Mikey Labriola Leads Pennsylvania at Journeymen Freestyle Classic

The month of April means the start of a new season for Pennsylvania wrestlers. There is no off-season for the Keystone State’s elite grapplers and competition in Freestyle is one main focus for many.

With 2016 being an Olympic Year for the Summer Games excitement surrounding Freestyle and Greco-Roman styles are at their highest. To kick-off the 2016 Freestyle Season New York’s Journeymen Wrestling, along with Cliff Keen Wrestling, put on an impressive show at the 2016 Journeymen Freestyle Classic dubbed “The Prequel to Fargo”.

Not just anyone could enter the Tournament as the selection process was highly competitive with the goal of getting the best wrestlers to meet. Broken into different groups based on a wrestler’s credentials many weight classes featured groupings A, B, and C. What makes the Journeymen Classic unique is not only the level of talent but the National and International participants. Journeymen Wrestling founder Frank Popolizio, brother of N.C. State head coach Pat Popolizio, brought in the best wrestlers from around the World. Wrestlers from Russia, Italy, Korea, and several other foreign Nations competed in Schenectady, New York for the premier event.

Overall Pennsylvania saw 29 wrestlers place in the top six of their groups; 18 in Group A; 9 in Group B; and 2 in Group C. The Keystone State had six Champions including two in Group A with Bethlehem Catholic juniors Mikey Labriola at 170 lbs. and Niko Camacho at heavyweight.

At 100 lbs. eighth grader Drew Munch (East Stroudsburg) finished sixth in the Group A bracket while freshman Dillon Murphy (Stroudsburg) placed second in Group B going (4-1).

2016 PIAA State Medalist Zach Glenn (Bethlehem Catholic) finished seventh at 113 lbs. in Group A while fellow PIAA State Medalist Patrick Gould (East Stroudsburg Area South) won the Championship title at 113 lbs. in Group B. In the Finals Gould defeated fellow PA wrestler Nick Bauer (Wyoming Seminary) in the finals (11-11) winning on criteria. Also placing at 113 lbs. in Group B was PIAA State Medalist Joe Klock (Benton Area) who made it three in a row for PA finishing third.

At 120 lbs. in Group A freshman Julian Chlebove (Northampton Area), a 2016 PIAA State Champion, placed sixth while eighth grader Connor Kievman (Blue Mountain) finished second at 120 lbs. in Group C going (3-2). Liberty junior and 2016 PIAA State Medalist KJ Fenstermacher competed at 126 lbs. in Group A and placed third. In the third place match KJ defeated Italian Guarino Virgilio (10-4).

At 126 lbs. in Group B freshman Michael Kistler (Northampton Area) had an impressive showing winning the the Championship going undefeated (3-0). Pennsylvania wrestling star Brian Courtney (Athens Area) continues to impress since winning his first PIAA State Championship in March. Competing at 132 lbs. in Group A Courtney placed fifth defeating fellow PA wrestler and 2016 National Prep Champion Jack Davis (Wyoming Seminary) in the fifth place match. Davis’ teammate and Wyoming Seminary rookie Carter Tuttle placed seventh at 132 lbs. in Group B.

The third Champion from Pennsylvania came at 132 lbs. in Group C where rookie Tye Varndell (Cambridge Springs) came away with a (5-0) record. One of the most highly anticipated matches came at 138 lbs. when PIAA State Medalist Sammy Sasso (Nazareth Area) faced off with New York stud and Cornell recruit Yianni Diakomihalis in the finals of Group A. The UWW Cadet World Freestyle Champion was to much for Sasso who fell (11-4) in a match that was closer than the score indicates. Two Pennsylvania wrestlers placed at 145 lbs. with Cumberland Valley junior Will Kaldes placing fifth in Group A and 2x PIAA State Medalist Jake Hinkson (North Allegheny) finishing second in Group B.

