State wild cards weren’t supposed to be known until tomorrow. How surprised was I to find them sitting in my email inbox a minute ago.
Section 1 has been awarded six big-school wild cards and two small-school wild cards. That 6-2 ratio is roughly equal to the ratio of big- to small-school programs (37 to 12) in the section. There are 120 wild cards given out state-wide—four per class; 30 classes in all—so Section 1 got 1/15 of them. There are 11 sections in New York State.
The lucky winners from Division I are:
96 Sam Speno Fox Lane
119 Henry Stauber John Jay
135 Udit Thakur Nyack
145 Ryan Tompkins Beacon
171 Sal Marchese Nyack
285 Eric LaPorta Yorktown
From Division II:
125 Michael Kane Pleasantville
152 Chris Orlando Putnam Valley
Many people expected Stauber to get one after taking state runner-up Justis Flamio to ultimate tiebreak. It’s good to see at least one John Jay kid up at states. The Indians put four kids in finals and didn’t come away with any winners despite very close calls by Stauber and Pat Sweeney. They still finished second in team points.
Thakur was another predictable choice. He was the only sectional champ to not repeat.
Tompkins hung in there with Luke Speno, a two-time champion, only losing 3-1. Sam Speno dropped a 5-4 decision to Asher Kramer in the final. He gives Fox Lane a fourth representative at states. Marchese and LaPorta went down more decisively than the other guys, but both were excellent all season.
In Division II, Chris Orlando makes sense because, although he lost 16-4 to Will Carter, Carter was the MOW. Carter would have had a shot at the DI title. To lose to him wasn’t that bad.
The other DII choice, Michael Kane, is confusing. Kane didn’t even make the final. He finished third at 125 behind Greg Caneparo and Mark McCormack. Furthermore, McCormack wrestled a very tight match before dropping a 4-3 decision. Why did he get bypassed? Is he hurt? If so, why wouldn’t a second-place finisher in another weight get the wild card? I’m going to see if I can find out.