Who Is Going Where? *Updated 5/30*

Several Section 9 Wrestlers Will Take Their Talents To The Next Level
Below is a list of the Section 9 wrestlers who plan on wrestling in college next year.  Several student-athletes are still undecided so this list will be updated as I receive confirmations.

S9sitelogoDivision I
Gerard Daly (Minisink Valley) – Sacred Heart
Alec Guevara (Wallkill) – Hofstra
Vincent Vespa (Monroe Woodbury) – Army Prep
Thomas Wightman (Warwick) – Buffalo

Division II
Tyler Blasko (Wallkill) – Limestone College
Michael Raccioppi (Minisink Valley) – East Stroudsburg
Pedro Rosales (Middletown) – LIU Post

Division III
Da’mani Burns (Newburgh Free Academy) – SUNY Cortland
Chris Truglio (Minisink Valley) – SUNY Cortland
Bruce McLee (Washingtonville) – Plymouth State University
Isaac Serrano (Newburgh Free Academy) – SUNY Cortland
Johnny Stramiello (Pine Bush) – Ithaca College
Hunter Curreri (Port Jervis) – Coe College
Matt Lopez (Minisink Valley) – Rhode Island College
Jon Roopchand (Middletown) – Norwich

Bryan Beyers (Washingtonville) – SUNY Sullivan
Keyon Milner (Washingtonville) – SUNY Sullivan
Justin Robledo (Middletown) – SUNY Sullivan
Jesus DelValle (Middletown) – SUNY Sullivan

New FloRankings Released

NYS Very Well Represented But No Section 9 Grapplers…Who Will Be First?

S9sitelogoFloWrestling has updated their HS rankings and they have excluded current seniors giving us a snapshot of who some of the top wrestlers in the nation will be for the 2015-2016 season.  New York is very well represented in the rankings but there are no Section 9 wrestlers on the chart!  Let’s take a look at the NYS wrestlers who are ranked as well as a few Section 9 studs who have a legitimate shot to crack the list!

FloRanked NYS Wrestlers

#7 Tommy Cox – Deer Park, Section 11
#16 Adam Busiello – Eastport SM, Section 11      160
#18 AJ Burkhart – Waverly, Section 4                   #6 Louie Deprez – Hilton, S5
113                                                                                170
#9 Jacori Teemer – Long Beach, S8                      #15 Alex Herringshaw – Holland, S3
126                                                                                182
#2 Yianni Diakomihalis – Hilton, S5                     #9 Kevin Parker – Shenendehowa, S2
132                                                                                195
#7 Vito Arujau – Syosset, S8                                   #13 Christian Araneo – Ward Melville, S11
#13 Kellen Devlin – Amherst, S6
145                                                                                285
#18 Hunter Richard – Holland, S3                        #11 Edwin Rubio – John Glenn, S11
#9 Frankie Gissendanner – Penfield, S5
#15 Chris Mauriello – Hauppauge, S11

A Few Section 9 Studs To Watch…

AJ Aeberli, Minisink Valley – Within the past six months, Aeberli has a victory over Mauriello (#15 @ 152) and has lost two point matches to Deprez (#6 @ 160) and Herringshaw (#15 @ 170).  He is “right there” with these guys!

Nick McShea, Monroe Woodbury – McShea lost in the state finals to Araneo (#13 @ 195) and recently dropped a close decision to PA stud Phipps (#14 @ 195).  He’s extremely talented and is a very dangerous wrestler – great finisher!

Ryan Ferro, Warwick Valley – Ferro placed third in NYS last season with his only loss in Albany coming to nationally ranked Tommy Dutton.  He also posted a huge win over National Prep placer Lenny Merkin at the 2015 Eastern States Classic.

Evan Barczak, Monroe Woodbury – Barczak placed 6th in NYS last year but is making huge strides thus far in the off season.  He has opted to skip the NYS Freestyle States and instead enter the ultra-competitive Cadet World Team Trials in Akron, OH. Steel sharpens steel!!!


