If anyone in the stands at Monsignor Farrell blinked or kept their head down for too long, they could have missed the lightning quick wrestling skills displayed by St. Anthony’s Jamel Hudson.
Regarded as one of the top wrestlers in the state, Hudson wowed the Lions Den with a 47-second pinfall over William Wilson of Monsignor Farrell to win the 132-pound title at the CHSAA state wrestling championships Sunday on Staten Island.
The athletic Hudson was one of six St. Anthony’s wrestlers to earn individual titles and give them a berth in the New York State Public School Wrestling Championships in Albany. St. Anthony’s also earned the CHSAA state team championship for the 12th time with 271 points, Monsignor Farrell earning second at 247 and Kellenberg finishing in third with 183.5.
Hudson had tunnel vision coming into this tournament. The only goal he has as a senior is to earn his first public state title.
“My game plan was to be offensive and definitive with all my actions. I didn’t want to leave anything,” Hudson said. “I didn’t want any match to go past the first period.”
Hudson is not just a top athlete who has plenty of technical skill to attract a number of NCAA Division I programs. He describes himself as a “performing wrestler, ”a showman not just on the mat.
Hudson dreams of one day going into the world of entertainment. The three-time CHSAA state champion has balanced the rigors of wrestling while finding the time to hone his music skills by playing the piano or guitar. He recently performed a one-man show called “Renaissance Man” to a school audience the night he won a match at the CHSAA Dual Meets in January.
That decision to become a college wrestler or begin his acting or music career closer to the city is something he ponders.
“I’m blessed with a lot of gifts of talent and I want to share it with the community,” Hudson said. “The wrestling community supports me in what I do. My father [Ron] supports me doing this. It’s a big decision I have to make. I would never say no if the opportunity came and if I put my effort into this, I could get the cauliflower ears and I could go out there and do it.”
Teammate Matt Szilagyi says the team supports Hudson’s vision. Szilagiy was a winner himself on Sunday with a pinfall in the 152-pound weight class over Chaminade’s Declan Gray.
“Every time I’m around him I can’t stop laughing. He’s a good person. He’s positive,” Szilagyi said. “When I’m down, he’s always there to pick me up. Obviously he’s a great actor, good singer, and a good performer in general.”
The next two weeks for Hudson is a serious time to achieve one goal – winning his first public state title at the Times Union Center on February 24 and 25. St. Anthony’s coach Tony Walters says his team has been driving themselves all season to get upstate and put themselves in good position to take home the gold.
“It’s a steppingstone to the state tournament, that’s what we trained for,” Walters said. “Our schedule is against the top teams in the country. I think we’re ready and go there and just go wrestle.”
St. Anthony’s John Twomey defeated teammate William Gutekunst in a 7-0 decision at 99-pounds. Freddy Dunau defeated Jimmy Gill of St. John the Baptist, 14-5, for the 106-pound championship. Johnny Vrasidas completed a 6-0 shutout over Kellenberg’s Evan Lenci at 160. Andrew Auriemma lifted the 220-pount title with a 12-1 decision over Farrell’s Casey Redmond.
Fordham Prep’s Sam Melikian easily took his second straight CHSAA state title with a 14-3 majority decision over Chris Federlin of Kellenberg. The senior was the only representative from a New York City school other than Farrell at the state championships to win a title.
In other matches, Kellenberg’s Pat Skinner won the 113-pound title in a 10-6 decision over Joe Russ of St. Anthony’s. Kyle Dipirro from St. Mary’s of Lancaster won the 285-pound class title via pinfall in 43 seconds over Kellenberg’s Chris Alianakian.