Section 9 Division 1 Wrestlers To Keep Our Eyes On!!!

Section 9 has a very strong group of returning wrestlers who have experience competing on the big stage in Albany. Let’s take a quick look at look at those who have made it to the state tournament and then we’ll take a more in depth look at a few wrestlers that could be flying under the radar going into this season!

Returning State Place Winners
Maxx DeCapua (NFA, senior) 6th @195 (2018), 3rd @220 (2019)
Zack Ryder (Minisink Valley, 8th grader) – 2nd @ 106 (2019)
Tommy Askey (Pine Bush, senior) – 4th @ 145
Joe McGinty (Monroe Woodbury, senior) – 4th @ 152
Adam Fenner (Minisink Valley, junior) – 5th @ 285
Jacob Chenier (Kingston, senior) – 7th/8th @ 113

Returning State Qualifiers
Justin Morales (Middletown, senior) @99 (2018), @106 (2019)
Andrew Marchese (Washingtonville, sophomore) @ 99 (2019)
Nick Picariello (Minisink Valley, senior) @ 120 (2019)
Jordan Suarez (Minisink Valley, senior) @ 126 (2019)
Sean Savacool (Minisink Valley, senior) @ 138 (2019)
Ethan Palanca (New Paltz, junior) @ 120 (2018)
Matt Romano (Valley Central, senior) @ 126 (2018)

Now let’s take a look a few Section 9 wrestlers who are looking to punch their ticket to Albany for the first time this season!!!

James Faison – Wallkill, senior
Faison has been plagued by injuries the past two seasons however he is without question the Section 9 wrestler who could make waves at the local and state level. Faison was injured approximately 30 seconds into his first match of the season last year against eventual S9 champ Jordan Suarez from Minisink Valley. In 2017-2018, Faison was having a sensational season before suffering an injury in the Section 9 Tournament. During that season Faison had only lost one wrestled match with all of his other losses coming via injury default. His season included a 19-8 major decision over 2019 state place winner Chris Cook and a 1:52 pin over 2019 state qualifier Alexis Diaz. If Faison stays healthy he will definitely turn heads this season!

Ethan Gallo – Minisink Valley, freshman
Gallo made it all the way to the Section 9 finals last season as an 8th grader wrestling at 160 pounds where he lost an 8-3 decision to Eastern States Classic place winner Steve Gazzillo. Expect to see this Minisink Valley freshman make a splash at 170 and 182 this season. A three sport athlete, Gallo is extremely athletic and has as much upside as any wrestler in Section 9. At last year’s Eastern States Classic Gallo notched wins over eventual state qualifiers Cyrus Smith (PSAL) and Zach Swyers (Section 7).

Armel Duke – Middletown, senior
Duke had a disappointing Section 9 Tournament last season but he definitely had a few noteworthy wins that make him a wrestler to watch for this season in Section 9! His biggest win of the season came early when he pinned eventual NYS place winner James Oosterom from Port Jervis at the 1:45 mark of the first period on December 5th. He also had a great January which included an 8th place finish at 220 pounds at the Eastern States Classic. Duke is a great athlete and he has worked hard in the off season setting him up for a great senior campaign!

Jackson Merli – NFA, sophomore
Merli had a great freshman season which concluded with a 3rd place finish at 99 pounds.The two wrestlers who finished ahead of him, Andrew Marchese of Washingtonville and Colby Amell of Saugerties, are both former state qualifiers (2019 and 2017 respectively). Merli put in a very busy off season and will definitely be in the hunt for a Section 9 title in February!

Jaccob Gonzalez – Minisink Valley, junior
This MV Warrior junior was having an outstanding sophomore season until it was cut short by injury after the Eastern States Classic. Gonzalez is an explosive wrestler who is will definitely be a factor at 145/152 this season. He won his first 21 matches last season and finished the season at 22-3.

Other S9 D1 Wrestlers to Watch….
Alex Greco (Warwick) – early season favorite to win 99 this year
Jordan Brown (Monroe) talented; will definitely push Greco
Josh Sam (Middletown) – S9 finalist at 132 last season
Brian Lombardi (Minisink) – very busy and successful off season
Max Wernicki (Monroe Woodbury) – 3rd at 152 last season
Joe Velazquez (Middletown) – split with Gallo last season
Stephan Monchery (Middletown) – 8th grade returner at 285

Busy Opening Weekend in College Wrestling for Local Grapplers

NFA grad Da’mani Burns

Over 20 local grads competed in college wrestling tournaments this weekend and that doesn’t include the 10+ others who have not started yet! Great job S9 and special congratulations to NFA graduate Da’mani Burns (Johnson & Wales) who took 1st Place @ 149 at the Ithaca Invitational!!!