NHSCA National Duals

Several S9 Wrestlers Will Be Competing!

The NHSCA National Duals will take place this weekend in Virginia Beach and several of Section 9’s best wrestlers will take to the mat!  Below are some of the local athletes who I noticed from the roster posted on Flo…If I missed anyone, let me know!  Good luck guys!

New York Kong   *this team is loaded and may place very high*
Da’mani Burns (NFA), Nick McShea (Monroe Woodbury)

Excelsior United
Dean Artrip (Tuxedo), Anthony DiDonato (Monroe Woodbury), Trystan Marrero (Washingtonville), Jacob Friedman (Monroe Woodbury), Brandon Bobe (Washingtonville), Ryan Sebesta (Wallkill), Jeremy Ortiz (Monroe Woodbury), Justin McLee (Washingtonville), Bruce McLee (Washingtonville), Bryan Beyers (Washingtonville)

SIR Wrestling
Thomas Wightman (Warwick)

S9 Well Represented at Pop & Flo

This weekend, Lake Placid will once again serve host to the Pop & Flo Dual Team Nationals.  Without question, Pop & Flo is one of the toughest club team tournaments in the nation!  This year’s event will also feature an all-star match between some of the best wrestlers in the northeast.  Section 9 will be very well represented at this year’s Pop & Flo as the Orange Sullivan Wrestling Club will make it’s competition debut.  Minisink Valley’s AJ Aeberli will also be competing however he will be the 170 pound wrestler for one of the tournament favorites – Iron Horse.  Below is a link to the rosters for all of the teams entered.  Other S9 wrestlers, not mentioned above, will likely be added to some of the rosters.  Good luck to all of our S9 competitors!

Pop & Flo line-ups

The Importance of Freestyle and Greco Roman

This article was posted a few years ago but it is definitely worth re-posting!

Why The International Styles Of Wrestling Are So Important

By John Gartiser

Over the years I feel it has been harder and harder to get our (I mean “our” in terms of NYS wrestlers, though it could be noted across the nation as well) top end wrestlers competing in Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling.  In my opinion these two styles, the International Styles, are extremely important for an athlete to reach their full potential in the sport of wrestling.  I will cover some of the basic points on why the International Styles of wrestling are so beneficial to young wrestlers.  My hope is to grab the attention of the local athletes and other NYS wrestlers to increase their knowledge and outlook on Freestlye and Greco Roman wrestling participation.  I will list the benefits of these styles below.

1.Exciting style of wrestling:

With the new rule changes, more so than ever, Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling promote scoring but also make an easier transition for an American Folkstyle wrestler into the two styles.   What is the most exciting point (no pun intended) in a wrestling match?  It’s usually when a wrestler is scoring or when there is a long scramble where two wrestlers are trying to score.  A scoring style of wrestling is what makes the sport exciting!  Excitement is what our sport needs in order to thrive on a grand scale like other major sports.  Freestlye and Greco Roman wrestling reward the aggressive wrestler and the wrestler who is looking to score points.  In both styles there are more opportunities for the wrestler to score points.   That is a good formula for participant and, maybe more importantly, fan excitement.

  1. Sharpens your technique:

One of the biggest advantages I see to wrestling Freestyle and Greco Roman is the styles’ ability to expose your weakness from the neutral position.   In these styles of wrestling I commonly tell my athletes that, “in Freestyle if you are not scoring there’s a good chance you are being scored on”.  It is this fact that your inability and weaknesses on finishing your shots are being exposed.  If you are in on a leg attack and if you don’t finish effectively your opponent will be in position to score on you and off of your attack.  In freestyle wrestling, the wrestler does not need complete control in order to score.  From a defensive position it is very common to expose an offensive wrestlers back 90 degrees for a 2 or 3-point move.  Knowing this, you MUST work on your set ups and finishes for all of your offensive leg attacks.  In Folkstyle wrestling your ability to get to a single leg attack and grapple to a stalemate does not negatively reinforce a wrestlers actions enough to truly focus on a technical deficiency in your leg attack finishes as it does in Freestyle wrestling.  Furthermore, you can actually see wrestlers USE this position of a stalemate to BURN time off a clock to eek out a close match.  If this were a freestyle competition your ability to “eek” out that victory can become counterproductive very quickly.  This type of mindset focuses and emphasizes what makes wrestling exciting, a scoring style of wrestling! This type of attitude should be brought to the mat every time you step out there to practice or compete.

