MOHEGAN LAKE, N.Y. – Fordham Prep senior Sam Melikian has been focused on one goal since February 2012 – winning a New York State wrestling championship.
Melikian will have the opportunity Friday when the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Wrestling Championships get underway at the Albany Times-Union Center.
“I felt I was much better-prepared coming back this year,” the Mohegan Lake resident said. “I worked a lot more during the off-season, wrestling a lot of college guys.
“I also wanted to have fun this season and not have it be so stressful.”
Melikian, who is 43-1 this season, won his third consecutive Catholic High School Athletic Association state title, recently, and was named most outstanding wrestler. Melikian is seeded fifth in the 132-pound weight class and will open against Marcus Popp of Niagara-Wheatfield. A victory would result in a match with fourth-seeded Jake DiMarsico of North Rockland. Melikian has beaten DiMarsico twice this season, both at the Jerry McGuire Tournament.
Last year, Melikian went 2-2 and was one win away from the placing round. Even though it was an improvement over his sophomore year, Melikian was still not pleased.
“My first year at states it was very intimidating and I went 0-2,” said Melikian, who wrestled two years on modified at Copper Beech Middle School. “Last year, I did a little better, but I didn’t wrestle as well as I felt I could have.”
Since his loss in the Eastern States 132-pound final, Melikian has been on a roll, pinning all of his opponents. The week prior to Eastern States, Melikian won the Ted Murphy Shoreline Classic 132-pound title.
“The loss in the Eastern States final was pretty disappointing,” Melikian said. “I realized what I did wrong and have been working on it to fix it. I also realized how much I hated to lose.”
Melikian is aiming to become Fordham Prep’s second state champion. Former teammate and current Pennsylvania wrestler Andrew Lenzi was a two-time titlist, in 2008 and 2010.