Moments After Winning His Third Straight NYS Gold, Warrior Sophomore, Zack Ryder, Flexes as a sign of individual and team strength
Going wire-to-wire as NYWN's top-ranked large school program this season, as a closing act to the 2021-2022 season, Head Coach Kevin Gallagher's Green & White machine put a final stamp on a campaign of brilliance by placing six of their 10 entries onto the podium, including a trio of titlists at 138, 160, and 215 respectively in the persons of PJ Duke, Zack Ryder, and Ethan Gallo...
Duke, who made history in 2020 when he became the first 7th grader to win a NYSPHSAA DI title (@99 pounds; while competing on behalf of section I, Carmel), was equally dominant in his return to Albany, as he was the last man standing in what could be accurately described as the deepest/most credentialed bracket regardless of division last weekend.
Pitted against 2020 NYS DI runner-up, George Oroudjov (Ithaca) in the championship bout, the consensus #1 freshman in America [Duke] would build a 5-2 lead thru two periods courtesy of a pair of takedowns, as well as a penalty point for a headbutt...Things would then unfortunately turn for the worst, souring what should have been a sweet moment for the young phenom.
Choosing top to begin the final 2:00 stanza, Oroudjov, whose brothers--Nick & Vito [Arujau] combined to win seven NYS DI crowns for Syosset, and whose father is two-time Senior World FS Champion/1992 Olympic Bronze medalist, Vougar Oroudjov, was repeatedly cautioned and/or penalized for false starts, stalling, and excessive roughness yielding five total points to increase Duke's advantage to 10-2...After a Duke reversal with 15 tick remaining in the contest, the officials would again find fault in the antics of the S4 senior [Oroudjov], issuing another roughness call and disqualifying him!
While this certainly was not the manner in which Duke (or any other true competitor) would have preferred to win, it does not retract from an other otherwise spectacular showing from the now two-time champ, as registered three consecutive tech falls in his road to the finals over a field comprised of 2x Nassau runner-up, Matthew Castillo (Port Washington), 4x S6 champ, Collin Coughenour (Niagara Wheatfield), and 2x State medalist/2019 runner-up, Killian Foy (MacArthur) by scores of 18-3, 23-8, and 18-3!
Duke, who suffered his lone loss by injury default in the finals of the Walsh Ironman, finished his 9th grade year at 23-1...Oroudjov, who entered undefeated and posted impressive wins over 2020 NYS 6th Jordan Brown (Monroe-Woodbury; 6-3 decision) and 2x State medalist/2021 Fargo AA Casper Stewart (Attica Batavia; 7-1 decision), fell to 35-1!
Next up for the Warriors was 3x returning state finalist/2x defending champion, Ryder, who squared off with 2x State placer (6th in 2019, 4th in 2020), Nick Sanko (Pittsford)..
Deadlocked at 2 apiece heading into the third period after Ryder drew first blood behind a takedown with :40 seconds remaining in the 1st period, answered by escapes in each of the 1st and 2nd by Sanko, the 2021 NHSCA Freshman National Champion/2021 USAW 16U FS National titlist [Ryder] created some separation in the last two minutes, tallying four points on an escape, takedown, and second stall warning against his S5 foe...Sanko, who is committed to continue his wrestling career as a Cavalier at the University of Virginia, could only muster his third escape of the match, allowing Darren and Laura's youngest baby to flex/celebrate for a third year in a row, as he claimed a 6-3 decision!
By virtue of the win, Ryder swept the two-match series between the #1 and #2 ranked studs in the weight...At the State dual tournament, he emerged with a more commanding/decisive 8-1 decision!
The triumph against his S5 rival was the only time that the #11 ranked wrestler in the country went the distance, as earlier appearances between Friday and Saturday witnessed him pin 2x Catholic titlist, Frankie Theroux (St. Anthony's) in :39, followed by a stick via cradle at the 3:13 mark against 2022 Suffolk 3rd, Robert Cunningham (Miller Place) to wrap up day #1...In the semifinals, he would convert a TD, throw in the boots, and crank a power-half for the pin at the 1:07 mark versus 2021 Journeymen NYS 7th, Brady Unger (Fairport)!
