Weekend #2 – Tournaments and Results

After a very quiet opening weekend with only a few local teams in action, this coming weekend will be very different! Nearly every program in Section 9 will be competing at a tournament on Saturday including one right here in the 845! There are also two tournaments this weekend that have a girls only division – hopefully we’ll see some local wrestlers entered!

Tri-State Holiday Duals @ Port Jervis HS
Port Jervis, Valley Central, Warwick, Goshen, and Monticello will all be in action! There should be several bouts between ranked wrestlers!

Port Jervis vs Warwick
Port Jervis vs Valley Central
Port Jervis vs Goshen
Port Jervis vs Monticello
Warwick vs Valley Central
Warwick vs Goshen
Warwick vs Monticello
Valley Central vs Goshen
Valley Central vs Monticello
Goshen vs Monticello

Patriot Tournament
Wallkill, New Paltz, Kingston, and Highland will be at the Patriot at John Jay East Fishkill! This is always a tough tournament!

Horace Greeley Duals
Cornwall and Washingtonville will be there along with several solid teams from Section 1! This tournament will have an individual girls division!

Ballston Spa Duals
Minisink Valley and Red Hook will travel up to Section 2 to do battle in the Ballston Spa Duals against teams from Sections 2 and Section 5!
Minisink 58 Ballston Spa 22
Minisink vs Attica-Batavia
Minisink 67 Niskayuna 5
Minisink 77 Glens Falls 4
Minisink 82 Red Hook 0
Red Hook vs Ballston Spa
Red Hook vs Attica-Batavia
Niskayuna 24 Red Hook 46
Red Hook 51 Glen Falls 30

Battle at the Beach
Monroe Woodbury will be at the extremely competitive Battle at the Beach which will showcase over 15 teams including perennial state powers Massapequa, Long Beach, and Wantagh.

Columbia Duals
NFA will head up the Thruway and compete at the Columbia Duals to lock horns with some very solid teams such as Columbia, Shaker, and Miller Place.

NFA 73 Ichabod Crane 15
NFA vs Columbia
NFA vs Miller Place
NFA 68 Beekmantown 15

Mark Stephens Classic
Middletown will take the mat in an 8 team dual meet tournament in Section 4 Horseheads!

Titan Duals
Pine Bush is the lone local team competing at the Titan Duals where they will see Tappan Zee, Rye, Nanuet, Nyack, and East Ramapo.

Pine Bush vs Tappan Zee
Pine Bush vs Rye
Pine Bush vs Nanuet
Pine Bush vs Nyack
Pine Bush vs East Ramapo

Bethlehem Round Robin
Onteora will head up to Bethlehem to take on teams from Sections 1, 2, and 4…could we see a showdown between Onteora’s Nick Ross and Arlington’s Dennis Robin???

Queen of the Mat
Fallsburg/Tri Valley will be represented at the Queen of the Mat in Copiague, Long Island. This is an all-girls tournament!

Week #2 Schedule, Results and Highlights

MV vs MW at last season’s S9 Duals finals

Let’s take a look at the Week 2 schedule for Section 9! The marquee dual meet takes place in Slate Hill as perennial state powers Minisink Valley and Monroe Woodbury will lock horns in their annual “Brawl for the Belt!” MV returns a very strong team and may be the favorite on paper but you should never count out the Crusaders! That’s why we lace ’em up, shake hands and blow the whistle!

Wednesday December 4th
Minisink Valley 50 Monroe Woodbury 25
Middletown 52 Warwick 27
Pine Bush 48 Valley Central 36
Washingtonville 49 Cornwall 33
Monticello 39 FDR Hyde Park 36
New Paltz 51 Saugerties 36
Red Hook 65 Chester 24
Highland 66 Burke 12
Onteora @ Port Jervis
Ellenville @ Port Jervis
Eldred/Liberty/Sullivan West 57 Rondout Valley 24
Fallsburg/Tri-Valley 36 Rondout Valley 29

