chews 'em up and spits 'em out. We were obviously frustrated with the end result tonight, but overall (Testa and Lewin) had great seasons and they had great tournaments. When you get into the finals, that's nothing to be ashamed of. All you can do is leave it all out on the mat, and that's what they did."

Despite losing his opening-round match, Wayland's Matt Lombardo fought back for a fourth-place finish at 152.

February 20, 2008

Wrestling Camps: What Is Available?

With the summer coming up, we wanted to focus on explaining which types of camps are available so you will be more educated when selecting a camp.

Wrestling Camps : High School & Youth Summer Camps

Wrestling Camps are an excellent way to improve during the summer. Wrestling Camps range in prize, style, size, quality, and length. TheWrestlingTalk.com is focused on reviewing summer wrestling camps and wrestling schools across the United States and Canada.

Commuter Wrestling Camps

Commuter wrestling camps are generally shorter than a week and have no on campus housing for wrestlers. These camps are generally the least expensive, but can have a great deal of wrestling technique to offer.

Technique Wrestling Camps

Technique wrestling camps focus more on building an understand of wrestling moves and less time on competition and conditioning. We suggest looking for specialized wrestling technique camps that focus on a specific skill set where you are currently struggling. Technique camps generally last around a week.

Intensive Training Wrestling Camps

Intensive Wrestling Camps are not for the light of heart. They usually include anything from early morning runs and sprints, sauna sessions, competitions, with some technique thrown in to boot. These wrestling camps are generally 7-14 days in length and cost a bit more than a basic wrestling technique camp.

Super-Session Wrestling Camps

Super-Session Wrestling Camps are termed as such because they are over two weeks of intense wrestling. They mix wrestling, courses, conditioning, and usually everything involved in each of the other two longer wrestling camp styles. The generally cost over $1000 and require a significant deal of dedication.

February 18, 2008

Howe's Stellar Career Ends in Third title

The first standing ovation came when Andrew Howe's arm was raised in victory yet again.

The second came when he climbed to the top step of the podium yet again.

It was a fitting tribute to Howe, who fashioned one of the greatest wrestling careers in high school wrestling state history.

"It just shows they respect me for what I'm doing," the Hanover Central senior 160-pounder said.

What Howe did on Saturday night at Conseco Fieldhouse was become the 23rd three-time champion in state history. He dominated -- yet again -- for a 22-9 major decision over Union County sophomore Michael Duckworth to finish his season 46-0.

"It's great," Howe said. "Every one feels great."

Howe won last season's 152-pound state title and the 140 title as a sophomore. He finished his high school career with a 192-1 record, with his only loss coming as a freshman in the 130 title match against three-time champion and current Ohio State wrestler Reece Humphrey of Lawrence North.

In his first three matches of this season's state meet, he had a technical fall, a pin and another tech fall; before him, no one in state meet history had recorded two tech falls at 160. Last season, he recorded a tech fall against all four of his state meet opponents; no one in state meet history had even recorded three in any weight class.

"I think I had a successful career, but that's about it," Howe said when asked about his place in state wrestling history. "It was a good run."

Howe will continue his run at Wisconsin.

"There's always someone out there," he said. "Right now, I'm focused on next year -- college. Every day, I try to train for that.

"It's like a weight off your shoulders. I don't know if it's relief, I just get to start a new page."

Nebraska State Wrestling: Skutt wins 11th title; Sackett gets 4th crown

Nebraska State High School Wrestling: Skutt wins 11th title; Sackett gets 4th crown

Doubles, triples and a grand slam. And not a baseball stadium anywhere to be found Saturday on the Qwest Center Omaha grounds for the state high school wrestling finals.

Tyler Sackett was the big bopper. The Omaha Skutt senior, who got a third-period pin for the Class B 130-pound title, is the 14th four-time state champion and the third from the SkyHawks during their record run of 11 consecutive Class B state titles.

Waiting, Sackett said, was the hardest part of his week. "Waiting for the tournament to start, then all the wait for the weigh-ins, for the Parade (of Champions), waiting overall."

