BY MICHAEL KELLY
GLENS FALLS — As a defending state champion, Shenendehowa’s Kevin Parker has had to deal with some unique things in his senior year. The latest was the level of affection he received from the area’s wrestling community — specifically, opposing coaches and wrestlers — throughout the Feb. 13-14 Section II Wrestling Championships, at which Shenendehowa emerged with its 10th Division I team title in 11 years.
Whether he rested on a seat away from the action or stood near the mat as one of his three teammates — Anthony DiNallo, Kevin Guardino, and Kiernan Shanahan — wrestled in their championship matches, it was rare that Parker went more than a few minutes without someone coming up to him to shake his hand and wish him luck.
“Kevin’s a politician,” Shenendehowa head coach Rob Weeks said with a smile. “He does not have an aversion to being the good guy that everyone knows and respects. But, when the whistle blows, he’s a different person and goes on the attack.”
Parker — named the Most Outstanding Wrestler for Division I at the tournament — pinned Ballston Spa’s Jake Cook in 1:32 to win his third Section II title. Parker had won a sectional title last year at 170 on his way to a state title, and also as an eighth-grader at 99 pounds.
“It’s still exciting,” Parker said. “You never lose the emotion attached to winning something like this, even if it was easier this time than when you were 96 pounds and having to fight for everything you got.”
DiNallo, Guardino, and Shanahan gave it everything that had in their championship matches. DiNallo lost a 6-3 decision at 160 pounds to Niskayuna’s Eoghan Sweeney; Guardino fell 9-5 to South Glens Falls’ Matt Saville at 138 pounds; and, Shanahan picked up his first sectional title with a 7-5 win against Schenectady’s Josh Reed at 126 pounds.
“There’s no guarantees in the finals. Anything can happen,” Weeks said. “They all wrestled well, and Shanahan wrestled well enough to win.”
With their victories, Parker and Shanahan earned automatic bids to the Feb. 26-27 state championships in Albany.
Also from Shenendehowa, Dustin Bruhns (195) Dietrich Hartman (132), and Shane Walpole (285) earned third-place finishes, while Cody Deuel (99) and Nick Joseph (170) came in fourth.
Parker, though, was the center of attention for Shenendehowa, as he has been all season. That was not a concern for Weeks, who said he did not waste much energy worrying about if Parker’s well-wishers would detract from the wrestler’s concentration.
“He knows what he’s doing. He’s got a focus and a prep [routine] for a match that’s unparalleled,” Weeks said. “In the world of wrestling, there’s not too much to worry about with Kevin Parker.”
Shenendehowa 209.5, Burnt Hills 155, Columbia 137, Queensbury 116, Schenectady 111.5, Averill Park 101.5, Amsterdam 90.5, Ballston Spa 74, Albany Academy 78, Saratoga 69.5, Niskayuna 57, South Glens Falls 53, Mohonasen 49, Colonie 42.5, Bethlehem 36, La Salle 35.5, Shaker 16.5, Guilderland 16, Albany 14, CBA 7.
99 — Trent Svingala (Albany Academy) dec. Brock Delsignore (South Glens Falls), 4-2; 106 — Michael Gonyea (Columbia) pinned Antione Grace (Queensbury), 1:14; 113 — Trent Nadeau (Columbia) pinned Shiva Bhoge (Mohonasen), 3:01; 120 — John Devine (Columbia) pinned Jordan Sartin (Saratoga), 4:10; 126 — Kiernan Shanahan (Shenendehowa) dec. Josh Reed (Schenectady), 7-5; 132 — Christian Gramuglia (Burnt Hills) dec. Max Tempel (Averill Park), 7-4; 138 — Matt Saville (South Glens Falls) dec. Kevin Guardino (Shenendehowa), 9-6; 145 — Antonio Zamora (Schenectady) dec. Kyle Jasenski (Albany Academy), 4-2; 152 — Anthony Laniewski (Niskayuna) dec. Ryan Moore (La Salle), 3-1; 160 — Eoghan Sweeney (Niskayuna) dec. Anthony DiNallo (Shenendehowa), 6-3; 170 — Tyler Barnes (Ballston Spa) dec. Collin Derboghossian (Schenectady), 3-2; 182 — Kevin Parker (Shenendehowa) pinned Jake Cook (Ballston Spa), 1:32; 195 — Dylan Dubuque (Columbia) default over Marcus Torres (Amsterdam), win by injury; 220 — Joe Messare (Burnt Hills) dec. Garreck Golish (Ballston Spa), 2-1; 285 — Jake Warren (Burnt Hills) dec. Chris Garrison (Amsterdam), 10-2.
99 — Jake Kimble (Colonie) dec. Cody Deuel (Shenendehowa), 5-0; 106 — Daniel Montalvo (Amsterdam) dec. Ryan Encarnacion (Saratoga), 14-11; 113 — Lucien Loeper (Averill Park) dec. Anthony Canova (Bethlehem), 8-3; 120 — Caiden Mondore (La Salle Institute) dec. Andrew Dennis (Averill Park), 2-1; 126 — Danny Jada (Burnt Hills) dec. David Wolanski (Guilderland), 4-0; 132 — Dietrich Hartman (Shenendehowa) dec. Deyker Edwards (Schenectady), 15-5; 138 — Nick Robbins (Queensbury) dec. Joe Cauwenberghs (Averill Park), 9-7; 145 — Jon Law (Queensbury) dec. Vincent Pedone (Burnt Hills), 9-5; 152 — Jared Bruno (Queensbury) pinned Andrew Fountain (Averill Park), 0:53; 160 — AJ Melendez (Schenectady) pinned Zach Zebrowski (Albany Academy), 1:45; 170 — Nico Mattia (Queensbury) dec. Nick Joseph (Shenendehowa), 7-5; 182 — Brandon Barbagelata (Burnt Hills) pinned Jake Rodecker (Amsterdam), 3:25; 195 — Dustin Bruhns (Shenendehowa) dec. Nelson Quinones (Amsterdam), 3-2; 220 — Joe Galusha (Mohonasen) dec. Tyson Jones (Albany), 9-1; 285 — Shane Walpole (Shenendehowa) pinned Spencer Wickert (Saratoga), 4:37.