At 152 lbs. Belle Vernon Area junior Jarod Verkleeren, a 2015 UWW Cadet World Champion, finished in third place in Group A. Verkleeren fell to Oklahoma State recruit Wyatt Sheets (Stillwell, Oklahoma) in the pool round (11-3). Verkleeren bounced back and won the third place match picking up a fall. N.C. State recruit Hayden Hidlay (Mifflin County) competed at 160 lbs. in Group A. The 2016 PIAA State Champion advanced into the Championship finals after posting a (3-0) record in pool play including a (15-2) win over his younger brother Trent. In the finals Hayden faced accomplished Russian National Champion wrestler Arslan Garazhiev and fell (8-2). Sophomore and PIAA State Runner-up Trent Hidlay finished third in Group A defeating PIAA State Medalist Nick Carr (Abington Heights) by tech-fall in the third place match (10-0) in (0:44) seconds. PA wrestler Jake Hendricks (Wyoming Seminary) finished in eighth place in Group A.

The biggest performance of the day came at 170 lbs. in Group A when 2016 PIAA State Champion Mikey Labriola (Bethlehem Catholic) took the mat. In his pool round Labriola took on New York junior and Nationally Ranked wrestler Louie DePrez (Hilton, NY) as the  two battled to a (6-6) tie which was won by Labriola on criteria. Labriola then took on Russian National Champion Feliks Dulaev winning by fall in (5:52). In the Championship match Labriola had no issues handling A.J. Pedro (Phillips Exeter, N.H.) winning by tech-fall (12-1). Continuing his Freestyle success from a season ago Exeter Township junior Ty Bagoly finished in sixth place competing in Group A.

2016 PIAA State Champion Jake Woodley (North Allegheny) was a Fargo All-American last summer and after a successful junior season he has high hopes once again. Competing at 182 lbs. in Group A Woodley defeated 2x Ohio State Champion James Handwerk (Lutheran West, OH) by a score of (11-6). Jake followed it up with a win over Lithuania wrestler Mantas Adomaitis (4-2) and secured a spot in the Championship finals after Korea’s Young Jun Joen forfeited  to the Tiger. In the finals Woodley fell to Russian wrestler Alik Shebzyhov by tech-fall (10-0) to finish second in Group A. In Group B 2x PIAA State Qualifier Matt McGillick (Penn Trafford) went undefeated winning the 182 lbs. Championship while Wyoming Seminary freshman Mike Doggett finished in seventh place.

Sophomore PIAA State Champion Gavin Hoffman (Montoursville Area) went (5-2) at 200 lbs. in Group A to finish in third place. The final Pennsylvania Champion came at heavyweight when PIAA State Medalist Niko Camacho (Bethlehem Catholic) had a strong Tournament going undefeated (7-0) against both National and International competition. The junior capped off an impressive performance for Team PA.

Full results can be found by clicking here!


1st place (5-0) Sergei Egorov – Rus “wins”
2nd place (4-1) Brock Delsignore “wins”
3rd place (3-2) Zachary Redding “wins”
4th place (2-3) Wil Guida “wins”
5th place (1-4) Christopher Trelli “wins”
6th place (0-5) Drew Munch


1st place (4-1) Logan Dubuque “head to head”
2nd place (4-1) Dillon Murphy “wins”
3rd place (3-2) Ronan Marino “quality wins”
4th place (3-2) Ryan Burgos “wins”
5th place (1-4) Thomas Fischer


1st place (5-0) Mahoved Badrudinov-Rus “wins”
2nd place (4-1) Corey Gamet “wins”
3rd place (3-2) Joe Heilmann “wins”
4th place (2-3) Greg Diakomihalis “wins”
5th place (1-4) Jarod Kosman


1st place (3-0) Keegan Otoole “wins”
2nd place (2-1) Mark Montgomery “wins”
3rd place (1-2) Dylan Earl “wins”
4th place (0-3) Gregory Hotaling


1st: Alexsi Kopylov, Russia tf. Dylan D’Emilio, BTW 11-0
3rd: Adam Busiello, Barn Brothers fall Kurt McHenry, St. Paul’s 2:14
5th: Brakan Mead, Olentangy Liberty fall Davide Amato, Italy 0:40
7th: Zach Glenn BECAHI tf. Michael Kelly, St. Peter’s Prep


1st: Patrick Gould, Dark Knights dec. Nick Bauer, PA 11-11 by criteria
3rd: Joe Klock, BTW tf. Michael Gonyea, Journeymen 14-4
5th: Alex Samson, G2 tf. Dove Bonjean-Alpart, Elite 14-2
7th: Tyler Albis, ISW tf. Dominic Grant, Eagle WC 10-0


