By Mike Wertman
Medina Journal-Register — A quartet of local wrestlers, all with state tournament experience, wll be taking aim at earning top honors at the state wrestling championships this weekend at Albany.
The senior quartet, who each placed at last year’s state tournament, includes Medina’s Matt Montesanti (285) and Roy-Hart’s Drew Hull (145) along with the Holley duo of Andrew Flanagan (99) and Mike Silvis (220).
Seeded No. 3, Montesanti, who placed sixth last year despite an injury, brings a 31-0 season record into the state competition. He will face Robert Incorvia of Cold Spring Harbor (Section 8) in his opening match.
“Matt wants to improve on last year’s sixth place finish and I think he’s capable of taking first,” Medina coach Eric Gross said. “Matt is a smart wrestler and he knows what he has to do. He’s not pressured by close matches as he is used to that. And his experience last year will help.”
Montesanti earned a return trip to the states by capturing a second straight Section VI title with a narrow 1-0 win over Roy-Hart’s Clayton Smith.
Hull is the No. 1 seed at 145 after placing second at last year’s state tourney dropping a narrow 6-5 decision in the title bout.
He brings a 40-0 record into the states and will face Sal Mazzella of Highland (Section 9) in the opening round and faces a possible rematch of the Section VI finals in the semis where Jude Gardner of Fredonia looms as an opponent. Hull nipped Gardner 1-0 for the Section VI title.
“Gardner only has three losses and they all have been to Drew, two by just one point,” said Roy-Hart coach Kevin Lawson. “Drew is a smart kid and he’s been preparing the right way. The key for him is to relax, believe in himself and wrestle.”
The trip to the states is the third for Hull who also placed sixth as a sophomore.
Flanagan will also be making his third trip to the states for Holley, interestingly all at the 99 pound classification.
Flanagan, who is 47-3 on the season, placed fourth last your at the states and is seeded No. 2. His first match is against Garon Leclair of Corinth 9 (Section 2). The No. 1 seed is Hunter Olena of East Rochester who nipped Flanagan in triple overtime in the Section V semifinals.
“If Andrew asserts his will he will place high on the podium,” said Holley coach John Grillo.
Silvis, who placed fifth at the states last year, brings a 46-2 record into the competition. He is seeded No. 4 and will face Luke Mckee of Peru (Section 7) in the opening round. The No. 1 seed is Zack Bacon of Hornell who edged past Silvis 1-0 in the Section V finals. The two could meet in the semifinals.
“Mike put in the time over the summer preparing for this moment and he has lost close matches to both the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds by a point so he can do it,” Grillo said.
“Both of our guys are seniors, they’ve been there before and they know what they need to do,” said Grillo. “They’re not satisfied with just going to the states they want to wn the states. They both won’t be satisfied with anything less than a top step on the podium.”
The competition begins today and continues through Saturday.