US Olympic Team Trials

96kg Challenger Final:  Tommy Rowlands vs Chris Pendleton…winner takes on Jake Varner!!!
96kg: Rowlands beats Brewster 3-0, 5-0
96kg: Pendleton beats Kilgore 1-0, 4-3  
74kg Challenger Final:  Andrew Howe vs Trent Paulson…the winner takes on Jordan Burroughs!!!
74kg: Paulson beats Dake 2-0, 0-1, 6-0
74kg: Howe beats Caldwell 1-0, 1-0
60kg Challenger Final:  Coleman Scott vs. Logan Stieber
60kg: Stieber beats Zaddick 1-2, 1-0, 1-0
60kg: Scott beats Valenti (Kittatinny) 1-0, 0-1, 7-0
96kg: Rowlands defeats Zabriskie (High Point)  
96kg: Zabriskie (High Point) beats Hall 3-2, 6-0

55kg Women’s:  Duanesburg (Section 2) grad Amy Whitbeck loses 2-1, 4-0
74kg: Dake (Section 4) over Marable in clinch to advance to semis
60kg: Valenti (Kittatinny) over Graff 0-4,  2-0, 1-0…advances to semis!!!

60 kg:  Valenti (Kittatinny) over Hochstrasser 2-1, 2-0
74 kg: Taylor beats Fay in great match!!

Thanks to matside reporters Kevin Gallagher and Tracy Sutera, will be providing real-time updates from the 2012 US Olympic Team Trials being held this weekend at Carver Hawkeye Arena on the campus of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.  (I waited until they landed safely to inform them that no Minisink Valley wrestlers are competing at the event!)

The majority of the coverage will be on the men’s freestyle tournament which includes a “touch” of local flavor.  Saturday’s action will include the 60kg, 74kg, and 96kg weight classes.  One of the competitors wrestling at 60kg is Matt Valenti who graduated from Kittatinny Regional HS which just across the S9 border on Sussex County, NJ.  At 96kg, High Point Regional’s David Zabriskie will be a factor.  On Sunday, Max Askren will be competing for an Olympic spot at 84kg.  In Max’s corner will be his freestyle coach….Army Black Knight head wrestling coach Joe Heskett!!!  At 66kg, Army grad Phillip Simpson will take to the mat as well!

Updates will also be provided on Twitter.  Follow me @mec_S9wrestling!

Saturday’s Schedule
Men’s Freestyle: 60 KG, 74 KG, 96 KG
Greco-Roman: 55 KG, 66 KG, 84 KG, 120 KG
Women’s Freestyle: 55 KG, 72 KG

Sunday’s Schedule
Men’s Freestyle: 55 KG, 66 KG, 84 KG, 120 KG
Greco-Roman: 60 KG, 74 KG, 96 KG
Women’s Freestyle: 48 KG, 63 KG

Bios of every wrestler competing at the 2012 US Olympic Team Trials courtesy of

Valenti One Step Closer To Realizing a Dream – London 2012

Newton, NJ Wrestler To Compete at Olympic Trials

Matt Valenti has won dozens of wrestling tournaments in his life.  If he wins his next one, he could be an Olympian.  Valenti, who graduated just across the Section 9 border at Kittatinny Regional High School, is making his final preparations for the US Olympic Team Trials which take place on Saturday and Sunday in Iowa.  He wrestles in the freestyle division and competes at 60KG (132.25 lbs).  The 2012 Olympics will be held in London, England.

If Valenti is able to win the 60KG weight class this weekend, he still is not guaranteed an Olympic bid.  Because the United States has not yet qualified for the Olympics at 60KG in freestyle, USA Wrestling has decided that two of the top wrestlers at this weight, Reece Humphrey and Shawn Bunch, will not be entered in the 2012 US Olympic Team Trials and will instead continue to prepare for a World Olympic Qualifying tournament in China.  If either Humphrey or Bunch are able to qualify the US at 60KG, they will be given a chance to challenge the winner of this weekend’s tournament for the Olympic spot. 

Valenti graduated from high school in 2002 as a 2X New Jersey state champion.  During his senior year, he finished second at the high school nationals and first at the freestyle Junior Nationals.  After graduating high school, Valenti took his talents to the Ivy League where he wrestled for the University of Pennsylvania.  In college, Valenti was a 2X NCAA champion at 133 pounds and finished 5th at 125 pounds as a sophomore thus making him a 3X NCAA D1 All-American!

