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T-Bird Domination

Rowe Guides CL/W/P/C To CCAA Division 1, Section VI Class C/D Titles

Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama/Clymer head coach Ken Rowe, pictured watching 126-pound state champion Jordan Joslyn hug his father, Scott, guided the Thunderbirds to CCAA Division 1 and Section VI Class C/D championships this season. Photo by Tim Walters

There wasn’t much that the Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama/Clymer wrestling team didn’t win this season.

The Thunderbirds unseated Falconer/Cassadaga Valley as the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 champion for the first time in 11 seasons with a perfect 6-0 league mark.

Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama/Clymer then took part in the Section VI Dual Meet Championships where the Thunderbirds beat Falconer/Cassadaga Valley 42-22 in the semifinals and Newfane 40-31 in the final to advance to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Dual meet Championships.

In Syracuse, Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama/Clymer beat Cobleskill-Richmondville 49-18, but lost to eventual state champion Tioga 33-24.

Undeterred, the Thunderbirds returned to Section VI action where they won the Section VI Class C/D championship with an astounding 281 points. Jordan Joslyn (126 pounds) Martin Ohlsson (138 ponds), Trent Burchanowski (145 pounds), John Watson (152 pounds) and Ison Shirley (215 pounds) won Class C/D titles. Gavin Burchanowski (102 pounds), Jayden Malecki (172 pounds) and Mason Maring (189 pounds) claimed runnerup finishes.

The following week, Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama/Clymer had another impressive showing at the Section VI Division II state qualifier at Lake Shore High School. Joslyn and Watson won their respective weight classes, while Ohlsson, Trent Burchanowski, Maring and Shirley finished second as all six qualified for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships.

In Albany, Joslyn won the 126-pound weight class and was named the tournament’s Division II Most Outstanding Wrestler, while Watson returned home with a sixth-place finish at 152 pounds.

Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama/Clymer won the Triple-O Mechanical 27th annual Byron-Bergen Invitational with 216 points to open its season. Joslyn, Ohlsson, Trent Burchanowski and Watson won their weight classes, while Gavin Burchanowski, Thandon Bensink (110 pounds), Jack Bourgeois (152 pounds) and Jayden Malecki (172 pounds) collected runnerup finishes.

The Thunderbirds then went 4-1 at the Cheektowaga Duals, beating Hamburg/Eden, Maryvale, Webster-Schroeder and St. Joe’s. Their only loss came to Division I Niagara Wheatfield by a 30-25 score.

At the third annual Linda C. Knuutila Memorial Tournament, Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama/Clymer finished second to Starpoint, which later in the season won the Division I state dual meet title. Joslyn and Watson collected runnerup finishes at Niagara County Community College.

The Thunderbirds also took second at the Dick Vincent Invitational Duals over Christmas break with an 8-1 record, losing only to eventual champion Canisteo-Greenwood. Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama/Clymer beat Dansville, Falconer/Cassadaga Valley, LeRoy, Alexander, Letchworth, Avon-Geneseo, Perry and Palmyra-Macedon in Gainesville.

At the Patrick J. Morales Memorial Tournament, the Thunderbirds edged Corry (Pa.) with 242.5 points for the title. Joslyn and Ohlsson won individual titles, while Watson and Maring took second-place finishes.

In CCAA Division 1 competition, Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama/Clymer beat Salamanca 62-6, Dunkirk 66-6, Olean/Allegany-Limestone 60-18, Fredonia/Silver Creek 57-12, Southwestern 42-20 and Falconer/Cassadaga Valley 40-21.

For guiding the Thunderbirds to a nearly unblemished team season, qualifying nearly an entire varsity team for the Section VI Division II state qualifier, taking six wrestlers to the state tournament and coaching a wrestler to the program’s first individual state championship since Bryce Rowe in 2018, Ken Rowe is the 2023 Post-Journal/OBSERVER Wrestling Coach of the Year.

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