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

State Medalist Leaders – Schools and Coaches

2009 Monroe Woodbury grad Jamie Franco was a 5X NYS medalist!

I think it’s safe to assume that every wrestler who has ever stepped on the mat has dreamed of one day being on the medal stand at the state championship tournament. Section 9 wrestlers have stepped onto that podium nearly 400 times since 1963! Let’s take a look at the medal tally for every Section 9 program since Day 1!

Monroe Woodbury Takes Top Spot
With their two state place winners in 2020, Monroe Woodbury now holds sole possession of the top spot on the state medal leader board! The Crusaders are actually on a pretty incredible streak…Monroe Woodbury has achieved MULTIPLE state place winners every year since 2013!

Coaches Tally (only while coaching in Section 9)

29 – Paul Cummings (Middletown/Valley Central
27 – Steve Fischbein (Valley Central/Monroe Woodbury)
24 – Kevin Gallagher (Minisink Valley)
17 – Jeff Cuilty (Newburgh Free Academy/Wallkill)
16 – John Gartiser (Monroe Woodbury)
16 – Mark Faller (Port Jervis)
12 – Don Blaine (Cornwall)
12 – Dave Simmons (Port Jervis)
10 – Bob Zifchock (Valley Central)

Section 9 Championship MOWs

Let’s take a look at the list of all of the Section 9 Championship MOWs that we have in our database. There are a few that are missing so if you know who won MOW during those years please let me know either through the comment section below or via email at sectionixwrestling@gmail.com.

Section 9 Championship MOWs

Ian Houck
Rondout Valley
2018 D2 MOW

2020 D1 – Tommy Askey (Pine Bush, 152)
2020 D2 – Nick Ross (Onteora, 152)
2019 D1 – Nick Picariello (Minisink, 120)
2019 D2 – Nate Ross (Onteora 152)
2019 D2 – Jason Lonstein (Ellenville, 285)
2018 D1 – Marco Vespa (Monroe, 120)
2018 D2 – Ian Houck (Rondout, 145)
2017 D1 – Evan Barczak (Monroe, 152)
2017 D2 – Zach Chartrand (Onteora, 145)
2016 D1 – Ryan Ferro (Warwick, 152)
2016 D2 – Noah Curreri (Eldred, 152)
2015 D1 – Ryan Ferro (Warwick, 145)
2015 D2 – Dillon Ross (Onteora, 120)
2014 D1 – Gerard Daly (Minisink, 120)
2014 D2 – Matt Rauch (Red Hook, 126)
2013 D1 – Dylan Booth (Port Jervis, 113)
2013 D2 – Avery Leighton (Onteora, 120)
2012 D1 – Kyle Wierzbicki (Warwick, 145)
2012 D2 – John Hodes (Rondout Valley, 126)
2011 D1 – Mitch Wightman (Warwick, 160)
2011 D2 – Greg Brunner (Tuxedo, 130)
2010 D1 – Cody Ruggirello (Valley Central, 135)
2010 D2 – Peter Ferrante (New Paltz, 145)
2009 D1 – Cody Ruggirello (Valley Central, 130)
2009 D2 – Dean Hottum (Onteora, 152)
2008 D1 – Sean Floor (Port Jervis, 140)
2008 D2 – Ian Ellis (Red Hook, 125)
2007 D1 – Cory Lempka (Minisink Valley, 145)
2007 D2 – Max O’Meara (Red Hook, 160)
2006 D1 – Cory Lempka (Minisink Valley, 145)
2006 D2 –
2005 D1 –
2005 D2 –
2004 D1 – Phil Szumlaski (Newburgh Free Academy, 125)
2004 D2 –
2003 – Kevin Navarra (Cornwall, 171)
2002 – John Gartiser (Monroe Woodbury, 135)
2001 – Mike Mormile (Monroe Woodbury, 112)
2000 – David Edwards (Cornwall, 130)
1999 – Dom Abato (Wallkill, 189)
1998 –
1997 – Paul Paquin (Cornwall, 125)
1996 –
1995 – Al Mann (Cornwall, 112)
1994 – Ed Vass (Goshen, 167)
1993 – Chris Cotten (Valley Central, 126)
1992 –
1991 – Mike Castro (Washingtonville, 126)
1990 – Troy Bouzakis (Pine Bush, 126)
1989 – Lou Ruggirello Sr. (Valley Central, 138)
1988 –
1987 – Troy Bouzakis (Pine Bus, 105)
1986 – Rich Parete (Rondout Valley, 126)
1985 – Rich Parete (Rondout Valley, 119)
1984 – Matt Gallagher (Minisink Valley, 177)
1983 – Tom Ladka (Monroe Woodbury, 215)
1982 – Jeff Keys (Port Jervis, 119)
1981 – Earl Lynch (Monroe Woodbury, 155)
1980 –
1979 – Eric Savacool (Port Jervis, 132)
1978 – Ron Simonson (Port Jervis , 145)
1977 – Lou Banach (Port Jervis, 177)
1976 – Paul Pietropoalo (Nanuet, 112)
1975 – Steve Silverberg (Ramapo, 126)
1974 – Frank Rodriguez (Ramapo, 119)
1973 – Tony Marciano (Ramapo, 119)
1972 – Joe Goldsmith (Ramapo, 112)
1971 – Ruben Solero (Middletown, 119)
1970 – Lou Conway (Pearl River, 137)
1969 –
1968 – Charles Kwiecinski (Clarkstown, 175)

