Section 9 Wrestling – Division 1 Preview

In just a few short days we will see who the best wrestler is in all 13 weight classes at the Section 9 Wrestling Championship tournament. This year’s tournament, however, will have a new twist to it. The qualifying system for the NYSPHSAA Championships has changed and now the top TWO wrestlers in each weight class from Section 9 will qualify for the state tournament in Albany. So does this mean that all of the finalists on Saturday night have qualified for the state tournament…well no, not really. As has always been the case, the champion automatically qualifies. The wrestler who finishes second, however, may need to wrestle in a “true second” match to determine who is the second qualifier for the state tournament at that weight.

True Second – Explained
Many of the people reading this post may be unfamiliar with “true second” matches. True second matches are usually only contested when a tournament serves as a qualifier for another tournament – in this case, the top two wrestlers in each weight class qualify for the NYSPHSAA Championships in Albany. (True seconds matches are also used to determine National or World Team members.)

So how does it work? This is the simplest way to explain it. If a wrestler finishes 1st in their weight, they automatically qualify for states. If the 2nd place finisher defeated the 3rd place finisher earlier in the tournament, then the 2nd place finisher has qualified for the state tournament. If, however, the wrestler who finished in 3rd place did not lose to the wrestler who lost in the finals, a “true second” match will take place between those two wrestlers. The wrestler who wins the true second match will be the 2nd qualifier for that weight for the NYS state tournament. True second matches will take place shortly after the finals have ended.

Weight-By-Weight Division 1 Tournament Preview

102 PoundsTop 8 Seeds
1. Luke Satriano – Valley Central
2. Cooper Merli – Newburgh Free Academy
3. Joseph Uhrig – Minisink Valley
4. Marco Futia – Wallkill
5. Brady Judd – Warwick
6. Luke Dakin – FDR
7. Gabriel McNally – Pine Bush
8. Garrett Judd – Warwick

The lightweights usually provide us with some of the most exciting and dramatic matches of the Section 9 tournament and this year will be no different. Top seed Luke Satriano from Valley Central is undefeated this season and is considered a strong contender to be a medalist at the state tournament in Albany. Does this mean that he is going to roll through the Section 9 tournament? Absolutely not! NFA’s Cooper Merli has dropped two bouts to Satriano this year however the second loss was a razor close 1-0 decision. They always say that it’s tough to beat the same good wrestler 3X in one year. Will that be the case here or could we possibly see an upset from one of our other top wrestlers at 102? Minisink Valley’s Joseph Uhrig seems to be getting better each week and only lost 5-0 to Merli earlier this year. Wallkill’s Marco Futia has 7 losses this season however he hasn’t lost to a S9 wrestler all year and he has a win over Warwick’s Brady Judd who will contend here. FDR’s Luke Dakin is very scrappy and wrestles a full six minutes and should not be overlooked here.

110 Pounds
1. Nicholas Weeden – Valley Central
2. Wyatt Boice – Minisink Valley
3. Vincent Vidacovich – Valley Central
4. Liam Hayes – Monroe Woodbury
5. Joe Sullivan – Minisink Valley
6. Kevin Aleci – Cornwall
7. Jordan Busby – NFA
8. Gavin Ingrassia – Saugerties

Valley Central has a #1 seed for the second weight class in a row in Nicholas Weeden! Weeden has only two losses all season. In the finals of the Mid-Hudson he lost a tough 5-0 decision to Dillon Arrick from Arlington, but his other loss came to the #2 seed here, Wyatt Boice from Minisink Valley. During the MV vs VC dual meet Boice defeated Weeden 6-5 in sudden victory. One week later, Weeden pinned Boice in the finals of the Gene Brigham Tournament earning him the top seed for Sections. This is definitely not a two-horse race though! Monroe Woodbury’s Liam Hayes is tough and can make some noise here as can Minisink’s second entry at 110, Joe Sullivan as well as VC’s second entry Vincent Vidacovich.

