2019 Pinning Down Autism Recap

The 2019 Pinning Down Autism All State Duals took place on Sunday and was once a again a huge success! Fans were treated to an incredible day of wrestling while raising money and awareness to a great cause! Special thanks to Jason Bross and Daniel Kelly for putting together this very special event!

2019 Champions Team New Jersey

This year’s PDA tournament showcased dual meets between Team NY, Team NJ, and Team Mid-Atlantic. When the dust settled, the team from the Garden State prevailed by going 2-0 on the day! The day began with Team NY defeating Team Mid-Atlantic 59-6. Section 9’s Maxx DeCapua (NFA) wrestled at 220 pounds for Team NY and notched an impressive 4-2 victory in the dual. The second dual of the afternoon featured an dominating 69-3 victory by Team NJ over Team Mid-Atlantic setting up the much anticipated final between NY and NJ! The beginning of the dual was all Team NY as they jumped out to a 10-0 lead but NJ picked up a huge win at 113 where they picked up an unexpected 6 points when NY’s Greg Diakomihalis, the #1 ranked 113 pound wrestler in the nation, was forced to injury default to Alex Almeyda. Team NY built up a 31-12 lead after an impressive 16-4 win by Kyle Mosher over Robert Kanniard in a battle of nationally ranked wrestlers, but Team NJ was too strong at the upper weights and reeled five straight bonus point wins from 170-285 and won the dual meet by a 39-31 margin!

Pinning Down Autism Founder Jason Bross with JWoww from The Jersey Shore

This year’s event also featured an exhibition freestyle match between NJ native Mario Mason and NY native Chris Perez. Mason, who wrestled at Blair Academy in high school before competing at Rutgers in college, defeated Perez 10-0. Perez went to MacArthur HS in Section 8 Long Island and wrestled at Princeton for 3 years before transferring to Indiana for his senior year. There was also a guest appearance on Sunday by Jenni Farley aka JWoww of Jersey Shore fame. JWoww supported the event and donated iPads and sensory bags on behalf of KultureCity, a non-profit organization that raises money for those on the autism spectrum.

Leonard Selected to Represent Team New York in Prelim to the Prestigious Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic; Gartiser to Serve as Assistant Coach

Congratulation to Cornwall senior Will Leonard and Monroe Woodbury coach John Gartiser for being selected to take part in the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic! Leonard will be wrestling at 220 pounds for Team New York where Gartiser will serve as one of the assistant coaches. The event takes place tonight, Friday 3/15, and can be watched live on FloWrestling beginning at 6:00 PM.

An invitation to the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic, formerly the Dapper Dan Classic, is one of the most prestigious honors that can be bestowed upon a high school wrestler. The main event of the Classic, now in its 44th year, pits an all-star team of seniors from the US against an all-star team of seniors from Pennsylvania. In a preliminary dual, an all-star team of seniors from Western PA (WPIAL) squares off against an all-star team of seniors from another state – this year Western PA will be taking on Team New York! Let’s take a look at the teams that will be competing in this year’s Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic!

Prelim – Team New York vs Team WPIAL

Team New York
113 – Terry Adams (Monsignor Farrell, CHSAA) 3rd NYS D1
120 – James Ryan (Monsignor Farrell, CHSAA) 1st NYS D1
126 – Tyler Kellison (CBA, Section 3) 2nd NYS D1
132 – Alex Samson (Victor, Section 5) 1st NYS D1
138 – John Worthing (Tioga, Section 4) 1st NYS D2
145 – Hunter Shaut (Central Valley, Section 3) 1st NYS D2
152 – Zach Lawrence (Duanesburg, Section 2) 1st NYS D2
160 – Charlie Grygas (Duanesburg, Section 2) 3rd NYS D2
170 – Aaron Wolk (Horace Greeley, Section 1) 1st NYS D1
182 – Patrick Welsh (Olean, Section 6) 5th NYS D1
195 – Robbie Penhollow (Falconer, Section 6) 1st NYS D2
220 – Will Leonard (Cornwall, Section 9) 1st NYS D1
285 – Joey Slackman (Commack, Section 11) 1st NYS D1
Coaches: Rich Romeo, John Leone, John Gartiser