Ryder's 2022 season concludes with a 46-1 record (only blemish being in the quarterfinals of the Walsh Ironman), while Sanko's last year as a Panther ends with him sporting a very strong 32-3 resume!
Gallo, who missed the Walsh Ironman after taking some much deserved time to rest up after leading the Warriors to the S9 crown/state playoff berth on the gridiron, became the only member of the tribe to complete an immaculate season (38-0), as he pitched the 6-0 shutout over 2x S2 champ/2020 Super 32 medalist, Ryan Stein (Shaker), to hoist individual hardware in the second to last bout of the night!
Jumping out to the quick 5-0 edge when he stuffed an attempted high-c and drove Stein straight to his back for a full set of swipes less than 20 ticks into the 1st period, the two-time state medalist/2021 J-Men State runner-up [Gallo], escaped 14 seconds into the 2nd period for the only other point of the match to account for the aforementioned final margin!
While the outcome remained the same, the level of competitiveness was vastly different than the first time these two beasts clashed!!! Meeting in the finals of the Schenectady Invitational in mid-January, Gallo pinned Stein in 1:39!
To punch his ticket to the "yellow mat" the three-sport standout (football, wrestling, baseball) successfully navigated a trail ripe with talent, including a 5-2 decision in the quarterfinals over 2021 J-Men 7th, John Santowski (Pittsford), and a 1-0 (escape in the 2nd; rideout in the 3rd) semifinal decision over 2021 Journey NYS 5th, Steven Burrell (New Rochelle)
Vying to tie the state record of four individual champs by a single school established in 2019 by Hilton, the only heartbreak experienced for the section 9 juggernaut occurred during the finals of the 172-pound title match...
2x NYS medalist/2021 USAW Jr. GR National runner-up, Mikey Altomer, who had held top billing for much of the season, stepped on the mat as a prohibitive favorite versus undefeated section 2 champion, Dylan Schell (Queensbury)...However, as the adage proclaims, "this is why titles are not awarded on paper."....
Tied at 1-1 with less than a half minute showing on the clock in the 3rd, Schell would not finish his takedown try, but did induce a fleeing the mat call, giving him a 2-1 lead with short time remaining...In the last 10 seconds, he iced the dub when he capitalized off of a desperate shot attempt from Altomer, countering a wild double-leg attempt by tossing him for a takedown with :02 to go en route to the 4-1 decision that capped his remarkable 35-0 senior campaign!
On his trek to infinite and immortal glory, the hometown boy from the host section [Schell] also bested 2x CHSAA champ, Griffin Goldstein (St. Anthony's; fall in 3:02), defeated his sectional teammate, Ryan Buthfer (Burnt Hills) for the third time this year, 20-6 in the quarterfinals, and then used a TD + turn in the 1st period as a foundation to a 5-1 semifinal decision over 2021 Journeymen State 8th, Jake Scherbyn (Spencerport)!
While MV would come up short in their bid to equalize the [Hilton] Cadets' record for gold medalists, they would shatter the section 5 school's previous high of 134.0 points (also set in 2019)...
In addition to the previously recognized champs and runner-up, Warrior Nation received heroic efforts out of Eric Tigue (152) and Andrew Filip (189)...
Tigue, seeded 7th, shook off a 6-4 quarterfinal loss on day #1 to 2x state medalist (3rd in 2021)/#2 seed, Tim Bova (Arlington), by avenging his blemish in the 3rd place bout, 4-2!!!....Now a two-time state placer (5th at J-Men in 2021), Tigue also upended 4th seeded/2020 NYS DI 5th, Jake Hoffmann (Fox Lane), 6-2 in the consolation semis...His 5-1 body of work in his his scholastic encore, improved his season record to 42-5!
Filip, 8th at Journeymen States last year, wrestled up to his #4 seed, compiling a 3-2 record, including wins over the sectional champions from 1 [John McGowan; Mamaroneck) and 2 [Dillon Blanchard; Guilderland]!
