Duke, Ryder, and Fea Part of a Strong New York Contingent Heading to Super 32 Challenge

New location – same great tournament! Due to Covid-19 restrictions the Super 32 Challenge venue had to be switched from its usual location in Greensboro, NC to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in Myrtle Beach, SC. The tournament takes place on October 24 & 25. Year after year the Super 32 proves to be one of the toughest preseason high school wrestling tournaments in the nation and with over 130 nationally ranked wrestlers registered, this year will be no different!

NYS Champ
Zack Ryder

Section 9 Sending Three Nationally Ranked Hammers
There are only three local wrestlers registered for this years high school tournament but what is lacking in quantity is is more than made up for in quality. Let’s start with Minisink Valley 8th grader PJ Duke who is entered in the high school division at 113 pounds. Last year while wrestling for Section 1 Carmel, Duke became the first wrestler in NYS history to win a D1 state title as a 7th grader when he won the crown at 99 pounds. Because PJ is still in Junior High School he is not nationally ranked by FloWrestling or The Open Mat (TOM), however he has several wins over nationally ranked high school wrestlers including a recent 7-5 win over 3X NYS champion Stevo Poulin. Duke is the #1 ranked P4P junior high wrestler in the nation according to InterMat.
Nationally Ranked Wrestlers in PJ’s Bracket @ 113
Blake West (MN) #5 Flo; Billy Deckracker (VA) #5 Flo @ 106; Spencer Moore (KY) #7 Flo; Cael Keck (MO) #10 Flo; Cory Land (AL) #11 Flo @ 126; Caden Howarth (MI) #15 Flo; Cole Hunt (GA) #16 Flo; Nick Corday (GA) #17 Flo; Jore Volk (MN) #18 Flo

The Duke family has relocated to the Minisink Valley district where PJ will be teammates with another returning state champion in Zack Ryder. Ryder, who was a state champion at 126 last season as an 8th grader, has bulked up in the off season and is entered in the S32 at 145 pounds. Only a freshman, Ryder is currently ranked #19 in the nation by The Open Mat and he has a few recent wins over nationally ranked kids including a 3-2 win over Nick Vafiadis who is currently ranked #17 in the nation at 152 according to Flo. One of the wrestlers who Ryder could lock horns with at the S32 is Goshen resident Nick Fea who wrestles for Wyoming Seminary. Fea finished 3rd at Prep Nationals last year is having a busy off season and currently sits at #11 (TOM) and #17 (Flo) in the national polls at 145!
Nationally Ranked Wrestlers in Zack and Nicky’s Bracket @ 145
Gavin Brown (OH) #5 Flo; Garrison Dendy (GA) #7 Flo; Rocco Welsh (PA) #8 Flo; Michael Kilic (GA) #15 Flo; Henry Porter (CA) #18 Flo; Alek Martin (OH) #19 Flo

Jordan Titus
#2 in the Nation @ 126

Other Nationally Ranked NYS Wrestlers in the Field
Along with the three local studs entered in this year’s Super 32, New York State has several other nationally ranked hammers registered in the high school division! Perhaps the most decorated wrestler in the NY contingent is senior Jordan Titus from Section 11 Center Moriches. Titus, a 2X NYS D2 champion, is entered at 126 where he is ranked #2 in the nation by both FloWrestling and The Open Mat. Titus will compete at D1 University of West Virginia next season. There are two nationally ranked wrestlers at 120 with NY ties that are definitely worth keeping our eyes on – Troy Spratley and Chase Liardi. Spratley is from Section 4 Bainbridge, NY but wrestles at Collinsville, OK where he was a state champion last year as a sophomore. Troy is currently ranked #4 in the nation (at 126) by both Flo and TOM. Liardi wrestles for Section 8 Massapequa and is currently ranked #19 in the nation (at 126) by FloWrestling. He is a 2X NYS finalist and is hoping his senior campaign will end with him on top of the podium in Albany. Another 2X NYS finalist, Jayden Scott, enters this year’s S32 at 138 pounds with a national ranking on his resume. Scott, a junior from Section 5 Rush Henrietta, is ranked #9 in the nation by The Open Mat and #17 in the nation by Flo at 138. Rocco Camillaci from Section 5 Hilton is not currently ranked by either Flo or TOM however he has appeared on the boards recently and should be mentioned here. Camillaci, a 3rd place finisher in NYS D1 at 126 last year, is entered at 138 pounds. Nick Sanko from Section 5 Pittsford has had a very busy off-season and it is paying huge dividends. Sanko, who finished 4th in NYS D1 last season, has picked off a few guys on the board and now sits at #16 in the nation at 152 according to FloWrestling! Another new addition to the national rankings is Kole Mulhauser from Section 3 Central Square. Mulhauser, who 3rd in NYS D1 last season, has had an incredible off season and in now ranked #14 in the nation by Flo and #20 by TOM at 170 pounds! Kole is also an outstanding student and has recently committed to continue his academic and athletic career at Princeton University!

Right On The Cusp….
Do not be surprised if you see the following hammers crack the national rankings after a strong showing at the Super 32 Challenge! Baer had an impressive 6-1 win over Ryder about a month ago…Hansen is a returning state champ and will open some eyes in Myrtle Beach…Araneo recently beat Dylan Connell from IL who is currently ranked #7 in the nation at 182!
152 – Carter Baer (Gouverneur, Jr.) – NYS D2 Champion
170 – Christian Hansen (Cold Spring Harbor, Sr.) – NYS D2 Champion
182 – James Araneo (Ward Melville, Sr.) – 4th NYS D1

