Four area wrestlers set for state championships
A quartet of local wrestlers including Medina seniors Joe Velez (126) and Charles Beach (220), Lyndonville junior Dustin Joy (138) and Roy-Hart senior Cameron Swick (160) will be competing in the state championships this weekend at Albany.
Velez, who is 35-5 on the season, qualified by capturing a Section VI championship after previously winning both Niagara-Orleans League and Class C titles.
“I want to come out strong in that first match,” said Velez. “The first match is the big one. That is always the toughest one.”
Velez’ first match will be against fourth seeded Nicholas Gaiser of Alexander.
“Joe has done a great job on the mat, of scoring at the end of a period and winning close matches,” said Medina Coach Eric Gross.
Beach, who missed part of the season due to injury, also qualified by capturing a Section VI title.
“I want to go out and wrestle hard and listen to my coaches,” said Beach who is seeded second and 29-1 on the season.
Beach’s opening round match will be against John Smith of John F. Kennedy from the New York City PSAL.
“Charles has the athleticism and the speed. There are not that many 220 pounders with that kind of speed on the mat,” said Gross. “The big thing for both of them is they have to have the self confidence to do it.”
Joy, who is 40-10, has advanced as a wild-card entry after placing second at both the Class B and Section V championships.
“I just was to go out and wrestle hard and wrestle with confidence,” said Joy. “So much of it is mental. If you think positive you wrestle positive.”
Joy’s first match will be against Brad Dietz of Phoenix, Section III.
Swick, who is undefeated at 30-0, advanced after capturing a Section VI championship. Seeded fifth, he has also claimed both N-O League and Class C titles.
“I’m very excited,” said Swick, “The big thing is to just wrestle each match all the way though. I know what it takes and I have the skills to win.”
Swick’s opening round match will be against Liam Heslin of Chester, Section IX.
The competition gets underway at the Times Union Center on Friday with the opening and quarterfinal rounds. The semifinals and championship matches will be held on Saturday.