A By the Numbers Look at the Section 9 Championships

Jeff Cuilty
Section 9 Wrestling Chairperson and Eastern States Classic Tournament Director

Let’s take a “By the Numbers” look at the history of the Section 9 Wrestling Championships! Most of the information I am posting has be provided to me by our current Section 9 Wrestling chairperson, Jeff Cuilty. Jeff is a NYSPHSAA and National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee. He served as NFA’s head coach from 1988-89 until 2011-12. Cuilty then took the reigns at Wallkill and served as their head coach from 2012-13 until 2016-17. He retired from coaching with 432 career wins ranking him 3rd in Section 9 history. Along with serving as the Section 9 chair, Cuilty is also the of tournament director for the Eastern States Wrestling Classic. Jeff, thank you for everything that you do for Section 9 Wrestling!

Port Jervis wrestling legends Ed and Lou Banach

Most Section 9 Champions By School
1. Port Jervis (93)
2. Monroe Woodbury (86)
3. Valley Central (79)
4. Minisink Valley (78)
5. Red Hook (57)
6. Newburgh Free Academy (48)
7. Onteora (46)
T8. Middletown (43)
T8. Suffern
T10. Cornwall (35)
T10. Pine Bush (35)
12. New Paltz (31)
13. Warwick (30)

4 of VC’s Greatest!
Lou Jr., Cody, & Lou Sr. Ruggirello and Ricky Scott

Most Section 9 Division 1 Tournament Team Titles
1. Valley Central (13)
T2. Minisink Valley (9)
T2. Monroe Woodbury (9)
4. Port Jervis (4)
5. Suffern (3)
T6. Warwick, New Paltz (2)
T8. Middletown, Goshen, Ramapo, Pearl River, Rondout Valley (1)

Red Hook has dominated the D2 Tournament with 9 Team Titles!!!

Most Section 9 Division 2
Tournament Team Titles

1. Red Hook (9)
T2. Port Jervis (3)
T2. Onteora (3)
4. Highland (1)

2020 Minisink Valley
NYSPHSAA Dual Meet Champs
Section 9 Champs

Most Team Points at Section 9
Division 1 Championships

1. 2020 Minisink Valley – 369 points
2. 2018 Minisink Valley – 312.5 points
3. 2005 Valley Central – 304.5 points
4. 2016 Minisink Valley – 302.5 points
5. 2019 Minisink Valley – 292 points
6. 2017 Monroe Woodbury – 276.5 points
7. 2013 Monroe Woodbury – 275 points
8. 2015 Monroe Woodbury – 271.5 points
9. 2014 Monroe Woodbury – 265.5 points
10. 2011 Warwick – 263.5 points

Over 700 Wins!!!
Brothers Nate Ross, Pat Ross, Austin Weigel, Nick Ross & Dillon Ross

Most Team Points at Section 9 Division 1 Championships
1. 2011 Onteora – 274.5 points
2. 2020 Port Jervis – 262.5 points
3. 2014 Highland – 250 points
4. 2006 Red Hook – 238.5 points
5. 2018 Port Jervis – 228 points

Most Wildcards (began in 2007)
1. Monroe Woodbury (14)
2. Minisink Valley (10)
3. Newburgh Free Academy (7)
4. Valley Central (5)
T5. Cornwall, Port Jervis, Warwick (4)

Section 9 All-Time Team

The 1987 NYSPHSAA Champions
Section 9’s Troy Bouzakis sporting his first of two MOW trophies!

