Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY - Gavin Bradley became just the second freshman in the storied history of the Athens wrestling program to win a PIAA medal, and is the 2018-19 Valley Sports Report "Newcomer of the Winter."
Bradley put together one of the best freshman seasons in program history, posting a 34-12 record and a sixth-place finish in the 106-pound weight class at the PIAA Class AA Championships. He joins Brian Courtney, who finished third in 2014, in the exclusive club.
Bradley finished second at the North Section Tournament, District 4 Championships, and the PIAA Northeast Regionals - losing in the finals at all three to eventual state champion Sheldon Seymour of Troy. Of his other nine losses on the season, three came at the PIAA Championships, and three more came to state qualifiers in N.Y. and Pa.
The Super 7 Boys "Newcomers of the Winter:"
Gavin Bradley, freshman, Athens: See above.
Gianni Silvestri, 7th-grader, Tioga: Silverstri made an immediate impact for the Tigers, and hit full stride at the end of the season. Only a 7th-grader, Silvestri amassed a 27-16 record. He finished second at the Section IV, Division II Qualifier A, and second at the Section IV Division II Championships.
Caden Bellis 7th-grader, Tioga: Another 7th-grader who made an immediate impact for the Tigers, Bellis piled up a 27-10 record, racking up second-place finishes at the Marino Invitational, Dave Buck Memorial, STWOA Holiday Classic, and the Bradshaw Invitational. He won the Section IV, Division II Qualifier A, and finished fourth at the Section IV, Division II Championships.
Jalen McCarty, junior, Waverly: As an 8th-grader, McCarty finished fourth at the Section IV, Class B wrestling championships. Three years later, he's a starting guard on the Waverly basketball team.
A quick and hard-nosed defender, McCarty displayed a solid all-around game in his first varsity campaign. He averaged 7.4 points, 3 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 1.3 assists, and knocked down 24 3-pointers on the season.
Thomas Cook, sophomore, Tioga: Despite being under-sized in the low-post, Cook boxes out well and is a good rebounder. He also has a nice touch around the bucket, and has a knack for getting open in the low blocks. He averaged 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game, and shot 58 percent from the field.
Kaden Gorsline, freshman, Athens: Gorsline made an immediate impact for the Wildcats, and was a consistent point-getter throughout the season.
Gorsline finished fifth at the District 4 Diving Championships, and swam on a fourth-place 200-yard medley relay at districts. He was a triple-winner at the NTL Championships. He won the 1-meter diving competition, and swam on winning 200-yard medley, and 400-yard freestyle relays. He also finished fourth in the 100-yard freestyle.
Liam Wright, 7th-grader, Waverly: Liam Wright was a consistent point-getter for the unbeaten Wolverines this season. He logged his first varsity victory on Jan. 10 as part of the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Wright finished fifth in the 500-yard freestyle, and seventh in the 200-yard IM at the IAC Championships, and swam on third-place relay at 200 free relay at IACs, and fifth place 200 medley relay.
IN PHOTO: Athens' Gavin Bradley.
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