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Displaying items by tag: Orion Anderson

Thursday, 01 March 2018 13:20

Wrestling: State Championship Results

[Photos by www.PhotoAndGraphic.com]

- Division I
- Record: 46-1
- 170
- Ballston Spa Senior
- State Champion for Ballston Spa during 2016-2017 wrestling season.
- Pinned Matt Rogers of Wantagh in 17 seconds in Saturdays’ semi-final round.
- Lost to Grant Cuomo, Brewster, in state finals. Cuomo outpointed Barnes, 13-10.
- Barnes is North Carolina State bound in fall 2018.

- Division II
- Record: 40-1
- 126
- Schuylerville Senior
- Three-time State Champ (2016, 2017, 2018)
- Pinned Vince Miceli, Port Jefferson, at 1:33 in the final win.
- Anderson is Binghamton bound in fall 2018 on a full ride scholarship with an injury guarantee.
- Anderson’s father and coach, Buck, is now retiring after coaching wrestling for the last 30 years.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 15 February 2018 14:18

Wrestling Sectional Results

[Photos by www.PhotoAndGraphic.com]

SARATOGA COUNTY — With eight matches at a time taking place, it can be a little hard to catch up on who pinned who and in what amount of time. On Saturday, Feb. 10, Saratoga Springs, Ballston Spa, Schuylerville, and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, among other local schools, took to the mat. At 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 23 and 24, NYSPHSAA Division I and Division II Championships will take place, venue TBA.

170 - Tyler Barnes pinned Liam Mooney (Colonie), 1:27.
182 – Jake Cooke pinned Dom Nassivera (Queensbury), 1:05.
285 – Jake Stangle dec. Paul Brown (Mohonasen), 3-2.

113 - John DeConno dec. Brennen Rivas (Amsterdam), 3-1.

126 – Orion Anderson pinned Austin Lints (Schoharie), 1:16.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 08 February 2018 16:44

Wrestling Sectionals: A Preview

[Photos provided]

Ballston Spa:
Coached by Harold Staulters (17 years), assisted by Gene Staulters. How many qualified: Eleven: Nick Palso (99), Wyatt Gorman (138), Ramel Brooks (145), Andrew Reynolds (152), Colby Harblin (160), Tyler Barnes (170), Peter Hansen (170), Jake Cook (182), Cameron Edwards (195), Nate Rurycz (220), Jake Stangle (285). Star Wrestlers: Tyler Barnes, Jake Cook, Jake Stangle, Nick Palso; all returning Section II champions. Quotes: “Stangle and Cook both have a great shot, Barnes is a New York State champ at the same weight, so we’re expecting the same thing this year. Palso is probably the best in the 99 group,” Coach Staulters commented.

Saratoga Springs:
Coached by Kris West (9 years), assisted by Jake Zanetti. How many qualified: Nine: Griffin Viviano (106), Jordan Sartin (113), Zach Watkins (113), Eric Groskowitz (120), Frank Spatafora (152), Ryan DiGuiseppe (160), Devin Crowe (170), Brant Robinson (220), Doug Cooper (285). Star Wrestlers: Jordan Sartin, Section II champion last year and two-time State qualifier.

Coached by Buck Anderson (4 years, 20 years as assistant), assisted by Eric Johannson. How many qualified: Five: Orion Anderson, Xavier Jones, Harrison Williams, Jeremy Brownell, Thomas Donovan Star Wrestlers: Orion Anderson, 2x returning state champ (126), Xavier Jones (138), placed 2x in sectionals.

Published in Sports
Friday, 08 December 2017 09:19

Men of the Mat

[Saratoga Wrestler Photos by www.PhotoAndGraphic.com]

[Other Photos Provided]

SARATOGA COUNTY — Few sports demand so much and give so little as wrestling. But as the legendary competitor and coach Dan Gable said, “Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.” Locally, as the temperatures drop and athletes head indoors, a unique group of young men, and a few women, prepare to entertain loyal fans in one-on-one battles. Wrestling season has begun.

Frank Spatafora:

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Frank Spatafora, a senior and captain of the wrestling team, has been on the mat since seventh grade. He started on varsity as a freshman at Saratoga High School and is also a football player, which helps with wrestling because it keeps him lifting all off-season.