Well we went decade-by-decade in putting together our S9 All-Decade Teams so the next logical step is to put together an All Time Section 9 Wrestling Team! This was a fun project but definitely not an easy one! Some absolute hammers had to be left off including 2X state champions and 5X Section 9 champions! It just shows the incredible talent that has stepped on the mats over the past 57 years! Just a few notes about the All Time Team to avoid confusion… I have decided to use the current weight classes for the All Time team. I did my best to place wrestlers in weight classes that were closest to their actual weights in high school. Also, a few wrestlers are listed on the All-Time Team at different weights than they appeared on the All_Decade team. The goal here was to create the absolute best team possible, so in some cases it was necessary to juggle weight classes. Lastly, I decided to include 2020 graduates for consideration on the All-Time Team. As always, comments and corrections are welcomed below in the comment section or you can email me at sectionixwrestling@gmail.com. Enjoy!

After a stellar career as a wrestler, Rocco has coached at West Point, Tennessee – Chattanooga, and Notre Dame HS

99 Pounds
Rocco Mansueto (Middletown, 1998)
Picking “Mansueto” as our starting 99 pounder was a no-brainer. Deciding which “Mansueto” was not so easy, but after careful consideration we are going with 2X state champion Rocco! Rocco was the 96 pound NYS champion in 1997 and then won his 2nd state title as a senior at 112. He went on to wrestle at D1 Cleveland State where was a 3X NCAA qualifier. He biggest competition for the All Time Team was his twin brother Phillip who was a 4X Section 9 champ, a 4X NYS place winner and the 1997 NYS champ at 103. It was a close call but we gave the nod to the 2X state champ!

After his wrestling career Klepper taught Chemistry and Physics before earning his medical degree and is a board certified gastroenterologist.

106 Pounds
Lee Klepper (Suffern, 1969)
Our selection 106 pounds goes to 2X NYS champion Lee Klepper from Suffern High School. Klepper was a Section 9 finalist as a sophomore losing in the finals to Ron Lewis of Liberty. That would be the last high school match that Klepper would lose. In 1968 he avenged his loss to Lewis in the Section 9 finals and went on to win the NYS title at 98 pounds. As a senior, Klepper moved up to 103 pounds and went a perfect 26-0 claiming his 2nd NYS championship! Klepper was also an outstanding student and went on to have an extremely successful wrestling career at Princeton University where he finished with a career record of 118-20 and was selected to the All-Ivy team three times!

In two trips to the state tournament, Goldsmith (bottom row, 4th from left) was 8-0 with 5 pins, 2 majors, and a decision!

113 Pounds
Joe Goldsmith (Ramapo, 1972)

One of the most dominating wrestlers in Section 9 history, Goldsmith finished his prep career with an incredible 69-1-1 record! His only loss came in the Section 9 finals of his sophomore year when he dropped a decision to Newburgh’s Jim Tiso. Goldsmith avenged his loss to Tiso in the 1971 Section 9 finals and went on to win the state title at 103 pounds. He then went on to win his second state crown as a senior at 112 pounds. After high school, Goldsmith wrestled in college at Division 1 Southern Illinois where he was a 4X Illinois Collegiate State Champion. As a senior, Goldsmith earned D1 All-American status by finishing 6th at the 1976 NCAA Championships. Upon graduation from college, he served as an assistant coach for Eastern Michigan for a season.

During his incredible collegiate wrestling career at Hofstra, Ruggirello notched wins over D1 studs Coleman Scott, Tony Ramos, Mike Grey, and Tyler McCormick.

120 Pounds
Lou Ruggirello, Jr (Valley Central, 2006)
In four trips to the New York State Wrestling Championships, Louie Ruggirello finished 3, 1, 1, 1! As a 3X NYS champion he was absolute “shoe-in” for a spot on the Section 9 All Time Team! As a freshman Ruggirello came in 3rd in the state with his only loss coming in a 2-1 semifinals loss to eventual 4X state champ and NCAA champ JP O’Connor. He went on to win NYS titles at 96 as a sophomore, 112 as a junior, and 119 as a senior. In those three years he was 11-0 at the state tournament with 6 pins, 4 majors, and only 1 regular decision! Ruggirello continued his wrestling career in college at D1 Hofstra where he was a 4X NCAA qualifier and earned All-American status as a senior!

