CANTON - Once you become a champion you are a champion forever.
OFA junior Cody Allen-David realized that in a burst of unbridled enthusiasm, on Saturday, at the Section 10 Wrestling Championships-State Qualifier staged before a large crowd at Canton Central.
Shortly after deciding a back-and-forth Division II 160-pound finals with a pin over Marty Countryman with just 38 seconds remaining in the third period, David ran straight to the top row of the bleachers to share a huge Bear hug with his mother.
That was a great win for Cody. It was one of those matches we had today that could have gone either way, said OFA Coach Bill Mitchell who saw seven of his wrestlers earn a place at the top of podium and a trip to the New York State Championships at the Times Union Center in Albany on Feb. 23.
Cody, Brody Sheppard and Josh Wangler both won their first titles. Tanner LaPiene and Alex Cole won for the second time, Nate Sarkin for the third time and Andrew Cole won for the fourth time. We had a very good day.
A good day where the Devils, who also received the Sportsmanship Award from the Northern Conference officials board, placed second to Overall NAC Champion Gouverneur 189.5-181 in the Division II standings.
Massena placed 14 wrestlers in the Division I title round and outdistanced Canton 207-148 in the team standings.
Gouverneur led the way with nine champions and Massena saw eight wrestlers crowned.
The Wildcat and Raider contingents will both be led to Albany by five-time champions in Dillon Stowell and Isaiah Perry who both went over the 150 career win mark in their senior seasons.
Stowell has earned the top 113-pound seed in the Division II states and is looking to better three third places and one fourth.
I have a lot of confidence going in. I wrestle with Zach Ayen in practice and we get after it pretty hard. Having someone like that to wrestle with everyday really helps, said Stowell who is currently considering an opportunity to wrestle at SUNY Brockport next year.
Perry became the first five-time sectional champion in Massena history, placed fifth in the states last year and will wrestle at Worcester Polynetic Institute next year at Worcester, Mass. where he will study Aeronautics through a Navy ROTC Scholarship.
Isaiah Perry is definitely the anchor of our team and we are really going to miss him, said Massena Coach Scott Perrine who also shared a family celebration when his son, Hunter Perrine, won his first sectional title as a freshman.
Isaiah, Landon Laughlin and Dan Elman really push each other hard in practice and that makes everybody better.
Gouverneur Coach Joel Baer feels that Dylan Stowell is a bonifide contender for a state title and that teammates Zach and Hunter Ayen will also make strong challenges.
I really believe Dillon can win state title after placing four straight years, Zach Ayen took fifth last year and Hunter Ayen looks very strong, said Baer.
I really like Massenas Isaiah Perrys chances and I think Tanner LaPiene and Andrew Cole from OFA are right up with wrestlers from our section with chances to place.
Stowell (113), LaPiene (99), Hunter Ayen (195) and another Gouverneur wrestler in Mike Mandigo (220) all qualified for state championship berths un opposed. Gouverneur and OFA accounted for all of the Division II titles.
Pinning their way to the top of the podium were: Gouverneurs Aaron Bush (120), Zach Ayen (132), Joey Love (138), Robbie Bell (145) and Curtis Fuller (technical fall 152). OFAs Josh Wangler (126), Cody Allen David (160), Andrew Cole (170), Alex Cole (182) and Nate Sarkin (285) all won titles with pins.
The lone decision in the Division II finals saw OFA seventh grader prevail in an 11-7 duel with Gouverneurs Joey Bush. A bout which was loaded with energy and technique and was not decided until the closing seconds.
The Division I finals featured the most dramatic decisions, the fastest fall and the best comeback. The high drama came at both ends of the weight spectrum.
Malones Joe Juarez broke a 4-4 tie with Thomas Lumbard Canton with a near fall just before the final buzzer at 220-pounds and Mike Brown of Massena held off Jon Feticie of Canton 3-2 at 106 pounds.
Massena behemoth Nolan Terrance followed with the fastest fall at 27 seconds at 285 pounds and another Raider Hunter Perrine rallied from a 9-6 deficit in the final minute to claim a 12-9 victory over Christian Fountain of Malone 152 pounds.
Also posting pins for Massena were: Skylar Cameron (113), Landon Laughlin (132), Isaiah Perry (138) and Jeremy Malone (195). Joe Ferrera (182) decisioned Alan Clement of Canton 12-5 and Konner German was unopposed at 120.
Winning titles for Canton by fall were: Ryan Brown (99), Jared Cascanette (160) and Nate Moose (170).
Joining Jaurez as Malone DI champions were Austin Learned who decisioned Massenas Jesse Patraw 9-2 at 126 and Jamiel Stapleton who fashioned a tactical gem in decisioning Massenas Dan Elman 6-0.