2019 NYSPHSAA Tournament Recap; Blaine & Leonard Go Out On Top

2 Champs – Blaine and Leonard

The 2019 NYSPHSAA Wrestling Championships are officially in the books and Section 9 had a great showing. There are several things to discuss, however without question the highlight of the tournament from a local perspective occurred at 220 pounds where Cornwall senior Will Leonard won a state title in the last match ever coached by Hall of Famer Don Blaine. Leonard, who finished the season 45-0, had to battle for each of his four victories on his way to the title. Leonard started with a 4-2 win over Nolan Thomas in the opening round and followed that up with a 4-2 utb win over Emre Mabocoglu in the quarters. Leonard then went onto beat Dequan Stewart from Section 8 Roosevelt 2-1 in the semis before setting the stage for his dramatic 6-1 victory over Section 4’s Lucas Scott in the finals. Leonard and Scott were tied 1-1 when the Cornwall start scored a take down and picked up near fall points in the closing seconds on the match! On behalf of the entire Section 9 wrestling community I would like to say “congratulations” and “thank you” to Will. Congratulations for winning a state title….and thank you for sending off Coach Blaine in style! There is nobody more deserving!

12 Medals Including 5 for Division 2
The 2019 tournament was an extremely successful year for the Section 9 team! Our local contingent finished with a total of 12 state medals including 5 for our small school division – our highest total ever! And what’s even more exciting – 9 of the 12 medalists are underclassmen! Let’s look at look at each state place winner.

Will Leonard (Cornwall, senior) – Champion @ 220 lbs D1
As described above, Leonard finished his senior season a perfect 45-0 and was crowned champion at 220 pounds. Leonard also won the Eastern States Classic in January.

Zack Ryder (Minisink Valley, 7th grade) – 2nd @ 106 lbs D1
The Minisink Valley middle schooler almost shocked the nation! After pinning his first two opponents and winning comfortably in the semis against a returning state finalist, Ryder lost a heartbreaking 4-3 decision in the finals to Stevo Poulin from Section 2. Poulin, a sophomore at Shenendehowa, was a state champion last year, a 2X ESC champion, and is ranked #2 in the nation by FloWrestling! Congratulations Zack – you have an amazing future ahead of you!

Nick Ross (Onteora, sophomore) – 3rd @ 138 lbs D2
Ross’s 3rd trip to the state tournament was a memorable one as the Onteora sophomore went 5-1 and took home the bronze at 138. Ross won his opening match 8-6 before falling 13-2 in the quarters to eventual finalist John Worthing. Ross then rattled off 4 straight wins including 2 pins to finish 3rd! Great job Nick!

Maxx DeCapua (NFA, junior) – 3rd at 220 lbs D1
The NFA junior accomplished one of the hardest things to do in the sport of wrestling – he lost his first match and then wrestled all the way back to 3rd place! DeCapua, who placed 6th at this tournament last season, was pinned in his opening round match on Friday at 5:19. Rather than letting is get the best of him mentally, DeCapua put his nose to the grindstone and rolled off 5 straight wins and finished 3rd! Two of the wins were sudden victor wins – you showed tremendous heart Maxx! Congratulations!

Tommy Askey (Pine Bush, junior) – 4th @ 145 lbs D1
The 145 was considered by many to be one of the toughest weight classes in this year’s state tournament -Askey was not phased one bit! The Pine Bush junior won his opening match 10-5 before dropping a hard fought 8-5 decision to eventual champ AJ Kovacs in the quarters. Askey followed up with wins over Aiden Poe, Brock Delsignore, and Lee Mauras before losing 9-3 in his medal match to Kris Ketchum. Congratulation Tommy…awesome job!!!

Joe McGinty (Monroe Woodbury, junior) – 4th @ 152 lbs D1
When the brackets were released last week, McGinty was unseeded at 152 and had a brutal draw. The Monroe Woodbury junior responded by knocking off the #5 seed Joe Simons in the R16 and #4 seed Ty Raines in the quarters before losing to the #1 seed in sudden victory overtime! McGinty then defeated the #3 seed in the consie semis before dropping his medal match to Raines 3-1. Congrats Joey – great job this weekend!

Mat Malherio (Highland, senior) – 5th @ 132 lbs D2
The Highland senior made his final trip to the state tournament a memorable one by advancing all the way to the semifinals and finishing in 5th place! Malherio, who came into the tournament as the 6th seed, started off by defeating Malachi Porter in the opening round before picking off the #3 seed Mike O’Brien in the quarters by a score of 1-0. Malherio then dropped a close 8-6 decision to the #2 seed Perlleshi fore wrestling back to 5th. Congratulations on a great tournament and a great career Mat!

