YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Yorktown senior captain Andrew Finateri finished second in the 120-pound division of the Section 1 Division 1 Tournament. But Finateri’s season didn’t end there

The senior earned one of Section 1’s 14 wild-card berths to the 2020 New York State Public High School Athletic Association Wrestling Championships, to be hed at the Times Union Center in Albany on Friday, Feb. 28, and Saturday, Feb. 29.

Finateri, who won his 100th-career match earlier this season, earned his berth upstate by registering three consecutive years of being All-Section, which gave him enough points to earn the wildcard-berth, according to Yorktown coach Eric Fama.

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Finateri found out that he made it to states in a text from Fama on the morning of Feb. 19, which made for a great birthday gift for him, as he turned 18 that day.

“I was super excited, because I thought my season was over, and it really gave me a huge boost of motivation to train harder,” said Finateri, a five-year varsity wrestler.

Fama was thrilled to hear the news as well.

“Both the coaching staff and Andrew were very excited, but know that just making it up there is not enough,” Fama said. “Now it’s time to focus on getting on the podium.”

This is the second time in three years that a Yorktown wrestler has made it to states, as Connor Thomas also made it as a wild card, at 152 pounds, in 2018.

Fama said that to have two wrestlers in three years make it to states, means that the program is going in the right direction.

“It’s proving to the young group that we have, that hard work pays off,” Fama said.

Finateri is ecstatic to join Thomas as Huskers who have made it upstate.

“It meant a lot to me, because it’s been one of my goals the whole season, to make it to the state tournament, and that I’m now also a part of a group of some of the best wrestlers, to go through Yorktown,” said Finateri, who was MVP of the Yorktown Duals on Dec. 14, with a 5-0 record.

Finateri said that there are a few reasons why he was able to put himself in position to reach states.

“My hard work, persistence with my training, and keeping my head up through tough losses are the reason I was able to make it to states,” said Finateri, who will be attending Stevens Institute of Technology this fall to study engineering, along with competing on the wrestling team.

Two other reasons why Finateri is headed upstate is because he is a very technical and tactical wrestler, according to Fama.

“He puts in a lot of extra work outside the wrestling room,” Fama said of Finateri.

Finateri said his goal is to be All-State, as it has been since the beginning of the season.

“As long as I keep training hard every day and listen to my coaches, I know I’ll be able to achieve my goals,” Finateri said. “If I wrestle hard for a full six minutes, I’ll be able to find success at states.”