Friday December 6th
Saugerties 66 Our Lady of Lourdes 24

Hunter 36 SUNY Sullivan 19

Week 2 Highlights…
The annual Brawl for the Belt was all Minisink Valley (50-25) but there were definitely some great bouts! The most exciting match of the night was at 120 where Santos Ocasio and Sofia Macaluso traded reversals in the last 10 seconds giving the Crusader a 5-4 victory. Paravati (MW) notched a nice win over Geysen while Henry (MV) was workmanlike in his win over Felice. Warwick’s Drew Greco recorded an impressive :55 pin over Middletown’s Moises Diaz while Middie heavyweight Bruce French defeated Logan Hickey 4-2. Over in Washingtonville we saw Austin Maddox notch a nice 9-7 win over Cornwall’s Gabe Giumarra but Gabe’s brother Marco picked up a 6-4 win over Washingtonville’s Mason Ketcham at 99. Up in Saugerties we had New Paltz 120 pounder Elliot Crocco defeating Robert Frost by a 13-8 margin. Out in Valley Central we saw Vidacovich pick up an impressive wbf over Pine Bush’s Reyes at 106 and we also had a close one at 120 where VC’s Ricciuto notched a 2-0 win over PB’s Bravo!

Lance Golubinski Memorial Duals

The Lance Golubinski Memorial Duals take place this Saturday at Goshen High School! Several local teams including host Goshen, Port Jervis, Saugerties, Kingston, and Eldred/Liberty/Sullivan West will be competing. Also in the field will be East Ramapo (Section 1), Nanuet (Section 1), and Oneonta (Section 4)!

1st Place – Port Jervis 5-0
2nd Place – Kingston 4-1
3rd Place – Goshen 3-2
Lance Golubinski MOW – Jacob Chenier (Kingston)

Pool A – Goshen, Kingston, Saugerties, East Ramapo
Goshen 45 Saugerties 36
Kingston 69 East Ramapo 9
Goshen 63 East Ramapo 15
Kingston 53 Saugerties 33
Kingston 39 Goshen 36
Saugerties vs East Ramapo

Pool B – Port Jervis, E/L/SW, Nanuet, Oneonta
Port Jervis 78 E/L/SW 6
Oneonta 43 Nanuet 42
Port Jervis 71 Oneonta 18
Nanuet 72 E/L/SW 18
Port Jervis 53 Nanuet 27
Oneonta vs E/L/SW

Cross-Over Matches
Kingston 59 Oneonta 18
Port Jervis 54 Kingston 31
Goshen 66 Oneonta 12
Port Jervis 45 Goshen 27

Section 9 Individual Rankings – Preseason

Well it’s that time of the year! The regular season officially kicks off this week so it’s time to release our first edition of the Section 9 Individual Rankings! Please keep in mind that rankings are just for fun – they create buzz and discussion. Preseason rankings are especially difficult because there are no current results to use as a gauge. There is also the issue of weight. The wrestlers are being ranked based on an educated guess of where the wrestler will begin the season. The vast majority of these wrestlers will be at least one weight class lower once the 2 pound growth allowance is applied. Any comments are welcomed at sectionixwrestling@gmail.com. Enjoy!

99 Pounds – Will not be ranked until after the +2 growth allowance.

106 Pounds
1. Alex Greco (Warwick, freshman)
2. Trevor Tufano (Port Jervis, sophomore)
3. Rey Ortiz (Pine Bush, freshman)
4. Jordan Brown (Monroe Woodbury, freshman)
5. Sebastian Vidacovich (Valley Central, freshman)
Tufano was the D2 champ last season but Greco gets the nod at #1 here because of his head-to-head over him. Ortiz had a very solid season last year but we should definitely keep an eye on MW frosh Jordan Brown who put in a very busy off season including a win over #5 Vidacovich to win the Hudson Valley Challenge. Let’s also not forget NFA’s Kevin Segali, Washingtonville’s Mason Ketcham, Wallkill’s Rocco Futia and Middletown’s Manny Saenz.