James Oosterom (Port Jervis, junior) – 5th @ 220 lbs D2
Along with the aforementioned Malherio, the 3rd seeded Oosterom was the second Section 9 D2 wrestler to advance to the semifinals. The Port Jervis junior defeated Sterling Spoon in the R16 before decking Alex Thompson from Section 3 in the quarters in 1:31. Oosterom lost his semifinal match but did pick up a win in his medal match over Connor Sykora from Section 5! Well done James!

Adam Fenner (Minisink Valley, sophomore) – 5th @ 285 lbs D1
Being perhaps the smallest 285 pounder in the tournament did not scare Fenner at all! The Minisink Valley sophomore finished 4-2 for the weekend and walked away with a 5th place finish! Fenner won his opening match but lost in the quarters to eventual third place finisher Burns from Hilton. He then knocked off Mena from Section 2 in a wrestle back before notching an impressive 6-2 overtime win over 2nd seeded Jacob Stangle in the blood round. Fenner then lost his consie semi and won his medal match on his way to a 5th place finish! Congratulations Adam!!

Matt Morris (Red Hook, junior) – 6th @ 113 lbs D2
Morris went 0-2 in Albany last year but the experience definitely paid off because this year the Red Hook junior left with a medal around his neck! Morris dropped his first match to DeLia from S11 then reeled off three straight wins in the consies before narrowly losing to Delia again in the consi semis 4-2. In his medal match Morris was defeated 9-8 by Section 4’s Kyle Willard who was a semifinalist this year. Congratulations Matt – job well done!

Marco Vespa (Monroe Woodbury, senior) – 6th @ 120 lbs D1
Along with 145, the 120 pound weight class was considered among the deepest in this year’s tournament! Vespa, who finished 3rd in NYS last season and 4th the season before, wrestled very well and still only finished in 6th place! Vespa pinned his opening round opponent before dropping a heart-breaker to Ivan Garcia 3-2 utb in the quarters. Marco wrestled back well notching wins over two tough wrestlers, CJ Lee and Kole Mulhauser to guarantee his top-6 finish before losing two straight matches to seeded wrestlers and finishing 6th! Congrats Marco on a great season and a phenomenal career!

Nate Ross (Onteora, junior) – 6th @ 152 lbs D2
It was a great weekend for the Ross brothers as Nate made it 2 for 2 with state medals! Nate really grinded this weekend! He lost his opening match 10-8 to Logan Duers from Section 2 and then had to run off three straight wins to get back to the medal rounds. Ross then ran into the #3 and #4 seeds, Putney and Campo, and left Albany with a 6th place finish! Congratulations and great job Nate!

Jacob Chenier (Kingston, junior) – 7th/8th @ 113 D1
Chenier’s first trip to the state tournament was a success as the Kingston junior left with some hardware! Chenier won his opening match but lost in the quarters. He then won a wrestleback match before losing in the blood round. However since there was a non NYSPHSAA finisher above him (Adams from CHSAA), the tournament recognizes the top 8 finishers! Great job Jacob!!!

Wayne Carroll Inducted into NYS Wrestling Hall of Fame

2019 NYS Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee Wayne Carroll

Let’s extend a huge congratulations to one of the icons of Section 9 Wrestling, Wayne Carroll! Wayne has been inducted into the NYS Wrestling Hall of Fame for his dedication and service to the sport which spans over 50 years! Carroll graduated from Goshen High School where he was a decorated wrestler including a 5th place finish in NYS in 1975. Wayne went on to have an extremely successful college wrestling career at East Stroudsburg and also coached for 10 years. However it is without question that Wayne is most know in the wrestling community for his work as an official. Wayne has served the state as an official for 38 years! He was ranked as the top official in Section 9 an incredible 15 times! Carroll is also a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Congratulations Wayne!

Just a few other nuggets of info….

  • Eastport South Manor senior Adam Busiello became only the 3rd wrestler in NYS history to win 5 state championships. Busiello joins Troy Nickerson and Jacori Teemer in this rarefied air. Busiello finished his career with an astonishing 299 wins!
  • Section 5 won the D1 tournament breaking Section 11’s 10-year stranglehold on the sectional team title. They went 5 for 6 in the finals and one of the teams from Section 5, Hilton, had FOUR state champions!
  • 9 of the 15 D1 champs also won Eastern States Classic; 5 D2 finalists were also ESC finalists
  • Hilton won the team title in D1; Tioga won it for D2
  • MOWs: Adam Busiello (D1) & Anthony Noto (D2)

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