MEXICO — Dean Shambo started his varsity wrestling career at Mexico High School as a seventh-grader showing promise as part of a state championship team in 2015, and recently concluded his decorated tenure in the spotlight of the state tournament finals.

Shambo reached the Division II 132-pound championship finals of the state tournament Feb. 29 in Albany before suffering a 6-5 loss by decision to Gage DeNatale of Locust Valley.

The senior and sixth-year member of the Tigers varsity squad finished his illustrious career with an overall record of 209-75, according to stats reported to cnywrestling.com, and finished as one of seven wrestlers in program history to record 200 career victories.

“It’s been a good time for me,” Shambo said of his career at Mexico, which he started at an early age on the program’s youth teams. “I’ve had a lot of great teammates and started with the team in 2015 that won a state title, that’s kind of how I got going. I looked up to them and based some of my goals on some of the goals that they had, and that’s how I kind of moved throughout my season and my time here.”

Shambo reached his first state final in his third appearance at the tournament overall, placing a previous-best fourth in the Division II 120-pound bracket last season.

He advanced by beating recent nemesis Marek Bush of Central Valley via 3-0 decision in the semifinals. Bush had beaten Shambo in their previous six matchups over the last two seasons, including the finals of the Section 3 Division II and Section 3 Class B tournaments earlier in the month.

“We just kept stressing to Dean: ‘You’re going to get the one that counts,’” Mexico coach James Loomis said. “Going into that match, the nerves were through the roof with that one because we knew how much it meant to him, and it just made it that much sweeter to win a match like that knowing the meaning of that match to put him in the state finals. It was almost like the stars aligned for him.”

Shambo, who broke through to the final as a wild-card entrant, jumped off the mat when the time expired and eventually ran to jump into Loomis’ arms to celebrate the long-elusive semifinal victory.

“That felt really good,” Shambo said. “I knew I was just one step closer to getting to my goal.”

Loomis added: “All I could do was just stand there and when he came running to me, lifted him up, and it was a great moment for all of us, for the Mexico fans and the community. It worked out knowing what he’s gone through with it and to come out on top at the right time, it was tremendous.”

Shambo then led for much of his finals match before suffering a narrow 6-5 setback to DeNatale. He finished his senior campaign with a 39-7 overall record and was the first Mexico wrestler since Theo Powers (2014-16) to reach the state tournament in three straight years. He was also the Tigers’ first state finalist since Austin O’Reilly in 2016.

Shambo’s other milestone moment from the past season occurred at another high-stakes statewide tournament — The Eastern States Classic Jan. 11 at Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake — when he secured his 200th career win and 100th career pin in the same match.

“That was pretty exciting,” Shambo said. “I didn’t do as good as I wanted to at Eastern (States) but that was the bright spot of it. … That felt great because I set that goal in seventh-grade to get to the 200th win.”

Shambo became the seventh Mexico wrestler to join the exclusive 200-win club — Derrick Smith, Kevin Smith, Ron Majerus, Trevor Allard, Theo Powers, and Loomis, a 2010 graduate, all preceded Shambo in the rarified group.

“That can be an elite group of guys, not many people do it,” Loomis said. “Most of the time you have to come up (to varsity) as a seventh-grader to be able to do it, and to put 200 career wins under your belt when you’re getting about 40 matches a year, you’re winning a lot. … It was cool to see a guy that I now coach join us. It was awesome to see him get there.”

Shambo placed in the top three at the Section 3 Division II and Section 3 Class B Tournaments for four straight years, claiming a sectional crown at Division II 120 pounds as a sophomore in 2018.

Shambo is considering college options that include potentially wrestling and has applied to multiple schools but remains undecided.

“It’s always been a tremendous journey with him, from coming in and winning a sectional title to taking us to Albany in the last three years,” Loomis said. “He always has fun with it, he loves the tournaments and loves the big lights out there, and he’s enjoyable to be around in that setting. He made it a lot of fun for us.”

OSWEGO COUNTY ATHLETES SHINE AT STATES

Shambo was one of several Oswego County athletes to turn in a memorable performance at a recent individual state tournament.

For wrestling, unbeaten South Jefferson senior Tyler Mousaw — who competes for the combined South Jefferson/Sandy Creek varsity team — won the Division II 195-pound championship.

Central Square sophomore Kole Mulhauser placed third in the Division I 145-pound bracket and Fulton senior Camrin Galvin secured sixth-place at Division I 160 pounds to represent the area on the place-finisher podium.