113 – Marino Angeliccio (Greater Latrobe) dnp PA
120 – Kyle Burkholder (Hempfield) 5th PA
126 – Kenny Hayman (Canon McMillan) 4th PA
132 – Colton Camacho (Franklin Regional) 2nd PA
138 – Nick Coy (Penn Trafford) 7th PA
145 – John Rocco Kazalas (Quaker Valley) 5th PA
152 – Cam Connor (Kiski Area) 2nd PA
160 – Colby Morris (Waynesburg) dnp PA
170 – Christian Clutter (McGuffey) 2nd PA
182 – Scott Joll (Belle Vernon) 3rd PA
195 – John Vargo (Bentworth) 5th PA
220 – Ogden Atwood (Armstrong) 8th PA
285 – Jake Slinger (Upper St. Claire) 2nd PA

The Main Event – Team USA vs Team Pennsylvania

Team USA
113 – Kurt McHenry (St. Pauls, MD) 3X National Prep Champ
120 – Eric Barnett (Hortonville, WI) 3X WI Champ
126 – Mike Colaiocco (Blair, NJ) 2X National Prep Champ
132 – Luke Baughman (Wadsworth, OH) 2019 5th in OH
138 – Jo Jo Aragona (Pope John, NJ) 1X NJ Champ
145 – Kevon Davenport (Detroit Catholic, MI) 4X MI Champ
152 – Cameron Amine (Detroit Catholic, MI) 3X MI Champ
160 – Zach Lawrence (Duanesburg, NY) 1X NY Champ
170 – Julian Ramirez (Blair, NJ) 3X National Prep Champ
182 – Abe Assad (Glenbard North, IL) 2X IL Champ
195 – Devin Winston (Park Hill, MO) 2X MO Champ
220 – Owen Trephan (Blair, NJ) 1X National Prep, 2X SC Champ
285 – John Birchmeier (Broad Run, VA) 4X VA Champ

Team Pennsylvania
113 – Beau Bayless (Reynolds) 1X PA Champ
120 – Sean Pierson (Nazareth) 1X PA Champ
126 – Darren Miller (Kiski Area) 1X PA Champ
132 – Julian Chlebove (Northhampton) 3X PA Champ
138 – Jacob Ealy (Hopewell) 1X PA Champ
145 – Ryan Anderson (Bethlehem Catholic) 2X PA Champ
152 – Ryan Vulakh (Pope John Paul) 1X PA Champ
160 – Dan Mancini (Owen J. Roberts) 1X PA Champ
170 – Edmond Ruth (Susquehanna Township) 2X PA Champ
182 – Carter Starocci (Cathedral Prep) 2X PA Champ
195 – Donovon Ball (Cedar Cliff) 2019 2nd in PA
220 – Jacob McMaster (Greenville) 1X PA Champ
285 – Kawaun DeBoe (Cathedral Prep) 1X PA Champ

18 New York HS Grads and 6 Army Black Knights Qualify for NCAA Division 1 Championships – Brackets

Congratulations to the 6 Army West Point wrestlers plus the 18 New York State high school graduates who have qualified for the 2019 NCAA Division 1 Wrestling Championships! The tournament takes place next on 3/21 – 3/23 in Pittsburgh, PA. Let’s take a look at each of the wrestlers with NY ties who have qualified as well as the complete brackets! Congratulations men!

