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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Saratoga Springs’ Pat McKinley demonstrates flair for the dramatic in Section 2 wrestling dual meet championships


QUEENSBURY — Pat ⁣McKinley​ has⁢ shown⁤ a knack for the‍ dramatic over the course of this wrestling ⁣season for Saratoga Springs.

The Blue Streak senior captain⁤ has posted a 25-3 overall record as a ​215-pounder, but it⁢ hasn’t been easy.

McKinley has seen five of his matches‌ go ​to extra-time, and he’s come⁢ out on top in four ‌of them.

McKinley’s Overtime⁤ Victories

On Dec. 2 at⁤ the Ballston Spa Duals, ⁣he won a 3-2⁤ decision in⁤ an ultimate tiebreaker over Shaker’s Nickolas Whyte, and then ​defeated Minisink Valley’s⁢ Kevin Crowe-Bailey 4-3 in the sudden-victory round.

Later⁤ in⁢ the month ⁢on Dec. 16, McKinley topped ⁢Burnt Hills-Ballston ‌Lake’s Santino Mareno 2-1 in a tiebreaker.⁢ On Dec. 20, the Blue Streak‍ saw⁤ Whyte once‌ again, winning 3-1⁢ in a⁣ sudden victory.

“I⁣ just know that I ⁤have the ability to​ outlast my opponents,” McKinley said of his overtime victories. “Whether I’m up or down by ‍one with 30 seconds left, ​I know that my work in practice has given me⁢ the ability to get⁣ it done late.”

McKinley’s only overtime loss came against Jamesville-Dewitt/CBA’s Bryce ‍Dadey,​ when he ⁤dropped a 2-1 decision in an ultimate tiebreaker.

Upcoming Championships

This past‌ weekend, McKinley earned a first-place finish ​as a ​215-pounder at the⁤ Schenectady Invitational.

On Tuesday, Saratoga Springs will head to​ the ⁢Section 2 Division I ‍dual championships, where it is the No. 2 seed​ and will take on No. 3 Averill Park in the ⁣semifinals.

Gianni Delgado has also posted a stellar ​season for ​the Blue Streaks, going 24-2 at 170 pounds.

“Going into Tuesday, I think we all⁢ expect to ​win,” said ‌Delgado, a⁢ junior. “Last year we lost in​ the semis by, like, three points,⁣ so I know a lot of us were motivated to get back there and⁢ finish the job.”

Young Talent

The Blue ​Streaks have relied heavily on a⁤ trio of ⁣sophomores. Danny Dacey ⁢(145) has posted a record of 24-5, while Luke Stoutenburg (131)⁢ is 23-6 and Chase Matter (124) is 23-5.

“Chase Matter has been doing‍ a great job,” Delgado said ⁣of his⁢ teammate. “He placed third in ⁢the ⁢section last year and ‍I know he’s ‌trying to ‌come back ⁢and prove what he can do at the‌ state qualifiers and⁢ to go⁤ to states.”

“Brendan​ Stoutenburg, our eighth grader, he’s also doing a great job and proving that age doesn’t really matter,” Delgado added. “We’ve been practicing hard and working with‍ coach⁤ Polcare on ⁣a lot of mindset training, ‌making us ‍believe ⁤that we can come ​in and win.”


The Warriors are‍ led by senior 160-pounder John Welcome, who ​is 18-3 this season, as‍ well as junior​ 131-pounder Jacob Hanlon,​ who boasts a 24-3‌ record.

Jamie Bartlett, a senior ⁢at 138 pounds ⁤has posted a strong 17-5 season, while juniors Reese Bunney (131) ‍and Alex Salsbury (215) ​are at 22-10 and 22-7 respectively.


Queensbury is one of the⁣ more experienced teams in​ Section 2, ​and ⁤is led by Lucas Schell, a 160-pounder who⁤ went ⁣to the state championships last year. He is currently ⁤23-2, ​with both of his losses⁢ coming this past weekend at the Eastern States Classic.

Noah⁣ Smith (116) and Benjamin Killingsworth⁢ (215)⁢ are also seniors and hold ​respective records of 20-2 and 20-4. Timothy Paculavich’s (138) record may‍ not be as appealing, at 10-12, but the senior is as‌ battle-tested as anyone.


While Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake certainly has ⁣its work⁣ cut‌ out for them against Queensbury, it is led ⁣by one of⁤ the top wrestlers in Section⁣ 2 – Liam Carlin.

Carlin,⁤ a junior ‌who came in third place over ‍the weekend as a 152-pounder at the Eastern States Classic, is 24-3 this season.


The ​Section 2 Division II dual ⁤meet championships will be held on Wednesday⁤ at Johnstown High⁤ School. No. 1 Fonda/Johnstown will take on No. 4 Cobleskill-Richmondville in​ the at 6 p.m., while No. 2 Hudson Falls will face No. 3 Duanesburg/Schoharie.⁣ The ‍two winners ‍will advance to the championship‌ round at 7:30.

Some standouts for Fonda/Johnstown this season​ have been Matthew Livingston, who is 20-13, primarily as ⁤a 138-pounder, and Johnny Swartwout, who is 20-11 mostly ‌in the 124-pound weight‍ class.

Cobleskill-Richmondville has plenty of‍ tough wrestlers to watch out⁤ for as ‌well, including five who already have 20-plus wins on the season.

Ashten Haley⁣ (124)‌ boasts a 21-6 record as a freshman, while juniors Dominic Scolaro (152) is 20-8 and Kyber Henry (160)​ is 20-4. Dylan Gallagher (170), a sophomore, and junior Jake​ Lesage (285) each own a record of 20-6.

Hudson Falls ⁤is led by a strong group of ‍seniors, including Jesse Mullis ⁢(190), who boasts a 31-4 record this⁣ season, Colin Diffee ‌(145/152) at 27-3 overall and Lukas Ross (215) with a 16-16 record. The Tigers also have a pair‌ of standout sophomores, Levi​ Wilson (124) at 24-5 and Justin Mullis⁣ (131) at 29-9. Additionally, Tehren West (101) has ⁣been tearing up the mat and a seventh grader, with ⁢a 22-8 record.

Duanesburg/Schoharie‌ heads into Tuesday’s dual championships led by⁤ senior Scott Nicolella (131), ⁣who ​has a 27-4 record, and Daniel⁣ Stealey, has put ​up a 21-8 record ‍across four ​weight classes (145, 152, 160, 170). Dalton Cooper (215), a senior, is ⁤18-4 overall, ‌while junior⁤ Carson Killenberger (131) is‍ 18-7. Jacob Schweigard (152)⁣ is 23-7 in⁢ his junior season, while eighth-grader Wyatt Rock (124) is 14-11.

Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan, an informed and passionate sports reporter, is a former college athlete with a degree in Sports Communication from Ithaca College. Go Bombers!
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  1. Great performance, McKinley! You really know how to captivate the audience with your dramatic flair. Keep up the amazing work!


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