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YOUTH WRESTLNG: INAUGURAL 'DUALS ON DESMOND WRESTLING SHOWCASE' SET FOR SATURDAY (2024-06-05)

By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
SAYRE - The groundwork has been laid, and the match-ups are set. Now, it’s time to watch some of the best youth and high school boys and girls from the region wrestle here Saturday at the "Duals on Desmond Wrestling Showcase."

The idea for Showcase came about the way so many do — over a cold beverage at the PIAA Wrestling Championships in Hershey in early March.

"Pat McDonald mentioned this idea to Dustin Bishop and myself in Hershey this winter; that where the ball got rolling," said Showcase organizer Kyle Williams.

"I wanted to try to get the best wrestlers we could, but at the same time knowing this is year No. 1, like anything else it’s going to take a while to build to the caliber we want.

"What we’d like this to be five or six years down the road is something like the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic, but for this area … where the best guys from New York go to wrestle the best guys from District 4 (Pa.)," added Williams.

The showcase features wrestlers from both sides of the border squaring off on Desmond Street. Well, on a wrestling mat on Desmond Street.

"Literally, I just took the Section IV brackets, and the North Section brackets, and started calling the top kids in each weight class.

"I had to ask what the kids weighed now," said Williams. "That’s what’s difficult, with this being a summer tournament, you have 152-pounders telling you they can go at 182.

"I was just trying to get the best possible match-ups I could get," he added.

The headline match of the night will pitch three-time N.Y. State finalist Caden Bellis of Tioga against North Section Champ, and PIAA qualifier Riley Vanderpool of Towanda.

The girls headline match-up will pit two-time N.Y. State champ Mackenzie LaForest of Waverly against two-time PIAA champ Brenda Banks of Panther Valley.

(FOR A COMPLETE LISTING OF MATCHES, click on the photo gallery below.)

The day’s festivities on Desmond Street begin at 3 p.m with music by Bad Eye Deer. There will be food trucks, 50/50s and more, with proceeds going to various wrestling scholarship funds in New York and Pa.

The youth wrestlers will kick things off a 5:15 p.m., with the girls showcase beginning at 7 p.m., and the boys showcase set to start at 8:30 p.m.

The title sponsors for the event are: Friends of Section IV Wrestling, Inc., and Stephanie Rogers Robinson — Knolles Real Estate.

Team Sponsors:
Team Pa. Youth — Bishops Brothers Construction;
Team N.Y. Youth — In Memory Of Jim McCloe and Jerry Weed Sr.;
Team Pa. Girls — Simmons-Rockwell;
Team N.Y. Girls — Knolles Real Estate;
Team Pa. Boys — NT SiteCon;
Team NY Boys — Welles Farm.

The rain date in June 15.


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