3X NYS Champion Troy Bouzakis. Troy’s son Nic is currently the #1 ranked 126 pound wrestler in the nation wrestling for national power Wyoming Seminary.

126 Pounds
Troy Bouzakis (Pine Bush, 1990)
Generally regarded as the greatest high school wrestler in Section 9 history, Troy Bouzakis was a 5X state place winner, 4X finalist, and a 3X NYS champion. Many consider him to be among the top 5 most talented wrestlers in NYS history….he was that good! Bouzakis became the first 8th grader in NYS history to win a state title when he won the 91 pound crown in 1986. He followed up with his second title as a freshman at 105 pounds by defeating defending state champion Lou Roselli. Bouzakis competed at 119 the next two seasons taking 3rd as a sophomore and 2nd as a junior. He capped off his incredible high school career by winning his 3rd state title by taking home the 126 pound crown in 1990. Troy was a 2X MOW of the NYS tournament. After high school, Bouzakis took his talents to D1 Clemson where he was undefeated until his career was cut short due to injury.

Cody Ruggirello running an arm bar – a very familiar image to anyone who watched his compete during his illustrious career!

132 Pounds
Cody Ruggirello (Valley Central, 2010)
When you talk about the great wrestling families in NYS history, the Ruggirello family is right there with the best. Louie’s younger brother Cody is our choice for the 132 pound weight class on the All Time Section 9 Wrestling Team. Cody was a 5X NYS place winner, a 3X finalist and a NYS champion. He placed 3rd as an 8th grader at 96, 1st as a freshman at 103, 2nd as a sophomore at 119, 3rd as a junior at 130, and 2nd as a senior at 135. Like his older brother Cody decided to continue his academic and athletic career ar D1 Hofstra University. While at Hofstra Cody was a 2X NCAA tournament qualifier and made it to the blood round at 149 his senior year.

One of the most dominating wrestling families in Section 9 history – Louie Jr, Cody, and Lou Sr. In this picture there are 13 S9 titles, 11 state placings, and 5 NYS titles!

138 Pounds
Lou Ruggirello Sr. (Valley Central, 1989)
Since both of his sons are on the Section 9 Wrestling All-Time Team we might as well include the old man! Lou Ruggirello Sr. was one of the most dominating wrestlers in Section 9 in the 1980’s. Lou was a 4X Section 9 champion, a 2X NYS place winner, and the 1989 New York State champion at 138 pounds. He began his run in 1986 when he won the Section 9 title as a freshman at 132 pounds. His sophomore season he bumped up to 138 and took home his second S9 crown and then dropped back down to 132 for his junior year to win title #3. That year he lost in the quarterfinals of the state tournament but wrestled all the way back and took 3rd place in NYS. For his senior campaign Ruggirello went back up to 138 pounds and won his 4th Section 9 title as well as the elusive NYS title by defeating Bill Terry from Section 8 by the score of 7-1.

Pine Bush’s Tommy Askey after defeating defending NYS champion Aj Kovacs 8-5 in the 2020 NYSPHSAA finals! It was sweet revenge for Askey who lost to Kovacs by that exact score the year before in the state quarterfinals.

145 Pounds
Tommy Askey (Pine Bush, 2020)
Askey is the only current wrestler to make it onto the Section 9 Wrestling All Time Team! Askey freshman and sophomore years in high school were good, but probably not what you might expect from an All Time Team member. He placed 4th in the Section as a freshman and he was a S9 finalist as a sophomore – but then flipped the switch! Askey dedicated himself to the sport and won his first Section 9 title as a junior and placed 4th in NYS at 145 pounds. His senior year, however, is what punched his ticket onto this team. Askey moved up to 152 and finished his senior year a perfect 45-0 which included a NYS championship and an Eastern States Classic title! His most impressive win came in the state finals when he defeated defending state champion AJ Kovacs 8-5 in the finals. At the time, Kovacs, an NC State commit, was ranked #5 in the nation according to InterMat Wrestling. Askey has recently decided to continue his academic and athletic career at Division 1 Appalachian State!