118 Pounds
1. Sofia Macaulso – Minisink Valley
2. Alex Greco – Warwick
3. Rocco Futia – Wallkill
4. Maxim Javorsky – Monroe Woodbury
5. Joe Torres – Middletown
6. Jacob Perales – Goshen
7. Logan Pennell – Pine Bush
8. Erik Martin Jr. – Middletown

Without question this will be one of the most closely followed weight classes in this year’s Section 9 tournament. Could we possibly see history? Could #1 seed Sofia Macaluso be the first girl to win a Section 9 wrestling title? Macaluso has notched a couple of impressive wins this season but none more dramatic than her victory over our #2 seed Alex Greco at the Section 9 Duals. Greco, a 2020 NYS place winner at 99 pounds, was ahead of Macaluso 3-0 in the third period before losing by pinfall with only a few ticks left on the clock. Before we see this rematch however, someone is going to have to get through Rocco Futia from Wallkill. Futia has had a great season and lost a very tight 8-5 decision to Greco a few weeks ago. Monroe Woodbury’s Maxim Javorsky will also be heard at this weight class! Javorsky has dropped two very close decisions to top seed Macaluso and definitely has the potential to be on the mat on Saturday night! We should also keep an eye on Jacob Perales from Goshen and Joe Torres from Middletown who have both put together very nice seasons!

126 Pounds
1. Anthony Tresch – Minisink Valley
2. Sebastian Vidacovich – Valley Central
3. Jayden Norris – Middletown
4. Isaiah Hockx – Saugerties
5. Viktor Banta – Wallkill
6. Grant Barczak – Monroe Woodbury
7. Matt Mercado – NFA
8. Marco Piazza – Monroe Woodbury

This weight class is arguably the most wide-open in the tournament. Minisink Valley’s Anthony Tresch is the top seed, and he has two wins over both the #2 and #6 seeds, Sebastian Vidacovich from Valley Central and Grant Barczak from Monroe Woodbury. That said – his first win over Vidacovich was decided in ride outs, and his first win over Barczak was in sudden victory. As we all know, beating a good wrestler 3X in the same season is never easy making this a great weight class to follow. This weight class is not only three deep! We need to watch out for the three seed Middletown’s Jayden Norris, the four seed Saugerties’ Isaiah Hockx and the number five seed Viktor Banta from Wallkill. Matt Mercado from NFA is also a dangerous wrestler here.

132 Pounds
1. Andrew Marchese – Washingtonville
2. Zachary McKernan – Minisink Valley
3. Michael Accardo – Warwick
4. Jacob Roger – Middletown
5. Richard Urena – Pine Bush
6. Griffin Petzold – Warwick
7. Kevin Segali – NFA
8. Isaac Hernandez – Monticello

Washingtonville senior Andrew Marchese is the top seed and heavy favorite to win the title at 132 this year. Marchese finished 5th in NYS in 2020 and is undefeated this year. All but three of Marchese’s wins this season have been bonus point victories, and one of those non-bonus point wins came against 2nd seeded Zackary McKernan from Minisink Valley. McKernan, who was defeated 14-7 by Marchese has put together a great season and has traded wins with Valley Central’s Richie Degon who unfortunately is injured and cannot compete this weekend. Michael Accardo from Warwick, Griffin Petzold from Warwick, NFA’s Kevin Segali, and Jacob Roger from Middletown will also be in the mix at 132 this year.

138 Pounds
1. PJ Duke – Minisink Valley
2. Jordan Brown – Monroe Woodbury
3. Jackson Brady – Goshen
4. Michael Tomblinson – Middletown
5. Aaron Caoili – Cornwall
6. Jonathan Subocz – Monroe Woodbury
7. Pedro Godines – Middletown
8. Dan Way – Beacon

Section 9 is very strong at this weight and will likely send two wrestlers to the state tournament who will both place! Minisink Valley freshman PJ Duke is the #1 seed. Duke is not only a heavy favorite to win this weight class but he’s likely to win a second state championship in Albany in a few weeks. He won the NYS 99-pound weight class as a 7th grader in 2020. Duke, a Super 32 champion and Ironman finalist, is currently ranked #3 in nation at 132 according to FloWrestling. Monroe Woodbury’s Jordan Brown is the #2 seed here and he is also a returning state place winner taking 6th at 99 in 2020. Brown’s only loss of the season came to Duke at the MV vs MW dual meet where Duke won by pinfall at the 3:28 mark of the second period. Another wrestler to watch here is Goshen’s Jackson Brady who is having a great season and should medal high at sections.

