LOWVILLE — At 6-foot-1, 280 pounds, Brandon Fayle is an imposing figure.
The Lowville senior wrestler has grown into one of the top wrestlers in the state at the 285-pound weight class. Fayle has won two straight sectional crowns in that class after starting has career in the 215-pound division. He quickly grew into the role of one of the top heavyweights in the section.
“I’ve just been progressively getting bigger since my freshman year,” Fayle said. “I’d wrestle at 215 in my sophomore year and I was still growing. I had that growth spurt, and we decided to wrestle at 285 where I won my first sectional title.”
Fayle qualified for the state tournament in his sophomore year, but really took off in the 2011-12 season, when he compiled a record of 37-4 with 23 wins by pinfall and just missing a place finish at states. Lowville coach Jake Steria has watched Fayle put in a lot of offseason work, including trips to tournaments on the east coast, to become a better wrestler.
“The offseason work and the summer program that they have running here in town makes a big difference,” said Steria, who is entering his fifth year as Lowville head coach. “Competition and traveling ... that makes a big difference when the season starts.”
Fayle wrestles up to 30 matches in the summer and is a part of the Lewis County wrestling program run by coaches from the area, including Copenhagen coach Neil Freeman and Adirondack coaches Joe Galligan and Tom O’Rourke. He credits them with accelerating his improvement.
“I wouldn’t be in the place I am right now without the Lewis County team,” said Fayle, who won all three of his matches at the Sandy Creek duals last weekend.
Besides the summer work, Fayle also relies on his uncle Randy Morrison, who was a state champion in 1984 at 250 pounds, for advice and training. Fayle is hoping to follow in his uncle, the longtime Gouverneur wrestling coach, and win a state championship.
“My eyes are on a state title,” Fayle said. “It’s my last year. That’s what I’ve been aiming for since I started wrestling. I’ve always wanted to be up there on the wall and in the trophy case with my uncle Randy.”
The Red Raiders have moved from the “B” Division to the “C” Division this season due to enrollment numbers. Lowville will be in the same division as three-time defending champion Sandy Creek and fellow Lewis County schools Beaver River, Copenhagen and South Lewis. Steria believes the division will be competitive.
“The last few years we’ve had some pretty good matches with Copenhagen,” he said. “We were real close with Sandy Creek last year. ... They are some good teams we could compete with.”
Being the sectional winner at 285 means Fayle will have to take the best shot from other area wrestlers.
“Jacob Morris from Canastota and Trevor Gibbons of Carthage will probably be my two biggest competitors,” he said.
Here’s a look at the Frontier League teams.
Outlook: It will be tough for Indian River to repeat the success of last year as it won its first Section 3 team title in Division I. Indian River is in search of its fifth consecutive “A” Division crown. The Warriors lost six seniors to graduation, including Garrick Cook and Derrek Dalton. The Warriors still have four-time sectional champion Derrick Gray, who will be wrestling at 138 pounds. Carthage might be able to break the hold Indian River has had on the division, with a deep roster and a good mix of youth and experience. State-finalist and North Carolina State-bound Shayne Brady will wrestle at 182 for the Comets. Watertown is looking to improve on its third-place finish from last season and showed a lot of promise at the Poland Duals. Trae Brooks will be a leader for the Cyclones. IHC has a bigger roster and will look to contend with the help of Nick Koelmel, who finished third at sectionals in Division II.
Coach: Don Dorchester (4th year)
2011-12 record: (10-7, 5-6)
Wrestlers to watch: Shayne Brady, Trevor Gibbons, Will Batey, Colin Ryan, Andrew McFarland
Roster: Shayne Brady (Sr., 182), Will Batey (Sr., 220), Colin Ryan (Sr., 152/160), Chuck Roberts (Sr., 145), Kelly Hunneyman (Sr., 170), Cameron Roland (Sr., 120), Quentin Lamb (Jr., 126), Trevor Gibbons (Jr., 285), Dewitt Alcorn (Jr., 132), Dakota Tripp (Jr., 126), Shane Eisenhauer (So., 113/120), Justin Powers (So., 170), Eric Korn (So., 182), Sebastian Francis (So., 126), Brenden Endrina (So., 145), Kade Andrews (So., 195), Bryce Reed (So., 152/160), Alex Mueller (So., 170), Jordan Vazquez (So., 285), Elijah Galapia-Castillo (So., 106), Jon Mosley (So., 113), Anthony Cortez (Fr., 132), Dustin Moyle (Fr., 132), Chris Debolt (Fr., 113), Calob Hamilton (Fr., 132), Tyrin Shupp (Fr., 138), Khajir Williams (Fr., 138), Connor Gibbons (Fr., 170), Dylan Ellingsworth (Fr., 132), George Lewis (Fr., 170), Andrew McFarland (Fr., 113/120), Caleb Null (8th, 170), Marcelino Aponte (8th, 99).
