Yorktown's Melikian Takes Second at States

Lakeland/Panas' Alex Melikian gets a late takedown on Shenendehowa's Kevin Parker in the 182-pound state final at the Times Union Center in Albany. Credits: Rob Diantonio

ALBANY, N.Y.— It was simply an incredible year for Lakeland/Panas senior grappler Alex Melikian, who ended his season as a finalist in the 182-pound bracket of the state tournament, which was held at the Times Union Center in Albany.

The opening round and quarterfinals took place on Feb. 26 and the semifinals and finals on Feb. 27.

Melikian said it meant a lot to him to be a state finalist.

Sign Up for E-News

“I worked really hard,” Melikian said. “I’ve dreamed about being there for years and I finally got my shot this year.”

Lakeland/Panas coach Craig Bergquist hopes the performance of Melikian will be an inspiration to the future generation of Rebel wrestlers.

“It is amazing and we hope that his accomplishments will inspire younger wrestlers and help in the growth of the program,” Bergquist said.

Melikian, the No. 3 seed, made it to the championship round, where he lost to No. 1 seed and defending state champion, Shenendehowa’s  Kevin Parker, by a 13-4 decision. 

He previously faced Parker in the Eastern States, losing a 12-3 major decision in the semifinals.

While obviously wanting to win in the state finals, there certainly was no shame in losing to a grappler who has been the best wrestler in the state in his weight class the last two years.

Melikian explained how Parker is able to excel as much as he does on the mat.

“He’s dominant on top and a beast with legs,” Melikian said of Parker.

To get to the state semifinals, Melikian had to win three tough decisions.

The key Melikian said to winning those matches was making sure his opponent didn’t gain an advantage on him and just wrestling smart.

“I knew I was better than those guys, I just couldn’t let them get an edge on me,” Melikian said.

Melikian earned his trip to the finals by a 6-4 decision against Monroe-Woodbury’s Kendall Elfstrum in the semifinals.

For Melikian, the feeling was incredible when he beat Elfstrum and realized he was going to be wrestling in the state finals.

“It was an awesome feeling,” Melikian said. “I knew the finals were going to be tough but I’d never been more relaxed and ready for anything.”

Melikian won his quarterfinal match by a 4-1 decision against Hilton’s Mike Spallina. He earned a 5-4 decision against Sam Schuyler from Kings Park in the opening round.

For Melikian, to wrestle the above matches, compete in the state tournament and wrestling in an actual arena like the Times Union Center, whose capacity is 15,500 people for sporting events, was a surreal experience.

“It was awesome,” Melikian said. “It was just like the movies.”

Melikian reached the state finals because of his work ethic, according to Bergquist.

“It was his dedication and all the hard work he put in to be one of the top wrestlers which allowed him to be successful and reach the state finals,” Bergquist said. “Alex has put in so much time and sweat into wrestling and is a very talented wrestler. It was so rewarding to see it all pay off with him reaching the finals.”

Bergquist said Lakeland/Panas was very fortunate to have Melikian, who transferred from Kennedy Catholic, for his senior year.

“I believe that Alex is the first state finalist for L/P,” Bergquist said. “He is a great kid and I am going to miss most the work ethic that he brought to the room every day in which he led by example and for which the others could follow.”

In turn, Melikian enjoyed his one season as a Rebel and the people that were involved with the program.

“I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive team and coaching staff,” Melikian said. “They made sure I got everything I needed and always found new ways to motivate me and get me to go that extra mile.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


What Is Cambridge Analytica?

Cambridge Analytica is a research organization. Apparently, it is funded by the Mercer family, second only to the Koch brothers on the liberal hit list. Both, through their philanthropy, spend millions on various needy organizations like hospitals. What makes them liberal targets is their funding of various conservative think tanks and candidates. I digress.

Cambridge Analytica used Facebook ...

The Best of the Best: Albert Capellini

In the spring of 1991, after answering an ad for a judicial race placed in the local Yorktown paper, I was talked into the unenviable position of running for Yorktown councilman as a Democrat in our then solidly Republican town.

Having been a practicing lawyer since 1974, I felt confident about my qualifications for the position of town judge, but being elected to the Town Board was quite ...

‘Sister Act’: A Musical Like Nun Other

Of all the Broadway musicals I’ve seen over the years at Westchester Broadway Theatre, only a handful have elicited the noisily enthusiastic audience response I observed at the recent opening night of “Sister Act.”

There were outbursts of applause in the middle of some numbers, and several clever turns of phrase sprinkled in the dialogue landed squarely, to the delight of big ...

An Open Letter to the Yorktown Town Board

April 11, 2018

The Yorktown Chamber of Commerce proudly serves as the voice of Yorktown’s vibrant business community. A vital part of our mission is to help improve the quality of life for all Yorktowners.

The chamber’s Board of Directors is more ambitious than ever, as we work hard to find new ways to enhance our great community through marketing opportunities and smartly placed commercial and ...

Cleaning the Empty Nest

Part of the shock of being a part-time empty nester is when the kids come back to visit and I have to watch my house transform overnight from a pristine haven of OCD goodness to a place that looks like an explosion happened at Forever 21.

After my kids moved mostly out, I put away whatever tchotchkes they chose to leave behind and then I put on a hazmat suit and cleaned their rooms until they ...

Why Do Kids Hate Math?

Dear Dr. Linda,

I am in second grade and have a problem about math. My teacher just keeps giving me homework and it’s driving me crazy. Because she keeps giving it to me on weekends and spring and summer breaks. And it’s only one level and it’s too hard. But the other people who have special needs get to be moved into a higher or lower group and they learn even more because ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, April 21, 12:00 PM

Club Fit, Jefferson Valley

Yoga for Women with Cancer

Health & Wellness

Sat, April 21, 7:30 PM

Westchester Collaborative Theater, Ossining

Westchester Collaborative Theater (WCT) Presents ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, April 22

DoubleTree by Hilton, Tarrytown

Awaken Wellness Fair

Health & Wellness

Guiding Eyes for the Blind Launches Wag-a-Thon Fundraiser

April 18, 2018

On April 17, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating and supporting life-changing connections between people with vision loss and exceptional guide dogs, announced its first annual Wag-a-thon, a “virtual marathon in a month” fundraiser beginning on May 1.

The Wag-a-thon is a cumulative marathon that you and your dog can do anywhere, at your own ...