“Last year, along with a couple of my teammates, I got to wrestle in the sectionals tournament, which was a big accomplishment for me,” Spatafora explained.

Spatafora said that he had an awesome football season and now he is “definitely trying to keep that momentum going” in his final wrestling season.

Spatafora is trying to maintain his weight after losing some in the beginning, though he says that “candy and ice cream” isn’t helping him.

“My goal this year is to place as high as I can in the Class A tournament and the sectionals tournament,” he expressed.

Last year, Spatafora placed fifth in Section II.

Eric Griskowitz:

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Eric Griskowitz, a sophomore at Saratoga High School, started wrestling in kindergarten and has been trying to avoid “ice cream and pizza” to maintain his weight ever since.

“My parents always thought I was a crazy kid and they wanted me to do something and not be crazy around the house, so they brought me to the wrestling room and I started in the middle of the pee-wee season and continued from there,” he explained.

Last season, Griskowitz lost in the sectionals and is hoping to take the win this year. He has won several varsity tournaments since joining the team in seventh grade.

“I’ll be hopefully getting my one-hundredth win this weekend, which will be nice,” he said.

He says that his biggest challenge will be cutting weight.

“Maintaining my weight is definitely difficult for me. I’m trying to maintain a weight that’s lower than my average body weight,” Griskowitz explained.

He also played JV lacrosse last year and is hoping to move up to varsity this season.

He is a two-time Section II place finisher for Blue Streaks wrestling.

Ryan DiGuiseppe:

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Ryan DiGiuseppe, a senior at Saratoga Springs High School, has been wrestling since he was four years old. Though DiGiuseppe used to also play football, he did not continue this season so that he could focus solely on wrestling. He stayed in shape during the off-season by lifting.

When asked what his biggest accomplishment has been so far, he humbly said, “even just placing in a varsity tournament is a wonderful thing. Going to sectionals for three years in a row and placing twice, that’s a wonderful thing, too. It’s just amazing to be on the varsity team, it’s just a big accomplishment just to be here in general.”

DiGiuseppe had nothing but nice things to say about his coaches, led by Coach Kris West.

“They’re awesome, I love them. They push us hard. We have days where they’ll be on you about stuff, every coach does that though, and you just have to get through it. These coaches are so amazing, they’ve helped me for such a long time. They’ve had a big impact on my life,” he marveled.

DiGiuseppe has goals outside of wrestling; he’d like to be an EMT or a firefighter. If he is offered the chance, he would pursue wrestling in college as well.

Danny Jada:

BURNT HILLS-BALLSTON LAKE — Danny Jada, a senior and captain of the wrestling team at Burnt HillsBallston Lake High School, is ready to take on his fifth season on varsity.

“I love wrestling and I’ve wrestled ever since first grade,” Jada said.

His biggest accomplishment so far was placing second at sectionals last year. Being a captain requires leadership, both on
and off the mat.

“Jada is a great leader. He leads both by example and by just being a good teammate in the room and helping people out,” said varsity coach Stephen Jones.

“I really enjoy the leadership aspect. I think I try to portray a good example to the younger kids. I try and help out with the pee-wee guys when I can. I really try and put in the time to help everybody out,” Jada said modestly.

As far as his biggest challenge this season, Jada thinks of that from a captain’s perspective, too.

“Our biggest challenge is probably trying to get the team ready for bigger events since we do have a younger team this year. A lot of new guys are stepping into the varsity lineup this season,” he explained.

Jada is interested in finding a college that fits both his academic goals and one that has a wrestling team.

As far as maintaining his weight goes, he said his biggest crutch is, “probably my mom’s homemade cooking.”

John DeConno:

BURNT HILLS-BALLSTON LAKE — John DeConno is not a wrestler who started the sport as an elementary student, in fact, he didn’t begin with the sport until eighth grade after his sisters’ boyfriend recommended he try it out.

“My sisters’ boyfriend was a wrestler. He told me, ‘you’re going to love it, you’re an aggressive kid.’ I didn’t really like sports like baseball, which is just a lot of standing around, so this is a sport that I can use my aggression and actually do something all the time. I’m always moving. I wasn’t sure about wrestling at first but I loved it right away. I fell in love with the sport from the start,” DeConno explained.

