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Local duo set for state wrestling tourney

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 27 February 2020 at 7:06 am

Contributed Photos – Cody Wilson, left, and Mario Fidanza

Two Orleans County wrestlers, Albion’s Cody Wilson (285) and Lyndonville’s Mario Fidanza (220), both seniors, will be competing in the state Division 2 (small schools) wrestling championships this weekend at the Times Union Center in Albany.

Both wrestlers earned Wildcard berths to the state championships after second place finishes at the sectional qualifiers, Wilson in Section VI and Fidanza in Section V.

This will be the second trip to the states for Fidanza  who is 29-4 on the season, and the first for Wilson who is also 29-4.

Seeded No. 5, Wilson will face No. 12 Devin Mogovern from Chester (Section IX), who is 23-4, in the opening round on Friday.

If he wins Wilson could then likely face a very familiar foe in the next round in Newfane’s Jaden Heers, the No. 4 seed.  Heers, who is 42-2 will face No. 13 Tyler Marlborough from Mattituck (Section XI), who is 33-7, in his first round match. Heers bested Wilson in both the Niagara-Orleans League and Section VI championship bouts.

“It is a huge accomplishment for Cody to make the NYS tournament,” said Albion Coach Pat Uveino. “One of the keys to Cody’s success is his work ethic. He has worked extremely hard year after year.  He lives in the weight room and has become much stronger . The opportunity to compete in the NYS tournament is the result of his hard work. Another Key to his success is his family. Cody is a remarkable young man with endless values. He continuously strives to improve and learn. Those values and his extraordinary character are the direct result of his family and their commitment to his success.”

Fidanza, who is seeded 11th, will face No. 6 Alex Thompson from Sherburne-Earlville (Section III), who is 29-1, in his first match on Friday.

If he wins, Fidanza would then face the winner of the No. 3 Colby Suglin from Mattituck vs. No. 14 Billy Fon from Ardsley match.

“Mario is in just his second year of wrestling so to make the states both years is outstanding,” said Lyndonville  Co-Coach Jim Zeliff. “He is really strong and athletic for a kid at that weight class. He moves real well and I think his athleticism will do it for him. He’s got the experience having been there last year and he knows the environment. I think he is a place finisher if he wrestles up to his ability.”

The tournament will conclude on Saturday.