3-sport athlete Ryan Ferro from Warwick was a 2X NYS champion and a 4X Section 9 champion. In his 4 trips to the state tournament, Ferro went 14-3 with 7 pins and a tech fall!

152 Pounds
Ryan Ferro (Warwick, 2017)
2017 Warwick grad Ryan Ferro may be the best all around athlete on this team! Ferro was a 4X Section 9 champion, a 3X NYS place winner,and a 2X NYS champion. What makes his achievements even more impressive is that Ferro was a three sport athlete who also excelled in football and baseball and did very little off-season wrestling. Ferro won his first S9 title as a freshman at 152 and went 2-2 at states, falling in the blood round. As a sophomore he knocked off defending S9 champion Michael Raccioppi from Minisink Valley in the S9 finals at 145 and went on to take 3rd in NYS. For the next two seasons Ferro was a force to be reckoned with, winning back-to-back state titles at 152 as a junior and 160 as a senior. Ferro began his college career at the Ohio State University before transferring to LIU where he just completed his redshirt sophomore season.

As a 3X NYS place winner, NYS champion, 4X D1 All-American, 3X NCAA champion, and Olympic gold medalist, Ed Banach is without question the most decorated wrestler in Section 9 history.

160 Pounds
Ed Banach (Port Jervis, 1978)
Was there any doubt that the name “Banach” was going to appear on this list at least once? Ed Banach was a 3X Section champion, a 3X NYS place winner, a 2X NYS finalist and the 1978 NYS champion. Banach placed 6th in his first trip to the state tournament as a sophomore wrestling at 167 pounds. The following year, Banach dropped down a weight class and took 2nd place at 155 pounds before capping off his high school career as a state champion back up at 167. Not too shabby right? Well he was just getting started. Ed went on to wrestle at Iowa where he would become a 4X NCAA All-American and a 3X NCAA champion wrestling for the legendary coach Dan Gable. As if that wasn’t enough, Ed Banach went on to win the gold medal in freestyle at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles!

The 2004 NYSPHSAA D1 champions photo. Ricky Scott is top row 4th from right and his cousin Louie Ruggirello is bottom row 1st on left.

170 Pounds
Ricky Scott (Valley Central, 2005)
Valley Central dominated the Section 9 wrestling scene for a good portion of the 2000’s and one of the major contributors to the program was Ricky Scott. Scott, a cousin of Louie and Cody Ruggirello, was a 4X Section 9 champion, a 3X NYS place winner, and a 2X NYS champion. Scott burst on to the scene winning his first S9 title as a freshman at 152 pounds. The following year Ricky won sections again, this time at 160 and he went on to place 6th in NYS. For the next two seasons, Ricky Scott was perhaps the best 171 pound wrestler in the nation. As a junior he won his third S9 title and his first NYS title. As a senior he completely dominated the competition earning his second state title and he was selected to represent Team USA at the prestigious Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic. Scott was also a two time champion at the Eastern States Classic. Following his high school career, Scott went on to wrestle at Division 1 Buffalo where his career was cut short due to an injury.

Lou Banach is considered by some to be the best American heavyweight wrestler of all time. Banach pinned fellow heavyweight legend Bruce Baumgartner in the 1981 NCAA finals!

182 Pounds
Lou Banach (Port Jervis, 1978)
Was there any doubt that a second “Banach” would appear on the All Time Section 9 Team? Lou Banach, fraternal twin of Ed, is our clear choice for the 182 pound weight class. Lou was a 2X Section 9 champion, a 2X NYS place winner, and a NYS champion. As a junior, Lou Banach won the Section 9 title at 177 pounds and then went on to win the state title up in Syracuse. As a senior he notched a second Section 9 title, however lost in the state quarters but wrestled all the way back to 3rd place. Like brother Ed, Lou would go on to wrestle for Dan Gable at the University of Iowa. In college, Lou Banach was a 3X All-American and a 2X NCAA champion. He would also go on to win an Olympic gold medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. After retiring from wrestling, Banach earned his MBA from Penn State and has been very successful in the banking industry.

Red Hook’s Mike Bucci was a 4X NYSPHSAA place winner including a state title at 215 as a senior.He was a also a 4X NCAA DIII All-American for SUNY Cortland.

