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By: Tim Birney | Waverly Athletics | February 12, 2022 | Photo courtesy Tim Birney


BINGHAMTON — Tioga junior Emily Sindoni and Waverly’s Mackenzie LaForest made history Saturday night, earning Section IV gold at the first-ever girls wrestling championships here at the Visions Veterans Memorial Arena.

Waverly coach Devan Witman is pleased that Section IV was pro-active in starting the girls tournament.

“I think it was very exciting,” he said. “I think it’s awesome for our sport. Girls wrestling has been growing across the nation. It’s about time Section IV and New York State ups its game in girls wrestling, and I think this was a big step forward.”

Witman also looks forward to growing the sport at Waverly, and believes LaForest and junior Lillyparker Ennis, who also wrestled Saturday, will be a big part of it.

“Waverly looks to be one of the first in the Section to create a board-approved girls wrestling team,” he said. “These two certainly put us on the map.

“It’s going to be awesome moving forward with these two leaders on the team,” added Witman.

The next time you’re sitting around with friends talking sports trivia, you can ask “Who was the first-ever girls wrestling champ in Section IV?” The answer: Emily Sindoni.

Sindoni used her patented “dump” to score three takedowns in each of her matches, before finishing off her opponents in less than a minute to win the 126-pound title.

“I told her, ‘if you want to get three takedowns that’s great, but we want the first women’s Sectional champ, so you better get off the mat first,” laughed Tioga coach Kris Harrington. “She said, ‘no problem, I got it.’”

Sindoni pinned Whitney Point’s Shaylee VanVorce in 55 seconds in her first match, then decked Dryden’s Sam Laporte in 54 seconds to earn the championship gold.

“We’re not shocked she won,” said Harrington. “Emily is really good, I think we forget about that some time.

“She was a starter on a Section IV and state championship team,” added Harrington. “She looked great.”

Sindoni, who now has 52 career wins, is 10-5 on the season. She was 18-12 as a 7th-grader, and 22-15 as a freshman, with the vast majority of those wins against boys.

“There are not enough good things I can say about Emily,” said Harrington.

“She shows up every day. She’s Jayden Duncanson’s primary training partner … he attributes a lot of his success to Emily,” noted Harrington. “He learned how to drill from her, and she’s grinding on him. She is not an easy out for anyone.

“Today was great for Emily,” added Harrington. She got to show out in front of a big crowd.”

LaForest also scored a pair of first-period falls to earn the 189 / 215-pound title.

She decked Unadilla Valley-Unatego’s Isabelle Breslau in 1:03 in her opening match, and followed it with another pin of Breslau in 71 seconds to win the 2 out of 3 series for the title.

“She’s battled all year,” said Witman. “She has competed with the boys all season, even picking up a couple wins for us along the way.

“Mackenzie is always battle-ready,” he noted. “She makes it to every practice, and puts in the extra effort.

“I’m super proud of the pioneer she’s become,” Witman added.

Ennis was 0-2 on the day, and finished third in the 160 / 172-pound bracket.

“She gives it everything,” said Witman. “She is definitely going to be instrumental to our girls wrestling program moving forward.”


About the Author

Tim Birney Author Bio

Tim Birney

Tim Birney is the founder / owner of River Road Media Group. He was born and raised in the Valley, graduating from Waverly High School in 1984.

Birney earned an Associate's Degree in Journalism from SUNY Morrisville in 1986 and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism / Public Relations from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1988. He began his newspaper career at The Daily Review in Towanda in 1989, before moving on to The Evening Times in 1995. He spent more than 10 years at the Times, the last four as Managing Editor.

River Road Media Group includes Valley Sports Report (launched Aug. 10, 2009), Tioga County (NY) Sports Report (Aug. 13, 2018), and Northern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 31, 2020). Southern Tier Sports Report is set to launch in 2021.