Ithaca Invitational
149: Da’mani Burns (Johnson & Wales/NFA) 4-0… Champion!!!
125: Johnny Stramiello (Ithaca/Pine Bush) 1-2 dnp
125: Anthony Stramiello (Ithaca/MW) 3-2 dnp
157: Frank Fea (Castleton/Goshen) 1-2 dnp
165: Ian Houck (RIT/Rondout Valley) 1-2 dnp

Brockport Open
184: Joe Yanis (Brockport/Minisink) 3-1… 2nd Place!
285: Sam Weinger (RIT/Washingtonville) 3-1… 2nd Place!
133: Pedro Rosales (Sullivan/Middletown) 3-1… 3rd Place!
125: Liam Bullock (Sullivan/Chester) 2-2 …4th Place!
174: Adonis Morano (Sullivan/Middletown) 4-2 …4th Place!
184: Brian Mascaro (Sullivan/Wallkill) 3-2 … 4th Place!
141: Zach Rosenthal (Sullivan/MW) 1-2 dnp
149: Destin Morano (Sullivan/Middletown) 0-2 dnp
149: Nick Curreri (Sullivan/Eldred) 3-2 dnp
157: Anas Samir (Sullivan) 1-2 dnp
174: Greg Salavac (Sullivan) 1-2 dnp
174: Dirani Haynes (Sullivan) 1-2 dnp
197: Tom Hubmaster (Sullivan) 0-2 dnp
285: Bryce Moore (Sullivan/VC) 1-2 dnp

Dual Meets of Local Interest
Army 29 Fresno State 9
Wisconsin 16 Army 15
… Wisconsin is ranked #6 in the nation!!!

Pitt-Johnstown 38 East Stroudsburg 8
Michael Raccioppi (ESU/Minisink) who is ranked 2nd in the nation at 174 teched Brock Biddle who sits at #4 in the polls by a 18-3 margin! Raccioppi lost to Biddle twice last season…sweet revenge!

Patriot Open
184: Noah Curreri (Queen’s University/Eldred) 3rd Place!!!

Michigan State Open
Open Division
165: Dillon Ross (Buffalo/Onteora) 0-2 dnp
Freshman/Sophomore Division
133: Tommy Maddox (Buffalo/Washingtonville) 1-2 dnp
285: Will Leonard (Buffalo/Cornwall) 0-2 dnp

Princeton Open
141: Vinny Vespa (Hofstra/MW) 0-1 then med fft out
184: Kendall Elfstrum (Princeton/MW) 1-2 dnp
West Point top-4 placewinners
133: Ryan Hetrick… 3rd Place
141: Logan Brown…2nd Place
174: Ben Pasiuk (WPWC)…3rd Place

Messiah Invitational
125: Hunter Brown (Ursinus/Warwick) 1-2 dnp

Lycoming Invitational
157: Nick Florin (Oneonta/Pine Bush) 3-0

Raccioppi, Burns, and Aeberli Nationally Ranked

A trio of former Section 9 wrestlers have cracked the top 5 on the national boards to begin the 2019-2020 college wrestling season! Michael Raccioppi (Minisink Valley, ’14), Da’mani Burns (Newburgh Free Academy, ’16), and AJ Aeberli (Minisink Valley, ’16) have been recognized by FloWrestling and InterMat as among the top wrestlers in their weight classes.

Michael Raccioppi (East Stroudsburg)

#2 @ 174 in DII – Michael Raccioppi (East Stroudsburg)
Raccioppi is a 2014 graduate of Minisink HS where he was a 5X Section 9 finalist, a 2X Section 9 champion, and finished 2nd in NYS state as a senior! Last season Raccioppi capped of an incredible season by finishing 3rd in the nation at 174 and he comes into his final season of collegiate wrestling as the 2nd ranked wrestler in the nation for DII.

Da’mani Burns
Johnson & Wales

#3 @ 149 in DIII – Da’mani Burns (Johnson & Wales)
Burns graduated from Newburgh Free Academy in 2016 where he finished his high school career as a 2X NYS placewinner including a 3rd place finish as a senior. Da’mani led all DIII wrestlers in pins last season and entered the 2019 NCAA DIII Tournament at the top ranked wrestler at 149. This year Burns is ranked as the preseason #3 and hopes to finish high on the podium in March!

AJ Aeberli (Coast Guard Academy)

#4 @ 174 in DIII – AJ Aeberli (Coast Guard Academy)
Aeberli started his high school career in Warwick but moved to Minisink Valley for his junior and senior years where he finished as a 2X NYS placewinner which included being crowned the 160 lb. NYS champion in 2016. Aeberli was an All-American last season, finishing 6th at 174, and comes into his senior campaign ranked #4 in the nation by both FloWrestling and InterMat.

Brett Perry Clinic @ HVWA

2019 NCAA qualifier Brett Perry is hosting a clinic at Hudson Valley Wrestling Academy in Newburgh on Sunday November 3 from 10:00 – 12:00. The fee is only $35 for non members. Perry wrestled for Division 1 Buffalo and was the 2019 MAC champion at 197. In high school, Perry was 2X NYS qualifier and a state finalist as a senior while wrestling for John Jay East Fishkill.

Team Vision @ Columbus Day Duals

Team Vision coach Brian Vutianitis is taking some of Section 9’s finest down to York Pennsylvania this weekend to compete at the Tyrant Columbus Day Duals. Take a look at Team Vision’s roster! Round-by-round results will be posted here!