Another aspect of technique to be sharpened through Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling can be reinforced through Parr Tarre position (wrestling on the mat).  I will use Greco Roman wrestling as an example here.  A lot of the scoring from the top position we see in high school and college wrestling today has many grassroots in the International Styles of wrestling.   I feel a lot of the tilts that are popular today can be linked and have a lot of correlations to gut wrenches in Freestyle and more prominently in Greco Roman wrestling.  Being able to roll across your own back to secure future back points is not always the easiest thing for a new wrestler to comprehend and be able to perform in a match situation.  In Greco Roman this is one of the main ways you can score points.  You have to conquer this fear and master the positioning of hips and leverage in order to score from the top position.  This in turn (Again, no pun intended), gives a wrestler a huge advantage over top competition nationwide.   These moves allow wrestlers to learn how to use proper leverage and momentum in order to expose your opponent.

I think the most common counter argument people pose to the so called negatives of Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling technique is seen in wrestling from the bottom position.  One of the more common bottom techniques in both styles is the “big bird” position.  In laymen’s terms, flattening your body out and moving your hips so you don’t get turned.  Which is actually a much more in depth technique to learn than it actually sounds.  If a wrestler were to do this in Folkstyle they would be warned/called for stalling.  In the International Styles of wrestling if there is no scoring from the Parr Tarre position the referee will blow the whistle and position both wrestlers back on their feet.  Wrestlers tell me all the time that wrestling on bottom promotes stalling and will never get me better on the bottom position in Folkstyle wrestling.  In reality the big bird position teaches wrestlers to adjust based on momentum and leverage the top wrestler is trying to use to turn you and expose your back.  This also correlates great into Folkstyle bottom wrestling.  BUT one of the more important aspects that the International Styles of Wrestling promote is a break from Folkstyle training.  It’s a good pressure release and allows good Folkstyle wrestlers to open up their minds and start to learn and get use to new or different positions.  I’ve seen terrible wrestlers on bottom in Folkstyle actually get better by not constantly practicing it.  Sometimes in order to see the proper gains your mind needs a break and needs to gear things in a different direction.  Sometimes it actually is better to not beat a dead horse.

  1. The Right Mindset:

The world of Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling offers our wrestlers with an opportunity to wrestle on the largest stage possible, the world levels.  Only in Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling do we have an opportunity to compete internationally.  Too many of our athletes look at section and state titles as the pinnacle of high school wrestling when, indeed, they should be shooting for much more.  The largest tournament (numbers wise) in the world today, on any level, is the ASICS/Vaughan Junior & Cadet National Championships in Fargo, North Dakota.  The tournament is better known as “Fargo”.  I will touch more on this tournament in my last point of interest.  Fargo is the #1 recruiting ground for college coaches.  The tournaments design has the nations top competitor’s battle it out over 2 to 3 days of grueling competition.  The grind of this tournament mimics many college tournaments, most comparing to the NCAA Division 1 National tournament.  The toughest and only the nations top wrestlers will rise to the occasion and come out on top of this kind of grind.   It now makes sense why this tournament is a college coach’s ideal setting for recruiting the future champions in college and of USA Wrestling.  The Freestyle and Greco Roman Nationals seem to be the best indicator of future success for young athletes. Don’t believe me?  Ironically enough, this video was just posted on Flowresting.com with Zack Esposito: http://www.flowrestling.org/coverage/250888-2013-Fargo-Cadet-and-Junior-National-Championships/video/717224-No-Tournament-Trumps-Fargo

