State Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano on Friday joined the South Seneca Central School community to pay tribute to Caleb Sweet, who earlier this year captured the 145-pound Division II wrestling title at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Wrestling Championships at the MVP Arena in Albany.
Sweet became the first State Champion in South Seneca Falcons history.
O’Mara and Palmesano were on hand at the school today to join the Sweet family, school administrators and staff, and teachers and students for a ceremony in the school auditorium to present an official Legislative Resolution honoring Sweet’s championship.
Coached by his father, Ken, Sweet has been a standout wrestler for the Falcons. He completed his senior year with a record of 43-1 and finished his high school career with a 198-33 record. He holds the school record for most pins, takedowns, and near falls during one season, his senior year.
Sweet is a five-time Section V Champion, was named the Section V Most Outstanding Wrestler twice, and was the recipient of the Section V Sportsmanship Award.
After graduating, Sweet will wrestle for Division I Binghamton University in the fall.
In a joint statement, O’Mara and Palmesano said, “We welcome and look forward to the opportunity to pay tribute to dedication, excellence, hard work, and success throughout our school communities. Caleb Sweet has been an outstanding high school student-athlete and his amazing wrestling career was crowned this year when he became the first state champion in school history. It’s an inspiring family story that also stands as a source of enormous pride to Caleb’s family and friends, the community at large, and our entire region.”
The joint Senate-Assembly resolution sponsored by O’Mara and Palmesano reads, in part, “Caleb Sweet has clearly utilized dedication, determination, and teamwork in providing a lasting contribution to the spirit of excellence which is a tradition of his school.”
South Seneca High School Principal Sarah Horton said, “It is a fantastic feeling to come together as a school community to celebrate one of our own and recognize this incredible accomplishment. I think everyone can agree that Caleb’s remarkable achievements in wrestling are just a piece of his overall success. I wish him nothing but the best in his next chapter and look forward to seeing all he accomplishes.”
Athletic Director Tim Crane said, “Over the years it has been fun to follow Caleb’s athletic career here at South Seneca. Caleb has always given extra effort. To see him accomplish his goal of becoming a state champion has been wonderful. Congratulations, Caleb, and I hope you have a great career at Binghamton.”
Head Varsity Wrestling Coach Ken Sweet, Caleb’s father, said, “One of the greatest years of my life, was this year. Caleb won a state title and was accepted to Binghamton University. But it wasn’t about the victories. It was about the 10 years of work that went into it, and him learning the lesson that ‘hard work pays off.’ It was about the hug I got in the corner when he won, and the gratitude that he gave all the coaches and fans and mom that helped him get there. He has somehow found a way to remain humble in all of this, and I can’t tell you how proud of him I am, both as a coach and his Dad.”