1st: Petr Kopylov, Russia dec. Ramazan Attasauov, Russia 7-2
3rd: Andrew Alirez, Northern Colorado RTC tf. Riley Gurr, Tri Cities 18-8
5th: Tommy Hoskins, SW Ohio RTC dec. Julian Chlebove, Dark Knight 6-4
7th: Joshua Saunders, Wrestling Prep tf. Svajunes Sakys, LTU 11-0


1st place (5-0) Orion Anderson “wins”
2nd place (4-1) Vadim Babushkin-Ltu “wins”
3rd place (3-2) Joey Bianchi “wins”
4th place (2-3) Nicholas Arborio “wins”
5th place (1-4) Felice Matrullo-Ita


1st place (5-0) Tristan Haviland “wins”
2nd place (3-2) Connor Kievman “quality wins”
3rd place (3-2) Gino Esposito “margin of victory”
4th place (3-2) Jacob Falleni “wins”
5th place (1-4) Charles Barrale


1st: Nicholas Raimo, Apex dec. Joe Silva, Lake Highland Prep 4-2
3rd: KJ Fenstermacher, Dark Knight dec. Guarino Virgilio, ITA 10-4
5th: Anthony Argentieri, Kenmore West dec. Chase Zollmann 8-6
7th: Austin Hertel, G2 tf. Benny Baker, PA 11-0


1st place (3-0) Michael Kistler “wins”
2nd place (2-1) Mel Ortiz “wins”
3rd place (1-2) Neiko Scarano “wins”
4th place (0-3) Thomas Mountain


1st: Ian Parker, Massa’s Maniacs tf. Inalbek Sheriev, Russia
3rd: Vito Arujau, VHW tf. Malcom Robinson, St. John’s 10-0
5th: Brian Courtney, Athens tf. Jack Davis, PA 10-0
7th: Nick Freeman, Walled Lake Central fall Hunter Dusold, Locust Valley 4:35


1st: Aiden Medora, Askren dec. John Devine, Columbia HS 6-6 by criteria
3rd: Miernan Shanahan, Journeymen dec. Seth Brown, Top Flight WA 10-6
5th: Eric Halverson, Askren tf. Randy Earl, ISW 14-3
7th: Carter Tuttle, PA fft. Dillan Palazewski, Journeymen


1st place (5-0) Tye Varndell “wins”
2nd place (4-1) Deshawn Herbert “wins”
3rd place (3-2) Joe Zargo “wins”
4th place (2-3) Justin Gaudiana “wins”
5th place (1-4) Trevor Villanova


1st: Yianni Diakomihalis, G2 dec. Sammy Sasso, Dark Knights 11-4
3rd: Ben Freeman, Walled Lake Central tf. Corey Shie, Cincinnati La Salle 10-0
5th: Peter Tedesco, Belmont Hill dec. Imran Heard, St. John’s 9-6
7th: Ryan Angers, Kt Kidz tf. Lukas Lipnickas, LTU 18-8


1st: Ethan Krause, High 5 tf. Matthew Kolonia, Del Val 10-0
3rd: Gytis Jovaisa, LTU dec. Christian Gramuglia, Journeymen 4-3
5th: Zachery Lawrence, Journeymen dec. Elijah Murphy, High 5 7-7 by criteria
7th: Shaun Wagner, Kt Kidz fft. Nevan Snodgrass, Catalyst WC


1st place (5-0) Nick Lombard “wins”
2nd place (4-1) Devin Rivet “wins”
3rd place (3-2) Noah Carpenter “wins”
4th place (2-3) Ray Cotto “wins”
5th place (1-4) Jason Ashline Ii


1st place (5-0) Iyrii Arakelyn-Rus “wins”
2nd place (4-1) Philip Conigliaro “wins”
3rd place (3-2) Kanen Storr “wins”
4th place (2-3) Charlie Kane “wins”
5th place (1-4) Will Kaldes


1st place (5-0) Evan Barczak “wins”
2nd place (3-2) Jake Hinkson “quality wins”
3rd place (3-2) Josh Bressette “wins”
4th place (2-3) Paul Calo “head to head”
5th place (2-3) Patrick Munn


