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1983-1984 Articles

New York State Tournament:

Suhr, Kurlander and King
prove they're No. 1

Times Union
Monday, March 5, 1984

Section 5 wrestlers turn tables on
11 to win state title

Democrat and Chronicle
Sunday, March 4, 1984

Suhr Takes State Title
Times Union
Sunday, March 4, 1984

Section 5 is team to beat in state
wrestling tourney

Times Union
Thursday, March 1, 1984

Section V State Qualifier
Suhr, St. George go at it again
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Friday, February 24, 1984 :

Lions-Bernabi Tournament
One thing's sure at Spencerport:
Suhr's a winner

Democrat and Chronicle
December 1983



Suhr, Kurlander and King prove they're No. 1
By LEO ROTH, Times Union

(Monday, March 5,1984) - Spencerport's John Suhr made a lot of people pay for his weeks of dieting and in the process captured his lifelong dream.

Brighton's Brian Kurlander was underestimated by the Syracuse press, but made good use of their comments and showed the nonbelievers just who is the best 155-pound wrestler in New York State.

Canandaigua's Marty King showed from the start to finish whey he's an All-American sought by some of the nation's biggest colleges.

And Section 5? No Long Island jinx this time.

Suhr (145 pounds), Kurlander (155) and King (126) each claimed individual titles at the state wrestling championships over the weekend at the Syracuse War Memorial, helping Section 5 to its second team title in history.

Section 5, which last won in 1981, had 207 points to beat out Section 11's 185. Last year, Section 11 (Suffolk County) came from behind to edge Section 5 by 4 1/2 points for the title.

Impressively, 11 of the area's 14 wrestlers placed, including five as runners-up.

NOBODY APPRECIATED their titles more than Suhr and Kurlander, both runners-up last year as juniors.

"This was my goal for all these years," said Suhr, who started wrestling in the third grade. "it was the best moment of my life."

Suhr, 33-2 this year and 119-15-1 for his career, earned his championship with wins of 11-9, pin, 18-3 and 3-2. He beat John Barret (29-1) of Peru in the finals.

Suhr cut down from 170 pounds to 149 to wrestle at 145. The effort was the source of his motivation.

"When I get down to my weight it makes me mentally tougher," said Suhr, who experienced dizzy spells his first match. "You focus on what you have to do. For me, I take it out on my opponent. You suffer all week, now somebody has to pay for it."

Barret has suffered Suhr's wrath before. Suhr beat him for the freestyle gold medal in last year's Empire State Games.

Suhr, whose brothers Paul and Harold were sectional champs and whose younger brother Rick is a sophomore on the team, credited Spencerport's tradition for his own success. He's the first Ranger state champ since two-time winner Frank DeAngelis (1974-1975).

"I knew when I came to Spencerport the traditionwas real good and the coaching was real good," said Suhr, who has looked into attending Cornell or Clarkson. "That's what has helped me."

KURLADER, meanwhile, has put another building block into Brighton's growing wrestling reputation.

He's the school's first state champion, 37-0 this year.

"It's nice to break the ice," Kurlander said, "I think I've shown people it's not an impossible dream."

Kurlander won his title with wins 6-5, pin, 5-2 and 4-2. He beat Ron LaSora of Bay Shore (Section 11) in the finals.

It was his first match Friday, however, that was the toughtest. Kurlander decisioned Fulton's Jeff Merritt, rated the pre-tournament favorite by Syracuse newspaers. Merritt was favored despite the fact Kurlander beat him last year 8-7 in the state quarterfinals.

After beating him by a pint Friday, Kurlander read the newspaper accounts the next day, where Fulton's coaches hinted that the reason Merritt lost was because of a sore knee.

"A kid that good, of his calibre, didn't need that kind of excuse," Kurlander said. "It bugged me, but it also gave me a little incentive to prove to those guys that I'm as good as my match (with Merritt) showed I was. I only won by a point and there were some controversial calls. But I still feel that kind of excuse wasn't necessary because he's such a good wrestler."

Kurlander, looking at Divison I and II colleges, lost to three-time state champ John Cardi of Burnt Hills in last year's finals, 3-1.

This year, his father, former district attorney Larry Kurlander, now head of the state's department of criminal justice, drove from his Albany offices to Syracuse to watch Brian.

"Both my parents support me so much," Kurlander said. "Without it, I don't thinks I'd have ever come close to winning a state championship."

CANANDAIGUA'S KING became a two-time state champ over the weekend as well as the state's all-time winningest wrestler.

His wins were by pin, pin, 22-4 and 6-4. Friday, he pinned Willie Paro of Clifton-Fine for career win No. 165, bettering the 164 wins of Irondequoit's Tony Cotroneo ('81).

King, 33-0 this year, finished with a 168-11-1 record, placing in five state tournaments (second, third, fourth, first, first).

"I didn't think about it (the record) for most of the year," King said. "But when it came down to the end of the year, the countdown, I thought of it a lot. When I finally broke it, it was a releif."

"(The state title) is all a build up," said King, who beat Section 11's Darrin Cummings 6-4 for the title, despite a bad nose bleed. "It's how bad you want it, how much you're willing to sacrifice. I wanted to win it bad and I did what I had to do."

And the Section 5 team title?

"That was great," King added. "It felt so good beating those guys (Section 11)."

Repeating as state runners-up for Section 5 were Canandaigua's Butch Hibbard (98) and Paul Lamphier (105) and East Rochester's Chris Schojan (177). All are juniors.

Also placing second were ER's Tim Quinn (132) and Pittsford's surprising Peter Zajkowski (167), both seniors.

Placing fifth were Canandaigua's Mike Locagnato (91) and Joe Hibbard (112) and Williamson's C.C. Grant (215).

The team's other members, Brighton's John Blauvelt (119), Edison's Mike Cronmiller (138) and Avon's Bill Maher (250) did not place.

Spencerport Central Schools • 71 Lyell Avenue • Spencerport, NY 14559 • Phone: 585-349-5000

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