145 Pounds
1. Jackson Merli – Newburgh Free Academy
2. Luke Greiner – Minisink Valley
3. Dominic Genarro – Washingtonville
4. Theo Ballantine – Cornwall
5. George Thomas – Wallkill
6. Andrew Sgambati – Middletown
7. Luke Posta – Warwick
8. Henry Villodas – Goshen

If the seeds are correct here, we could see a highly anticipated rematch between NFA’s Jackson Merli and Minisink Valley’s Luke Greiner in the finals on Saturday night. Merli defeated Greiner 8-6 in sudden victory during the MV vs NFA semifinal at the Section 9 Duals so Merli will be the top seed followed Greiner at #2. If both wrestlers make it there, this could be the best match of the finals. Washingtonville’s Dominic Gennaro is having a good year and should place high here and we should also keep our eyes on Theo Ballantine from Cornwall and George Thomas from Wallkill.

152 Pounds
1. Tyler Reed – Cornwall
2. Eric Tigue – Minisink Valley
3. Erik Nilson – Warwick
4. Ibrahim Aljamal – Washingtonville
5. Jason Cintron – Middletown
6. Marco Martini – Wallkill
7. Christian Hockx – Saugerties
8. Andrew Rick – Valley Central

Minisink Valley’s Eric Tigue was a 2X Section 9 D2 champion in 2018 and 2019 when he attended Port Jervis and he is now one of the favorites to win at his first chance to compete in the D1 tournament. Tigue is having an excellent season and is getting better every week. He only has four losses and all four were to very credentialed wrestlers…but Tigue is not the #1 seed here. One wrestler who Tigue has not locked horns with yet is Tyler Reed from Cornwall and he is your top seed. Reed is having a great year and his only loss came at the Mid-Hudson where he was pinned by Section 1 hammer Tim Bova. A few other wrestlers to watch here are Erik Nilson from Warwick, Marco Martini from Wallkill, Christian Hockx from Saugerties, Ibraham Aljamal from Washingtonville, and Jason Cintron from Middletown.

160 Pounds
1. Zackary Ryder – Minisink Valley
2. George Racz – Minisink Valley
3. Anthony Manzi – Newburgh Free Academy
4. Devin Greer – Pine Bush|
5. Robert Liggio – Monroe Woodbury
6. Logan Serafin – Washingtonville
7. Jai Barnett – Wallkill
8. Jack Mazzella – Warwick

Minisink Valley sophomore Zak Ryder is our clear #1 at 160. Ryder was a state champ at 126 in 2020 as an 8th grader and he is currently ranked #11 in the nation at 160 according to FloWrestling. The fight for the second wrestler to represent Section 9 at the state tournament should be a good one though. Ryder’s Minisink Valley teammate George Racz is definitely one of the favorites, but he is going to have to contend with the likes of Anthony Manzi from NFA, Devin Greer from Pine Bush, and Logan Serafin from Washingtonville. We should also keep an eye on Jai Barnett from Wallkill, Rob Liggio from MW, and Jack Mazzella from Warwick.

172 Pounds
1. Mikey Altomer – Minisink Valley
2. Mike Zrelack – Monroe Woodbury
3. Nick Cavallo – Cornwall
4. Johnny Accardo – Warwick
5. Chris Leggett – Newburgh
6. Hector Sanchez – FDR
7. Myles Gordon – Kingston
8. Jalen Charles – Middletown

The top seed at 172 is Mikey Altomer from Minisink Valley. Altomer placed 5th in NYS in 2020 and is having an outstanding year. His only two losses this season occurred back in December at the Ironman, the toughest high school wrestling tournament in the nation. One wrestler who Altomer has not faced yet is the #2 seed Mike Zrelak from Monroe Woodbury. Zrelak is strong and athletic and poses a problem for any opponent. This weight has some decent depth too with guys like Myles Gordon from Kingston, Nick Cavallo from Cornwall, Johnny Accardo from Warwick, Chris Leggett from NFA, Jalen Charles from Middletown and Hector Sanchez from FDR Hyde Park.