Next in line for four titles is Howells junior Bryan Mejstrik, whose Class D 140 championship was his third.

"I saw that (Sackett) won and it's a great accomplishment," Mejstrik said. "I'd like to do that next year."

Also winning their third titles were Skutt seniors Quintin Cottle (135) and Tyler Kottas (145) and Norfolk Catholic senior Zach Adams (C 119). Skutt had seven champions for the second time in three years.

Repeat state champions were seniors Terrill McKinney of Omaha North (A 125), Austin Carmichael of Columbus (A 145), Nate Stender of Millard South (A 171) and Andy Mink of Ashland-Greenwood (C 215); juniors Alex Bridgeford of Omaha Burke (A 130), Dustin Stodola of Schuyler (B 112), Matt Katusin of Skutt (B 125), Kevin Barrett of Boys Town (B 215) and Michael Klinginsmith of Kearney Catholic (C 152); and sophomore Ronald Coleman of Omaha North (A 215).

The only freshman winner was Tyrell Galloway of Omaha Gross (B 119), whose two older brothers were state champions in Iowa. Skutt junior Zach Cottle claimed his second Class B 103 title in three years after losing to Stodola in the 2007 final.

Those who beat returning champions were Grand Island's Isaiah Aguliar (112) in Class A; Luis Rosales of Madison (112), Connor Blanco of Mitchell (130) and Klinginsmith in Class C; and Devin Zitek of East Butler (112), Austin Coufal of Howells (125) and Zack Richards of North Platte St. Patrick's (130) in Class D.

The 80th state meet, which was the third held at the Qwest Center, produced the first girl to medal as a top-six finisher. Omaha North freshman Brittney Taylor won her fifth-place match Saturday, after losing her consolation semifinal earlier in the morning, to finish the tournament with a 4-2 record and the season at 24-12.

Sackett's 171th career win, a Class B record, was his pin of Schuyler sophomore John Svoboda. Many in the finals crowd of 9,813 gave him a standing ovation.

"I didn't notice. At least they weren't booing," Sackett said. His reference was to the mixed reaction that Skutt's success generates in the arena.

He was 44-2 this season, undefeated against Nebraska competition. His other seasons produced records of 41-5, 40-3 and 46-2.

"It's been a great four years. I've had great teammates and coaches for four years," Sackett said. "It took a lot of time and hard work to get this, and it's good to get it over with."

Skutt won Class B with a record 256 points, 4½ more than it had in 2007. The SkyHawks' 11 titles in a row tie Oakland-Craig in boys golf (1979 to 1989) and Kearney in boys track (1994 to 2004) for the longest championship streaks in state history.

Millard South's fourth Class A title came with four individual champions. The Patriots scored 224 points to 152.5 for runner-up Kearney.

Madison finished six points ahead of defending champion Bennington for the Class C team title. Howells repeated as Class D champion.

Some of the day's best matches were in the heaviest weights, when half the crowd had left.

Matt Spain of Valentine won the Class B 285-pound title on a 10-6 decision over Hadley Cooksley of Grand Island Northwest, who had pinned his previous 33 opponents this season and hadn't gone to the third period in any of them.

Nebraska football recruited walk-on Marcus Smith of Crete edged Boys Town senior Chris Leak 3-2 for the Class B 185 title. Leak's teammate, 215-pounder Kevin Barrett, got his second title and denied Skutt its record eighth champion with a third-period pin of the SkyHawks' Matt Muschall.

Eric Burenheide kept Howells' hold on Class D's 215-pound weight class for a sixth straight year, beating Neligh-Oakdale's Ricky Lewis 4-3 after a win over him in 2007.

February 17, 2008

#3 Apple Valley, MN defeats #15 Hastings, MN 40-19

Apple Valley High school wrestling coach Jim Jackson was kidded before the season that his Eagles could go ahead and have another state championship trophy engraved. The ever-serious Jackson believed such talk foolish because No. 1 Apple Valley would have to go through No. 2 Hastings just to qualify for the state tournament.