2019 NCAA D1 Brackets

Army West Point Qualifiers
141 – Corey Shie (LaSalle HS, OH)
157 – Luke Weiland (Seckman HS, MO)
165 – Cael McCormick (Yorktown HS, IN)
174 – Ben Harvey (Indianapolis Cathedral HS, IN)
184 – Noah Stewart (Mifflin County HS, PA)
197 – Rocco Caywood (Perrysburg HS, OH)

NYS High School Grads Who Qualified
125 – Nick Piccininni (Oklahoma St, Ward Melville – Section 11)
125 – Vito Arujau (Cornell, Syosset – Section 8)
133 – Derek Spann (Buffalo, Adirondack – Section 3)
141 – Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell, Hilton – Section 5)
141 – Anthony Sparacio (Binghamton, N Babylon – Section 11)
141 – Bryan Lantry (Buffalo, Wayne – Section 5)
149 – Parker Kropman (Drexel, Penfield – Section 5)
157 – Alex Smythe (Buffalo, Eden – Section 6)
165 – Jesse Dellavecchia (Rider, East Islip – Section 11)
165 – Troy Keller (Buffalo, North Tonowanda – Section 6)
174 – Vincent Deprez (Binghamton, Hilton- Section 5)
184 – Louie Deprez (Binghamton, Hilton – Section 5)
184 – Shakur Rasheed (Penn State, Longwood – Section 11)
184 – Kevin Parker (Princeton, Shenendehowa – Section 2)
197 – Tom Lane (Cal Poly, Garden City – Section 8)
197 – Ben Honis (Cornell, Jamesville DeWitt – Section 3)
197 – Brett Perry (Buffalo, John Jay East Fishkill – Section 1)
285 – Yousiff Hemida (Maryland, Mamaroneck – Section 1)

NYS Qualifiers by Section
5 – Section 5 (Diakomihalis, Lantry, Kropman, Deprez, Deprez)
4 – Section 11 (Piccininni, Sparacio, Dellavecchia, Rasheed)
2 – Section 8 (Arujau, Lane)
2 – Section 6 (Smythe, Keller)
2 – Section 3 (Spann, Honis)
2 – Section 1 (Perry, Hemida)
1 – Section 2 (Parker)

NCAA Qualifiers by State
54 – Pennsylvania
24 – Ohio
23 -New Jersey
22 – Illinois
19 – Michigan
18 – New York
18 – California
14 – Missouri
12 – Colorado
12 – Georgia
12 – Iowa
11 – Minnesota
11 – Oklahoma
10 – Indiana
There are 27 other states and Canada who have qualifiers.

Blaine, Leonard Big Winners at Largest Friends of Section 9 Banquet To Date

The Section 9 wrestling community gathered as one on Sunday at Kuhl’s Highland House in Middletown to celebrate the 2018-2019 season…and what a night it was!!! First and foremost, thank you for everyone who attended the banquet! This year was our biggest banquet to date with 329 registered guests. Last year there were 269 attendees. Let’s keep the momentum going and shoot for 400 next year!!! The purpose of the banquet is to recognize the top 4 wrestlers in Division 1 and the top 2 wrestlers in Division 2 in all 15 weight classes, and also to give special recognition to the wrestlers, coaches, teams, and others who have achieved excellence above and beyond the norm!

Don Blaine – John Bell Lifetime Achievement
Will Leonard – Wrestler of the Year

The highlight of the evening, without question, was the well deserved standing ovation received by retiring Cornwall coach Don Blaine for receiving the John Bell Lifetime Achievement Award. Blaine has been coaching high school wrestling at his alma mater Cornwall for 36 years. He has over 500 career wins which ranks him 1st in Section 9 history and 4th in all of New York State. Blaine has also been inducted into the NYS and National Wrestling Halls of Fame. When the standing ovation eventually stopped, Coach Blaine spoke to the audience for a few minutes – and in typical Don Blaine fashion, he spent the entire time talking about his wrestlers, his support staff, and his lovely wife Sue who he later presented with the Coach’s Wife of the Year Award. Blaine also spoke about the positive influence that John Bell, a former coach at Minisink Valley, had on his career. Congratulations Donnie, you are represent everything that is right with high school athletics!

