REMINDER: Minisink Student “Walks For A Cure” In Honor of Vinny Vespa

Jillian Dolce’s 3rd Annual Walk For Lymphoma Set For September 29

For the past three years, Minisink Valley student Jillian Dolce has completed a “Walk For Lymphoma” with all proceeds going to Lymphoma research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital.  Each year she dedicates her walk to local resident who is battling the disease.  This year, Jillian has decided to do her walk in honor of Monroe Woodbury wrestler Vinny Vespa who is currently receiving chemotherapy for Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

For anyone who wants to join Jillian in her quest to “Find a Cure, One Step at a Time,” this year’s event is scheduled for September 29th at Shannen Park in Slate Hill, NY.  Registration will be at 10:00 am and the walk will go from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm.  Recommended donations are $10 for adults and $5 for children.  Anyone interested in learning more about the event can go to Jillian’s website and/or check out her flyer.

On behalf of the entire Section 9 wrestling community……thank you Jillian!!!

        Jillian Dolce’s website                               Flyer for this year’s event
                                 Walk to honor Vinny Vespa

Great Event, Great Cause


Vinny and Oklahoma State Coach John Smith. Vinny was invited to attend the camp courtesy of Journeyman Wrestling’s Frank Popolizio.

Victory For Vinnny Takedown Tournament a Huge Success

In an incredible day filled with great wrestling and fun for the entire family, over 1000 wrestlers and fans attended Saturday’s Victory For Vinny Takedown Tournament held at Monroe Woodbury High School.  When results become available, they will be posted on this site.  For now, I have decided to put together a brief list of some of Saturday’s highlights (no particular order).


Lisa and Michael Vespa’s intermission speechesIf you didn’t have a tear in your eye, you don’t have a pulse!  
Exhibition match between Jamie Franco and Johnny StramielloFranco, a MW graduate, is curently a 133-pound wrestler for Division 1 Hofstra.  Stramiello just finished his sophomore year at Pine Bush.  He is already a 3X Section 9 champion.  Jamie is one of only a few 5X Section 9 champs, will Johnny be our next?  Franco vs. Stramiello video courtesy of Betsy Veysman from
Michael Vespa hits the “flying squirrel” against AJ VoelkerVinny’s older brother nails the now famous move during an exhibition match with one of Vinny’s current teammates.  FLYING SQUIRREL VIDEO courtesy of Betsy Veysman from
The “masters” match between Al Wolff and Frank GrantonBoth of these gentlemen are in their 50’s but that didn’t stop them from lacing up their shoes and giving the crowd a show.  Granton is a cancer survivor.
Hall of Famer in the dunking booth – Cornwall head coach and NYS Wrestling Hall of Famer Don Blaine takes his turn in the dunking booth.  I still think we would have made more money if we put referee Wayne Carroll (also a Hall of Famer) in the booth!!!!
The Showdown – Johnny Stramiello, 6th in NYS at 106,  and Jay Rodriguez from Wantagh, a state finalist last year at 99, locked up in a gem!  We may get to see this match again….at the end of February in Albany!!!!
Vinny being Vinny – The highlight of the day for many in attendance was a simple and subtle act.  Just being able to watch Vinny have a great time, goof around,  spend some time with family and friends…these are the things that truly matter. 

There are literally dozens of people who contributed their time and money to make this event a huge success.  However, it would be remiss of me if I did not give special recognition to Bob Voelker and John Stramiello.  Quite simply, without the work of Bob and John, this event would have never happened.  Great job guys!

The Wait Is Over!!!!

400 Registered For Victory For Vinny Takedown Tournament!

This event promises to be a fun-filled day for the entire family….wrestling, BBQ, dunking booth, bouncy castle, face fainting and more… do not miss out…the fun begins at 8:00 am!!!