113 Pounds
1. Justin Morales (Middletown, senior)
2. Jackson Merli (NFA, sophomore)
3. Nicolo Ricciuto (Valley Central, junior)
4. Luke Greiner (Minisink Valley, 8th)
5. Peter Bender (Highland, junior)
The top spot at 113 goes to 2X state qualifier Morales who is hoping for his third trip to Albany and his first trip to the medal stand! The Middletown senior definitely has what it takes! Next at 113 is Merli who finished 3rd at 99 last year and he is followed by a very scrappy Ricciuto. MV’s Luke Greiner is improving rapidly and comes in at #4 just ahead of last year’s D2 champ at 106 Bender from Highland. Others to look out for here are Cornwall’s Kevin Rourke and Port Jervis 8th grader Ryan Ross.

120 Pounds
1. Andrew Marchese (Washingtonville, sophomore)
2. Santos Ocasio (Monroe Woodbury, senior)
3. Jaden Hansen (NFA, junior)
4. Joey Curreri (Eldred/Liberty/Sullivan West, junior)
5. Sofia Macaluso (Minisink Valley, sophomore)
Washingtonville sophomore Andrew Marchese takes the top spot at 120 for our preseason rankings. Marchese was the Section 9 champ at 99 last season and put in a huge off season which included a strong showing at the prestigious Journeymen Classic. The 2nd spot goes to MW senior Ocasio who was 3rd at 113 last season followed by a very talented Jaden Hansen from NFA. Hansen took 3rd at 106 last season and he’s still new to the sport and has a lot of upside. Eldred’s Joey Curreri grabs the 4th spot just ahead of MV sophomore Sofia Macaluso who took 3rd at this weight last season and became the 1st girl in S9 history to place at the sectionals. A couple other to keep on the radar here are Wallkill’s Matt Davis, Warwick’s Erik Nilson, Rondout Valley’s Rocco Deaviro, and Middletown’s Kenny Santiago.

126 Pounds
1. Nick Picariello (Minisink Valley, senior)
2. Jacob Chenier (Kingston, senior)
3. Drew Greco (Warwick, junior)
4. Elliot Crocco (New Paltz, senior)
5. Austin Maddox (Washingtonville, junior)
Picariello defeated 3X NYS placewinner Marco Vespa to win the S9 title at 120 last season and he’s our preseason #1 here but he has Kingston senior Jacob Chenier nipping at his heels! Chenier was the 113 S9 champ last season and placed 7/8 in Albany! Greco, Crocco, and Maddox round out a very tough top 5 at 126 but we can not overlook Robert Drost from Saugerties, Gabe Giumarra from Cornwall, Lucas Ospina from Roundout Valley, Grant Barczak from Monroe Woodbury, and Ivan Colon from Middletown!

132 Pounds
1. Zack Ryder (Minisink Valley, 8th)
2. Matt Morris (Red Hook, senior)
3. John Antonelli (Marlboro, senior)
4. Luke Fischer (NFA, senior)
5. Moises Diaz (Middletown, senior)
Four seniors and an 8th grader…but this isn’t your typical 8th grader! Ryder finished 2nd in NYS at 106 last season losing a razor close 4-3 decision to Stevo Poulin, the #2 ranked wrestler in the nation at 106 last year! Morris had a great season too taking 6th place in NYS at 113 D2. Antonelli is the model of consistency placing 2nd, 3rd, 2nd, and 2nd his last your seasons at the sections….will this be the year he breaks through?Fischer from NFA and Diaz from Middletown are tough and will definitely contend here as will VC’s Travis Phillips, Goshen’s Eli Weinstein, MV’s Mia Macaluso, and Washingtonvilles Jacob Poppe.

138 Pounds
1. Jordan Suarez (Minisink Valley, senior)
2. Josh Sam (Middletown, senior)
3. Matt Romano (Valley Central, senior)
4. Brain Lombardi (Minisink Valley, junior)
5. Joey Amato (Port Jervis, senior)
Suarez was the Section 9 D1 champ at 126 last year and hoping to make a return trip to Albany this season and cap his career with a state medal! Coming in at #2 is Josh Sam, a finalist at 132 last season, and then Matt Romano who is a 2X NYS qualifier. Do not look past #4 Lombardi who has put in a busy off season who comes in just ahead of Amato who was a D2 finalist at 132 last season. Joe Ferro from Kingston is another wrestler to keep an eye on here!

