Monsignor Farrell fell just short of winning its first CHSAA state wrestling title since 2009, but the Lions had five individual champions Sunday who will go on to compete in the New York State Public School Wrestling Championships in Albany.
Blaise Rufo said he underestimated Chaminade’s Dan Jones at the beginning of their 120-pound title clash, but he came from behind in the final minute by pulling off consecutive 2-point reversals to narrowly capture a 10-8 decision.
“I’m really happy,” Rufo said. “Sending five or six guys to the Federations is a big accomplishment. It might be a school record or ties a school record and that’s a big deal.”
Tim McCann displayed major guts by ignoring a painful knee suffered in the Mayor’s Cup by pinning St. Joe’s Collegiate’s Pat Mang in just 2:22 in the 138-pound final. The top seed, who had recorded pinfalls in two previous rounds during the tournament, said he injured his knee after trying to lift a wrestler in the air during a Mayor’s Cup’s semifinal match.
McCann was adamant that he wanted to keep wrestling and rested for two weeks while also received physical therapy. He did not get an MRI to find out the exact nature of the injury.
“I didn’t want to know,” McCann said. “I didn’t want other people know. If they thought it was bad, they would take advantage of it. But I didn’t let that bother me. I guess the adrenalin just helped me out a little bit.”
In one of the more anticipated matchups of the day, Farrell’s Matt Roberts won the 182-pound title by hanging on in the final seconds to outlast Matt McDaniels of Kellenberg, 11-9. Roberts kept his 9-8 lead in the last minute of the match by fending off a reversal attempt by McDaniels near the outside circle. Roberts then converted a two-point reversal of his own with 18 seconds left to seal the win.
Rrok Ndokaj heard chants of “Rocky” from the home crowd as the top seed won 8-2 by major decision over Brian Anderson of Kellenberg at 170 pounds. Top seed Richard Sisti of Farrell pinned Dan Centeno from Kellenberg in 3:15 to win the 195-pound title.
Fordham Prep’s Sam Melikian easily took his second straight CHSAA state title with a 14-3 majority decision over Chris Federlin of Kellenberg. The senior was the only representative from a New York City school other than Farrell at the state championships to win a title.
In other matches, Kellenberg’s Pat Skinner won the 113-pound title in a 10-6 decision over Joe Russ of St. Anthony’s. Kyle Dipirro from St. Mary’s of Lancaster defeated Kellenberg’s Chris Alianakian in the 285-pound class via pinfall in 43 seconds.
St. Anthony's claimed its 12th CHSAA state title, with Monsignor Farrell finishing second and Kellenberg claiming third.