Well, summon the engraver.

“No, no, no,? Jackson said Friday night. “We haven’t won anything yet.?

If that’s his stance, the Eagles put together a heck of a warm-up act.

Apple Valley, ranked No. 3 in the nation, won the Section 3AAA title with a dominating performance. In the most anticipated matchup of the season, the Eagles used a flurry of power in the lower weights en route to a 40-19 victory over the Raiders in the section championship meet at Hastings.

In qualifying for a state-record 26th consecutive state tournament appearance, Apple Valley separated itself from the rest of Minnesota’s top contenders and clearly established itself as the favorite to win a state-best 16th wrestling championship.

Apple Valley (34-1) will face the Section 4AAA champion in the big-school quarterfinals Feb. 28 at the Xcel Energy Center.

Apple Valley won nine of the 14 matches and never allowed Hastings (30-2) to make a run at the Eagles, who defeated the Raiders in last season’s Class AAA state championship match.

“Ever since we got beat by them last year, we have been working for this chance at them,? Hastings senior 130-pounder Luke Vaith said.

“We knew our jobs and what we had to do. It didn’t turn out the way we had hoped. What can you do??

From the outset, Hastings could only sit back and ponder that question.

To pull off an upset, Hastings needed to win at least seven weights and keep Apple Valley from accumulating bonus points in the matches it won.

That strategy evaporated when the Eagles raced to a 20-0 lead after four matches. Three of Apple Valley’s early winners earned bonus points. At 103 pounds, Eric Devos made quick work of Jeff Engstrom with a pin in 49 seconds that gave the Eagles a 6-0 lead. At 119, Destin McCauley pinned Tyler Rohr in 1:35, and Tom Kelliher followed with a technical fall victory over Bobby Petersen at 125.

“We were ready to go, and I think it showed,? Kelliher said. “We got off to a good start in the lower weights, and that really sent us on our way.?

Vaith slowed the Eagles’ run with a 10-2 victory over eighth-grade reserve Brandon Kingsley. Kingsley drew raves from the Apple Valley crowd when he held Vaith to a major decision.

“He was one of our unsung heroes, no doubt about it,? Jackson said of Kingsley. “He gave Vaith everything he wanted.?

Another Apple Valley reserve, John Sturrock, made a similar contribution, losing an 8-3 decision to heavily favored Adam Petersen at 160 pounds.

Despite the early large deficit, Hastings coach Paul Vaith clung to threads of optimism.

“You always have to believe,? he said.

“Things just didn’t fall our way,? Hastings heavyweight Andy Trembath said. “They are a great team.?

Jackson did admit afterward that Apple Valley’s performance separated the Eagles from the rest of the Class AAA field.

“We wrestled very well, and I am proud of the kids for that,? he said. “We have great kids and a great coaching staff. I think you saw how well our coaches prepare our kids because they really wrestled well. We aren’t there yet, though. We still have matches to prepare for at the state tournament.?

– Apple Valley senior 125-pounder Tom Kelliher wore a Northern Illinois sweatshirt in honor of the shooting victims at the college this week. Both of Kelliher’s parents attended the DeKalb, Ill., school.

February 13, 2008

2008 Iowa State High School Wrestling Tournament Brackets released

The 2008 Iowa State Wrestling Tournament brackets are now available. Enjoy!

February 10, 2008

Alabama’s Alec Williams Extends Streak to 101 wins

Alabama’s Alec Williams Extends High School Wrestling Streak to 101 wins

February 9th, 2008, High School Wrestling State Tournaments | Edit |

Fultondale senior wrestler Alec Williams didn’t let the pressure get to him.

Williams (60-0) pinned Saks’ Miles Wilson in 1:47 in the Class 4A-1A championship semifinals to advance to the 152-pound final today at 3 p.m., extending his state-leading winning streak to 101 matches. Williams’ pin helped the Wildcats move into third place with 56 points, 37 points behind defending state champion Walter Wellborn heading into the final day of the AHSAA State Wrestling Championships at the Von Braun Center. St. Clair County is second with 57 points.