Click on the below link to read an outstanding article about the tournament written by Betsy Veysman from

Victory for Vinny Takedown Tournament

Victory For Vinny Takedown Tournament Is This Saturday

If You Haven’t Already Done So….Register Today!
** Important – Due to The Amount of Interest In This Tournament, (Over 300 and Counting) There Will Be No Walk-In Registration.  All Wrestlers Who Would Like To Compete Must Register By Thursday 6/28 at 7:00PM**

What:  Vinny Vespa Takedown Tournament
When:  Saturday June 30th 
Where:  Monroe Woodbury High School
Why:  All Proceeds To The Vespa Family


This will be a fun day for the entire family!  There will be great wrestling for Youth, HS, and Open divisions.  There will also be face-painting, BBQ, bouncy apparatus, and more….do not miss out!!!

Upcoming #TeamVinnyV Events

As most of you are aware, Monroe Woodbury freshman wrestler Vinny Vespa has recently been diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  The support his family has been receiving from the community has been incredible.  The wrestling community, specifically, has been amazing!  Vinny and his family have been and remain in the thoughts and prayers of a tight-knit wrestling “family” that knows no boundaries.  Well-wishes and contributions have been delivered by wrestlers from NY to California, Minnesota to Texas and every state in between.

Our work is not done!  As Vinny continues to receive chemotherapy, the expenses associated with his treatments continue to mount.  Below is a summary of a some of the upcoming #TeamVinnyV fundraisers.  Any support you can offer, financial or spiritual, is truly appreciated.

June 13 & 14 – Chicago Pizzeria Uno in Central Valley – 20% of your bill will be donated to the Vespa family if you dine at Pizzeria Uno on either night.

June 20 – Captian’s Table in Monroe – The Captain’s Table is hosting an adult only gathering at $40 per person….half will go directly to the Vespa family.  Your $40 will get you beer, soda, and appetizers.  Tee shirts and wristband will be for sale at the event.

June 30 – Victory for Vinny Takedown Tournament – MW High School – This is going to be huge!!!  Youth, HS and Open divisions…honor weigh-ins.  In conjunction with the tournament there will be a Family Fun Day… BBQ, face-painting, bouncy apparatus, etc.  Let’s come out in force for this one!!!

                               Vinny Vespa Takedown Tournament Flyer

Vinny Vespa Benefit Takedown Tournament Set For June 30th

Mark your calendar!  The date is set!  On Saturday June 30th The Vinny Vespa Benefit Takedown Tournament will take place at Monroe Woodbury High School.  The day will be filled with great wrestling and fun activities for the entire family.  Festivities begin at 8:00 AM!  Click below for a tournament flyer as well as a separate site for online registration.  Special thanks to John Stramiello and Bob Voelker for putting this event together…great job guys!

Vinny Vespa Benefit Takedown Tournament Flyer                  Online Registration  

 **Click HERE to listen to Vinny’s brother Michael being interviewed on TakeDown Radio by Scott Casber!!!**

Pop & Flo National Duals Finals: Team X-Cel from NY Defeats NJ Powerhouse Apex

NY Stars Palacio and Realbuto Show Their Support For Vinny Vespa

Team X-Cel from Long Island defeated defending champions Apex of New Jersey by a score of 25-24 in the finals of the Pop & Flo National Duals held in Lake Placid, NY.  Pop & Flo is an alliance between Journeymen Wrestling and FloWrestling.  The National Duals, only in its second year, has quickly become one of the premier off-season tournaments in the country.  Below are the results from the finals between Team X-Cel and Apex….also check out the below links to FloWrestling and listen to NYS champions Brian Realbuto and Dylan Palacio offer their support to Monroe Woodbury wrestler Vinny Vespa.  Vespa, a 14-year old freshman, has recently been diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma.