145 Pounds
1. Sean Savacool (Minisink Valley, senior)
2. Eric Tigue (Port Jervis, sophomore)
3. Ethan Palanca (New Paltz, junior)
4. Gabe Galarza (Pine Bush, senior)
5. Gavin Richter (Kingston, junior)
The top 3 here are all former Section 9 champions! Savacool was the D1 138 champ and an ESC placer last year so he grabs the top spot followed by PJ sophomore Tigue who is looking to make his 3rd trip to Albany! New Paltz junior Palanca was a runner up at 138 last year to Savacool but he was the 120 pound D2 champion two years ago! Long Island transplant Galarza should make an immediate impact in S9 and comes in at #4 followed by the very tough Gavin Richter from Kingston. Let’s also not overlook Dan Downs from Monroe Woodbury who will definitely be competitive this year!

152 Pounds
1. Tommy Askey (Pine Bush, senior)
2. Nick Ross (Onteora, junior)
3. Jaccob Gonzalez (Minisink Valley, junior)
4. Aiden Cuppett (New Paltz, senior)
5. Chris Fini (Goshen, senior)
Two absolute hammers sit atop 152! Pretty much can flip a coin but we’ll go with Askey at #1 for now. The Pine Bush senior was the S9 D1 champ at 145 last season and finished 4th in NYS. Next comes Nick Ross who is a 3X D2 champ and he finished 3rd at 138 in Albany last year. At #3 we have the very dangerous Jaccob Gonzalez from Minisink Valley followed by seniors Aiden Cuppett and Chris Fini who round out the top 5. Warwick’s Justin Orlando, MV’s Andrew Filip, and New Paltz’s Levi Wyn should not be looked over in this very deep weight class!

160 Pounds
1. Joe McGinty (Monroe Woodbury, senior)
2. Nate Ross (Onteora, senior)
3. Evan Gibbons (Warwick, senior)
4. Pablo Garcia (Middletown, senior)
5. Bryce Horner (Port Jervis, senior)
Not too shabby when the top two ranked guys in a weight are D1 college commits! McGinty came in 4th at 152 D1 last year and will be going to Hofstra next fall while Ross, who took took 6th at 152 D2 last year, will be taking his talents to Buffalo! Warwick senior Gibbons is looking to improve on his 4th place S9 finish last year and he is followed by Garcia and Horner to round off the top 5. There could be some depth in both divisions here as we should watch for Jace Hirsch from MV, Dylan Burgos from PB, Logan Smith from Highland and Henry Peters from E/L/SW.

170 Pounds
1. Patrick Ross (Onteora, junior)
2. Joe Velazquez (Middletown, senior)
3. Chris McLaughlin (Minisink, senior)
4. Marcus Brown (Monroe Woodbury, junior)
5. Vincent Gennaro (Washingtonville, senior)
The third Ross brother in our rankings is Patrick and he will begin the season as our #1 at 170. Pat is taking a huge jump in weight – he was at 132 last season – but he seems to be making the adjustment well! Velazquez took 3rd at 160 in S9 D1 last season and is extremely talented. Third ranked McLaughlin from MV is always dangerous followed Brown and Gennaro who round out our top 5. A few others to keep our eyes on are Alden Hathaway from Wallkill, Aiden Maduro from Highland and Brendan Douthit from Burke!

182 Pounds
1. Ethan Gallo (Minisink Valley, freshman)
2. Graeme Knisell (Saugerties, senior)
3. Justin Lyle (Wallkill, junior)
4. Max Wernicki (Monroe Woodbury, senior)
5. Nick Patterson (NFA, senior)
Our preseason #1 at 182 is Ethan Gallo from Minisink Valley. Gallo, only a freshman, was the runner-up to Gazzillo at 160 last year and is looking to make his first of several trips to the Times Union Center. Coming it at #2 is Knisell from newly reclassified D2 Saugerties. Knisell was having a very solid season last year but did not wrestle in the Section 9 tournament. Lyle took 4th at 170 last year and had some nice wins as did Wernicki from MW and Patterson from NFA who round out the top 5. This weight could have some depth too as we have guys like Logan Michaels from New Paltz, Mike Paravati from MW, and Jeremy Mazzella from Warwick hoovering around 182!