All Other NYS Entries in the High School Division
106 – Gianni Silvestri (Tioga, Fr.) – NYS D2 Champion
113 – Caden Bellis (Tioga, Fr.) – 4th NYS D2
113 – Tyler Ferrara (Chenango Forks, So.) – 2nd NYS D1
120 – Ryan Eckerle (Commack, So.)
120 – Jace Schafer (Pal-Mac, Sr.) – NYS D2 Champion
120 – Chris Petteys (Hudson Falls, Sr.) – 3rd NYS D2
120 – Max Gallagher (Bayport Blue Point, So.) – 2nd NYS D2
120 – Justin Fortugno (Byram Hills, Jr.)
126 – Jamie Jarquin Duarte (Fox Lane, Jr.)
126 – Nick LaMorte (Fox Lane, So.)
126 – Jared Weinhaus (Sachem East, Jr.) – 6th NYD D1
126 – Dante Rigal (Johnson City, Sr.) – 6th NYS D1
126 – Cody Merwin (Walton, Sr.) – 4th NYS D2
126 – Cooper Rice (Chenango Forks, Sr.)
126 – Jackson Polo (Cold Spring Harbor, Jr.) – 3rd NYS D2
132 – Sean Wang (Great Neck South, Sr.)
132 – Avery Leonard (Milford, Sr.) – 2nd NYS D2
132 – Robert Horan (Iona Prep, Sr.)
132 – Chris Perry (Brunswick School, Sr.)
138 – Jordan Soriano (Clarke, Jr.) – 5th NYS D2
138 – Devlin Blanchard (Corinth, Fr.)
145 – Carter Schubert (Honeoye Falls Lima, Jr.) – 4th NYS D2
152 – Brody Oleksak (BGAH, Sr.) – 5th NYS D2
152 – Tim Bova (Arlington, Jr.) – 7th NYS D1
160 – Jack Spahn (Islip, Sr.) – 3rd NYS D1
160 – Marino Mancuso (Commack, Sr.)
170 – Gavin Bell (Cold Spring Harbor, Sr.) – 4th NYS D2
170 – Gabriel Monroe (Windsor, Jr.) – 4th NYS D2
182 – Nicky Bell (Brunswick School, Sr.)
220 – Nino Prisco (Fox Lane, Sr.)
285 – Sebastian Garibaldi (White Plains, Sr.) – 5th NYD D1
285 – Ryan Stein (Shaker, Jr.)

HVWA Adds NFA Grad Da’mani Burns To Staff

The Hudson Valley Wrestling Academy has added another great clinician to an already talented staff of coaches! NFA graduate Da’mani Burns now joins Anthony Abidin, Tyler Smith, Anthony Ng, Johnny Stramiello, and Bryan Mongiello at HVWA. Burns was a 2X NYS place winner and was an NCAA Division III All-American for Johnson & Wales. Welcome back to Section 9 Da’mani!

HVWA Staff
Top L-R: Johnny Stramiello, Anthony Abidin, Anthony Ng
Bottom L-R: Bryan Mongiello, Da’mani Burns, Tyler Smith

State Champ PJ Duke Is Now A Minisink Valley Warrior

7th Grade State Champ PJ Duke

In a story originally reported by high school sports guru Matt Diano, Section 9 Wrestling is excited to announce that wrestling phenom PJ Duke will now be wrestling for Minisink Valley! This past season while wrestling for Section 1 Carmel, Duke became the first 7th grader in New York State history to win a wrestling state title when he took home the 99 pound title at the Division 1 Championships in Albany. Could we be looking the first ever 6X NYS champion?

Duke won a state title with a tech fall in the finals

After completing an extremely successful youth career, Duke launched into the high school circuit without missing a beat. He completed his inaugural season a perfect 46-0 and captured titles at the Wrangle on the Plains, Mid-Hudson Tournament, and Eastern States Classic before making NYS history by becoming the first 7th grader to win a state wrestling title. The newest Warrior picked up some extremely impressive and noteworthy wins last season. While wrestling up at 106 back in December at the Wrangle on the Plains, Duke recorded a 6-4 sudden victory win over Brandon Cannon from Wyoming Seminary – the following weekend Cannon was the champion at the ultra competitive Beast of the East! In his championship match at the Mid-Hudson he pinned eventual NYS D1 4th place finisher Christian Lievano in 4:38. At the Eastern States Classic Duke took out 2 highly touted wrestlers from Wyoming Seminary in Jake Dailey (4-1) and Vince Bouzakis (wbf 3:16). PJ didn’t stop there – at the NYSPHSAA Championships in February Duke rolled through the competition and capped off his season with 23-8 technical fall victory over Section 8 hammer Joe Manfredi in the finals!

Zack Ryder and PJ Duke in the early years!

Duke is going to bolster an already very powerful team at Minisink Valley. The Warriors finished last season as the #1 dual meet team in the state after dominating the competition at the NYSPHSAA Dual Meet Championships in Syracuse. Minisink returns 14 sectional place winners – 13 from 2020 and 1 (Sofia Macaluso) from 2019. Duke will also be reunited with long time friend and fellow state champion Zack Ryder. The Dukes and the Ryders have been wrestling together on the youth circuit since the boys were old enough to lace up their wrestling shoes – perhaps even earlier. Ryder, who is only in 9th grade, came out on top of a brutally tough 126 pound weight class last year and pinned previously undefeated George Oroudjov from Section 8 Syosset in the finals. By winning the title at 126, Ryder became the “heaviest” 8th grader to win a state title in New York. The Warriors also had two other state place winners in Albany. Adam Fenner, now a senior, took 3rd at 285 as a junior after finishing 5th at the same weight during his sophomore campaign. Sophomore Ethan Gallo placed 6th last year as a freshman wrestling at 182!

Welcome to the Section 9 Wrestling family PJ! We look forward to watching you and your fellow Warriors for the next 5 years!

Team Hudson Valley Battles at the NUWAY Summer Nationals High School Duals in Atlantic City

Lead by coaches Gianni Palanca and Peter Merli the Hudson Valley has put together a tough group of local wrestlers to compete at the 2020 NUWAY Summer National Duals being held in Atlantic City. Take a look at the round by round results for Team Hudson Valley as well as a few other locals who competed in the ultra-competitive event!

