For the tenth straight year, the Warsaw Tigers wrestling team was represented by a Paddock at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Wrestling Championships. And once again, a member of the Paddock family stood atop the podium as a state champion at the Times Union Center in Albany.
This marks the third time that Burke Paddock has placed at the state level. He took second in 2011 and third in 2012, but this year is the first time Burke has finished atop his weight class. With pins throughout the 160-pound weight class, the junior earned the sixth title recorded by the Paddock family.
With four pins in four matches, Paddock was by far the top competitor in the weight class, avoiding the third period in all four of his matches.
His weekend started out with a first period pin of Saranac’s James Black of Section 7 at the 1:51 mark. Paddock followed that by defeating Locust Valley’s Jordan Formicola out of Section 8 just 35 seconds into the second period. Another pinfall victory set up a semifinal showdown with Greene High School senior Mike Beckwith.
The semifinal match would be Paddock's longest on the weekend, advancing past the halfway mark of the second period. But in the second, the junior Tiger put Beckwith on his back in the opening minute, closing out the match and a spot in the finals at the 3:12.
In the finals, Paddock seemed destined for victory, entering the match with visible confidence.
Just 1:36 in, Paddock made a decisive move to gain control of Nick Gallo from Section 2’s Schalmont High School, locking up a move and putting the sophomore on his back. Before the first period could come to an end Paddock held on for the pin at 1:36, securing the one thing which alluded him since first wrestling at the varsity level as a seventh grader.
Burke becomes the third Paddock brother to win a title in Albany with older brothers Paul, winner of two state titles, and Ian, who won three and now wrestles at Ohio State University, combining for five through their illustrious careers.
On the year, the junior Paddock compiled a near-perfect 54-1 record that included 40 pins overall.
His season is still not over, however, as he and other state champions compete in the first annual Upstate Vs. Downstate Wrestling Classic on March 30 at Cornell University.