Let’s take a weight-by-weight look at Sunday’s Division 2 tournament which takes place at SUNY Ulster! There will definitely be some incredible finals at this year’s tournament!
Port Jervis freshman Trevor Tufano is the top seed and favorite here. Tufano is sporting a 20 – 12 record and has not lost to any wrestlers in the bracket. An opponent that he has yet to face is 2nd seed Brandon McKay from Red Hook who has a 15-9 record. Other wrestlers to watch here are Red Hook’s second entry Rian Kirker and Chester’s Jared Pincus.
The heavy favorite to win the 106 weight class is Peter Bender. The Highland sophomore has a 25-12 record and finished 4th in S9 D2 at 99 last season. Bender’s stiffest competition will likely come from Lucas Ospina from Rondout Valley, Benjamin Finch from Red Hook, or Rondout Valley’s second entry Rocco DeAveiro!
If the top two seeds make it through, the 113 pound D2 final between Matt Morris from Red Hook and Nikko Walsh from Rondout Valley will be one of the most anticipated matches in either sectional tournament! Morris was the S9 champ at 106 last year and has defeated Walsh, a 2X S9 champ, twice this season. These two wrestlers are very evenly matched and will certainly battle hard to punch their ticket to Albany! Highland’s Chris Gatto and Landen Frey from Rondout Valley will likely battle it out for third and fourth on the medal stand!
This will be a great weight class to follow! There are three Section 9 finalists from last year here…and none of them are the top seed! Liam Bullock from Chester is having an awesome year and is the #1 seed at 120. Bullock was a finalist two seasons ago and came in 4th last year. His season record is 23-3 and he has wins over two of the other contenders at this weight. One of those expected contenders is John Antonelli from Marlboro who lost to Bullock in sudden victory during the first week of the season! Antonelli is 30-5 on the season and has a few noteworthy wins including one over 113 pound stud Nikko Walsh of Rondout Valley. Antonelli also has a win over another contender here at 120 as he has defeated E/L/SW’s Joey Curreri. Curreri was runner up at 99 last season and will be in the hunt as will fourth seed Joe Atesen from Highland.
The odds on favorite to come through this bracket is Eric Tigue from Port Jervis. Only a freshman, Tigue won the S9 D2 title at 113 last year and was a win away from placing at the state tournament. He is 29-4 this season and is looking to get on the medal stand in Albany in two weeks! To get to Albany he will have to get through a few tough kids on the other side of his bracket in Alex Lopez from Red Hook and Tim Pereira from Rondout Valley.
This will be another one to watch on Sunday! The 132 pound weight class has two former champs entered – Mat Malherio from Highland and Pat Ross from Onteora. Malherio is actually dropping down a weight class as he was the champ at 138 last season! He is 33-8 this season and does have a 7-0 win over Ross from their match at the Mid-Hudson Tournament. Ross was the runner-up at 120 last season but was a S9 champ two seasons ago! He is 32-5 this season and is certainly looking forward to a rematch with Malherio! Joey Amato from Port Jervis should not be over looked! He came in 3rd at 126 last season and is sporting an 18-7 record in 2018-2019!
There are some quality wrestlers at 138 but Onteora sophomore Nick Ross is the clear favorite! Ross is a 2X defending Section 9 D2 champion and he is sporting a 41-3 record this year! Two of his losses came at the Mid-Hudson, and if there is such a thing as “an impressive loss,” he has two of them. Ross dropped a 2-0 decision to Logan Sciotto from Section 11 who came in 3rd in NYD D1 last season and he also lost 4-3 to Tyler Albis from Section 1 who is a returning state qualifier and will likely place high in NYS this season! Ross’s other loss came at 145 to Nick Curreri from E/L/SW – a loss he would avenge later in the season. Others to watch here include Gavin Staerker from Port Jervis and Ceaser Luna from Highland – both wrestlers placed at last year’s Section 9 tournament!
The heavy favorite to win at 145 is Eldred/Liberty/Sullivan West senior Nick Curreri. He is having an excellent season! Curreri is 30-8 and has wins over Nick Ross and Mat Malherio this season. Curreri finished 3rd at 138 last season and would like to make his senior year memorable by punching his ticket to the state championship tournament in Albany. Two others to watch at 145 are Justin Halbert from Highland and Tyler Benincasa from Red Hook!
It’s tough to make a case for anyone at this weight other than Onteora junior Nate Ross. Ross was a finalist last year and was a Section 9 champ as a freshman. He is 36-4 this season has won the Mid-Hudson, Jamie Mormile, and Dan Wickham tournaments. His toughest competition will likely come from teammate Owen Allsion or Highland’s Logan Smith who are on the bottom half of the bracket.
With no clear cut favorite, this will certainly be an interesting weight class to follow. There are 6 wrestlers in the bracket that have extremely similar winning percentages and could all contend for the top spot on the podium! The top contenders at 160 are James Shaw from Burke, Bryce Horner from Port Jervis, George Reid from Onteora, Steven Bradford from Chester, Nick Tsironis from Red Hook, and Henry Peters from E/L/SW.
Eldred/Liberty/Sullivan West senior Cesar Santiago has a 19-8 record this season and is the favorite to win the title at 170 for S9 D2. There are only a few other wrestlers at this weight with a winning record and Santiago has a win over one of them. Santiago defeated Adain Maduro from Highland and Joe Reed from Port Jervis but has yet to wrestle Burke’s Brendan Douthit who will be in the hunt here.
Highland senior Drew Bendy was a finalist last year at 182 and is the favorite to take home the title at this weight this year! Bendy has a 17-9 record thus far and has a 8-7 win over Cole Greco from Chester, one of the other contenders to win at 182. Bendy has traded wins with Highland’s Adam Albright who came in 4th at 195 last year in the D2 tournament. Port Jervis’ Joe Reed is the #3 seed and he will be tough here!
Perhaps the most heavily favored wrestler in this year’s Section 9 Division 2 Tournament in James DeAveiro. The E/L/SW senior has a 23-2 record and both of his losses are to wrestlers who may medal in Albany. DeAveiro pinned one of the better wrestlers in this bracket in Ben Swart from Highland but has yet to wrestle #3 seed Dylan Bullock.
Another heavy favorite to take home a D2 title this year is James Oosterom from Port Jervis. Oosterom, a junior, missed some time this year due to injury but still managed to record an 18-1 record and picked up a win over last year’s D1 state finalist Jhordyn Innocent from Section 1. Oosterom’s one loss came by fall to Middletown’s Armel Duke back on December 5th, however he does have pins over D1 contenders Mark Crisfield from VC and Hayden Barley from Kingston. Oosterom’s opponent in the finals will likely be Jonathan Perez from Highland who is having a great year and sports a 22-9 record or Thomas Marvin from Red Hook.
The 285 pound weight class is pretty wide open in the D2 tournament this year. The prime contenders for the gold this year are Shamar Gittens from Highland, Jason Lonstein from Ellenville, Devin McGovern from Chester, and Jacob Southard from Port Jervis. All 4 wrestlers have records better than .500 and are capable of beating one another an any giver day. This weight should be interesting to follow!