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State wrestling: Frontier League matmen fall short in securing dream season

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ALBANY — Four Frontier League seniors came up one victory short of fulfilling their quests for a state high school wrestling championship Saturday night at Times Union Center.

General Brown’s Ryan Snow (126 pounds) and Tyler Silverthorn (152), along with South Jefferson’s Daniel Smith (182) and Sandy Creek’s Jake Benedict (220), all lost their respective Division II championship finals bouts.

Benedict, the biggest surprise of the area finalists, suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of unbeaten Ryan Wolcott from Waverly of Section 4.

Benedict scored an escape point early in the third period to get within two, but was unable to score again before time expired.

“I gave it everything I had and he beat me,” Benedict said. “He’s a better wrestler. I wrestled my best match, have no regrets. I took second in the state and I’m excited about it.”

Benedict failed to place in his only other state tournament appearance as a 96-pound eighth-grader in 2010.

“I’m very proud of him, just a fantastic way to end his wrestling career,” said Bill Benedict, Jake’s father and head coach. “He’s worked very hard and it paid off. He’s on the top of the mountain.”

Jake Benedict said of his father being on the mat during his run to the finals: “It’s pretty cool. We’ve gotten to travel the country together and he taught me most of the wrestling that I know.”

Snow lost a 4-3 decision to Amherst’s Kellen Devlin of Section 6. He secured two escape points in the closing seconds to nearly pull off the dramatic comeback.

The senior finished his career with a 188-30 record as a two- time state runner-up with four top-four finishes overall.

Silverthorn dropped a 4-0 decision to Norwich’s Frank Garcia of Section 4. Silverthorn, who tallied 197 career wins, had previously posted fifth- and sixth-place finishes at states.

Snow and Silverthorn, longtime practice partners, are the first set of General Brown teammates to reach the finals in the same year and just the third pairing to do so in Frontier League history. They joined Immaculate Heart Central tandems of Ken Kampnich-Derek Brenon (2006) and Antonio Doldo-Derek Brenon (2008).

“I’m actually not very upset over the loss and I’m sure Tyler’s not either,” Snow said. “We put in a lot of work, and I think we’re both just disappointed that we didn’t get the outcome we wanted and our careers are over.”

Both Snow and Silverthorn advanced to the finals with one-point victories in hard-fought semifinal matches.

Silverthorn trailed by two with 20 seconds left but fought back to win a 10-8 decision in overtime.

Snow’s lead shrunk by two points when he was called for stalling in the final minute, but he held on for the win.

“By that point I didn’t care if I won by three, if I won by 10 or I won by one,” Snow said.

Smith, South Jefferson’s first state finalist since Sean Hanson in 2010, lost a 3-0 decision to Greene’s Christian Dietrich of Section 4 in the 182 title match.

He nearly stole a pin in the third period but he and the undefeated Dietrich eventually wrestled their way out of bounds.

Smith, who finished his career with 147 wins, reached the finals in dramatic fashion by pinning Schalmont’s Nick Gallo of Section 2 25 seconds into overtime.

Carthage senior Trevor Gibbons (285) placed third in Division I and South Jefferson senior Logan LaFlamme (195) placed fifth in Division II after losing their respective semifinal matches by decision Saturday morning.

No other area wrestlers placed in the top six.

nNOTES: Section 3 secured the highest point total in Division II with 266, 30 points better than second-place Section 5... South Jefferson scored 45 team points to place eighth in Division II. General Brown placed 10th with 39... Long-time Beaver River coach Wayne Ferguson was inducted into the New York State Hall of Fame before the finals.

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