Round 1
Supreme Wrestling Academy 45 Hudson Valley 7
97 – Gage Wentzel (SWA) dec 8-1 Ayden Buttery (HV)
102 – Avi Berg (SWA) tf 17-2 Justin Riello (HV)
108 – Xander Kirsch (SWA) dec 2-0 Aiden Gillings (HV)
117 – Jordan Brown (HV) maj 9-1 Joey Florence (SWA)
125 – Daniel Kirsch (SWZ) dec 6-3 Jaden Hansen (HV)
130 – Jashon Holmes (SWA) dec 5-2 Matt Davis (HV)
138 – Mason Bush (SWA) maj 14-4 Jackson Merli (HV)
145 – Tim Bova (SWA) wbf 2:02 Drew Greco (HV)
155 – Kaleb Burgess (SWA) dec 10-5 Ethan Palanca (HV)
167 – Etan Ferro (SWA) wbf 2:00 Eric Tigue (HV)
187 – Jacob Null (SWA) wbf 2:42 Marcus Brown (HV)
220 – Julien Griffith (SWA) dec 7-4 Connor Boyer (HV)
HWT – Tristan Kemp (HV) dec 6-3 Charlie Tibbetts (SWA)

Round 2 – bye

Round 3
Flickr Boyz 34 Hudson Valley 25
97 – Chase Quenalt (FB) dec 2-0 Aiden Buttery (HV)
102 – Gavin Sheridan (FB) tf 15-0 Justin Riello (HV)
108 – Aiden Gillings (HV) wbf 2:22 Michael Hare (FB)
117 – Jordan Brown (HV) maj 14-2 Michael Ferrante (FB)
125 – Justin Echivarria (FB) wbf 4:17 Jaden Hansen (HV)
130 – Matt Davis (HV) wbf 2:41 Michael Campanaro (FB)
138 – Hunter Horton (FB) maj 12-2 Jackson Merli (HV)
145 – Brandon Bauer (FB) dec 11-4 Drew Greco (HV)
155 – Ibreham Mendem (FB) maj 11-3 Ethan Palanca (HV)
167 – Eric Tigue (HV) dec 1-0 Alex Miley (FB)
189 – Adam Sylvester (FB) wbf 1:01 Marcus Brown (HV)
220 – Keith Simon (FB) dec 4-3 Connor Boyer (HV)
HWT – Tristan Kemp (HV) wbf 2:15 Michael Peneski (FB)

Rounds 4
Gonzo Trained 27 Hudson Valley 19
97 – Mike Bautista (GT) dec 4-0 Ayden Buttery (HV)
102 – Justin Riello (HV) fft
108 – Aiden Gillings (HV) maj 14-3 Vasilli Ragavanis (GT)
117 – Jordan Brown (HV) dec 5-3 Benny Bautista (GT)
125 – Ryan Eckerle (GT) dec 2-0 Jaden Hansen (HV)
130 – Matt Davis (HV) dec 6-0 Luis Solomon (GT)
138 – Steven Ciambrone (GT) dec 7-5 Jackson Merli (HV)
145 – William Houser (GT) dec 5-2 Drew Greco (HV)
155 – Ethan Palanca (HV) dec 3-1 Michael Waxman (GT)
167 – Marino Mancuso (GT) dec 2-1 Eric Tigue (HV)
189 – Gaven Bell (GT) wbf 3:43 Marcus Brown (HV)
220 – Angelo Piazza (GT) dec 5-2 Connor Boyer (HV)
HWT – Max Acciardi (GT) dec 7-3 Tristan Kemp (HV)

Round 5
Hudson Valley 35 Dark Knights 27

97 – Ryan Mitchell (DK) dec 8-5 Ayden Buttery (HV)
102 – Justin Riello (HV) fft
108 – Aiden Gillings (HV) wbf 4:30 Josh Jaisonwicz (DK)
117 – Jordan Brown (HV) tf 16-0 Matthew Almedina (DK)
125 – Jaden Hansen (HV) dec 4-2 Kevin Bagnell (DK)
130 – Neiko Malone (DK) wbf :32 Matthew Davis (HV)
138 – Felix Lettini (DK) tf 21-2 Jackson Merli (HV)
145 – Kyle Moore (DK) maj 10-2 Drew Greco (HV)
155 – Ethan Palanca (HV) wbf 4:01 Giani Martini (DK)
167 – Eric Tigue (HV) wbf 2:44 Salvatore Shiavone (DK)
189 – Isaiah Reinhart (DK) wbf :18 Marcus Brown (HV)
220 – Connor Boyer (HV) dec 11-10 Jose Lage (DK)
HWT – Matthew Cruise (DK) dec 4-3 Tristan Kemp (HV)

Crossover Round 1
Dragon Wrestling 33 Hudson Valley 15

97 – Ayden Buttery (HV) wbf Nick Sanders (DW) 1:19
102 – Nathan Sanders (DW) dec 3-2 Justin Riello (HV)
108 – Aiden Gillings (HV) wbf :46 Sean Kirwin (DW)
117 – Jordan Brown (HV) dec 4-1 Brendan Callahan (DW)
125 – Nathan Taylor (DW) dec 4-2 Jaden Hansen (HV)
130 – Joey Miranda (DW) maj 13-3 Matt Davis (HV)
138 – Josh Palmucci (DW) maj 9-0 Jackson Merli (HV)
145 – Jake Gentile (DW) dec 6-5 Drew Greco (HV)
155 – Finn McFadden (DW) dec 5-2 Ethan Palanca (HV)
167 – DJ Dipietro (DW) dec 5-3 Eric Tigue (HV)
189 – Dakota Morris (DW) maj 11-1 Marcus Brown (HV)
220 – Kevin Pandorf (DW) dec 8-3 Connor Boyer (HV)
HWT – Sean Horner (DW) dec 3-2 ot Tristan Kemp (HV)

Other Section 9 Results…
Alex Greco (Olympic)
117 – Alex Greco (O) tf 15-0 Brady Vogt (Ares Black)
117 – Alex Greco (O) wbf 2:51 Gavin Bob (Battle Grounds)
117 – Alex Greco (O) wbf 4:00 Jacob Coral (Steel Valley Renegades Red)
117 – Alex Greco (O) fft
117 – Elijah Rivera (Barn Brothers A) maj 10-2 Alex Greco (O)
117 – Alex Greco (O) dec 3-2 Anthony Burke (Turks Head)

Nick Fea (Team Shutt)
138 – Nick Fea (Shutt) wbf :33 Jack Devlin (Apex)
138 – Nick Fea (Shutt) wbf :38 Divante Lopez (American)
138 – Nick Fea (Shutt) tf 15-0 Tyler Haley (Beach Grapplers)
138 – Nick Fea (Shutt) dec 10-4 Alex Booth (Gorilla Grapplers)
138 – Nick Fea (Shutt) maj 15-2 Stephen Lukas (Barn Brothers A)
138 – Nick Fea (Shutt) maj 12-2 Julian George (Triumph Maize)
138 – Nick Fea (Shutt) wbf 3:00 Shane Percelay (Iron Horse)

Congratulations to Aiden Gillings (Hudson Valley), Jordan Brown (Hudson Valley), Alex Greco (Olympic), and Nick Fea (Team Shutt) for winning four or more matches at the tournament andearning All-American certificates!