195 Pounds
1. Joe Russell (NFA, junior)
2. Scott Geysen (Minisink Valley, junior)
3. Darwin Banegas (NFA, senior)
4. Zavier Bennet (Kingston, senior)
5. Steven Felice (Monroe Woodbury, senior)
Russell is very talented wrestler who came in 4th at 182 last season and begins this season ranked #1 at 195. Our #2 here is MV junior Scott Geysen who took 5th at at 182. Our #3 here is perhaps the most credentialed – Banegas had a solid season but an outstanding S9 tournament finishing 3rd at 195! Bennet from Kingston comes in at #4 and Felice from MW holds the #5 spot for now. We should also keep an eye on James O’Neil’s Connor Boyer, Chester’s Cole Greco and Saugerties’ Craig Laurey.

220 Pounds
1. Maxx DeCapua (NFA, senior)
2. James Oosterom (Port Jervis, senior)
3. Armel Duke (Middletown, senior)
4. Carson Henry (Minisink Valley, junior)
5. Jonathan Perez (Highland, senior)
This is another weight that is loaded with talent! Maxx DeCapua is a 2X placewinner and is our #1 here. DeCapua took 3rd in NYS at 220 D1 last season and 6th at 195 in 2018. Interesting fact – Maxx has yet to win a S9 title…both of his trips to Albany were via wildcard! PJ’s Oosterom took 5th at 220 D2 last year and is looking to ascend higher up the podium this year. Middletown’s Armel Duke is very talented and can definitely push anyone here as can our #4 Carson Henry from MV. Jonathan Perez had a great regular season but is looking for better results in the D2 Section tournament this year. He’s our #5 at 220 to begin the season. A few others to watch here might be Stephon Holmes from Kingston and Dylan Bullock from Chester.

285 Pounds
1. Adam Fenner (Minisink Valley, junior)
2. Stephan Monchery (Middletown, 8th)
3. Devin McGovern (Chester, senior)
4. Logan Hickey (Warwick, senior)
5. Frank Hernandez (Monroe Woodbury, senior)
Adam Fenner from Minisink Valley finished 5th in NYS D1 last season at this weight and is our clear #1 here. Right behind him is middle schooler Monchery who opened many eyes last year as a 7th grader competing at 285. Chester’s McGovern was the runner up in D2 last year and he is followed by Hickey and Hernandez who finished 1st and 2nd respectively in last year’s JV Championships. Southard from Port Jervis and Gittens from Highland will also be very competitive in D2 285 and should not be overlooked as is the case with Evan Jansen from New Paltz and Jackson Fakler from Wallkill!

2020 Eastern States Classic

January 10th & 11th
Paul Gerry Fieldhouse
SUNY Sullivan
Loch Sheldrake, NY

*Girls Division – New for 2020*

The 2019-2020 wrestling season is underway so it’s time to start planning your calendar for one of the premier high school wrestling tournaments in the nation – The Eastern States Classic! The event gets tougher each year and this season will be no exception. Now in its 18th year, the 2020 Eastern States Classic will feature 575 wrestlers from over 170 schools representing 7 states! This year’s tournament will also include a girls division making the ESC one of the few, if not the only, in-season premier high school tournament to have both a boys and girls division! The event will once again be covered by FloWrestling! Flo will once again provide live coverage for every match on every mat for both days!


Under the Radar – Section 9 Division 2

There is a very strong contingent of Section 9 D2 wrestlers returning for the 2019-2020 season! This group include FIVE state place winners as well as four others who have made the trip to Albany! Let’s take a look at these wrestlers as well as a handful of Section 9 D2 studs who may be flying under the radar – for now!

