Isiah Williams' senior season will continue this weekend. The Taconic wrestler, and Western Massachusetts Division III champion at 152 pounds, said he's excited about moving on at home.
"It's definitely a big bonus that it's home and I just won this tournament," Williams said after winning Western Mass. last Saturday at Soutwick-Tolland High School. "I'm doing pretty well this season, so I hope to keep it up and win again."
Williams is one of six Taconic wrestlers and is one of 15 Berkshire County wrestlers who qualified to wrestle for Division III state championships, being hosted at Taconic starting today.
Williams and Mount Greylock's Alex Griffis earned No. 1 seeds from the West with their championship victories last week.
"We had [six] kids qualify for states. We're looking forward to [the state meet], said Taconic coach Jeremy Tetreault, "and going to the next level with this thing."
The tournament begins today with weigh-ins scheduled for 10 a.m., and wrestling is scheduled to start at noon. The first day of the two-day tournament will run through the quarterfinals.
The semifinals will begin at 11:30 Saturday morning, with the championships scheduled for 6 p.m. that evening.
From there, the top finishers advance to the All-States tournament, to be held Feb. 26-27 at Reading High School.
Taconic was a fairly good place for Berkshire County wrestlers back in 2012, as three champions were crowned when the finals were contested at the school on Valentine Road. Two of the champions — Cody Reagon at 138 pounds and Jesse Kordana at 170 — wore the Taconic green and gold. The third state champion that year was Mount Everett's Seamus Wolfe.
Williams and Mount Greylock's Devin Pelletier were the closest to winning state Division III titles last year and are back in 2016. Pelletier, who was runner-up to Brandon Weyant of Hampshire Regional at 160 last week, was third at 152 last year. Western Mass. 152-pound champion Williams was sixth last year at 145 pounds.
Seventeen different Western Mass. high schools will be represented this weekend at the state tournament.
Triton is the Division III North champion, with two individual champions and two second-place finishes last week. The D-III South champ is Norton, a school that had four champions and three second-place finishes.
Then there's Central Mass. champion Wayland, a school that had six champions in last week's tournament.
"There are other champions there too," Griffis said after winning Western Mass. "As I said, I don't focus too much on titles or championships.
"We're all wrestlers. We all compete. We all do the same things. We all sacrifice the same things. We just need to wrestle."
Berkshire County wrestlers competing this weekend:
103 pounds: Max Buffoni, Monument Mountain; 113: Eli Jones, Monument Mountain; Adam Cohen, Mount Greylock; 120: Pat Fosby, Mount Everett; 126: Dorian Page, Monument Mountain; 132: Zabion Powell, Taconic; 138: Mason Papirio, Taconic; 152: Isiah Williams, Taconic; Cayman Mead, Mount Greylock; 160: Devin Pelletier, Mount Greylock; 170: Tanner Hastings, Taconic; 182: Austin Houghtaling, Taconic; 195: Alex Griffis, Mount Greylock; Bart Christiano, Monument Mountain; 285: Dalton Peck, Taconic.