Updated FloWrestling Rankings – New York State Well Represented

3X NYS Champ Stevo Poulin

FloWrestling has updated their individual rankings for the 2020-2021 season and the New York State is very well represented! Let’s take a look at the NYS wrestlers who have made the list as well as a couple others with close ties to Empire State!

#3 @ 120 – Stevo Poulin (Shenendehowa, Sr)
Poulin is a 3X NYS Champ and has committed to NC State after high school. NC State is coached by Pat Popolizio who is the brother of Frank Popolizio, founder of Journeymen Wrestling and current assistant coach at Shenedehowa. Stevo also won the Beast of the East and the Eastern States Classic last year. Flo has also ranked Stevo as the #5 Pound-For-Pound wrestler in the nation!

#1 @ 126 – Jordan Titus (Center Moriches, Sr)
The West Virginia commit is a 3X NYS finalist and a 2X NYS champion. Titus earned his #1 national ranking after completing an incredible junior season where he not only won his 2nd NYS title but also won the Walsh Ironman and the Eastern States Classic. Titus has been chosen to wrestle at the prestigious Who’s Number One event in Austin, TX on October 3, 2020.

#16 @ 138 – Jayden Scott (Rush Henrietta, Jr)
Scott, a 2X NYS finalist, is athletic and explosive! He is just went undefeated at the very competitive Bison Duals including a win over a NJ state place winner. Scott is primed to ascend to the top step of the medal stand in Albany in 2021!

#18 @ 170 – Jacob Null (Dolgeville, Sr)
Null is a 2X NYS finalist and was last year’s 160 pound champion at the Eastern States Classic. Null is extremely tough and very athletic! I would be shocked if he didn’t finish the season on the top of the medal stand.

#19 @ 170 – Cooper Kropman (Penfield, Sr)
NYS has a second nationally ranked wrestler at 170 in Cooper Kropman. The Section 5 senior was the NYS champion at 160 last year and was a state finalist at that same weight as a sophomore.

#17 @ 195 – Brock Delsignore (Shenendehowa, Sr)
The Section 2 hammer was a NYS finalist at 182 last season and is laser focused on capping off his high school career with a state title. Delsignore, who won the Eastern States Classic last year, has committed to attend NC State University.

#11 @ 285 – Lucas Scott (Chenango Forks, Sr)
After making the NYS finals at 220 as a sophomore, the Section 4 senior jumped up a weight – and up a spot on the podium – and took home the title at 285 last season!

Almost New York…….

#4 @ 126 – Troy Spratley (Collinsville, OK)
Now a junior at Collinsville, OK, Spratley is originally from Section 4 Bainbridge.

#1 @ 132 – Nic Bouzakis (Wyoming Seminary)
Nic is the son of NYS and Section 9 Pine Bush legend Troy Bouzakis. Troy was a 3X NYS champion and a 2X NYS Tournament MOW. Nic is not only ranked #1 in the nation by Flo but he is their selection for the #6 Pound-For-Pound wrestler in the nation.

#7 @ 170 – Brian Soldano (High Point, NJ)
This NJ junior appears on this list by his mere proximity to Section 9 – he lives about a 9-iron away from the Minisink Valley School District! Soldano has already offered a verbal commitment to wrestle for Rutgers after high school.

#18 @138 Angelo Ferrari & #4 @ 152 AJ Ferrari (Allen, TX)
Angelo and AJ have never wrestled in New York but their dad was a wrestler for Section 9 Valley Central in the early 1990’s!

Right On the Cusp…..
Zachary Ryder (Minisink Valley, Fr)
I would be absolutely shocked if this Minisink Valley freshman does not crack the national ranking by the end of the season! Ryder was the 126 NYS champion last year as an 8th grader and he took 2nd in NYS as a 7th grader losing a 4-3 decision to Stevo Poulin!

Keep An Eye On….
NYS has a few other studs that could possibly make the Flo rankings. Let’s keep an eye on Chase Liardi (Massapequa), Rocco Camillaci (Hilton), Carter Baer (Gouverneur), Kole Mulhauser (Central Square), Christian Hansen (Cold Spring Harbor), Adam Fenner (Minisink Valley), and Tyler Rice (Norwich).

Returning Section 9 Hammers

We have taken several trips down memory lane recently, and we will continue to do so during these very trying times. However lets takes a look at some of our current Section 9 hammers! The following wrestlers are former Section 9 champs (any year) or finalists (2020 only) and are looking to add to their resumes WHEN we return to action this fall! Have faith!!! Please note that I am listing their 2020 – 2021 class.

Returning NYS Placewinners

Zack Ryder (Minisink Valley, freshman)
Why am I starting with a freshman? Because this freshman is already a 2X Section 9 champion, a 2X state finalist, and the 2020 NYS champion at 126 pounds. As a 7th grader Ryder made it to the state finals at 106 pounds where he lost a razor close 4-3 match to nationally ranked Stevor Poulin. At 126 he is the “heaviest” 8th grader to ever win a New York state title and will likely crack the national rankings this season!

Nick Ross (Onteora, senior)
Ross has a chance, a very good chance, of becoming only the 5th wrestler in Section 9 history to be a 5X Section 9 champion. The Onteora senior will be the first S9 D2 wrestler to accomplish this feat joining D1 studs Troy Bouzakis, Jamie Franco, Cody Ruggirello, and Shane Connoly. Ross has also been successful at the state level finishing 3rd in NYS at 138 as a sophomore and 2nd in NYS at 152 this past season as a junior.

Adam Fenner (Minisink Valley, senior)
Will this be the season that Fenner ascends all the way to the top step of the podium in Albany? I think it will be! Fenner, a 2X Section 9 champ, finished 5th in NYS at 285 as a sophomore and then placed 3rd in the state last season. I wonder how many people realize how close Fenner was to joining Askey as an undefeated state champ? His 2019-2020 record was 48-2 and both of his losses were razor close 1-point losses. One of the losses he actually avenged later in the season!