What better way would there be to send off a coach like Don Blaine than to have one of his wrestlers win a state title??? Well thanks to Cornwall senior Will Leonard, that’s exactly the way it happened! To nobody’s surprise, Leonard cleaned house at the banquet. Leonard received the Orange/Sullivan Officials Sportsmanship Award, the Troy Bouzakis Wrestler of the Year Award, a Michael DeCapua Scholarship, and the Patrick D’Aliso Scholarship. Leonard finished the season a perfect 45-0 and capped of his career by winning the state title at 220 pounds. He is the first athlete in NYS history to be an undefeated state champion in football and wrestling in the same season. Great job Will and congratulations on an incredible career.

Fan of the Year Chuck Kennedy

The greatest reaction to winning an award goes to Chuck Kennedy from Kingston who, not surprisingly, won Fan of the Year. You are the best Chuckie! Lisa Vespa from Monroe Woodbury won the Friends of Section 9 Person of the Year. Thank you Lisa for everything that you have done over the past 13 years. Pine Bush’s Nick Florin won Parent of the Year while Wallkill’s Dave Thomas received the Friends of Section 9 Presidents Award – both very well deserved! SUNY Ulster and Rondout Valley both received the Friends of Section 9 Presidents Team Award. John Scesa won the Friends of Section 9 Ref of the Year – we are very lucky to have you John!

Frank Tschan Team of the Team – Minisink Valley
Mark Faller Coach of the Year – Kevin Gallagher

Minisink Valley capped off another incredible season by being named the Frank Tschan Team of the Year. The Warriors won the Section 9 Duals for the 2nd straight time and finished the season ranked #3 in the state by the New York State Sportswriters Association. Minisink Valley accomplished something pretty amazing and the emcee on Sunday (that would be me) forgot to mention it during the banquet. Over the past two seasons, Minisink Valley has sent 12 wrestlers to the state tournament – 12 DIFFERENT WRESTLERS! No other team in NYS history has ever accomplished this incredible feat. The Warriors head coach Kevin Gallagher received the Mark Faller Coach of the Year Award and one of his wrestlers, Sofia Macaluso, received a Special Recognition Award. Sofia finished in 3rd place at 120 at this year’s Section 9 Tournament becoming the first girl to ever place in our sectional tournament! Great job Sofia and congratulations to Coach Gallagher, Coach Hendershot, Coach Byrne, Coach Potter, and the entire Minisink Valley wrestling program!

FS9 Coach of the Year Chris Leggett pictured with Matt Dunne

NFA head coach Chris Leggett was selected at the Friends of Section 9 Coach of the Year for his great work with the Goldbacks. NFA notched a dual meet win over state ranked Monroe Woodbury for the 1st time in 16 years! The Most Improved Team Award went to Chester who scored 62 more points at this year’s Section 9 Tournament than they did in 2018. Kingston’s Cappy Weiner and Quintin Johnson received Assistant Coaches of the Year Awards while Michael Daniels from Cornwall won the award for Modified/Youth Coach of the Year.

Tommy Maddox – Dave Simmons Most Courageous Award (pictured with Coach Andre Lee)

The Most Courageous Award has now been renamed the Dave Simmons Most Courageous Award and this year’s recipient was Washingtonville senior Tommy Maddox who battled through early season injuries and wound up winning the Section 9 title at 132 pounds! The Come-Back of the Year Award was won by Kingston senior Hayden Barley who missed most of last year due to injury but battled back this year and finished 2nd in the section at 195 pounds! Were would we be with our scorekeepers? This year there were 6 awards given for Scorekeeper of the Year. Congratulations to Liz Smith (Kingston), Amanda Arbiter (Kingston), Lauren Weiss (Highland), Lilly Bogdanowicz (Highland), Cassidy McMann (Highland), and Olivia Vizethann (Cornwall). And last but not least we had the following 7 senior wrestlers win Michael DeCapua Scholarships: Steve Gazzillo (Cornwall), Mat Malherio (Highland), Marco Vespa (Monroe Woodbury), Tyler Serafini (NFA), Tommy Maddox (Washingtonville), and the aforementioned Will Leonard (Cornwall).

