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NHSCA Recap: Empire State Claims Four Titles

By JS, 04/27/21, 10:00AM EDT

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Garibaldi crushes the competition; Freshmen Phenoms Ryder & Catrabone Take home The Gold; Section 5's McDowell wins a MS Title

The Evil Empire was well represented this past weekend in Virginia Beach at the NHSCA National Tournament. They claimed four titles in total with six others making a finals appearance.

Not to be outdone by the constraints that were set in place during COVID, Many other New Yorkers finish in the top 8 respectively, In all, 29 total wrestlers earn an all-american status this past weekend.

2 - Girls
2 - Middle School
4 - Freshman
4 - Sophomore
9 - Junior
8 - Senior

Seniors

The train keeps rolling for White Plains' Sebastian Garibaldi. This young man is a machine and it was on full display this past weekend. He compiled a 5-0 record en route to a National Title. His signature win may have come in the semi-finals against a relative common opponent in Triston Norris of North Carolina. Sebastian defeated Norris at the Daystar Duals in February. He pinned Norris this time around which begs the question as to how and why is Garibaldi not nationally ranked? Norris is ranked #16 by Flo.

Sebastian cruised to a 10-3 triumph in the finale against California State Runner-Up Jacob Christensen. His leg riding ability is top notch the best in the country for a heavyweight. It was on evident that Christensen had no answer. 

Garibaldi will be taking his talents to Providence, Rhode Island to compete for Brown University. The Bears definitely got a gem with this signing.

Cold Spring Harbor's Gaven Bell finished his career with a  3rd place finish at 182lbs. The Future Maryland Terp dropped a 6-2 decision to eventual champion Lucas Cochran of Utah in the quarters. Bell won four straight matches on the backside en route to the winning the bronze.

West Genesee's Nate Wade seemed to hit his stride winning four straight matches, two via fall. He needed overtime to defeat Reese Osbrone of Wyoming in the round of 16. His first defeat came to Runner-Up Caleb Tyus in the semi-finals, 6-4. It was Nate's second overtime match of the tournament. His fourth place finish was an exclamation point on a wonderful career for the Wildcats. Nate holds the school record for wins at West Gneesee.

Pal-Mac teammates Jace Schafer and Kaleb Burgess finished 5th respectively at 120lbs and 152lbs. Schafer lost to Marlon Yarbrough of Ohio on the front side however got revenge in the 5th place bout winning 3-1 on a scramble late in the 3rd period. Burgess's road to 5th was a bit more strenuous. Losing in the round of 16 is always a dog fight on the way back through. Kaleb posted back to back shutouts before dropping his second match to Darian Estevez of Florida. Burgess would pin 2018 NYS Champion Marek Bush of Central Valley in the 5th place bout.

Harrison's Tyler Joseph and Onteora's Nick Ross each placed 8th. Ross was losing in the blood round 6-3 to Paul Ortiz of California before pinning him in the 3rd on a beautiful throw resulting in the fall. Joseph lost to eventual champ Nicholas Fine of Rhode Island in the round of 16. His three straight wins on the backside locked up all-american honors. 

Juniors

Nine juniors placed top 8 for New York. 2021 Journeymen NYS MOW Kole Mulhauser finished second place at 182lbs. Mulhauser has nearly cemented his spot in the national rankings. Ohio's Dylan Fishback was too much for the Section 3 standout, winning 17-2. Kole absolutely cruised his way into the finals however, scoring points at will as it seemed. The future Princeton Tiger has a bright future ahead of him nonetheless.

Wantagh's Benny Rogers was NY's other finalist at 138lbs. Like Mulhauser, he fell to a powerhouse Kelvin Griffin of Pennsylvania via tech fall 15-0. Rogers wrestled extremely well considering his closest match was an 8-6 win in the round of 16. Benny will definitely be moving up in the Class of 2022 rankings with this finish as well as his third place finish at the Journeymen NYS Championships.

2021 NYS Champion Jordan Soriano of Clarke finished third at 132lbs. The section 8 standout lost to eventual champion Danny Nini of Florida in the quarterfinals. Jordan cruised on the backside winning four straight bouts convincingly. 

2021 NYS Runner-Up Michael Altomer finished third at 170lbs. Altomer went down a weight for this tournament after wrestling 182lbs a few weeks back. Mikey's lone defeat came in the semi-finals, 2-1, to Jonathan Conrad of Florida. The Minisink Valley stud finished 6-1 for the tournament.

Tottenville's Jacob Levin finished fifth at 106lbs, bolstering his stock in the process. Mahopac's Angelo Centrone finished sixth at 132lbs in an absolutely star studded weight class.