Andrew Marchese (Washingtonville, junior)
Marchese is a 2X Section 9 champion and he finished 5th in NYS this past season at 113 pounds! He won the 99 pound title as a freshman. Marchese was 39-5 in 2019-2020 and had no bad losses. He lost 3X to nationally ranked 3X state champ Stevo Poulin and also lost to state finalist Killian Foy and New England placer Kai Odell from Danbury, CT. Marchese works as hard as anyone in NYS in the off season and will likely finish near the top of the podium in Albany next season!

Ethan Gallo (Minisink Valley, sophomore)
Gallo opened everyone’s eyes when he made it all the way to the Section 9 finals at 160 pounds … as an 8th grader!!! Last season as a freshman Gallo absolutely dominated the local competition and won the Section 9 title at 182, and then went on to place 6th in NYS! There are very few freshman to place in the state tournament at the “upper” weight classes! Gallo is a great all around athlete who also excels in baseball and football. He has all the tools to be a multiple time NYS champion!

Jordan Brown (Monroe Woodbury, sophomore)
After seeing limited action in the starting lineup as an 8th grader, Brown burst onto the seen as a freshman and won the 99 pound D1 Section 9 championship! He wasn’t done there – the MW freshman made his 1st trip to the state tournament a memorable one by taking home 6th place honors! Brown is new to the sport and has a tremendous ceiling so don’t be surprised if he makes a few more trips to the medal stand in Albany!

Alex Greco (Warwick, sophomore)
Section 9 was obviously pretty strong at 99 pounds in 2019-2020 – we had two kids place at the state tournament in this weight! Alex Greco from Warwick needed a wildcard to get into the state tournament after losing in the Section 9 finals to Jordan Brown 3-0. Greco made the most of it by notching two wins in Albany and taking 8th place in NYS!

Returning and Former Section 9 Champions

Trevor Tufano (Port Jervis, 11) – 2X S9 D2 champ; 2-2 at states in 2020
Rian Kirker (Red Hook, 10) – 25 wins; placed 5th at Mid-Hudson
Ryan Ross (Port Jervis, 9) – S9 champ as an 8th grader! 1-2 in Albany
Peter Bender (Highland, 12) – 2019 S9 D2 champ @ 106
Joey Curreri (Eldred, 12) – 2-2 @ ESC; 1-2 in Albany
Ethan Palanca (New Paltz, 12) – 2X S9 champ looking to finish strong
Eric Tigue (Port Jervis, 11) – 2X S9 D2 champ missed 2020 post season
Pat Ross (Onteora, 12) – 2X S9 D2 champ; could place high in 2021
Hayden Campolong (Red Hook, 12) – S9 D2 champ at 182; 1-2 at states

2020 Section 9 Finalists

Isaiah Hockx (Saugerties, 9) – S9 D2 runner-up at 99
Jackson Merli (NFA, 11) – earned a wildcard to states; 1-2 in Albany
Brandon McKay (Red Hook, 11) – lost to teammate Kirker in 106 final
Jaden Hansen (NFA, 12) – hard working & talented; ready to breakout
Maddox McCormick (Port Jervis, 8) – D2 120lb finalist as a 7th grader
Caleb Harrison (Port Jervis, 12) – lost in finals to 2X NYS placer Morris
Brian Lombardi (Minisink, 12) – lost 4-3 in finals to 2X champ Savacool
Walter Evans (Ellenville, 11) – opened some eyes in 2020 season
Logan Zehr (Highland, 11) – 2021 could be his breakout season
Andrew Filip (Minisink, 10) – 3 sport athlete; lost to Askey in finals
Logan Smith (Highland, 11) – lost to 2X state medalist Ross in finals
Jace Hirsch (Minisink, 12) – very strong; lost to NYS finalist McGinty
Marcus Brown (MW, 12) – hard working and athletic
Adain Maduro (Highland, 12) – part of a great returning Highland core
Joe Russell (NFA, 12) – beat NYS placers Cascen, Altomer, and DeGroff
Connor Boyer (JIO, 12) – opened quite a few eyes in his first year in S9
Stephan Monchery (Middletown, 9) – S9 finalist at 285 as an 8th grader

A Few Others To Keep An Eye On….

Dan Downs (MW, 12) – had some impressive wins in 2020
Jaccob Gonzalez (Minisink, 12) – hard worker who’s very explosive
Mike Zrelak (MW, 11) – clean takedown against Askey – enough said

A Tribute To Our Seniors

It goes without saying that this year has been very different than any other year in history. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned this nation on its ear and the ripple effect has impacted everyone. While I am certainly not suggesting that our senior wrestlers have been affected in the same way as a coronavirus victim or a small business owner has, I do feel that they have been shortchanged from a recognition standpoint so I have decided to put together this post focusing solely on our senior Section 9 champions, finalists and place winners.

State Place Winners – D1 and D2

ESC and NYS Champ Askey

Tommy Askey (Pine Bush)
Askey cemented his legacy as one of Section 9’s all-time greats with an absolutely incredible senior season. One year after finishing 4th in NYS at 145, Askey put together a flawless senior campaign finishing 41-0 winning both the Eastern States Classic and the NYSPHSAA Championships. Asked capped off his senior season by defeating AJ Kovacs in the state finals. Kovacs was a defending state champion and ranked #5 in the nation at the time of the match. Askey will continue his academic and wrestling career at D1 Appalachian State.

State Finalist Joe McGinty

Joey McGinty (Monroe Woodbury)
McGinty capped off a phenomenal senior season by making it all the way to the 160 pound state finals before losing a decision to nationally ranked Cooper Kropman of Section 5 Penfield. He was a 2X state placer taking 4th place honors at 152 during his junior season. McGinty finished the year 36-5 and also placed 4th at the Eastern States Classic. McGinty has committed to wrestled at D1 Hofstra University in the Fall where one of his assistant coaches will be fellow Monroe Woodbury graduate Jamie Franco.

James Oosterom (Port Jervis)
Oosterom is a 2X place winner at the NYSPHSAA Division 2 Championships. James took 5th place as a junior and then ascended two spots and placed 3rd at 220 pounds this season. Oosterom’s record this season was 40-3 and all three of his losses came to the two wrestlers that finished ahead of him at the state tournament – Karl Bouyer (2X) and state champ Jeff Crooks. James has chosen to continue his academic and athletic career at Alfred State where he will be coached by Highland graduate Justin Signorelli.