Coach: John Babcock (10th year)
2011-12 record: (5-16, 0-8)
Wrestler to watch: Nick Koelmel
Roster: Greg Abbass (Sr., 198), Nick Gervera (Sr., 165), Cyrus Beckman (Jr., 145), Nick Koelmel (Jr., 145), Tristan Phillips (Jr., 138), Bailey Upton (Jr., 129), Calo Alteri (So., 154), Collin Clark (185), Corey Grill (So., 160), Jaden Grill (So., 157), Tanner Miller (So., 167), Adam West (So., 158), Zachaury Reynolds (Fr., 140), Taylor Welch (Fr., 177), Peter Winkler (Fr., 99), Shane Grill (8th, 164).
Indian River Warriors
Coach: Jamee Call (16th year)
2011-12 record: 22-2, 10-1
Wrestlers to watch: Derrick Gray, Nick Toutant, Dylan Crowder, Thomas Gitlin, and Sonny McPherson
Roster: Thomas Gitlin (Sr., 182), Derrick Gray (Sr., 138), Arlin Kaspari (Sr., 152), Michael Mullins (Sr.), Tyler Olson (Sr.), Logan Running (Sr., 160), Alex Avery (Jr., 220), Ben Callaghan (Jr., 138), Dylan Crowder (Jr., 152), DaQuan Brown (So., 182), Andrew Davis (So., 170), Nathan Ives (So., 170), James Machado (So., 170), Connor Maclachlon (So.), Jonah Raydo (So., 195), Nick Toutant (So., 132), Tucker Amato (Fr., 99), AJ Jewell (Fr., 120), Jason Laga (Fr., 170), Sonny McPherson (Fr., 160), Stefan Colbert (8th).
Coach: Chris Adams (3rd year)
2011-12 record: 5-6
Wrestler to watch: Trae Brooks, James Lamson and Dylan Justice
Roster: Trae Brooks (Sr., 195), Dylan Justice (Sr., 160), Josh Fuller (Jr., 182), Shleby Yazzie (Jr., 145), James Lamson (So., 120), Anthony Morrison (So.), Tim Robinson (So.), William Thompson (So., 170), Quinton Bayette (Fr., 99), Michael Grant (Fr., 285), Zach Hunt (Fr.), Nick Lavin (Fr., 132), Tristan Maldonado (Fr.), Adam Striejewski (Fr., 145), Daesean Williams (Fr., 126).
Outlook: The consensus of league coaches says that General Brown and South Jefferson will be the two top teams in the entire league. The division has just three teams this season as Lowville is in the “C” Division due to enrollment numbers. General Brown returns state third-place finisher Ryan Snow and state fourth-place finisher Tyler Silverthorn. The Lions also have a few freshmen that show promise. South Jefferson returns 12 starters from their its squad. The Spartans have the depth to challenge the Lions for the division title with Logan LaFlamme, Cody Jones and Holden Pelton. Jon Crast also returns. APW/Pulaski is in the second year of a combined program between the two schools and has a mix of seniors and freshmen. Colin VanBuren, Travis Purdy and Tyler Petrie were all sectional qualifiers.