                     Team X-Cel 25   Apex 24
106:  Rodriguez (X-Cel) over Suriano (Apex) 4-1
113:  Piccininni (X-Cel) over Travato (Apex) 6-2
120:  Gonzalez (Apex) over Skinner (X-Cel) 6-1                NY Stars Talk About Vespa on
125:  Olivia (Apex) over T. Passaro (X-Cel) 3-0                              FloWrestling
130:  McCabe (X-Cel) over Caputo (Apex) 10-3
135:  M. Passaro (X-Cel) over Lewis (Apex) 4-3          Palacio Interview   Realbuto Interview
140:  Estevez (Apex) over Dutton (X-Cel) 3-1
145:  Clagon (Apex) over Hernandez (X-Cel) wbf
152:  Dekrone (X-Cel) over Richardson (Apex) 1-0
160:  Hall(X-Cel) over Keena(Apex) 3-0                             
170:  Palacio (X-Cel) over Pafumi (Apex) 3-2
182:  Laughlin (Apex) over Seybolt (X-Cel) 3-2
195:  Rios (Apex) over Gironda (X-Cel) 1-0
220:  McMullen (Apex) over Drew (X-Cel) 8-5
285:  Salkey (X-Cel) over Spencer (Apex) 6-5

Section 9 All-Stars (aka Team Vinny) finish 1-2 at DV Dual Event

Locals Defeat SIR But Lose To D2 Ducks and Dark Nights

A team of Section 9 All-Stars competed admirably against some top-notch club competition Wednesday night at Delaware Valley HS in Westfall Township, PA.  The event was designed to be a tune-up for the club teams’ up coming tournaments in Lake Placid (Pop & Flow) and Virginia Beach (NHSCA National Duals).  The tournament, however, took on the “feel” of a charity event as many of those in attendance were there to show their support for Monroe Woodbury freshman wrestler Vinny Vespa who has recently been diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma.  There was a $2 admission charge for all fans to enter the tournament.  The money collected at the gate was originally supposed to help pay for the D2 Ducks trip to the National Duals.  Upon learning of Vespa’s diagnosis, DV coach Lou DeLauro decided to donate the gate money to the Vespa family.  Thanks Lou….a truly generous gesture by a truly classy coach!

On the mats, the S9 All-Stars, or Team Vinny, finished 1-2.  They defeated SIR Wrestling from NJ 25-24 by criteria (Quinn Zsido’s pin), but lost to the D2 Ducks 46-13 and Dark Nights 38-21.  The D2 Ducks and Dark Nights are both PA club teams.  The only Section 9 wrestler to finish a perfect 3-0 was Minisink Valley’s Gerard Daly.  Click below for all of the results involving Team Vinny!

                                                              Results – Team Vinny

Section 9 All-Star Dual Meet To Benefit Vespa Family

Local Stars Will Take On Grapplers From PA and NJ This Wednesday at Delaware Valley High School in Matamoras, PA

                         Section 9 All-Star Dual Meet Schedule
                                  Matched in Middle School Gym
Time       Mat #1                                                          Mat #2
5:00        SIR (NJ) vs. S9 All Stars                          D2 Ducks(PA) vs. Dark Nights WC(PA)
6:15         S9 All Stars vs. Dark Nights WC(PA)    D2 Ducks (PA) vs. SIR (NJ)
7:30        SIR (NJ) vs. Dark Nights WC (PA)        S9 All Stars vs. D2 Ducks (PA)

                                    Matches in Green Gym
5:00      Dark Nights WC (PA) – Team #2 vs. S9 All Stars – Team #2
6:15 – 8:00        Exhibition Matches 

           ***  $2 Fan Admission – All Proceeds Go To the Vespa Family  ***

Section 9 Wrestlers Competing:
109:  Gerard Daly (MV), Chris Cuccolo (PB)
116:  Dylan Booth (PJ), Damani Burns (NFA)
123:  John Stramiello (PB), Michael Raccioppi (MV)
129:  Joe Ginley (War), Alex Baum (MW)
135:  Bryan Mongiello (Wash), Tyler Rodriguez (Midd)
141:  Thomas Wightman (War), Brett Johnson (Corn)
148:  Quinn Zsido (Corn), Cory Cummings (VC)
155:  Dante Gianetta (Corn), Tyler Carlyon (NFA)
163:  Travis Edwards (PJ), AJ Voelker (MW)
173:  Dan DeCarlo (PJ), JP Vandercliff (MW)
185:  Vinny Nastro (Gosh), James Bethel (Saug)
198:  Randy Wilson (PJ)
223:  Jesse Corcoran (Eld), Josh Bonneau (MV)
288:  Terrence Cheeks (NFA), Tim Wade (Midd)