Since college, Valenti has served as an assistant coach for Columbia (2007-2009) and Penn (2009-current) while simultaneously training for for the London 2012 Olympics.  He had this to say about his Olympic aspirations.  “I’m really excited to compete at the Olympic Trials. It is a childhood dream of mine to represent the United States at the Olympic Games and to bring home a gold medal. I’ve dedicated so much of my life to accomplishing this goal and no matter what happens I know that I will have given my all. I’m thankful for all of the support of family, friends and coaches that I’ve had along the way.”   

Matt, you can rest assured that the entire Section 9 wrestling community is rooting for you!  Good luck!!!


FILA Junior Nationals – Freestyle

New York’s Steven Rodrigues Wins 63KG!

2011 Fox Lane (Section 1) graduate Steven Rodrigues took top honors at 63KG (138.75 lbs.) at the 2012 FILA Junior Nationals in the freestyle division on Saturday.  Rodrigues, a 2011 NYS Champion and 3X state placewinner, will be wrestling for the University of Illinois next year.  Before then, however, Rodrigues has his sights set on another freestyle tournament….the World Team Trials on May 25th at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. Great job Steven and good luck next month!!!

                              2012 FILA Junior Nationals
                          Article & Brackets from


Weekend Coverage will be providing updates for the MAWA East Regional (Bethlehem, PA) as well as the 2012 FILA Junior Nationals – Freestyle (Madison, WI).  There are several local wrestlers who are scheduled to wrestle in the MAWA regionals and I will post results as they become available.  To my knowledge there are no S9 wrestlers competing in the junior nationals however there are several New Yorkers registered including Brian Realbuto (S1), Steven Rodrigues (S1), Quinton Murphy (S5), Renaldo Rodriquez-Spencer (S6), Owen Scott (S5), Craig Scott (S5), as well as a handful of Army wrestlers. 

Make sure you “like” the Facebook page and you can now receive updates by following me on Twitter!  “Like” and “Follow” buttons on top of column on right.

Popolizio Leaves Binghamton for NC State

NY native Pat Popolizio has resigned as the head wrestling coach for Binghamton University and will become the new head coach for North Carolina State.  Popolizio graduated from Niskayuna High School (Section 2) and was a NYS Champion in 1996.  After high school Popolizio wrestled for John Smith at Oklahoma State where he was a 3X national qualifier.  New York’s loss is North Carolina’s gain….few people have done more to promote wrestling in New York than Coach Popolizio.  There is no word yet on his replacement at Binghamton. would like to wish Pat the best of luck in his new position. 

NC State website story

Scott Casber’s interview with Popolizio on TDR

MAWA Regional Results

The Middle Atlantic Wrestling Association (MAWA) North Regional tournament was held this weekend at Shamokin High School in Coal Township, PA.  As soon as gets the completed brackets, they will be posted.  For the time being, I will post any individual results that I receive. 

MAWA North Regional Results

Michael Raccioppi – Minisink Valley – 1st Place
Travis Edwards – Port Jervis – 1st Place
Jalen Palmer – Delaware Valley – 1st Place
PJ Smoot – Monroe Woodbury – 2nd Place
Sam Weinger – Washingtonville – 2nd Place
Frankie Carrozza – Delaware Valley – 3rd Place
Mason Rambarose – Minisink Valley – 4th Place
Nicky Wentland – Minisink Valley – 6th Place

Sanderson Decides Not To Compete In Olympic Team Trials

According to Intermat, 2004 Olympic gold medalist Cael Sanderson has decided not to make a run at another medal at the 2012 London Olympics.  Sanderson, who is also the head coach of the 2X defending NCAA champion Penn State Nittany Lions, was a 2011 World Team member.  He finished 5th at the World Championships in Turkey and has not competed since.  Click here for the Intermat story.

US Olympic Team qualifiers (updates 4/2/2012)



Eastern States Classic champs Dylan Palacio and Tony Lock claim Senior National Titles!!!

New York wrestlers Dylan Palacio and Tony Lock claimed individual titles at this weekend’s NHSCA Senior Nationals Wrestling Championships held in Virginia Beach.  Not surprising….both wrestlers were also 2012 Eastern States Classic champions.  A third New Yorker, Sean McCabe of Connetquot (Section 11), was able to make it to the finals before dropping a 7-4 decision to Josh Rodriguez of California. 