Matt Morris (Red Hook)
Morris is also a 2X place winner at the NYSPHSAA Division 2 Championships. The Red Hook senior placed 6th as both a junior and a senior. Matt wrestled at 120 pounds as a junior and 126 as a senior. Morris’ record this past season was 38-3 and he continuing his academic and wrestling future at Millersville University in PA.

Justin Morales (Middletown)
Morales is a 3X NYSPHSAA Division 1 Championship tournament qualifier and a 2X Section 9 champion. Justin capped off his excellent high school career by taking 6th place at 106 pounds at the state tournament in Albany as a senior. Morales finished his career as Middletown’s all time leader in wins with 157.

Joe Velazquez (Middletown)
Velazquez capped off an outstanding high school wrestling career by not only winning the Section 9 title but also placing 6th in NYS at 170 pounds. Velazquez sported an impressive 44-9 record as a senior and also placed 6th at the Eastern States Classic.

Nate Ross (Onteora)
Ross had an awesome senior year and won his 3rd Section 9 Division 2 title. Nate was hung up in an extremely tough weight class at the state tournament this year and did not place however he did place 6th in the state at 152 as a junior. Ross will follow the footsteps of his two older brothers Dillon Ross and Austin Weigel and continue his wrestling career at Division 1 University of Buffalo.

Maxx DeCapua (Newburgh Free Academy)
DeCapua has the interesting distinction of being the only wrestler in Section 9 history to be a 2X state place winner who has never won a Section 9 title. DeCapua finished 6th in the state at 195 as a sophomore and then took 3rd at 220 in his junior year. Maxx will continue his academic and wrestling career at Division III Johnson and Wales.

Division 1 Section 9 Champions and State Qualifiers

Jacob Chenier (Kingston)
A 2019 Section 9 champion at 113 pounds, Chenier is one of the most successful wrestlers in Kingston history. Jacob went 2-2 at the state tournament as a junior and was one win away from placing. As a senior, Chenier was stuck in an extremely tough 120 pound weight class and finished 3rd with his only loss coming to 2X champ Nick Picariello. Jacob will continue his wrestling career at SUNY Oneonta.

Nick Picariello (Minisink Valley)
Picariello is a 2X Section 9 D1 champion at 120 pounds. As a junior he defeated heavily favored Marco Vespa from Monroe Woodbury and won MOW and as a senior he repeated as S9 champ and was one match away from placing at the state tournament. He will wrestle for Ellenville graduate Anibal Nieves at Division II East Stroudsburg University in the Fall.

Jordan Suarez (Minisink Valley)
Suarez finished off an impressive high school career as a 2X Section 9 Division 1 champion. He won his first title at 126 pounds as a junior and then won title #2 at 132 as a senior. Suarez was a 4X Section 9 finalist! He finished his senior season with a 41-6 record and notched over 130 wins during his high school career!

Matt Romano (Valley Central)
Romano is a 3X qualifier for the NYSPHSAA Championship tournament. Matt was the Section 9 champion in 2018 at 126 pounds as a sophomore. He earned a wildcard birth into the state tournament in 2017 at 113 and then again this past season at 132 pounds.

Sean Savacool (Minisink Valley)
Savacool finished his career as a 2X Section 9 Division 1 champion and a 4X sectional place winner. Sean won both of his titles at 138 pounds and was one win away from placing at this year’s NYSPHSAA Championship tournament. Savacool was also a 2019 Eastern States Classic place winner. Sean has decided to serve our nation in the Coast Guard after high school.

Brian Giacchi (Middletown)
Giacchi came from the #3 seed in the Section 9 tournament and picked off the #2 seed Scott Geyson from Minisink Valley in the semis and top seeded Joe Russell from NFA in the finals to cap off his career as a Section 9 Division 1 champion. Giacchi suffered losses to both Geysen and Russell during the regular season! Brian will continue his wrestling career at Division 3 Castelton.

JC Cabrera (Minisink Valley)
Perhaps the biggest “Cinderella” story of the 2020 Section 9 Division 1 tournament was JC Cabrera. The Minisink Valley senior was not in the Warriors starting lineup for the majority of the season and was their 2nd entry at the 220 pound weight class for the sections. Cabrera had a great tournament and defeated the #2 and #4 seeds to finish his career as a Section 9 champ.

Division 2 Section 9 Champions

Joe Amato (Port Jervis)
Amato was the 132 pound Section 9 Division 2 champion. He was a 2X sectional place winner and finished his senior season with an impressive 33-8 record after going 1-2 at the state tournament in Albany. Amato, along with Marlboro’s John Antonelli, was awarded the Most Exciting Match of the Section 9 D2 finals.

Alex Lopez (Red Hook)
Lopez finished a very good high school career as the Section 9 Division 2 champion at 138 pounds. He dominated the sections with two pins and a win by forfeit. He finished his career as a 2X sectional place winner and he had a 27-9 record as a senior.

Tyler Benincasa (Red Hook)
Benincasa had an up and down senior season but he definitely got hot at the right time. Tyler finished the season with a 29-15 season, however he pinned his way through the Section 9 Division 2 tournament and was crowned the 145 pound champion!

Bryce Horner (Port Jervis)
Horner finished his high school career as a 2X Section 9 Division 2 finalist and he was the 2019 champion at 160 pounds. He made it to the finals at 160 pounds once again in 2020 however he ran into Onteora hammer Patrick Ross and had to settle for the silver medal.

Hunter Roberts (Eldred)
Roberts had a very solid season but basically flew under the radar for the majority of the season. He changed all of that in the Section 9 Division 2 tournament when he pinned the top seed Connor Boyer at the 1:00 mark in the finals and was crowned the 195 pound champion. Roberts went 1-2 at the state tournament and finished the year with a 27-8 record.

Devin McGovern (Chester)
McGovern capped off a great senior season as the 285 pound Section 9 Division 2 champion. He finished the season with a 23-6 record and he is a 2X sectional finalist. Devin has decided to continue his academic and wrestling career at SUNY Sullivan under head coach Anthony Ng, a Monticello HS graduate.