The remaining Junior All-American's were CSH's Jackson Polo (7th at 126lbs), Manhasset's Jack Roszko (7th at 138lbs), Pittsford Nick Sanko (7th at 152lbs), Gouverneur's Carter Baer (7th at 160lbs), Lindenhurst's Jairo Carceres (8th at 220lbs).

Sophomores

Homer's Sam Sorenson was 1 point short of the trifecta. This past season Sam won the Wyoming State Championship. A few back he claimed his first NYS Championships. Yesterday, he finished second in the Sophomore division. What a season it has been for the Trojan big man. I'm hard pressed to find argue that Sorenson's stock has risen higher than anybody in New York State. He started the tournament with back to back pins. He continued with two solid decisions en route to the finals. His semi-finals win came on a takedown in overtime over Tennessee stud Noah Todd. His 3-peat bid fell short, a 3-2 defeat to Dylan Russo of Ohio.

Justin Soriano turned his solid showing into a sixth place finish at 195lbs. Jordan was battle tested throughout the entire tournament yet maintained his focus well enough to finish on the blocks. 

Rounding out the quartet of sophomore All-Americans is Hauppauge Frankie Volpe and Bolivar Richburg's Trent Sibble. The Section 11 standout has had quite the month of April. Two huge finishes will definitely skyrocket Frankie up the Class of 2023 rankings. He started the month with a 4th place finish at the Journeymen NYS Championships followed by a 7th place finish this past weekend. He was actually down a weight to 132lbs. Three of his four wins on the backside were methodical 3-1 decisions. Volpe showed extreme patience and seems more focused in the later rounds of the tournament.

Sibble went 4-3 on the weekend and wrestled his way to an 8th place finish and all-american honors. Trent's backside quest started off well with two straight falls followed by a 2-1 decision over Dustin Winner of Ohio to make it into the AA Round. Many would have loved to see him match up against Homer's Sam Sorenson. Two young heavyweights that'll be representing New York in the years to come.

Freshman

The Dynamic duo of Minisink Valley's Zack Ryder and Williamsville North's Cameron Catrabone gave NY two National titles in the freshman division. Ryder just keeps winning, plain and simple. the highly touted freshman is already a 2x NYS champion/3x finalist and a 2x Eastern States Placer. He is completely separating himself from the rest of the freshman in New York. Zack ran through the competition in Virginia Beach, compiling three straight falls, a major decision in the semi-finals and a dominating 8-1 win over Bodie Morgan of Pennsylvania.

Catrabone has a similar yet different tournament from his fellow New York State counterpart, yet the same result in the end. Cameron came out on fire, scoring two straight tech-falls followed by a perfectly executed bar arm for the fall in the round 16. In the semis, what a dramatic match it was. Down 5-4 late in the 3rd, Catrabone got in on a beautiful shot when opponent D'mitri Alarcon applied a figure four on the head of the Section 6 stud. After an extensive discussion it was deemed an illegal hold and ultimately tying the match at 5. In the end, Cameron got a takedown in overtime sending him into the national finals.

He capped off his title run with a 6-5 decision over Maryland's Judah Aybar.

At 106lbs, Matt Marlow of Northport finished in fifth place posting a 5-2 record. At 138lbs, Minisink Valley had their second freshman All-American in Luke Greiner. A sixth place finish for the battle tested Warrior proved grit and guts as he meandered his way through the bracket. 

Girls

A near storybook ending for Long Beach's Ally Fitzgerald to her high school career. The Long Beach Senior took second place this past weekend at 120lbs. En route to the finals, Ally picked up two falls and a solid 6-2 decision over Anya Knappenberger of Maryland.

In the finale, Montana DeLawder upended Fitzgerald 10-0. The Pennsylvania stud DeLawder was recentless in her attacks thus preventing Ally from getting any offense going.

Ally has been an integral part of the spark in women's wrestling in New York. Her hard work, grit and determination has paid dividends in the end. She just recently committed to Sacred Heart University.

Middle School

An all New York Final took place at 85lbs. Bolivar Richburg's Gary McDowell upended Anthony Ciotoli, 4-3. McDowell opened up the match with a takedown in the first. After riding out Ciotoli in the second, Gary was in the driver seat going into the third period. McDowell led 3-0 in the third period until Anthony hit a nice double leg converting it into 2 points. 

An escape and a stalling call ensued thus ending the match 4-3 in favor of the Section 5 hammer McDowell. McDowell is only a 7th grader and we should fully expect him to make some noise in 2021.

Ciotoli, an Ithaca native, absolutely crushed his opponents on the way to finals. In three contests, he outscored his opponents 23-5. 

Newburgh's Cooper Merli compiled a 3-1 record over the weekend, losing in the finale to Adam Mattin of Ohio. Section 9 has a diamond in the rough with the younger Merli brother.