For the top wrestlers in the country national titles are seen as a stepping-stone to compete at the world level.   I’m almost positive if we asked the majority of our wrestlers locally and even nationwide what the FILA Cadet Tournament is, the majority would not know.  The FILA Cadets is a national tournament held to determine what young USA wrestlers will represent their country in the FILA Cadet World tournament. FILA (Federation Internationale des Luttes Associees), in other words, the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Style, is the world wide governing body of wrestling. The FILA Cadets saw a 14-year absence and was recently bought back into competition in 2011.  This gives our young athletes an opportunity to compete internationally on the largest stage possible in our sport.  Through Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling our athletes now have the opportunity to compete for a world title!  I believe the fact that the great majority of young wrestlers don’t know this is a major problem.   I feel it is extremely important for every wrestlers mindset to shoot for the pinnacle in any sport they participate in, as well as life.

  1. The Numbers Don’t Lie:

July 13, 2013 Fargo, ND- This geographic location is home of HS wrestling’s equivalency of the Super Bowl.  Nowhere else are you going to have 120+ wrestlers in a single weight class, 3,000 competitors under the same roof (dome is more appropriate here) battling it out for the convenient “Stop Sign”.  According to Flowrestling.com 50 out of 70 of the nations Top 5 wrestlers in each weight class are scheduled to compete in the 2013 Freestyle and Greco Roman National Championship.   If those numbers aren’t staggering enough, let’s say Folkstyle is your favorite go to style for wrestling.   Let’s say Division 1 All American and National Champion is the goal you wrote down all those years ago.  Here’s a statistic that will put your odds at achieving that goal much higher: Qualify for Fargo and compete in the ASICS/Vaughan Junior & Cadet National Championships…. Why you ask?  Because 83% of all U.S.-born NCAA Division I All-Americans from 2006-2013 also competed in Fargo, where as, 68% of them were Freestyle and/or Greco All Americans and have produced 75% of the NCAA National champions.

(Credit Willie Saylor from Flowrestling.com for some of these statistics and figures)

Zsido Honored By NHSCA Again!

ZsidoCongratulations to Cornwall senior Quinn Zsido who for the second year in a row has been selected as an NHSCA Academic All-American!  Zsido is one of only 53 seniors in the entire nation to be honored.  Below in an excerpt from NHSCA article announcing the winners.  Click on the link below for the entire article.


The National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) is proud to announce the 2015 NHSCA High School Academic All Americans for the 2014-2015 school year. This year marks the 22nd year in which the NHSCA has honored those who triumph both in and out of the classroom. 
This year’s selection totals 114 Academic All Americans. These student athletes hail from 32 states. This year’s honorees excel in 11 different sports. The total breakdown is as follows: 7 freshman, 15 sophomores, 39 juniors and 53 seniors.    “This year’s Academic All Americans are the epitome of what a student-athlete is. Not only do they excel on the playing field, mat, court, pool, or track, but they also excel in the classroom”, stated NHSCA Executive Director Bobby Ferraro. “These student-athletes are leaders in and out of the classroom and are the future leaders of tomorrow. We are proud to deem them Academic All Americans.”
This year Connecticut and Texas lead the way with 12 Academic All Americans each, with Massachusetts following closely with 10. The student-athletes averaged a 3.9 GPA, with 45 Academic All Americans coming in with a 4.0 GPA or better.
All honored Academic All Americans will be recognized in the National High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum, which is currently in the planning stage.
Quinn Zsido (New York) competes in the sport of wrestling at Cornwall Central High School for Coach Don Blaine. He placed 6th in his state wrestling championships in 2014. He had a 2015 season record of 43-4 and a career record of 136-32. Quinn has a 4.0 GPA and is ranked #27 in his class of 276 students.
Full NHSCA article click here.