195 Pounds
Mike Bucci (Red Hook, 1990)
Mike Bucci was one of the most dominating wrestlers in Section 9 history. As a 3X champ at 177 and a 1X champ at 215, he seemed like the logical choice to be the 195 pound selection for our All Time Team. Bucci launched himself onto the Section 9 wrestling scene by winning the 177 pound S9 title as a freshman! He would go on to place 6th in the states as a freshman and then would follow up with an identical performance as a sophomore – 177 lb. S9 champ and 6th in NYS! As a junior, Bucci would notch his 3rd Section 9 title at 177 pounds and this time he would take 3rd at the state tournament before capping off his incredible high school career with 215 pound state title as a senior! After taking a 6 year hiatus from wrestling, Mike would go on to wrestle at Division III power SUNY Cortland where he would become the program’s first ever 4X All-American! Bucci wrestled heavyweight for the Red Dragons placing 4th as a freshman, 7th as a sophomore, 6th as a junior and 2nd as a senior.

Ed Bordas gets the nod for the 220 pound wrestler for the Section 9 All Time Team. Bordas dominated the competition during his senior year pinning his opponents in the semis and finals at the NYSPHSAA Championships!

220 Pounds
Ed Bordas (Valley Central, 2005)
Selecting a wrestler for 220 pounds was one of the tougher decisions for this project but when all was said and done it was Ed Bordas from Valley Central who received the nod. Bordas was a 3X Section 9 champion, a 2X NYSPHSAA place winner and the 2005 state champion at 215 pounds. Only a sophomore, Bordas won his first S9 title at 215 and placed 6th in NYS. He repeated as Section 9 champion as a junior however had a tough state tournament going 0-2 but rebounded as a senior when he won his 3rd Section 9 title and also won the NY state title at 215 pounds. Bordas went on to wrestle at the D1 level for Binghamton and Rider where he was a 3X NCAA tournament qualifier. He was also selected as team captain for Rider during his junior and senior seasons.

Joe Yanis (top row, far right) was the 1991 NYSPHSAA champion at HWT. His son, Joe Jr, was a 2X state qualifier for Minisink Valley and currently wrestles for Brockport!

285 Pounds
Joe Yanis (Minisink Valley, 1991)
Very few wrestlers in Section 9 history have combined the size and athleticism of Minisink Valley’s Joe Yanis. Yanis was a 3X Section 9 finalist at heavyweight suffering tough losses as both a sophomore and a junior before breaking through his senior year and punching his ticket to the state tournament in Syracuse. “Big Joe” would not let the opportunity pass him by and he ran the table in convincing fashion at the state tournament taking home the first state title in Minisink Valley school history. Yanis was a well rounded athlete and received state level accolades in both football and track and field for the Warriors. He continued his academic and athletic career at Division 1 Hofstra University where he excelled in both wrestling and football.

2nd Team

99 Pounds
Phil Mansueto (Middletown, 1998)
Phil was a 4X Section 9 champion, a 4X NYS place winner, and state champion! He placed 6th as a freshman at 91, 2nd as a sophomore 98, 1st as a junior at 103, and 2nd as a senior at 119.

106 Pounds
Phil Consiglio (North Rockland, 1985)
Consiglio won 3X Section 9 titles and then a 4th sectional title when Rockland County became part of Section 1 for his senior year. He was the NYS champ at 105 in 1984. Phil was a 4X NYS place winner taking 6th as freshman at 98, 6th as a sophomore at 105, 1st as a junior at 105,and 3rd as a senior at 112.

113 Pounds
Mike Mormile (Monroe Woodbury, 2001)
Mormile was a 3X Section 9 champion and a 3X NYS place winner including a state title as a senior. He placed 3rd as a sophomore at 96, 2nd as a junior at 105, and was the 112 NYS champion as a senior!

120 Pounds
Paul Paquin (Cornwall, 1997)
Paquin was a 2X NYS champion. He won titles as a junior at 112 pounds and as a senior at 125 pounds. He went to Oklahoma on a wrestling scholarship but an early injury prevented him from competing in college.

126 Pounds
Jamie Franco (Monroe Woodbury, 2010)
Franco was a 5X Section 9 champion and a 5X NYS place winner including a state title during his junior year. He placed 4th at 96 as an 8th grader, 2nd at 112 as a freshman, 4th at 119 as a sophomore, 1st at 125 as a junior and 2nd at 125 as a senior. He wrestled at D1 Hofstra where he was an NCAA qualifier.