Returning S9 D2 NYS Placewinners
Nick Ross (Onteora, Jr) – 3rd @ 138
James Oosterom (Port Jervis, Sr) – 5th @ 220
Matt Morris (Red Hook, Sr) – 6th @ 113
Nate Ross (Onteora, Sr) – 6th @ 152
Eric Tigue (Port Jervis, So) – 7th/8th @ 126

Returning S9 D2 NYS Qualifiers
Trevor Tufano (Port Jervis, So) @ 99
Peter Bender (Highland, Jr) @ 106
Bryce Horner (Port Jervis, Sr) @ 160
Patrick Ross (Onteora, Jr) @ 106 (2017)

Under the Radar – Who To Watch For in S9 D2….
Patrick Ross (Onteora, junior)
Why is Ross mentioned here as well as above on the list of returning S9 D2 NYS qualifiers??? Well – it’s because the Ross you will see this year is a lot different than the 106 pound 8th grade wrestler who was a Section 9 champion back in 2017! Patrick, who came in 3rd in S9 last year at 132, is now a filled out 170 pound contender. He had a busy off season which included an appearance at the Journeymen Classic. Do not be shocked if you see Patrick, along with his brothers Nate and Nick, on the medal stand in Albany this season!

John Antonelli (Marlboro/Highland, senior)
This will likely be the year that Antonelli punches his ticket to Albany! He has been one of the most consistent and hard-working wrestlers in the section for the past several years. Antonelli finished 2nd @ 120 in 2019, 2nd @ 126 in 2018, 3rd @ 106 in 2017, and 2nd @ 99 in 2016! John has put in another busy off season which included a very strong performance in winning the Hudson Valley Challenge!

Joey Amato (Port Jervis, senior)
Amato has been a Section 9 finalist the past two season losing close matches to Matt Malherio and Nick Ross – both wrestlers are NYS placewinners! This could be the year that Amato breaks through, wins the S9 title, and perhaps steps on the podium in Albany! Amato, Tigue, Oosterom, Tufano, and Horner will provide the Red Raiders with a great core this season!

Graeme Knisell (Saugerties, senior)
Knisell was having a very solid season last year but did not compete in the Section 9 Tournament. Saugerties competed in D1 last season but will be D2 for 2019-2020. One of his wins last season was a win by fall over eventual S9 D2 182 pound champion Drew Bendy. We can expect to see Graeme at 182 again this season and he will definitely be a factor in this year’s D2 tournament.

Joey Curreri (Eldred, junior)
The Curreri family is no stranger to Albany and we should’t be surprised if we see Joey make his first trip to the Times Union Center this February. Curreri finished 2nd at 99 in 2018 and took 3rd place at 120 last season behind Bullock and Antonelli.

A few other S9 D2 wrestlers to keep your eye on….
Rocco Deaveiro (Rondout, So) – lost 7-4 to Bender in finals
Alex Lopez (Red Hook, Sr) – runner-up to Tigue last year
Logan Smith (Highland, So) – took 2nd as a 152 pound freshman
Heny Peters (E/L/SW, Sr) – lost 7-6 in S9 finals to Horner
Aiden Maduro (Highland, Jr) – 2nd @ 170; only a junior
Brendan Douthit (Burke, Sr) – 3rd @ 170; will be in the mix
Devin McGovern (Chester, Sr) – 4-15 in 2018 … 23-8 in 2019!

Section 9 Division 1 Wrestlers To Keep Our Eyes On!!!

Section 9 has a very strong group of returning D1 wrestlers who have experience competing on the big stage in Albany. Let’s take a quick look at look at those who have made it to the state tournament and then we’ll take a more in depth look at a few wrestlers that could be flying under the radar going into this season!