Now in his junior year of high school, DeConno thinks he has an advantage to starting a little later than some of his teammates.

“I think a lot of the kids that start early may be pushed into it. Then they can get burned out later on, but I think I started at a good time. I was mature enough, I was stronger and more grown, and I think I can perform better than a kid that may have started earlier,” DeConno said.

“Wrestling is one of those sports where you’re always welcome. John’s a good athlete and a fast learner, he wants to get better every day,” said Coach Jones. Last year’s performance was the first time DeConno placed in sectionals.

DeConno has big goals for this season, “I want to wrestle as hard as I can, learn as much as I can, and get to a state level.”

Orion Anderson:

SCHUYLERVILLE – Orion Anderson, a senior at Schuylerville High School, is a three-time New York State finalist and a two-time state champion, which he achieved as a sophomore and a junior. Anderson began wrestling at age two, following in the footsteps of his older brother and sister.

“My favorite high school match was probably my sophomore year in the states final because I wanted to get that state title so badly after losing it the year before,” Anderson reminisced.

As a senior, his goal is simple: to be state champion again. He has committed to Binghamton, which offered him a full ride scholarship with an injury guarantee; he will sign his Letter of Intent in the spring.

“I’m really trying to focus on my school work this year,” Anderson explained.

The varsity team is coached by Buck Anderson, his father, and while the team isn’t large in number this year, Anderson is happy they have kids who are “definitely intense in the room and want to be there.”

“My favorite part of the match itself is knowing that there is no one else but you out there and you just have to get it done. No one else is going to help you.”


Published in Sports

SARATOGA COUNTY – Victory was earned for two local high school wrestlers this past weekend.  Competing in the NYSPHSAA wrestling championships, which ran from Feb. 24-25, Ballston Spa junior Tyler Barnes and Schuylerville junior Orion Anderson fought through four rounds of competition across two days to claim state championship titles.  Barnes won in the Division I, 170-pound weight class, while Anderson won in the Section II, 120-pound class.  With this win, Barnes becomes the first ever state champion to come out of Ballston Spa.  Anderson, meanwhile, fought through illness and injury to not only win the title, but also be voted one of the Most Outstanding Wrestlers out of the whole competition. 

“He’s a very focused young man,” said Coach Harold Staulters of Barnes.  “He has goals, he always has goals, and he sticks to them.”

After finishing in 5th place at last year’s championship, Barnes, supported by in Staulters’s estimation 40 or more Ballston Spa residence in attendance, went all the way this year to become the town’s first ever state wrestling champion.  Winning his first match by pin on Friday, Barnes made it to the finals on Saturday, where he bested John Glenn High School’s Mike Ancewicz 5-2.  Well aware of the import of his potential victory, Barnes wore a singlet with Ballston Spa’s school colors, purple and gold. 

Staulters said that consistency was important during Barnes’s training leading up to the event.  He stuck to his usual practice routines, and stuck with his longtime friend and practice partner, Jake Cook, who also competed over the weekend.

“They know each other pretty well,” said Staulters of Barnes and Cook. “They’ve been friends since they were six… Probably been workout partner since the same time.”

For Anderson, the run-up to the championship was fraught with hindrances.   At the Section II state qualifying event two weeks prior at the Glens Falls Civic Center where Anderson secured his spot in the state finals, he suffered a cut to his forehead that required stitches.  For the month prior to the state finals, Anderson had also been suffering through bouts of mononucleosis and upper respiratory infection, the latter of which sometimes made it difficult for him to breathe.

“I don’t think he even realizes what a big deal it is,” said Buck Anderson, Orion’s coach and father.

For each champion, wrestling is a family affair.  Barnes’s father, Terry, wrestled in the 1995 state championships and was runner-up that year.  Anderson, meanwhile, has seen many members of his family in the state finals, with his older brother and sister each having competed in the finals in years prior, and he himself has been wrestling since the age of two.

Barnes’s is currently planning to compete in the Cadet Greco Nationals in Fargo, ND, where he also competed last year, making it all the way through the semifinals.  This year, he’s aiming to win it all.  Anderson, conversely, will be taking things slower to let his body heal and to recover from his illnesses.  Once he feels better, he intends to get back to practicing and compete in off-season matches. 

Published in Sports