Cornwall had four seniors on this year’s team…let’s meet them.
Gabriel Giumarra Gabe was a three year starter for Cornwall with over 50 career wins. He went 4-0 in this very abbreviated season in which he served as one of the team captains. Giumarra placed 2nd in Section 9 at 113 pounds as a junior and went 1-2 in the S9 tournament as a sophomore at the same weight!
Ryan Raby Ryan was a team captain this year and a 3 year starter for Cornwall. He was 2-2 this season and has notched over 20 wins in his career. Raby has made two appearances in the Section 9 championships wrestling at 132 last year and at 126 during his sophomore season. Ryan was wrestling at 145 this season!
Joe Castelonia Joe was a spot starter for the Dragons as a sophomore before cracking the starting lineup full time as a junior. Wrestling mostly at 182 pounds, Castelonia picked up 15 wins in 2019-2020 and had 4 wins at the very tough Mid-Hudson Tournament.
Robert Sierra Robert was a 4 year team member of the Cornwall wrestling program. He wrestled over 50 varsity matches for the Dragons and was one of the most dedicated and hard working kids in the room!
Congratulations Gabe, Ryan, Joe, and Robert and best of luck in your future endeavors!
In our final days of our 2021 season we will highlight each of our 3 Seniors to thank them for the time they have given to our program. None of us saw this year going the way it has, but it does not change that each of these young men have gone to extraordinary lengths to help our program accomplish the feats it has during their time with us.
Some of the program highlights which our Class of 2021 has helped us accomplish:
Back to Back OCIAA Division 1 Champions 3x NYSPHSAA All-Scholar Team Ranked top 20 by the NYSSWA in 2020 and 2019 3x ECSDM Superintendent’s Team Sportsmanship Award Elk’s Lodge Fundraising Champions OCIAA Student Athlete Community Service Award 65-17 Dual Meet record
Middletown Head Wrestling Coach Jason Lichtenstein
102 lbs – Manny Saenz
Manny is one of the few remaining members of our original youth wrestling group, The Mighty Middies! He has been a mainstay in our lineup since he came out for the team. Manny has been our 99/104lber each of the 3 years he was a starter for us. Through his dedication to his class work Manny has helped the team earn the NYSPHSAA All-Scholar Award by being an All-Scholar Athlete himself! In the 2019-2020 season Manny took home the Somers Wrestling Tournament Championship, was one of the top ranked 99lbers in Section IX and helped lead our team to a 21-3 overall ranking, and OCIAA title and a Top 15 ranking by the New York Sports Reporters! Coming into the 2021 season Manny had his goals set on winning his first Section Title and continuing to add to his All-Scholar Awards! Manny had a career record of 62 wins and 29 losses.
The Coaches from within our program would like to thank Manny for his commitment to our program and wish him the best of luck as he graduates and moves forward in life.
118lbs – Kenny Santiago
Kenny has been a key part of our line-up since his freshman year of High School, he has stepped up on multiple occasions to help the team when and where we needed him in the line-up. Sometimes Kenny would be put in difficult situations where we needed him to go out and battle for the team, we knew we could depend on him to step on the mat and give us 100%. Kenny has an ever growing desire to be the best he can and it shows in his efforts! As a sophomore Kenny won the JV Section Championship, during the 2020 season he was our starting 113lber and was a huge piece of our team’s success. Coming into his Senior year he had set goals to qualify for the NYS Wrestling Championships and even through the Covid lockdowns was finding ways to get mat time and train towards this goal! In our shortened practice season Kenny has been a leader in the room and a great role model for our younger athletes. This season has been very tough mentally and for the younger Middies to see his attitude and efforts in the room will assuredly help them in their own developments! Kenny had a career record of 61 wins and 28 losses.
The Coaches from within our program would like to thank Kenny for his commitment to our program and wish him the best of luck as he graduates and moves forward in life.
160lbs – Justin Santiago
Justin has been a part of our program since Jr High and has routinely been seen as one of our hardest working Middies! His positive attitude and no nonsense work ethic have been admired by all of the coaches who have had the privilege of coaching him. Last season Justin set a goal to win the JV Section Championships and did just that! It is always great to see a young man set out to reach his goals and then have the opportunity to do so. Justin was a Captain of our 2020 JV team which won the JV Championship for the first time in team history! It is clear that his leadership and work ethic helped lead our young JV squad to these accomplishments! Our JV team had never won a tournament until 2020, having won the Jeff Cuilty Duals and the JV Championship made it a banner year for them, Justin’s leadership was clearly a huge factor in this! Entering the 2021 season Justin had set a goal to medal at the Section IX Championships and we know his efforts would have led him there! Justin had a career Varsity record of 8 wins and 0 losses.
The Coaches from within our program would like to thank Justin for his commitment to our program and wish him the best of luck as he graduates and moves forward in life.
Congratulations to Eldred graduate Noah Curreri for qualifying for his second Division 2 NCAA Championships. Curreri wrestles at 174 pounds for Queens University in Charlotte, NC. Noah punched his ticket to the NCAA’s by placing 2nd at 174 in the Super Regional II Tournament on Saturday in Franklin Springs, GA. Curreri made it to the semis where he dropped a 10-4 decision to the eventual champion Caleb Spears from Newberry and then wrestled back to take true second. Only the top two finishers qualified for the NCAA’s which take place on March 12-13 in St. Louis, MO. Curreri, who is now a senior at Queens University, was a 2X state place winner in high school and was a state finalist in his senior year. Congrats Noah!
