Niskayuna grapplers aim high

After placing third at last year's Section II, Class A championships, the Niskayuna wrestling team is looking for big things this season.

Every year, we're trying to contend for the (Suburban Council) Gold Division title, said Niskayuna coach Dan Geurin. "Last year, we finished third at Sectionals, and we'd like to improve on that."

The Silver Warriors are off to a promising start on that front. They swept their three matches at Saturday's Niskayuna Duals, beating Warrensburg, Suffern and South Glens Falls by convincing margins.

"We've got a nice, balanced team this year," said Geurin. "We've got good senior leadership, and we should be a tough team come Sectionals."

Individually, senior Jake Newcomb is Niskayuna's top wrestler. Newcomb is coming off a 2006-07 season in which he placed second to eventual state champion Hunter Meys of Shenendehowa at Sectionals and finished fourth at the state tournament.

"He'd like to improve on that fourth place finish at states," Geurin said of Newcomb, who will wrestle at 189 pounds this year. "He'd like to go back out there and do better."

Geurin is also looking for big things from middleweights Matt Rowe, Erik Espina and Kevin Selin, as well as heavyweight Gary Chrys. Rowe placed at the state qualifier last year, while Espina, Selin and Chrys are solid wrestlers.

With a good core of veterans, Geurin is hopeful his team will challenge defending Gold Division champion Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake this season.

"I would say overall we're a better dual meet team this year, and the younger guys gained valuable experience last year," said Geurin. "Burnt Hills is the team to beat. They look very good this year."

Niskayuna began its dual meet season Wednesday against Mohonasen. The Silver Warriors are off until next Wednesday, when they travel to Bethlehem before hosting Columbia Dec. 21.""

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