Coach: Shayne Bogardus (8th year)
2011-12 record: 6-15, 0-7
Wrestler to watch: Colin VanBuren, Travis Purdy, Tyler Petrie
Roster: Amanda Amoroso (Sr.), Branden Campbell (Sr.), Matt Kelley (Sr.), Josh LaRock (Sr.), Tyler Petrie (Sr.), Travis Purdy (Sr.), Aaron Sullivan (Sr.), Ryan Durgan (Jr.), Colin VanBuren (Jr.), Ben Bezio (So.), Lindsay Rollson (So.), Kaylea Cheal (Fr.), Alex D’Uva (Fr.), Brandyn Moot (Fr.), Andy Mosher (Fr.), James Parkhurst (Fr.), Jon Sheeley (Fr.), Marshall Simmonds (Fr.), James Thompson (Fr.), John Visco (Fr.), Ed Wallis (Fr.),
General Brown Lions
Coach: Mike Hartle (4th year)
2011-12 record: 25-1, 7-0
Wrestlers to watch: Ryan Snow, Tyler Silverthorn
Roster: Corey Gaffney (Sr.), Brian Lear (Sr.), Jordan Schofield (Sr.), David Deihl (Jr.), Colton Erb (Jr.), Garrett Fields (Jr.), Tyler Silverthorn (Jr.), Ryan Snow (Jr.), Wyatt Dees (So.), Derek Evans (So.), Zech Pitre (So.), Jacob Beckwith (Fr.), Scott Bluto (Fr.), Ricardo Dawkins (Fr.), Kris Deihl (Fr.), Cody Fields (Fr.), Jacob Joanette (Fr.), Hunter McPherson (Fr.), Justin Murray (Fr.), Kyle O’Connor (Fr.), Connor Schissler (Fr.), Austin Traylor (Fr.), Luke Rogers (8th).
South Jefferson Spartans
Coach: Pat Conners (21st year)
2011-12 record: 24-3, 6-2
Wrestlers to watch: Logan LaFlamme, Cody Jones, Daniel Smith, Adam Hutchison, Holden Pelton
Roster: Ryan Charlebois (Sr., 195), Trevor Cowles (Sr., 160), Jon Crast (Sr., 132), Antonio Diaz (Sr., 220), Cody Jones (Sr., 126), Jacob Moulton (Sr., 138), Nakita Bedore (Jr., 285), Jared Carroll (Jr., 99), Jayson Kellog (Jr., 145), Logan LaFlamme (Jr., 182), Cody Modlin (Jr., 120), Daniel Smith (Jr., 170), Griffin Charlebois (So., 152), Adam Hutchison (So., 120), Tyler Bates (Fr., 113), Holden Pelton (Fr., 132), Kyle Snyder (Fr., 113), Caleb Beach (8th, 106), Logan Nichols (8th, 152).
Outlook: Lowville, back in the “C” Division, will be in the mix for the title along with Sandy Creek. Tim Fargo and Brandon Fayle lead the Red Raiders, who have seven seniors that will help them challenge for the division championship. Sandy Creek is looking to win its fourth straight league title and seventh consecutive Section 3 Class D title. Despite the loss of state champion Derek Pfluger and 2012 fifth place finisher Jared Soule, the Comets still have a good group led by Jake Benedict, Mason McNitt and Zack Pfluger. Beaver River continues to grow with the help state third place finisher at 138 pounds Isiah Riccio. Brandon Steiner will also contribute to the Beavers this year. Copenhagen has seven seniors and a strong group of underclassmen. South Lewis will have new leadership under former Beaver River standout Joe Widrick, who is coaching the Falcons.
Beaver River Beavers
Coach: Chris Roggie (5th year)
2011-12 record: 5-13, 2-6
Wrestlers to watch: Isaiah Riccio, Brandon Steiner
Roster: David Ormsbee (Sr.), Isaiah Riccio (Sr.), Brandon Steiner (Sr.), Cody Ardison (Jr.), Jordan Hall (Jr.), Cody Simmons (Jr.), Shawn Brown (So.), Travis Edwards (So.), Ryan Hoch (So.), Lane Zehr (So.), Zackary Proulx (Fr.), Gregory Virkler (Fr.), Morgan Seller (8th).