1st place (5-0) Dajun Johnson “wins”
2nd place (4-1) Matthew Saville “wins”
3rd place (3-2) Daniel Bogie “wins”
4th place (2-3) Blake Stamas “wins”
5th place (1-4) Judd Kinney


1st: Wyatt Sheets, Stilwell dec. Frankie Gissendanner, Penfield 10-5
3rd: Jarod Verkleeren, Young Guns fall Michael O’Malley, Apex 3:34
5th: Cael McCormick, Yorktown WC dec. Choi Byun Geun, Korea 11-6
7th: Nicholas Palumbo, Lenape Valley fft. Abubakri James, TAJ


1st: Andrew Munn, PA tf. Joseph Clemente, PA 14-4
3rd: Matt Grippi, ISW dec. Joshua Otto, Askren 18-11
5th: Will Lawrence, New River WC dec. Michael Angers, Kt Kidz 8-6
7th: Ross McFarland, Pin2win tf. Mikey Barrett, Kt Kidz 10-0


1st place (5-0) Sammy Deprez “wins”
2nd place (4-1) Kelvin Yde “wins”
3rd place (3-2) Jake Stefanowicz “wins”
4th place (2-3) Anthony Aquilano “wins”
5th place (1-4) Noah Robidoux


1st: Arslan Garazhiev, Russia dec. Hayden Hidlay, Mifflin County 8-2
3rd: Trent Hidlay, Mifflin County tf. Nick Carr, ECWC 10-0
5th: Grant Cuomo, ISW dec. Noah Curreri, SIR 7-3
7th: Kyle Jasenski, Journeymen def. Jake Hendricks, PA 0:00


1st place (5-0) Trevaughn Craig “wins”
2nd place (4-1) Anthony Laniewski “wins”
3rd place (3-2) Dillon Warner “wins”
4th place (2-3) Mack Berkowitz “wins”
5th place (1-4) Grayson Adler


1st place (5-0) Terrance Parks “wins”
2nd place (4-1) Bailey Obrien “wins”
3rd place (3-2) Ryan Martin “wins”
4th place (2-3) Parker Brooks “wins”
5th place (1-4) Alex Leone


1st: Mikey Labriola, BECAHI tf. AJ Pedro 12-1
3rd: Louie Deprez, Hilton fall Shane Sosinsky, Apex 0:30
5th: Feliks Dulaev, Russia tf. Ty Bagoly, Exeter Twp. 12-2
7th: Tyler Barnes, Journeymen def. Dominykas Viliusis, LTU


1st place (5-0) Trent Goodman “wins”
2nd place (4-1) Stanley Smeltzer “wins”
3rd place (2-3) Seth Gilbert “head to head”
4th place (2-3) Zachary Zebrowski “head to head”
5th place (2-3) Serjey Thomas


1st: Alik Shebzyhov, Russia tf. Jake Woodley, North Allegheny 10-0
3rd: Kim Sung Bog, Korea dec. James Handwerk, Lutheran West 5-2
5th: Mantas Adomaitis, LTU dec. Anthony Falbo, Newtown HS 9-5
7th: Kendall Elfstrum, Apex def. Young Jun Joen, Korea 0:00


1st: Matt McGillick, Young Guns dec. Cliffton Wang, ISW 9-5
3rd: Christopher Francis, Ri National tf. Zachary Kornberg, Ascend 12-2
5th: Kyle Lightner, Del Val fall David Schultz, High 5 2:08
7th: Mike Doggett, PA tf. Ethan Hartlage, Journeymen 16-6


1st place (7-0) Ben Darmstadt “wins”
2nd place (6-1) Jacob Raschka “wins”
3rd place (5-2) Gavin Hoffman “wins”
4th place (4-3) Sean Omalley “wins”
5th place (3-4) Dante Delbonis “wins”
6th place (2-5) Jake Cook “wins”
7th place (1-6) Colton Dean


1st place (7-0) Niko Camacho “wins”
2nd place (6-1) Adam Beterbiev-Rus “wins”
3rd place (5-2) Mansur Abdul-Malik “wins”
4th place (3-4) Khaled Dassan “head to head”
5th place (3-4) Seong Woo-Kor “wins”
6th place (2-5) Jacob Karandy “quality wins”
7th place (2-5) Jayson Gomez


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