98/106 – Alex Greco (Warwick)
98/106 – Jordan Brown (Monroe Woodbury)
113 – Andrew Marchese (Washingtonville) *S9 Champ*
120 – Jaden Hansen (NFA)
126/132 – Matt Davis (Wallkill)
126/132 – Drew Greco (Warwick)
138 – Tim Bova (Arlington)
145 – Chris Fini (Goshen)
152 – Eric Tigue (Port Jervis) *2X S9 Champ*
160 – Evan Gibbons (Warwick)
170 – Marcus Brown (Monroe Woodbury)
182 – Steven Felice (Monroe Woodbury)
195 – Connor Boyer (O’Neil/NFA)
220 – Richard Grady (Arlington)

Team Vision

Day 1
Round 1: Gettysburg 51 Vision 21
Notching wins for Vision were Jordan Brown, Andrew Marchese, Jaden Hansen, Drew Greco, Tim Bova, and Connor Boyer.

Round 2: Vision 37 Terps Xpress 25
Helping Team Vision to victory were Alex Greco, Andrew Marchese, Tim Bova, Chris Fini, Marcus Brown, Steve Felice, Connor Boyer and Stephen Grady.

Round 3: Virginia Team Predator 47 Vision 24
Collecting wins for the local squad were Jordan Brown, Andrew Marchese, Evan Gibbons, Stephen Grady.

Other local wrestlers…
106 – Jackson Merli (NFA/Iron Horse Blue) 3-0 on Day 1
170 – Doug Doherty (Monticello/Empire Black) 1-0 on Day 1

Day 2 – 13th-18th Pool
Round 1: Keystone Elite 47 Vision 28
Getting their hand raised for Team Vision were Alex Greco, Jordan Brown, Andrew Marchese, Eric Tigue, Evan Gibbons, and Stephen Grady.

Round 2: Lost Boys 43 Vision 30
Notching victories for Team Vision were Chris Fini, Marcus Brown, Steve Felice, Connor Boyer, and Stephen Grady.

Round 3: Vision 42 Howell Rebels 33
Earning victories in this round were Alex Greco, Matt Davis, Drew Greco, Eric Tigue, Evan Gibbons, Steve Felice, Connor Boyer, and Stephen Grady.

Round 4: PANJA 39 Vision 28
Securing wins for our local squad were Alex Greco, Andrew Marchese, Drew Greco, Evan Gibbons, Steve Felice, and Stephen Grady

Round 5: Nauman Black 48 Vision 25
Notching wins for Team Vision in this dual were Alex Greco, Andrew Marchese, Marcus Brown, Connor Boyer, and Stephen Grady

Other local wrestlers…
106 – Jackson Merli (NFA) – Merli, who came in 3rd in S9 at 99 last season, went 3-2 on Day 2 and finished the weekend 6-2 wrestling for Iron Horse Blue.

170 – Doug Doherty (Monticello) – Doherty had a very strong weekend wrestling for Empire Wrestling Academy Black. The Monticello senior went 5-0 on Day 2 and finished the tournament a perfect 6-0!

2019 Hudson Valley Challenge

The 2019 Friends of Section 9’s Hudson Valley Challenge is in the books! Congratulations to all of the winners and a sincere “thank you” every wrestler, coach, parent, and fan that came out to support this event. A special thanks the Port Jervis wrestling program for hosting the event and we would be remiss if we didn’t give a special “thank you” to the Hudson Valley Wrestling Academy who brought approximately 30 wrestlers to the tournament!

Let’s take a look at the top 3 place winners in each weight!
99/106 Pounds
1. Jordan Brown (Monroe Woodbury)
2. Sebastian Vidacovich (Valley Central)
3. Kevin Segali (NFA)

113 Pounds
1. Ryan Ross (Port Jervis)
2. Will Hamilton (CT)
3. Kevin Rourke (Cornwall)

120 Pounds
1. Jacob Chenier (Kingston)
2. Gabe Giumarra (Cornwall)
3. Peter Bender (Highland)

126 Pounds
1. Mason Lishness (CT)
2. Jake Aldi (CT)
3. Santos Ocasio (Monroe Woodbury)

132 Pounds
1. John Antonelli (Marlboro)
2. Aaron Morocho (CT)
3. Caleb Harrison (Port Jervis)

138 Pounds
1. Brian Lombardi (Minisink Valley)
2. Moises Diaz (Middletown)
3. Sage DiGuiseppe (NJ)

145/152 Pounds
1. Eric Tigue (Port Jervis)
2. Connor Blay (CT)
3. Chris Fini (Goshen)

160 Pounds
1. Giovanni Andino (CT)
2. Devin Doty (Minisink Valley)
3. Kyle Davidson (PA)

170 Pounds
1. Marcus Brown (Monroe Woodbury)
2. Aiden Maduro (Highland)
3. Logan Smith (Highland)

190 Pounds
1. Steven Felice (Monroe Woodbury)
2. Jordan Diaz (Middletown)

200 Pounds
1. Benjamin Swart (Highland)
2. Derion Mengiacia (NJ)