2024 Eastern States Classic Recap – Soto, Duke, and Monchery Win Individual Crowns; Minisink Valley Captures Team Title

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2024 Eastern States Classic Champions

The 2024 Eastern States Classic is in the books, and it did not disappoint! With nearly 500 wrestlers from 154 schools spanning 7 states, the ESC once again showed why it is considered one of the toughest high school wrestling tournaments in the nation. Section 9 had an incredible showing at this year’s Classic! Three local wrestlers took home individual titles, and the team race was won by perennial state power Minisink Valley. It was the first time since Port Jervis won the team title in 2008 that a Section 9 team finished first in the team standings!

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Team Champions – Minisink Valley
MOW – PJ Duke

The Champions – Soto, Duke, and Monchery
Newburgh Free Academy freshman William Soto started off the finals with a bang by capturing gold at 101 pounds. Soto lived up to his #1 seed. He notched two pins, a technical fall, and a major decision before recording a 9-2 win in the finals over fellow Section 9 hammer EJ Vass from Valley Central. Minisink Valley junior PJ Duke showed why he is the top-ranked wrestler in the nation at his weight and he is considered one of the top pound-for-pound wrestlers in the land! Duke was dominant in recording three pins and a tech fall in his first four matches setting up the most anticipated bout of the tournament – a showdown with Cam Catrabone in the finals! Duke, who has verballed Penn State, is ranked #1 in the nation at 157 pounds. Catrabone, who has committed to Michigan, is ranked #9 at the same weight! It would be Duke who would score the only takedown of the match and come out on top via a 2-1 decision. For his efforts, Duke was awarded the MOW for middleweights and was also voted Champion of Champions by the finalists! Congratulations PJ. Last but not least is Middletown senior Stephan Monchery. The University of Buffalo commit won his second consecutive ESC crown when he pinned Landon Andrade from Sherburn Earlville in the first period of the finals! Congratulation to William, PJ, and Stephan!

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VC’s Luke Satriano placed 4th in a brutal 124-pound weight class!

Our Other Medalists….
The previously mentioned EJ Vass from Valley Central did not even make it to Day 2 of the ESC last year…this year he made it all the way to the finals and placed 2nd at 101 pounds! At 108 pounds, NFA sophomore Cooper Merli placed 2nd. Merli was last year’s ESC and NYS champion. He had a great tournament with a couple of very impressive wins however ran into Dunia Sibomana from Long Beach in the finals. Sibomana won the state tournament in 2022 and was very impressive in his 9-2 finals victory over Merli. The toughest weight class in the tournament was 124 pounds and Section 9 had a medalist at this weight! Valley Central’s Luke Satriano, a 2023 NYSPHSAA champion, took home 4th place honors in an absolute meat grinder of a bracket. At 138 pounds Minisink Valley’s Wyatt Boice came into the tournament as the 22nd seed but wrestled his tail off and placed 6th in an extremely tough bracket! At 145 pounds, Section 9 had another wrestler place much higher than their seed! Washingtonville’s Mason Ketcham was the 14th seed at 145 but notched wins over the #3 seed and the #6 seed and finished 3rd in the bracket! His only loss was a 3-0 decision to the 2nd place finisher. At 152 pounds, Minisink Valley senior Luke Greiner placed 4th in an extremely tough weight class. The top-3 wrestlers in this weight are all borderline nationally ranked kids so a 4th place finish by Greiner is very impressive! Section 9 had two medalists at 215 in Bryson Tibbs from Middletown and Christopher Leggett from NFA. Tibbs placed 3rd by defeating Leggett by fall in their medal match. His only loss was in the quarterfinals to the eventual champion Coy Raines from Section 6. Leggett was very impressive in his 4th place run including a first period pin over the #1 seed in the bracket, Matthew Harrold from Haverhill, MA. Middletown’s “other” 285 pounder, Rahmeire Bradley, was the final medalist for Section 9. Bradley made it all the way to the semis where he lost 3-2 and ended up taking 5th place at heavyweight.

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Eastern States Classic Girls Getting Tougher and Tougher
The ESC once again had a girls-only division, and the ladies did not disappoint! Minisink Valley had one champion, four top-4 finishers, and won the team title at this year’s ESC Girls Tournament. Section 9 had a total of 14 girls place in the top 4!
107: Keira Filip (Minisink Valley, 4th)
114: Savannah Tittleback (Saugerties, 3rd) Sara Pauls (Minisink Valley, 4th)
120: Brooke Tarshis (Pine Bush, 3rd)
132: Jaida Macaluso (Minisink Valley, 2nd) Ashley Aucancela (Chester, 3rd)
145: Rebecca Brennen (New Paltz, 2nd)
152: Zoe Kip (Liberty, 3rd) Allison McGovern (Chester, 4th)
185: Faith Villanueva (Chester, 2nd) Cheyenne Graham (Liberty, 3rd)
235: Patricia Deslandes (Minisink Valley, Champion), Norma Aviles (Middletown, 2nd) Destinee Stewart (Port Jervis, 4th)

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