Special thanks to Fred and Jenni Perna for all of the incredible photographs (shown here) taken during the banquet and during the entire season!

Section 9 Grads and Army West Point Set to Compete in DII & DIII Nationals, EIWA Championships

It’s a big weekend for several of our local wrestlers who are now competing at the collegiate level! Let’s taking a look at the athletes and the tournaments where they are entered! Match-by-match results will be posted below. Best of luck guys!

Section 9 Graduates

Division I
EIWA Championships
Binghamton University
March 8th & 9th

141 – Gerard Daly (Sacred Heart, Minisink Valley)
Rd 16: Gil (Navy) tech 19-2 Daly
Consi of 8 #1: Vindici (Penn) dec 6-4 Daly
157 – Evan Barczak (Drexel, Monroe Woodbury)
Rd 16: Clarke (American) dec 3-1 Barczak
Consi of 8 #1: Hovis (Navy) dec 12-5 Barczak

Division II
NCAA DII Championships
Cleveland, OH

March 8th & 9th
174 – Michael Raccioppi (East Stroudsburg, Minisink Valley)
Rd 16: Raccioppi tech 17-2 Price (Ashlund)
Quarters: Craig (Wheeling Jesuit) dec 7-3 Raccioppi

Division III
NCAA DIII Championships
Roanoke, VA
March 8th & 9th

149 – Da’mani Burns (Johnson & Wales, NFA)
Prelim: Burns wbf :28 Kelly (Loras)
Rd 16: Burns wbf :37 Lasko (John Carroll)
Quarters: Warner (York) tech 21-6 Burns
174 – AJ Aeberli (Coast Guard Academy, Minisink Valley)
Rd 16: Aeberli dec 5-3 Chukwuezi (Ithaca)
285 – James Bethel (SUNY Oneonta, Saugerties)
Rd 16: Bethel maj 14-3 Lee (Orarks)

Army West Point Wrestling

Division I
EIWA Championships
Binghamton University
March 8th & 9th

125 – Trey Chalifoux
Rd 16: Chalifoux dec 6-4 Resnick (Lehigh)
133 – Lane Peters
Rd 16: Peters wbf :40 Salas (Drexel)
141 – Corey Shie
Rd 16: Shie maj 13-1 Lambert (Hofstra)
157 – Lucas Weiland
Rd 16: Weiland maj 13-0 LiCastri (F&M)
165 – Cael McCormick
Rd 16: McCormick dec 11-5 Wokasch (American)
174 – Ben Harvey
Rd 16: Harvey dec 6-0 Hendricks (Penn)
184 – Noah Stewart
Rd 16: Stewart tech 16-0 Robilotto (F&M)
197 – Rocco Caywood
Rd 16: Caywood maj 9-0 Correa (American)
285 – Ben Sullivan
Rd 16: Sullivan tech 16-0 Ajah (Princeton)

SUNY Sullivan’s Jhavon Innocent Is An All-American

Coach Ng, Innocent, Coach Dennison, Satriano

Congratulations to SUNY Sullivan sophomore Jhavon Innocent for becoming the General’s first All-American in the history of the program. Innocent, a graduate of East Ramapo High School in Section 1, dropped his first match at the NJCAA Wrestling Championships and then proceeded to reel of four straight wins to guarantee his spot on the podium! Congratulations to Jhavon, Coach Ng, Coach Dennison, and the entire SUNY Sullivan program! This will be the first of many!!!