132 Pounds
Pat Lloyd (Valley Central, 2003)
Lloys was a 3X Section 9 champion and a 2X NYS place winner. He finished 5th in NYS during his freshman year at 96 pounds and he was the 130 pound NYS champion as a senior. Lloyd went on to wrestle at Division 1 Buffalo in college.

138 Pounds
Al Favata (Newburgh, 1969)
Favata was a 2X NYS place winner and a NYS champ. He took 4th in the states as a sophomore and took home the title as a junior at 138 pounds. Favata went on to become a coach in S9 taking the reigns at Rondout Valley for 7 years!

145 Pounds
Gary Fischbein (Monroe Woodbury, 1983)
Fischbein was a 4X Section 9 champion, a 3X NYS place winner and the NYS state champion at 145 pounds in 1983. He wrestled in college at UVA where he was an NCAA Championship qualifier.

152 Pounds
AJ Aeberli (Minisink Valley, 2016)
Aeberli was a 2X Section 9 champion and a 2X NYS place winner including winning a state title as a senior. He placed 5th in NYS at 152 as a junior and then took home the title at 160 the following year. AJ went on to wrestle for the Coast Guard Academy where he became a Division 3 All American!

160 Pounds
Mitch Wightman (Warwick, 2011)
Wightman was a 3X Section 9 champion, a 2X NYS place winner, and the 160 pound NYS champion at 160 pounds in 2011. Wightman went on to wrestle D1 in college at Boston University and American University where he was a NCAA tournament qualifier.

170 Pounds
Jim Horvath (Ramapo, 1972)
Horvath was a 2X Section 9 champion and a 2X NYS place winner. He placed 3rd in NYS at 155 as a junior and then in his senior year he won the NYS title at 167 pounds. Horvath went on to wrestle in college at D1 Southern Illinois.

182 Pounds
Mike Fekishazy (Wallkill, 2017)
Fekishazy was a 2X Section 9 champion and a 2X NYS place winner. He won his first S9 title as a junior and placed 6th in the state and then as a senior notched S9 title #2 and was the state runner-up at 182. He was defeated in the state finals by Louie Deprez who was the top ranked 182 pound wrestler in the nation.

195 Pounds
Kendall Elstrum (Monroe Woodbury, 2017)
Elfstrum moved to Monroe from Illinios as a sophomore and went on to win 3X Section 9 titles. He was also a 2X NYS place winner taking 4th in the state as a junior at 182 and then winning the state title at 195 as a senior! Kendall now wrestles for Division 1 Princeton!

220 Pounds
Will Leonard (Cornwall, 2019)
Leonard took 6th in NYS as a junior before capping off his career with an incredible undefeated senior season which included titles at the Eastern States Classic and the NYSPHSAA Championships at 220 pounds. He is currently wrestling at the University of Buffalo.

285 Pounds
Scott Ketchum (Clarkstown South, 1975)
Ketchum was the New York state champion at heavyweight during his senior year at Clarkstown South. He was part of the 1975 squad which remains the only Section 9 team to win the team title at the state tournament.

Coaching Staff

Hall of Fame Coaches
Coach Don Blaine (right) – 529 wins
Coach Kevin Gallagher – 506 win

Don Blaine
Coach Blaine was the head wrestling coach at Cornwall High School for 36 seasons. He is the all time wins leader for Section 9 coaches with an astonishing 529 coaching victories! The last match he ever coached was Will Leonard’s 2018 state championship victory! He has been inducted into the NYSPHSAA Wrestling Hall of Fame as well as the Upstate New York Chapter of National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Kevin Gallagher
Coach Gallagher sits at #2 behind Blaine on the coaching wins list with 506. He has been coaching for 30 years and is currently the head wrestling coach at Minisink Valley where he, along with his longtime assistant Scott Hendershot, has lead the Warriors to eight Section 9 Tournament titles and two NYS Dual Meet titles. Coach Gallagher has been inducted in to the NYSPHSAA Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Paul Cummings –
Coach of 10 State Champions!

Paul Cummings
Coach Cummings coached at Middletown High School from 1993-94 until 1997-98. He then took over as head coach at Valley Central from 2000-01 until 2005-06. In that relatively brief coaching career, Cummings an astonishing 10 New York State champions as well as another 19 New York State place winners! During those years he also coached 4 teams to Section 9 Tournament titles – 3X with VC and 1X with Middletown. Coach Cummings has been inducted into the Upstate New York Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.