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Off to states! Wellsville’s John Layfield’s overtime win in wrestling Super Sectionals sends him into a ‘Gray’ area

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Wellsville’s John Layfield on top of the podium joins Brian Gray in the history books as he heads to Albany and the state wrestling championships.

By JOHN ANDERSON

There is a lonely banner hanging in Wellsville.

In felt orange and black it says “Wrestling State Champion Brian Gray.”

During the 1989-1990 season, Brian Gray II won the New York State wrestling championship at 155 pounds.

On Saturday, Wellsville senior John Layfield earned a trip to states by taking first place in Super Sectionals with a pin 46 seconds into overtime against Pal-Mac’s Brett Rooks at 189.

Layfield is now 40-1 on the season, his lone loss coming in a tournament to a wrestler from Long Island.

John Layfield with his coach, Tyler Carman after the Super Sectional championship win.

Wellsville wrestling coach Tyler Carman said wearing the traditional purple singlet that simply says “Section V” has been Layfield’s goal.

“Johnny has wanted to win sectionals (Layfield won the B2 Section V title at 189 with an 8-0 win over North-Rose Wolcott’s Alan Anthony) but he’s been talking about wearing the purple singlet,” Carman said. “Winning in overtime is a testament to the hard work he puts in during practice and how he works and prepares for all situations.”

While Layfield is aggressive (he did not allow a point in sectionals), Carman said the focus was to relax and have fun with his teammates as Wellsville took six wrestlers to Super’s.

While Layfield is making history joining Gray at states, he is also just the 17th Wellsville wrestler to place at Super Sectionals, as it has been accomplished 20 times in school history.

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In order since 1984-1985, the wrestlers are Townley Hedrick (second at 105), Brian Gray II, second and first in 1989 and 1990 Ben Latten (25) and Luke Buchholz (119) in 1993, Chris Monahan (167) In 1996, Ethan Lamphier (160, 171) in 2009 and 2010, Dustin White (145) in 2009, Aaron Strait (285) in 2011, Brad Haggerty (160) in 2012, Eric Foth (170) in 2014, Justin Foth (145 and 160) in 2014 and 2015, Ryan Dunham (170) in 2016, Trent Robbins (152) in 2017, Cordell Potter (106) in 2017, Hunter Kurtz (99) in 2019, Mekha Dorrough (285) in 2020 and Layfield in 2022.

The other wrestlers in Layfield’s bracket were from HFL, Pal-Mac, Livonia/Way-Co, South Seneca, Geneva, Lyndonville and Cal-Mum.

Wellsville also had eighth-graders Jack Cicirello and Xander Outman compete at Super’s along with juniors Evin Rought, Shane Davidson and Brayden Riley.

Layfield will compete in the NYSPHSAA State Tournament on Feb. 26 in the Albany’s Times Union Center.

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