Hampton Bays 126-pounder Willy Kraus pulled a tough first-round matchup, facing second seed senior Bradley Cheek of Canisteo/Greenwood at the state championships at Times Union Center in Albany February 22. Cheek pinned Kraus in 1:05, but the Division II junior won his first wrestleback match with a 14-1 major decision over freshman Mitchell Barcus of Eagle Academy Bronx before falling 4-1 to junior Colby Petrie of Medina in the next round.
Unseeded 160-pound sophomore Jackson Hulse, of Westhampton Beach, came close in a Division I 4-3 loss to No. 5 Drew Bogdan from Albany Academy in the first round. He earned a penalty point in the first period, and chose to start the second in neutral. Bogdan bounced back with a takedown 1:15 in, but Hulse escaped quick to tie the match 2-2.
Hulse’s opponent chose to start down in the third, hoping for an escape point to win, but Hulse kept him in check, riding him through the first half of the third. Each wrestler was cautioned, and a Bogdan reversal with 15 seconds left, and another Hulse escape gave the match its final score.
The Hurricane was unlucky to face No. 4-seeded Steve Gazillo from Cornwall, who was upset early, in the first of wrestlebacks. He lost that match 4-1. Both of Hulse’s opponents were seniors.
“He wrestled hard, wrestled tough,” Westhampton head coach Paul Bass said. “You see 0-2 and you think it’s a disappointment, but it was experience mistakes. Hopefully this takes him to the next level, gets him hungry. I hope he realizes he’s right there.”