Zach Diekel places fourth in Eastern States Classic






Zach Diekel finished fourth at the Eastern States Classic, held at Sullivan Community College on Friday and Saturday.

Diekel, who entered the tournament as the second seed, defeated Mike Spinelli of Mahopac ,13-7 in the semi-finals of the consolation round before forfeiting the third place match.

He opened the tournament with a decisive 16-1 decision over Deondre Pierce (Beacon) and followed that up with a 5-3 victory over Rich Ssisti (Monsignor Farrell) the quarterfinals.

Diekel had a chance to advance to the finals and face Shenendehowa’s Tony Fusco but was unable to get by third seeded Austyn Hayes (Phoenix), who controlled the match from the ground and won 10-1.

The loss was Diekel’s first this year and it’s possible he could see some of the same wrestlers at the state tournament next month.

Diekel finished the tournament with three wins, one loss and a forfeit.

Joining Diekel at Eastern States were Brandon Steves (160), Al Aubin (120), and John Diekel (138).

After losing his first match, John Diekel rebounded with pair of pins against Crisian Wassweiler (Beacon) and Fordham Prep’s Max Russo.

He lost to Dan McDevitt of Wantagh to finish the tournament 2-2.

Al Aubin went 1-2 during the tournament and Brandon Steves finished 0-2.

As a team Whitehall scored 24 ½ points.

99 teams competed in the two day tournament which features some of the best wrestlers from New York and beyond.

Many consider the tournament to be tougher than the state meet because the size of a respective wrestler’s school isn’t considered in bracketing.

Last Wednesday, Whitehall traveled to Salem to attempt something no team has done this year: beat the undefeated Generals.

Unfortunately for the Railroader s, they would not become the first to defeat Salem who moved a step closer to an Adirondack League Championship.

The Railroaders matched Salem with four pins apiece and each team scored a win on points, but Whitehall was done in by five forfeits as the Generals rolled to a 57-28 victory.

Salem recorded wins via forfeit at 106, 126, 132, 182, and 285 pounds. Conversely, Salem didn’t give away a single match via forfeit.

Al Aubin (120), Jake Gregory (138), Brandon Steves (160), and Zach Diekel (195) all recorded pins for Whitehall and John Diekel (145) earned a decisive 14-0 decision on points.

Whitehall falls to 1-3 in the league (6-13 overall) and will host a very good Warrensburg team tonight (Jan. 19) at 6 p.m. in what is their Adirondack League Match of the season. It is also Senior Night and will be Zach Diekel’s (the team lone senior) final match in the Railroader gymnasium.



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