The Lobster Tank

The weekend in the Valley

So, everyone is out there dodging snowflakes while the schools have the day off.

With the snow day came the cancellation of the Willsboro and Johnsburg crossover game, but it will be played tomorrow, Feb. 15, in Johnsburg.

Also tomorrow is the Section VII indoor track and Field state qualifiers, where the winners will move onto the NYSPHSAA championships. Westport's Jonathan Gay was the sectional champ in the 1,000 meter race, and will look to earn his second trip to states this season after going as a one-man cross country team in the fall. Events take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Plattsburgh State Fieldhouse.

State births are also on the line tomorrow at the Section VII wrestling championships which will be held at AuSable Valley Middle/High School. The Patriots have a duo of top seeds, with Dylan Baker the top seed at 120 and Kenny Rivers the top seed in the heavyweight division (285). Three seeds went to Ricky Nichols at 182 and Reilly Peck at 220, while Joe Leclair (138) and Casey Spear (145) are seeded fourth and Teddy Tanzuck will be the fifth seed at 113 and Charlie Wilkinson is ranked fifth at 132.

Wrestling starts at 10 a.m. with championship bouts scheduled to begin around 2 p.m.

Winners in each weight class advance to the NYSPHSAA wrestling championships in Albany, a two-day event which has produced two of the best mixed martial arts fighters in the world.

In 2002, Chris Weidman won the state championship at 189. In the past year, he has twice beaten the man many consider to be the greatest mixed martial artist ever, Anderson "The Spider" Silva, to become the UFC middleweight champion and put himself in the mix for greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Thing is, he gets beaten out right now by the 2005 Division I NYSPHSAA champion at 189, Jon "Bones" Jones, the UFC light heavyweight champion, who has successfully defended his title several times. That same year, Jones' brother, Arthur, won the state title at 275. He now plays for the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL while a third brother, Chandler, plays for the Patriots.

The point is, getting to the state wrestling tournament is a big deal.

Good luck to everyone this weekend, and sectional brackets come out Sunday!


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