LINCOLNDALE, N.Y. – For as long as Dylan Realbuto can remember, his family has traveled to Albany in late February for the state wrestling championships.
The first time, Realbuto went to watch his older brother, Brian, when he won the section as an eighth-grader. This year, Realbuto will be making his third and final appearance at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Wrestling Championships, which begin Friday at 9:30 a.m.
The 2012 Division 1 (large school) 113-pound champion is seeded second in the 126-pound weight class. Realbuto opens with Owen Bachelder of Hewlett (L.I.). A victory would advance him to the quarterfinal round, where he would face the winner of Jacob Green (Chenango Forks)-Keanu Thompson (Grand Street Campus).
“When I was a freshman I was very hopeful of making it to states, but ever since I was a sophomore I expected to make it,” said Realbuto, who will attend Cornell next fall and wrestle.”
Realbuto was a runner-up his sophomore year after winning a sectional title. Last year, he received a wild card and went on to win a state title with a last-second takedown.
“Winning a state championship last year was one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever had,” Realbuto said.
He is hoping to add a second state title and fifth overall for the Realbuto brothers.
“I am going to have to wrestle smart and hard to win another state title this year,” Realbuto said. “I want to get myself into positions where I know I am better than my opponent.”