Copenhagen Golden Knights
Coach: Neil Freeman (15th year)
2011-12 record: 13-10, 4-4
Wrestlers to watch: Scott Hamblin, Breven Jacobs, Robbie Harris, Wyatt Lyndaker
Roster: Scott Hamblin (Sr.), Robbie Harris (Sr.), Wyatt Lyndaker (Sr.), Najib Quinones (Sr.), Justin Roberts (Sr.), Matthew Schweinberg (Sr.), Matthew Woodruff (Sr.), Travis Clarke (Jr.), Andrew Freeman (Jr.), Abraham Gingerich (Jr.), Nicolas Harris (So.), Brenden Jacobs (So.), Breven Jacobs (So.), Robert Groff (Fr.), Connor Carroll (7th).
Lowville Red Raiders
Coach: Jake Steria (5th year)
2011-12 record: 11-9, 4-4
Wrestlers to watch: Brandon Fayle, Tim Fargo
Roster: Tyler Bray (Sr., 145), Roger Cecconi (Sr., 220), Jacob Curry (Sr., 152), Michael Duffer (Sr., 170), Tim Fargo (Sr., 132), Brandon Fayle (Sr., 285), Justin Tripp (Sr., 138), Shawn Widrick (Sr., 126), AJ Thomas (Jr., 182), Clay Brouty (So., 106), Bradley Curry (So. 126), Anthony Morris (So., 195), Michael Sundquist (So. 160), Isaiah Boaz (Fr., 138), Joseph O’Brien (Fr., 126), Noah Roes (Fr., 140), Alec Rowsam (Fr., 126), Raymond Spencer (Fr., 138), Conner Steria (Fr., 113), Josh Ward (Fr., 285), Caleb Mayer (8th, 113).
Sandy Creek Comets
Coach: Bill Benedict (8th year)
2011-12 record: 14-6, 5-3
Wrestlers to watch: Jake Benedict, Mason McNitt, Zack Pfluger
Roster: Dan Luberto (Sr.), Mason McNitt (Sr., 160), Tyler Reff (Sr.), AJ Willis (Sr.), Jake Benedict (Jr., 170), Justin Bonney (Jr., 132), Zach Brown (Jr., 145), Bobby Cornell (Jr.), Hunter Delamater (Jr.), Victor Halverson (Jr.), Josh Lococo (Jr.), Scott McCarthy (Jr.), Zach Pfluger (Jr., 138), Conner Rowell (Jr., 285), Wayne Spondable (Jr.), Jarod Williams (Jr.), Kyle Fayette (So.), Tim Wolfe (So.), Tyler Wood (So.), Zach Akey (Fr., 285), Isaac Eisch (Fr.), Calvin Kampff (Fr.), Alex VanRy (Fr.), Ryan Willis (8th), Joe Benedict (7th).
South Lewis Falcons
Coach: Joe Widrick (1st year)
2011-12 record: 4-19, 2-6
Wrestlers to watch: Damion Dennee, Nathan Osborne
Roster: Damion Dennee (Sr., 120), Blake Matuszcack (Sr., 145), Alex Brennon (Jr., 285), Lucas Kelly (Jr., 170), Nick Kraegar (Jr., 170), Chad Loomis (Jr., 132), Shania Loomis (Jr., 106), Dominic Sabatini (Jr., 126), Jacob Eisel (So., 220), Thomas Fruin (So., 138), Isaac Juby (So., 120), Nathan Osborne (So., 285), Brandon Griffin (Fr., 160), Jacob Olmstead (Fr., 126), Thomas Randall (Fr., 195), Dillon Smith (Fr., 195), Michael Youngs (Fr., 113).
WILDCATS LOOK STRONG
Gouverneur went undefeated in the Northern Athletic Conference last year, finishing with a 10-0 record.
The Wildcats should be strong again this year as they featured six individual champions last year who were not seniors: Aaron Bush (106 pounds), Dillon Stowell (113), Zach Ayen (120), Joey Love (132), Curtis Fuller (152) and Hunter Ayen (195).
Canton finished in second last year at 6-4 and fielded two underclassmen champions in Ryan Brown (99) and Codey Bond (120).
OFA and Massena were .500 teams a year ago but sent several young wrestlers to the state meet.
Massena’s non-seniors at the state meet last year were Nathan Marshall (106), Skyler Cameron (113), Isaiah Perry (126), Jeremy Malone (195) and Nolan Terrance (285). OFA sent Tanner Lapiene (99), Nathan Murdock (138), Andrew Cole (170) and Nate Sarkin (285).