Section 9 had two other wrestlers in the field at the tournament. Pine Bush graduate Nick Florin, who wrestles for Coker College, went 1-2 at 174 and his teammate Matt Shields, a graduate of Onteora, went 1-2 wrestling at 184 pounds!
Congratulations to Minisink Valley for winning the Section 9 Duals title for the 4th consecutive year. The Warriors defeated Port Jervis by a score of 64-6 to capture the title. This year’s tournament was abbreviated due to coronavirus. With only 8 team able to compete, the tournament consisted of two pools of 4 and then a crossover for the placement round. Minisink Valley won their pool and they took on Port Jervis who captured their pool. Below are the results for all of today’s medal matches.
Congratulations to Monroe Woodbury graduates Vinny Vespa and Evan Barczak for qualifying for the 2021 NCAA Wrestling Championships on March 18-20 at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, MO. Competing at the EIWA Conference Championships, Vespa, who wrestles for Hofstra, placed 5th at 141 pounds while Barczak, a junior at Drexel, placed 4th at 165. Vespa and Barczak were both 3X NYSPHSAA place winners while in high school. Warwick graduate Ryan Ferro also wrestled at the EIWAs. Ferro, a redshirt junior who competes at 165 pounds for Long Island University, went 2-2 and took 7th place. Ferro was a 3X place winner and a 2X state champ in high school.
Vinny Vespa (Hofstra, 141) Quarterfinals: Vespa (Hofstra) dec 8-1 Witham (LIU) Semifinals: Peters (Army) maj 10-2 Vespa (Hofstra) Consi Semis: Flores (Drexel) dec 3-0 Vespa (Hofstra) 5th/6th: Vespa (Hofstra) dec 6-1 Witham (LIU) …Vinny takes 5th!!!
Evan Barczak (Drexel, 165) Quarterfinals: Barczak (Drexel) dec 5-0 Cassella (Binghamton) Semifinals: Hartman (Bucknell) dec 5-2 Barczak (Drexel) Consi Semis: Barczak (Drexel) dec 3-2 Stamm (Hofstra) 3rd/4th: Meyer (Lehigh) dec 6-3 Barczak (Drexel)…Evan finishes 4th!!!
Ryan Ferro (Long Island University, 165) Round 16: Fielder (Army) dec 5-4 Ferro (LIU) Consi 8: Ferro (LIU) wbf 4:44 Schmidt (Sacred Heart) Consi 4: Stamm (Hofstra) dec 5-2 Ferro (LIU) 7th/8th: Ferro dec 3-0 Cassella (Binghamton)
Army Crowns 2 Champs; Finish 3rd in Team Race Congratulations to the Coach Kevin Ward and the Army West Point wrestling program for their outstanding finish at the EIWAs. The Black Knights had 5 finalists and crowned 2 champions in PJ Ogunsanya (149) and Ben Pasiuk (174). The team finished 3rd in the team race with 119.5 points finishing behind Lehigh (158.5) and Navy (129).
125 – Ryan Chauvin – 8th 133 – Mark Montgomery – 5th 141 – Lane Peters – 2nd (NCAA qualifier) 149 – PJ Ogunsanya – 1st (NCAA qualifier) 157 – Markus Hartman – dnp (medical fft) 165 – Clayton Fielden – 6th 174 – Ben Pasiuk – 1st (NCAA qualifier) 184 – Taylor Brown – 4th (NCAA qualifier) 197 – JT Brown – 2nd (NCAA qualifier) 285 – Robert Heald – 2nd (NCAA qualifier)
Matt Martinelli Matt Martinelli has been a continuously positive presence on the mat for Burke Wrestling. His hard work is only out matched by his mental toughness. Starting wrestling as a sophomore takes a lot of bravery and Matt has never backed down from a challenge. It has been a pleasure having him on the team. We wish him luck with his future plans in the Merchant Marines. – Burke Wrestling Coach Bryan Welsh
Gianna Valen “Gianna is our lone senior this year for the Fallsburg/Tri-Valley wrestling team. Gianna joined the wrestling program last year and wrestled in the “Queen of the Mat” tournament in Copiague where she placed 4th overall. Gianna was not able to finish her junior season due to an injury. However, Gianna continued to show up to the practices and was a great teammate with the Varsity wrestlers. She was also a good mentor to the younger wrestlers who were in the modified program. She would speak with them about the moves that they were working on and making sure that they had proper placement when executing the move. Gianna also went with the team to cheer on her teammates during the Female Division Section 9 Tournament as well as the Male Section 9 Tournament. We all know that Gianna was excited to return to the mat for her senior season and although her season was cut short she will always be a part of the Fallsburg/Tri-Valley program. On behalf of the entire coaching staff from the Fallsburg/Tri-Valley team, we wanted to say “Thank you for the countless hours that you put into this program and all that you did for this program.”. We wish you nothing but the best in your future!”
As many of you already know, there will not be a NYSPHSAA Wrestling Championship this season. However, thanks to Frank Popolizio and his tireless efforts, we will still have the opportunity to see who is the best wrestler at every weight in New York State at the 2021 Journeymen NYS Championships! The tournament will take place on April 2nd and 3rd at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim, PA. This will be a one division tournament to determine the best of the best! Additional information regarding viewership will be available as the tournament nears, but for right now…let’s check out this absolutely loaded field!