Redhawks senior Peyton Rupracht (DI, 152 pounds) along with the Red Raiders’ grouping of Freddy Pagan (DI, 99), Dominick Hoffman (DI, 106), Cole French (DI, 132), Cuinn Burlingham (DI, 152), and Andru Walts (DI, 120) also competed at states but did not place in the top six of their respective brackets.

Pulaski senior Xavier Babock highlighted area competitors at the state indoor track meet last Saturday at the Ocean Breeze Track and Field Complex on Staten Island. He secured a sixth-place finish in the boys high jump with a height of six feet and two inches to reach the podium in his state tournament debut.

Oswego junior Benjamin Lewis contributed to an eighth-place finish for Section 3 in the boys intersectional distance medley relay at the meet.

Central Square sophomore twin sisters Evelyn and Ella Dolce reached the state finals of the girls pole vault and placed 11th and 13th, respectively.

Four area athletes performed at the boys state swimming and diving championships held last weekend at The Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow.

Fulton sophomore Tyler LaDue finished 30th in the 100-yard breaststroke, while freshman teammate T.J. Clayton placed 52nd overall in the preliminaries of 100-yard butterfly.

Mexico sophomore Kian Long and Oswego sophomore Jack Tonkin each competed in the state diving championships but were not among the 25 divers to advance to the semifinals.

in seventh-grade to get to the 200th win.” Shambo became the seventh Mexico wrestler to join the exclusive 200-win club — Derrick Smith, Kevin Smith, Ron Majerus, Trevor Allard, Theo Powers, and Loomis, a 2010 graduate, all preceded Shambo in the rarified group. “That can be an elite group of guys, not many people do it,” Loomis said. “Most of the time you have to come up (to varsity) as a seventh-grader to be able to do it, and to put 200 career wins under your belt when you’re getting about 40 matches a year, you’re winning a lot. … It was cool to see a guy that I now coach join us. It was awesome to see him get there.” Shambo placed in the top three at the Section 3 Division II and Section 3 Class B Tournaments for four straight years, claiming a sectional crown at Division II 120 pounds as a sophomore in 2018. Shambo is considering college options that include potentially wrestling and has applied to multiple schools but remains undecided. “It’s always been a tremendous journey with him, from coming in and winning a sectional title to taking us to Albany in the last three years,” Loomis said. “He always has fun with it, he loves the tournaments and loves the big lights out there, and he’s enjoyable to be around in that setting. He made it a lot of fun for us.” OSWEGO COUNTY ATHLETES SHINE AT STATES Shambo was one of several Oswego County athletes to turn in a memorable performance at a recent individual state tournament. For wrestling, unbeaten South Jefferson senior Tyler Mousaw — who competes for the combined South Jefferson/Sandy Creek varsity team — won the Division II 195-pound championship. Central Square sophomore Kole Mulhauser placed third in the Division I 145-pound bracket and Fulton senior Camrin Galvin secured sixth-place at Division I 160 pounds to represent the area on the place-finisher podium. Redhawks senior Peyton Rupracht (DI, 152 pounds) along with the Red Raiders’ grouping of Freddy Pagan (DI, 99), Dominick Hoffman (DI, 106), Cole French (DI, 132), Cuinn Burlingham (DI, 152), and Andru Walts (DI, 120) also competed at states but did not place in the top six of their respective brackets. Pulaski senior Xavier Babock highlighted area competitors at the state indoor track meet last Saturday at the Ocean Breeze Track and Field Complex on Staten Island. He secured a sixth-place finish in the boys high jump with a height of six feet and two inches to reach the podium in his state tournament debut. Oswego junior Benjamin Lewis contributed to an eighth-place finish for Section 3 in the boys intersectional distance medley relay at the meet. Central Square sophomore twin sisters Evelyn and Ella Dolce reached the state finals of the girls pole vault and placed 11th and 13th, respectively. Four area athletes performed at the boys state swimming and diving championships held last weekend at The Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow. Fulton sophomore Tyler LaDue finished 30th in the 100-yard breaststroke, while freshman teammate T.J. Clayton placed 52nd overall in the preliminaries of 100-yard butterfly. Mexico sophomore Kian Long and Oswego sophomore Jack Tonkin each competed in the state diving championships but were not among the 25 divers to advance to the semifinals.STEVEN J. PALLONE

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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