174 – Jhavon Innocent (SUNY Sullivan)
Rd 32: Winkler (N-East Oklahoma) wbf 5:42 Innocent
Consi Rd 16 #1: Innocent dec Dyson (Garrett)
Consi Rd 16 #2: Innocent dec 6-4 Quiroz (Harper)
Consi Rd 8 #1: Innocent dec 12-7 Hornbrook (S-West Oregon)
Consi Rd 8 #2: Innocent dec 7-6 Thomas (Northeastern)

125 – Gavin Pasqualini (SUNY Ulster)
Rd 32: Balderrama (Pratt) dec 7-0 Pasqualini
Consi Rd 16 #1: bye
Consi Rd 16 #2: Ponce (Labette) wbf 5:51 Pasqualini

141 – Robert Satriano (SUNY Sullivan)
Rd 32: Franich (Highline) wbf 2:08 Satriano
Consi Rd 16 #1: bye
Consi Rd 16 #2: Fisher (Iowa Lakes) wbf :53 Satriano

149 – Dan Mandic (SUNY Sullivan)
Rd 32: Bechtel (Moskegan) dec 3-0 Mandic
Consi Rd 16 #1: Mandic win by DQ Biddle (Cowley)
Consi Rd 16 #2: Pincus (Nassau CC) wbf 5:59 Mandic

165 – Matt Shields (SUNY Ulster)
Rd 32: Howse (Ellsworth) dec 8-7 Shields
Consi Rd 16 #1: Shields wbf 2:23 White (Triton)
Consi Rd 16 #2: Shields maj 10-1 Mundey (Garrett)
Consi Rd 8 #1: Aziere (Cloud County) wbf 4:41 Shields

174 – Adonis Morano (SUNY Ulster)
Rd 32: McBride (Barton) wbf 3:45 Morano
Consi Rd 16 #1: Carpenter (N. Iowa Area CC) dec 14-7 Morano

Sullivan and Ulster Grapplers Ready for NJCAA Championships

Congratulations to our two local JUCO wrestling programs for sending a total of six wrestlers to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Wrestling Championships! The tournament is this weekend March 1st & 2nd at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Match-by-match results will be posted here! Let’s meet all five of the qualifiers.

SUNY Sullivan
Robert Satriano (149, sophomore)
Satriano is a 2016 graduate of Valley Central High School where he finished 3rd in Section 9 as a senior. Robert was 14-7 this year for the Generals and punched his ticket to nationals by finishing 2nd at the Eastern District Championships.

Dan Mandic (149, freshman)
Mandic is a 2017 graduate from Goshen High School where he placed 6th at 145 as a senior. Mandic wrestled in Ohio prior to moving to Goshen for his senior season. Dan had a 6-9 record this season but got the job done when it mattered and place 3rd at Districts.

J’havon Innocent (174, sophomore)
J’havon is a 2017 graduate of East Ramapo High School in Section 1. Innocent finished 2nd in Section 1 as a senior and received an at-large birth to the state tournament where he went 1-2. J’havon was 14-8 this season and advanced to the nationals by taking 2nd at the district tournament.

SUNY Ulster
Gavin Pasqualini (125, freshman)
Gavin is a 2017 graduate of Arlington High School where he won the Section 1 championship at 120 pounds as a senior. Pasqualini went 14-8 this season and finished 2nd at the districts to punch his ticket to Council Bluffs!

Matthew Shields (165, sophomore)
Matt is a 2017 graduate of Onteora where he placed 2nd in Section 9 as a senior. Shields is now a 2X NJCAA qualifier! He knocked of nationally ranked Brian Torres from Nassau CC in the semis and then finished 2nd in the districts to qualify for nationals. Matt has 14 wins this season and finished 4th at the Williams Open.

Adonis Morano (174, freshman)
Morano is a 2018 graduate of Middletown High School. Adonis missed his senior year due to injury however he won the Section 9 crown at 170 pounds as a junior. This season Adonis went 11-7 and placed 4th at the districts tournament to advance to the nationals!