Niagara Gazette

Sports

January 6, 2011

NCCC set to host Niagara Officials wrestling tournament

SANBORN — High school wrestlers won’t get a taste of the state tournament until next month, but they will get a sneak preview of the competition this weekend at Niagara County Community College.

The Niagara Frontier Wrestling Officials Association (NFWOA) will host its 30th annual high school wrestling tournament today at the college, with 38 schools from across Western New York ready for action.

The two-day event starts at noon today and will continue into Saturday, with the NCCC Thunderwolves hosting Mercyhurst in an NJCAA contest at 4:30 p.m.

The double-elimination tournament is slightly different from the usual dual meet, with individual wrestlers competing in a 32-man bracket. The tournament is the largest high school wrestling event in Section VI and one of the largest in New York State.

Six of the top 10 D-1 ranked schools will be competing in the tournament, including top-ranked Iroquois, Niagara Falls (fourth) and defending champion Niagara-Wheatfield (fifth). Seven ranked D-2 schools will also attend, including Roy-Hart (second), Lew-Port (third) and Newfane (fourth).

With so many schools bringing its best to Sanborn, coaches expect to learn a lot about the competition over the next two days.

“This is the kind of tournament where your best kids will see the best in the area,” Niagara Falls wrestling coach Israel Martinez said. Niagara Falls is undefeated on Niagara Frontier League play this season, but the weekend tournament provides a much different test for local wrestlers.

“We’ve had kids who have wrestled here who have went on to do great things at the state tournament,” Martinez said. “The caliber of the competition is right up there with the best in the section.”

Myquan Pringle (140 pounds) and Irvin Buck (152 pounds) have top seeds in the tournament for the Wolverines, while Niagara-Wheatfield’s Jake Kelly (189 pounds) and Lew-Port’s Bashar Srouii (215 pounds) are also local favorites.

The tournament will resume at 11 a.m. on Saturday, with the finals held after NCCC’s match against Mercyhurst at 4:30 p.m.

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