Huge Performance By Barczak At Northeast Regionals

MW Sophomore Takes 4th; Elfstrum, Weigel Also Notch Wins

S9sitelogoCongratulations to Monroe Woodbury sophomore Evan Barczak for taking 4th place in a loaded 138 pound weight class in the junior freestyle division at the 2015 Phil Portuese Northeast Regionals held at East Stroudsburg, PA.   After dropping a 12-6 decision in the second round to Wyoming Seminary’s Andrew Munn, Barczak reeled off 5 straight wins in the consies before losing to NYS D2 champion Jimmy Overhiser in his medal match.  One of the wins in his run through the wrestlebacks was a 10-0 tech fall victory over the aforementioned Munn.

Two other Section 9 wrestlers competed in the event including Barczak’s teammate Kendall Elfstrum, also a sophomore, who went 1-2 at 182 pounds for the day.  Elfstrum had the misfortune of drawing eventual champion Kyle Gentile from Pennridge, PA in the opening round.  In the senior division, Onteora grad and current University of Buffalo wrestler Austin Weigel went 4-2 at at 74 kg – a weight won by some kid named Kyle Dake!

Great job today men!


CTC Goes 2-2 at Journeymen Freestyle Duals

Vinny Vespa and Isaac Serrano Go Undefeated

Congratulations to the Crusader Training Center for their 2-2 performance at this weekend’s Journeymen Freestyle Duals at Union College.  West Point bound Monroe Woodbury senior Vincent Vespa went 3-0 for the day while NFA’s Issac Serrano, who will be wrestling for SUNY Cortland next year, finished the day 4-0!  Monroe Woodbury sophomores Evan Barczak and Kendall Elfstrum went 3-1 for the tournament as did Nick McShea, a Monroe Woodbury junior who finished 2nd in NYS this season.  Other CTC wrestlers with 2 wins were Dylan Earl, Marco Vespa, Tristian Bivano, Trey LaFlamme, and Josh Cordero.   Great job guys!!!

Carrozza Enters Wrestling Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Frank Carrozza for being one of the inductees of  2015 class for the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.  Carrozza worked at Minisink Valley as wrestling coach, physical education teacher, and athletic director for over 40 years.  He is affectionately referred to as the Father of Minisink Valley wrestling.  The induction ceremony took place on Friday night at the Melville Marriott in Long Island.  Ohio State head wrestling coach Tom Ryan served as the Master of Ceremonies.   As a side note, one of the other inductees at last night’s ceremony was former Valley Stream wrestler and current actor Steve Buscemi.

Carrozza HOFFrom left to right: Current MV AD Tim Bult, former MV wrestler Heath Macaluso, current MV Wrestling Coach Kevin Gallagher, Hall of Famer Frank Carrozza, former MV wrestler and current MVHS Principal Ken Hauck, former MV wrestler and current MV Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Mike Gillespie, former MV wrestler and current Assistant Wrestling Coach Scott Hendershot


CTC Sending Tough Team To Journeymen Freestyle Duals

IMG951641Crusader Training Center (CTC) and Monroe Woodbury coach John Gartiser has assembled a tough team comprised mostly of Section 9 wrestlers to compete in this weekend’s Journeymen Freestyle Duals being held at Union College.  Good luck men!

100 – Dylan Earl
106 – Marco Vespa – 2015 Section 9 Champ; 4th FloNationals 8th grade and under
113 – Tristan Biviano
120 – Anthony Stramiello – 2014 Section 9 champ, 2015 Section 9 runner-up
126- Trey LaFlamme – 2015 5th NYS 106 D2
132 – Vincent Vespa – 3X NYS placewinner  (5th, 3rd, 5th)
132 – Kevin Kelly – 2015 Section 9 Champ
138 – Isaac Matthews – 2015 Section 9 Champ
145 – Evan Barczak – 2015 6th NYS 132 D1; 2X Section 9 Champ
152 – Dan Degennaro
160 – Roberts Mickelsons
170 – Josh Cordero – 3rd Section 9
182 – Kendall Elfstrum – 5th NHSCA Sophomore Nationals; Section 9 Champ
195 – open
220 – Nick McShea – 2nd NYS 195 D1; 7th NHSCA Junior Nationals
285 – Isaac Serrano – Section 9 Champ