189 Pounds
1. Andrew Filip – Minisink Valley
2. Joe Ponesse – Newburgh Free Academy
3. Braydon Pennell – Pine Bush
4. Max Winkler – Goshen
5. Nicholas York – Kingston
6. Craig Ladka – Monroe Woodbury
7. Dante Joseph – Goshen
8. Alex Khalil – Beacon

This can be a great weight to watch unfold. Minisink Valley’s Andrew Filip is having a great year and he is the top seed here. Filip only has one loss, and he has bonus points in almost all of his wins. One wrestler he has not faced yet however is Braydon Pennell from Pine Bush. Pennell is having a very solid year with only two losses to NYS wrestlers and both of those losses were to kids who will likely win their respective sectional tournaments. Filip does have one common opponent win over Pennell but it’s razor close. Filip beat Dillon Blanchard from Section 2 by a score of 7-5 while Blanchard topped Pennel 8-6. There is plenty of other talent at 189. The number 2 seed Joe Ponesse is having a great year as is forth seeded Max Winkler from Goshen who will definitely make some noise here! Do not look past Nick York from Kingston. He can surprise a few people here.

215 Pounds
1. Ethan Gallo – Minisink Valley
2. Justin Callahan – Washingtonville
3. Bryson Tibbs – Middletown
4. Louis DelBianco – Beacon
5. Jake McVey – Washingtonville
6. Gavin Furst – Cornwall
7. James Bucci – Saugerties
8. Fernand Vera – Middletown

One of the heaviest favorites to win his weight class at this year’s Section 9 tournament is Minisink valley Ethan Gallo. Gallo, who finished 6th in NYS at 182 in 2020, is undefeated this year and has scored bonus points in every match that he has wrestled at 215 pounds this season. After Gallo there are several very solid wrestlers who will be in contention for the 2nd ticket to Albany at 215. Washingtonville has two strong contenders in Justin Callahan and Jake McVey. Middletown’s Bryson Tibbs has decided to bump up to 215 and he will give people fits here as will the 7 seed James Bucci. Cornwall’s Gavin Furst is having a very solid season Beacon’s Louis DelBianco could get into the conversation here.

285 Pounds
1. Stephan Monchery – Middletown
2. Dominick Siracusa – Goshen
3. Nick Valenzano – Cornwall
4. Saul Abrego – Pine Bush
5. Tyler Haydt – Beacon
6. Aiden DeEntremont – Goshen
7. Aiden Gove – Minisink Valley
8. Dan Jabbour – Monroe Woodbury

Our heavyweight division could resemble a few of the other weight classes at this tournament – one solid favorite but a pretty wide-open race for the second ticket to Albany. Middletown’s Stephan Monchery is our number one seed here. Monchery is undefeated and has pinned every opponent except one this year in the first period. One wrestler he has not faced yet is Dominick Siracusa from Goshen. Siracusa is the number two seed. He only has two losses this season and they are to the top ranked D1 wrestler in the state, Chales Tibbitts, and the top ranked D2 wrestler in the state, Nick Rogers. The other guys that we need to keep an eye on here are Nick Valenzano from Cornwall, Saul Abrego from Pine Bush, Aiden DeEntremont from Goshen, Aiden Gove from Minisink Valley and Tyler Haydt from Beacon.

One thought on “Section 9 Wrestling – Division 1 Preview”

  1. I have heard that a systematic approach is used to arrive at the Section 9 wrestling seedlings.. it would be appropriate if the Section 9 fans, and our wrestlers as well, could be made aware of the details of any such system that is used.

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