Long Beach High School’s (Section 8 ) Dylan Palacio capped off on incredible, undefeated season by claiming the national title at 152 pounds.  Palacio’s magical season has included victories over nationally-ranked wrestlers Brian Realbuto (NY), Raamiah Bethea (NJ), and Austin Trott (GA). 

Pioneer High School’s (Section 6) Tony Lock was crowned national champion at 182 pounds.  Lock also finished the year undefeated and was able to finish on top of a podium that included nationally-ranked wrestlers Kyle Crutchmer (OK), Taylor McGiffen (IL), and Jack DeChow (IL). 

NHSCA Senior Nationals – Final Results                                            Top 5 States
106:  Phazon Roddy (NC) dec Alvaro Gallego (AZ) 10-3                             1:  California
113:  Vito Pasone (PA) dec Braun Marquez (TX) 9-3                                   2:  New York
120:  Josh Rodriguez (CA) dec Sean McCabe (NY) 7-4                               3:  New Jersey
126:  Nathan Kraisser (MD) major Hunter Weber (WI) 9-0                     4:  Michigan
132:  Mark Grey (NJ) dec Cole Mendenhall (MT) 7-2                                 5:  Kansas
138:  Natrelle Demison major Cole Moseley (TN) 11-1
145:  Alex Richardson (NJ) dec Dylan Cottrell (WV) 3-2 ot ride-out
152:  Dylan Palacio (NY) dec Austin Trott (GA) 6-2
160:  Clark Glass (FL) dec Taylor Lewandowski (MN) 9-4
170:  Matt Reed (KS) dec Jordan Thomas (MI) 3-1
182:  Tony Lock (NY) dec Nolan Boyd (OK) 5-4 ot utb
195:  Timothy Dudley (SC) pinned JT Goodwin (CA) 3:30
220:  Richard Black (CA) major David Luke Wislon (AL) 10-2
285:  Doug Vallaro (FL) dec Austin Goergen (MN) 10-6

FloNationals in Philly….Senior Nationals in VA Beach will be following all of our local wrestlers who are competing at two major post-season tournaments this weekend….The FloNationals and the NHSCA Senior Nationals!!!!!

FloNationals in Philadelphia, PA    (brackets)
CJ Palmer (126) – Delaware Valley
     – 1st Round:  CJ Palmer (PA) dec 11-4 over Sean Kellett (CT)
     – 2nd Round:  CJ Palmer (PA) tech fall 16-0 over Tyler Hall (NY)
     – Rd 16:  CJ Palmer (PA) dec 6-1 over Kevin DeVoy (NJ) 
     – Quarters:  Jeff Ott (MA) wbf 1:44 over CJ Palmer (PA)
     – consie quarters:  Sam Speno (NY) dec 3-1 over CJ Palmer (PA)

Austin Weigel (152) – Onteora
     – 1st Round:  Austin Wetterau (NJ) wbf 5:32 over Austin Weigel (NY)
     – 1st Consie:  Josef Johnson (NJ) dec 7-0 over Austin Weigel (NY)

Marc Wagner  (170) – Delaware Valley
     – 1st Round:  Marc Wagner (PA) bye
     – 2nd Round:  Parker VonEdigy (NC) dec 6-3 over Marc Wagner (PA)
     – 1st Consie:  Marc Wagner (PA) tech fall 16-0 over Jake Koch (NJ)
     – 2nd Consie:  Marc Wagner (PA) major 10-2 over  Ibragim Ibragimov (PA)
     – 3rd Consie:  Brian Dorsey (TX) dec 4-1 over Marc Wagner (PA)

Senior Nationals in Virginia Beach, VA  (brackets)
Ryan Bedross (160) – Warwick Valley
     – 1st Round:  Curtis Bright (NV) dec 7-2 over Ryan Bedross
     – 1st Consie:  Ryan Bedross wbf over Therrien (MA)
     – 2nd Consie:  Chris Nevinger (NY) maj 15-3 over Ryan Bedross

MW’s McShea Wins Middle School Division!!!

Monroe Woodbury 8th-grader Nick McShea dominated his competition in winning the 165 pound weight class of the Middle School Division at the NHSCA Nationals in Virginia Beach!  Congratulations and great job Nick!!! 

Rd 16:  Nick McShea (NY) dec 6-2 over Koree Morgan (SC)
Quarters:  Nick McShea (NY) wbf :35 over Tyler Kleinhans (OH)
Semis:  Nick McShea (NY) maj dec 11-2 over Ryan Mills (WV)
Finals:  Nick McShea (NY) maj dec 12-0 over Brandon White (WV)