2020 Section 9 Division 1 Placewinners

2nd @ 120 – Santos Ocasio (Monroe Woodbury)

2nd @ 126 – Moises Diaz (Middletown)
4th @ 126 – Mia Macaluso (Minisink Valley)
5th @ 126 – Steven Armendariz (NFA)
6th @ 126 – Joe Ferro (Kingston)

3rd @ 132 – Josh Sam (Middletown)
4th @ 132 – Travis Phillips (Valley Central)
6th @ 132 – Eli Weinstein (Goshen)

5th @ 138 – Christian Francisco (Kingston)
6th @ 138 – Mitchell Gibson (New Paltz)

2nd @ 145 – Gabe Galarza (Pine Bush)
4th @ 145 – Aiden Cuppett (New Paltz)

6th @ 152 – Levi Wyns (New Paltz)

3rd @ 160 – Evan Gibbons (Warwick)

3rd @ 170 – Max Wernicki (Monroe Woodbury)
4th @ 170 – Nick Paterson (NFA)
5th @ 170 – Chris McLaughlin (Minisink Valley)
6th @ 170 – Ionnis Karystinakis (Goshen)

2nd @ 182 – Darwin Banegas (NFA)

3rd @ 195 – Zavier Bennet (Kingston)
4th @ 195 – Davis Burgoa (NFA)
6th @ 195 – Ed Wilkins (Pine Bush)

2nd @ 220 – Armel Duke (Middletown)
5th @ 220 – Stephon Holmes (Kingston)
6th @ 220 – Tyler Augustus (Wallkill)

3rd @ 285 – Frankie Hernandez (Monroe Woodbury)
6th @ 286 – Alex Nguyen (NFA)

2020 Section 9 Division 2 Placewinners

2nd @ 132 – John Antonelli (Marlboro)
3rd @ 132 – Mark Bruckenstein (Chester)

3rd @ 145 – Dan Klotz (Port Jervis)

4th @ 160 – Nick Tsironis (Red Hook)

2nd @ 170 – Kwalin Gonzalez (Chester)

3rd @ 182 – Henry Peters (Eldred)

3rd @ 195 – Erik Quick (Port Jervis)

2nd @ 220 – Jacob Southard (Port Jervis)
3rd @ 220 – Dylan Bullock (Chester)

2nd @ 285 – Shamar Gittens (Highland)
3rd @ 285 – Christian Kuster (Rondout Valley)
4th @ 285 – Jon Perez (Highland)

Multiple Time Section 9 Champs

5X Section 9 champion Shane Connolly from Warwick went on to wrestle at Division 1 Army West Point!

Most wrestlers set a goal of one day being crowned Section 9 Champion. Winning two or even three Section 9 titles is something that most wrestlers only dream about accomplishing! Well let’s take a look at the wrestlers who have done the unthinkable – they are our 4X and 5X champions! I have also included a list of the 4X and 5X state qualifiers as well as an active 4X champ who has a chance of becoming the 1st ever 5X Division 2 champion! If I have accidentally omitted anyone please let me know through the comment section or at sectionixwrestling@gmail.com. Enjoy!

5X Section 9 Division 1 Champions
Troy Bouzakis (Pine Bush) 1986-1990
Jamie Franco (Monroe Woodbury) 2005-2009
Cody Ruggirello (Valley Central) 2006-2010
Shane Connolly (Warwick) 2008-2012

5X NYS Division 1 Qualifiers
Johnny Stramiello (Pine Bush) 2010-2014
Evan Barczak (Monroe Woodbury) 2013-2017
Marco Vespa (Monroe Woodbury) 2015-2019

4X Section 9 Division 1 Champions
John Scanlon (Pearl River) 1966-1969
Paul Ciccone (Suffern) 1967-1970
Paul Pietropoalo (Nanuet) 1973-1976
Gary Fischbein (Monroe Woodbury) 1980-1984
Jeff Lewis (Valley Central) 1985-1988
Lou Ruggirello Sr. (Valley Central) 1986-1989
Mike Bucci (Red Hook) 1987-1990
Mike Mitchell (Cornwall) 1992-1995
Phillip Mansueto (Middletown) 1995-1998
Ricky Scott (Valley Central) 2002-2005
Louie Ruggirello Jr. (Valley Central) 2003-2006
Ryan Ferro (Warwick) 2014-2017

4X Section 9 Division 2 Champions
Max O’Meara (Red Hook) 2005-2008
Greg Brunner (Tuxedo) 2008-2011
Taylor Benson (Red Hook) 2013-2016
Dillon Ross (Onteora) 2015-2018

4X NYS D1 Qualifiers
Mike D’Amato (Wallkill/Valley Central) 2004, 2006-2008
Mike Vespa (Monroe Woodbury) 2007-2010
Taylor Laraia (Newburgh Free Academy) 2007-2010
Vinny Vespa (Monroe Woodbury) 2012-2015
Michael Raccioppi (Minisink Valley) 2012-2015

Active 4X Section 9 Division 2 Champion
Nick Ross (Onteora) 2017-present

Section 9 Duals History

Minisink Valley and Monroe Woodbury have squared off in the Section 9 Duals finals seven times including six of the last seven seasons!

The inaugural year for the Section 9 Duals was 1991-1992. The tournament has evolved over the years, sometimes due to budget constraints. Under the current format, the Division 1 and Division 2 champions receive an automatic birth to the NYSPHSAA Dual Meet Championships! The Division 2 tournament broke off as a separate tournament in 2008-2009. Let’s take a year-by-year look at the results for the Section 9 Duals. I am still looking for many of the dual meet final scores so if you have them please feel free to email them to me at sectionixwrestling@gmail.com. I will update the post as I receive them.