“I don’t really like to think about (the winning streak),? said Williams, who is wrestling for his third consecutive state title. “Every match just comes down to how much pride I have in myself. I aim to be the best.?

Williams joined Fultondale’s Brett Pennington in the championship final. Pennington picked up a major decision over Saks’ Sebastian Cuevas in the semifinals.

February 9, 2008

Jon Burns Up Close

Mark Palmer; RevWrestling Staff Writer

Name a state that’s known as a hotbed for high school wrestling. Among the usual suspects: Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Iowa, Oklahoma. Chances are, the state of North Carolina didn’t immediately come to mind … unless you reside (or wrestle) in the Tar Heel State. One high school wrestler is doing his best to raise the profile of prep wrestling in North Carolina … while making a name for himself, too.

His name is Jon Burns, HSWrestling.Net’s second-ranked high school wrestler in the country at 145 pounds. In the past year, the senior at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh won the North Carolina state championship, as well as titles at the 2007 NHSCA Junior Nationals and at the 2007 Walsh Ironman tournament.

Video: Ben Jordan, OH v. Jon Burns, NC: Play Now | Play in Popup

It all started with the Twisters

Jon Burns grew up in the southern suburbs of Chicago. His first introduction to sports was playing football.

“One of the coaches of the Harvey Twisters asked me to come out for wrestling after football season,? says Jon. (The Twisters are the Illinois-based wrestling club that launched the mat careers of a number of nationally-renowned wrestlers, including University of Iowa NCAA champs Joe and T.J. Williams.)

In fifth grade, Jon’s dad was transferred by Ford Motor Company to Georgia, where he continued the football-and-wrestling combination. In eighth grade, the Burns family moved again — this time to the Raleigh, North Carolina area. “My school didn’t have wrestling, so I went out for basketball,? according to Jon. “But I didn’t make the team.?

“I didn’t get to wrestle again ’til my freshman year at Cary High School.?

Despite the layoff, Jon didn’t lose a step on the wrestling mat. His freshman year at Cary, he compiled a 53-5 record, and placed third at the North Carolina state tournament.

As a sophomore, Jon transferred to Cardinal Gibbons … and had to sit out that season. In an article published by the Cary newspaper, Jon was quoted as saying, “It was real tough knowing I couldn’t wrestle that year. I went to the state tournament and I watched. I was kind of sad I wasn’t able to participate, but I continued to work hard so I would be able to make this year happen.?

“This year? refers to Jon Burns’ junior year, where he put away his football helmet for good and concentrated all his athletic efforts on wrestling. In his first year competing for Cardinal Gibbons, Jon racked up a perfect 65-0 season, and won the 140-pound 1-A/2-A North Carolina state wrestling championship in February 2007.

National recognition

How do you top a state title? Jon Burns found a way… by claiming the 140-pound crown at the 2007 NHSCA Junior National Wrestling Championships in Virginia Beach in March.

The event is open to prep wrestlers in their junior year. The 2007 Junior Nationals attracted over 700 participants … including some of the top high school matmen in the country.

Jon’s weight class was no exception. In his first bout, he went up against two-time Pennsylvania state qualifier Adam Will, and got a 10-3 victory. In his next two matches, Jon scored two major decisions — a 14-4 win over Tanner Schaffer, a two-time Maryland state placewinner, and a 13-5 victory over Dan Clarke, a New Jersey All-American.

In the quarterfinals, Jon earned an 8-1 win over Austin Cordova, a state titleholder from Texas. Next, it was a battle of the recently-crowned North Carolina state champs. In the semifinals, Jon went up against Michael Williams, the defending 3-A champ from Southern Lee. Williams had a 1-0 lead at the end of the second period … but Jon came roaring back in the third, getting a 8-2 win.

Jon’s rival for the 140-pound title was Ryan Konz, a three-time Tennessee state placer and All-American … but the Cardinal Gibbons wrestler prevailed, 9-4, to win the Junior National crown.