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Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016: Wildcard berths announced for state wrestling

   Leading off today: Four Rocky Point wrestlers snared wildcard spots Wednesday for the NYSPHSAA wrestling tournament Feb. 26-27 in Albany.

   Anthony Sciotto (99 pounds) was a third-place finisher over the weekend in the Section 11 state qualifier. Teammates Anthony Cirillo (113), Jack Gold (132) and C.J. Archer (138) all placed second in the qualifier. Cirillo was a fourth-place finisher in the 2015 state tournament.

   Brockport and Lindenhurst pulled down three at-large berths apiece in Division I. Brockport's Cody Anders won the Section 5 qualifier a year ago and placed second this year to claim a spot. Lindenhurst heavyweight Jon Solorzano is advancing as a wildcard for the second straight year.

   In Division II, Morrisville and Warsaw will send three competitors apiece as wildcards.

   Section 11 led the way in Division I with 16 berths, followed by Section 8 with 11 and Section 2 with 10. In Division II, Section 5 swept up 19 spots, Section 3 got 16 and Section 6 took 12. Section 5's 28 berths between the two divisions topped the state.

   Six 45-match winners were among the wrestlers selected Wednesday: Arlington 195-pounder Tanner Nielsen in Division I and a quintet in Division II -- Andrew Tanner (Adirondack, 285), Tim Baumer (Avon, 195), Dakota Gardner (Fredonia, 152), Hunter Howland (Mexico, 126) and Jacob Hoffman (Pioneer, 170).

   Three underclassmen with 44 wins apiece missed the cut and will have to stand by as potential injury replacements: Chris Barker (Fairport, 145) in Division I and Gowanda's Davi Poff (126) and Midlakes' Robert Middlebrook (182) in Division II).

   Two Division II wrestlers with fewer than 20 wins this season picked up berths. Kyle Aslanian (Edgemont, 132) competed in the 2014 state tournament and Nicholas Gaiser (Alexander, 126) recorded a third-place finish at last season's state meet.

   The complete rundown of wildcard berths is available here in Excel spreadsheet format.

   '05 all-state player found dead: Parker Cantey, a first-team all-state football player in 2005, was found dead Tuesday in his girlfriend's Brooklyn apartment, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.

   The former South Shore High and Syracuse University player was 28. Lisa Albritton, his girlfriend of seven years, told the paper Cantey complained earlier Tuesday morning of a headache and back pain.

   The city Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death.

   Cantey was selected to the New York State Sportswriters Association Class AA all-state team as a defensive end. He played at Syracuse from 2006 to 2008 under Coach Greg Robinson. He was a redshirt as a freshman, and was primarily a reserve with a total of 39 tackles in 23 career games before leaving school when Doug Marrone took over as head coach. He still played in recreational leagues.

   "He always played football," Albritton said. "That was his life. His life was football and his daughter."

   Cantey was working in Brooklyn as a substitute teacher.

   Tennis award announced: In the sappy Hollywood version of the Monticello girls tennis story, coach Tutu Gupta would have recruited six players at the last moment, turned them into three buzzsaw doubles teams and guided the team to a perfect season.

   In real life, Gupta recruited four seniors to fill doubles slots and relied heavily on a quartet of singles standouts to steer the team to a 7-4 record in Section 9 action last fall.

   The persistence had resulted in Gupta being recognized by the United States Tennis Association for her commitment to the sport. She was named the USTA's Eastern Region high school coach of the year.

   "I had no idea I was getting this," the veteran coach told The Times Herald-Record. "I was really shocked. There were a lot of coaches and dignitaries at the conference."

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