Returning State Place Winners
Maxx DeCapua (NFA, senior) 6th @195 (2018), 3rd @220 (2019)
Zack Ryder (Minisink Valley, 8th grader) – 2nd @ 106 (2019)
Tommy Askey (Pine Bush, senior) – 4th @ 145
Joe McGinty (Monroe Woodbury, senior) – 4th @ 152
Adam Fenner (Minisink Valley, junior) – 5th @ 285
Jacob Chenier (Kingston, senior) – 7th/8th @ 113

Returning State Qualifiers
Justin Morales (Middletown, senior) @99 (2018), @106 (2019)
Andrew Marchese (Washingtonville, sophomore) @ 99 (2019)
Nick Picariello (Minisink Valley, senior) @ 120 (2019)
Jordan Suarez (Minisink Valley, senior) @ 126 (2019)
Sean Savacool (Minisink Valley, senior) @ 138 (2019)
Ethan Palanca (New Paltz, junior) @ 120 (2018)
Matt Romano (Valley Central, senior) @ 126 (2018)

Now let’s take a look a few Section 9 wrestlers who are looking to punch their ticket to Albany for the first time this season!!!

James Faison – Wallkill, senior
Faison has been plagued by injuries the past two seasons however he is without question the Section 9 wrestler who could make waves at the local and state level. Faison was injured approximately 30 seconds into his first match of the season last year against eventual S9 champ Jordan Suarez from Minisink Valley. In 2017-2018, Faison was having a sensational season before suffering an injury in the Section 9 Tournament. During that season Faison had only lost one wrestled match with all of his other losses coming via injury default. His season included a 19-8 major decision over 2019 state place winner Chris Cook and a 1:52 pin over 2019 state qualifier Alexis Diaz. If Faison stays healthy he will definitely turn heads this season!

Ethan Gallo – Minisink Valley, freshman
Gallo made it all the way to the Section 9 finals last season as an 8th grader wrestling at 160 pounds where he lost an 8-3 decision to Eastern States Classic place winner Steve Gazzillo. Expect to see this Minisink Valley freshman make a splash at 170 and 182 this season. A three sport athlete, Gallo is extremely athletic and has as much upside as any wrestler in Section 9. At last year’s Eastern States Classic Gallo notched wins over eventual state qualifiers Cyrus Smith (PSAL) and Zach Swyers (Section 7).

Armel Duke – Middletown, senior
Duke had a disappointing Section 9 Tournament last season but he definitely had a few noteworthy wins that make him a wrestler to watch for this season in Section 9! His biggest win of the season came early when he pinned eventual NYS place winner James Oosterom from Port Jervis at the 1:45 mark of the first period on December 5th. He also had a great January which included an 8th place finish at 220 pounds at the Eastern States Classic. Duke is a great athlete and he has worked hard in the off season setting him up for a great senior campaign!

Jackson Merli – NFA, sophomore
Merli had a great freshman season which concluded with a 3rd place finish at 99 pounds.The two wrestlers who finished ahead of him, Andrew Marchese of Washingtonville and Colby Amell of Saugerties, are both former state qualifiers (2019 and 2017 respectively). Merli put in a very busy off season and will definitely be in the hunt for a Section 9 title in February!

Jaccob Gonzalez – Minisink Valley, junior
This MV Warrior junior was having an outstanding sophomore season until it was cut short by injury after the Eastern States Classic. Gonzalez is an explosive wrestler who is will definitely be a factor at 145/152 this season. He won his first 21 matches last season and finished the season at 22-3.

Other S9 D1 Wrestlers to Watch….
Alex Greco (Warwick) – early season favorite to win 99 this year
Jordan Brown (Monroe) talented; will definitely push Greco
Jaden Hansen (NFA) – relatively new to the spot; lot of upside
Josh Sam (Middletown) – S9 finalist at 132 last season
Brian Lombardi (Minisink) – very busy and successful off season
Max Wernicki (Monroe Woodbury) – 3rd at 152 last season
Joe Velazquez (Middletown) – split with Gallo last season
Doug Doherty (Monticello) – could surprise people this season
Joe Russell (NFA) – will definitely contend for a title this year
Scott Geysen (Minisink) – kept improving last season
Carson Henry (Minisink) – strong, tough, and works hard
Stephan Monchery (Middletown) – 8th grade returner at 285