Division 1 Results
1991-1992: Cornwall over Ellenville
1992-1993: Pine Bush over Minisink Valley
1994-1995: Goshen over Valley Central
1995-1996: Newburgh Free Academy over Pine Bush
1996-1997: Monroe Woodbury 42 Middletown 32
1997-1998: Valley Central over Monroe Woodbury
1998-1999: Monroe Woodbury over Valley Central
1999-2000: Monroe Woodbury over Newburgh Free Academy
2000-2001: Monroe Woodbury over Port Jervis *#1 NYS
2001-2002: Valley Central over Minisink Valley
2002-2003: Valley Central over Wallkill
2003-2004: Valley Central over Minisink Valley
2004-2005: Valley Central over Monroe Woodbury *#1 NYS
2005-2006: Valley Central over Minisink Valley
2006-2007: Valley Central over Minisink Valley
2007-2008: Monroe Woodbury over Port Jervis
2008-2009: Monroe Woodbury over Minisink Valley
2009-2010: Valley Central over Minisink Valley
2010-2011: Warwick over Cornwall
2011-2012: Warwick 39 Monroe Woodbury 38
2012-2013: Monroe Woodbury 61 Valley Central 6
2013-2014: Monroe Woodbury 33 Minisink Valley 32 *#1 NYS
2014-2015: Minisink Valley 43 Monroe Woodbury 21 *#1 NYS
2015-2016: Monroe Woodbury 48 Minisink Valley 28
2016-2017: Monroe Woodbury 45 Minisink Valley 28
2017-2018: Minisink Valley 56 Monroe Woodbury 16
2018-2019: Minisink Valley 48 Monroe Woodbury 24
2019-2020: Minisink Valley 60 Middletown 15 *#1 NYS

Division 2 Results
2008-2009: Highland over Ellenville
2009-2010: Onteora over Highland
2010-2011: Onteora over New Paltz
2011-2012: Red Hook 38 Onteora 36
2012-2013: Onteora 46 Red Hook 26
2013-2014: Highland 65 Onteora 12
2014-2015: Red Hook 50 Highland 24
2015-2016: New Paltz 45 Red Hook 40
2016-2017: Red Hook 61 New Paltz 16
2017-2018: Port Jervis 45 Red Hook 25
2018-2019: Eldred/Liberty/Sullivan West 37 Highland 36
2019-2020: Port Jervis 56 Red Hook 12

Most D1 Titles
10 – Monroe Woodbury
8 – Valley Central
4 – Minisink Valley
2 – Warwick
1 – Goshen, NFA, Cornwall, PIne Bush

Most D2 Titles
3 – Red Hook, Onteora
2 – Port Jervis, Highland
1 – Eldred/Liberty/Sullivan West, New Paltz

Most D1 Finals Appearances
16 – Monroe Woodbury
14 – Minisink Valley
11 – Valley Central
2 – Cornwall, Pine Bush, Port Jervis, NFA, Warwick, Middletown
1 – Ellenville, Wallkill, Goshen

Most D2 Finals Appearances
7 – Red Hook
5 – Highland, Onteora
3 – New Paltz
2 – Port Jervis
1 – Ellenville, Eldred/Liberty/Sullivan West

Section 9 Wins Leaders – Top 25 All Time and School by School

Valley Central’s Cody Ruggirello is Section 9’s All-Time Wins Leader with 275!!!

Now it’s time for the all time wins leaders and also let’s take a look at each school’s career wins leader! For this list I have only included current Section 9 schools however if anyone has the stats for the Rockland schools prior to 1985 I would love to see it! Also, there are a few current Section 9 schools that are missing from the list so if anyone has that info please send it to me at sectionixwrestling@gmail.com.

Top 25 Wins Leaders – Section 9 History
275 – Cody Ruggirello, Valley Central, 2010 (275-20)
219 – Evan Barczak, Monroe-Woodbury, 2017 (219-34)
214 – Mike D’Amato Wallkill/Valley Central, 2008 (214-43)
213 – Maxx DeCapua, Newburgh Free Academy, 2020 (213-45)
211 – Marco Vespa, Monroe-Woodbury, 2019 (211-40)
208 – Jamie Franco, Monroe-Woodbury, 2009 (208-30)
201 – John Stramiello, Pine Bush, 2014 (201-44)
196 – Mike Raccioppi, Minisink Valley, 2015 (196-36)
196 -Tyler Serafini, Newburgh Free Academy, 2019 (196-63)
194 – Ricky Scott, Valley Central, 2005 (194-29)
186 – Matt Romano, Valley Central, 2020 (186-48)
185 – Taylor Laraia, Newburgh Free Academy, 2010 (185-32)
183 – Darrell Ford, Minisink Valley, 2004 (183-26)
183 – Ryan Ferro, Warwick, 2017 (183-34)
180 – Vinny Vespa, Monroe-Woodbury, 2015 (180-29)
180 – Shane Connolly, Warwick, 2012 (180-36)
176 – John Gartiser, Monroe-Woodbury, 2002 (176-21)
176 – Dillon Ross, Onteora, 2018 (176-39)
175 – Troy Bouzakis, Pine Bush, 1990 (175-2)
174 – Mitch Wightman, Warwick, 2011 (174-23)
173 – Kyle Diesel, Minisink Valley, 2011 (173-43)
172 – Tyler Lynch, Valley Central/Minisink Valley, 2017 (172-38)
171 – Lou Ruggirello, Valley Central, 2006 (171-9)
170 – Nick Rausenberger, Newburgh Free Academy, 2000 (170-43)
170 – Ali Hasan, Valley Central, 2010 (170-41)

School by School Career Wins Leaders
Chester – Liam Bullock (2019) – 83 wins
Cornwall – Tyler Lawlor (2011) – 162 wins
Eldred – Noah Curreri (2017) – 133 wins
Goshen – Ryan Ellefsen (2017) – 131 wins
Highland – Austin Ingrahan (2014) – 127 wins
Kingston – Deon Edmond (2013) – 142 wins
Liberty – Kevin Morgans (2016) – 115 wins
Marlboro – John Antonelli (2020) – 116 wins
Middletown – Justin Morales (2020) – 157 wins
Minisink Valley – Michael Raccioppi (2015) – 196 wins
Monroe Woodbury – Evan Barczak (2017) – 219 wins
Monticello – Anthony Ng (2006) – 117 wins
Newburgh Free Academy – Maxx DeCapua (2020) – 213 wins
New Paltz – Eric Januszkiewicz (2013) – 141 wins
Onteora – Dillon Ross (2018) – 176 wins
Pine Bush – Johnny Stramiello (2014) – 201 wins
Port Jervis – Eric Biccum (2002) – 162 wins
Red Hook – Steven Dousharm (1995) – 138 wins
Rondout Valley – Ian Houck (2018) – 168 wins
Saugerties – Matt Bucci (2019) – 130 wins
Tuxedo – Greg Brunner (2011) – 51 wins
Valley Central – Cody Ruggirello (2010) – 275 wins
Wallkill – Zac Mills (2004) – 163 wins
Warwick – Ryan Ferro (2017) – 183 wins
Washingtonville – Collin Casey (2012) – 146 wins