With their dynasty program setting the tone, S9 would go on to win the overall sectional race for the first time since 1975 with a sum of 206.5 points!
Central Square senior, Kole Mulhauser, punctuates his scholastic career with his second state crown at 189 pounds
Sitting in the company of the previously cited Duke and Ryder were three additional student-athletes that joined the multiple-time champ club on Saturday night...
While all first-time NYSPHSAA recognized brass ring recipients, Joey Manfredi (Herricks), Tyler Ferrara (Chenango Forks), and Kole Mulhauser (Central Square) were all victorious at the 2021 Journeymen New York State Championships this past April, and they continued to be invincible in their former re-acquaintance with MVP Arena (formerly Times Union Center)
All three cementing PERFECT 2021-2022 seasons on Saturday night with a collective record of 126-0, the 110-pound representative from Nassau, the 126-pounder from Binghamton, and the 189-pound Syracuse resident took turns going pretty much unchallenged during their two-day stay in the state capital...
Manfredi (51-0), who won his school's first NYSPHSAA sanctioned individual crown since 2007 (Maciej Jochym @215 pounds), has now been a state finalist in three consecutive years, losing to Duke in the 2020 NYS DI finals at 99 pounds before going all the way at Spooky Nook in 2021 in the 106-pound bracket!
A rematch of the 2021 J-Men State finals (won 1-0 by Manfredi), the Highlander sophomore would utilize takedowns in the 1st and 3rd periods, as well as an escape in the final period to seize a 5-1 decision over fellow two-time returning medalist (3rd in 2020; 2nd in 2021), Mikey Manta (Hauppauge)!...Manta secured a berth in the finals when he narrowly got the better of "surprise" semifinals, Anthony Clem (Wantagh; seeded 14th)
Manfredi's toughest bout came one round earlier, as he logged one TD apiece in each of the first two periods and then refused to break on bottom (after surrendering a takedown) on his way to doubling up 2021 Journeymen State 8th, Jason Kwaak (Brentwood), 4-2 in the semifinals...
The S8 superstar [Manfredi] breezed through his two outings on Friday, pinning 2022 S9 titlist, Nicholas Weeden (Valley Central) in :50, and then tacking on a 15-0 tech in the quarters over the pride of the host section, Clayton O'Connor (Mohonasen)!
Ferrara, who was involved in the most talked about/controversial bout of the 2020 NYSPHSAA State tournament the last time he stepped foot onto South Pearl Street, vanquished the ghosts of a 6-4 sudden victory loss (after initially being declared the victor) in the 106-pound state finals to Elijah Rivera (formerly of Bay Shore; now competing at East Stroudsburg) two years ago by picking up a methodical and controlled 5-2 decision versus 2020 NYS DII 3rd, Brayden Fahrbach (Mt. Sinai) in a collision of the #1 and #2 seeds at 126 pounds!
Beating the buzzer by striking for a takedown in the last :02 of the 1st period to grab a 2-0 lead at the end of 2:00, the 2021 J-Men State gold medalist at 113 pounds continued to pad his lead, scoring the lone point of the 2nd on an escape and then finishing his second TD of the night with just over 1:00 remaining in the match duration...Both of Fahrbach's points were 3rd period escapes!
His clash with the Mustang sophomore [Fahrbach] was the only time that the Forks' 11th grader was forced to break a sweat...In his prior matches, his victories were all accompanied by some variety of bonus point, as posted a 15-3 major decision over 2021 J-Men State 6th, Michael Giugliano (Miller Place) in his round of 16 bout, and then went to an entirely different level in the quarters and semifinals, pinning 2022 S6 champ, Amarfio Reynolds (Niagara Falls) in 2:33, complemented by his quickest appearance, a 1:58 fall versus 2021 J-Men State 7th, Isaias Torres (Grand Street Campus) to lock up another spot in the money match!
Mulhauser (38-0), who sits in the #7 spot in the Flo polls, was his usual human wrecking ball self in procuring the right to go back-to-back!!!
Allowing just ONE point all weekend (compared to the 44 with which he was credited), the present-day Redhawk turned soon-to-be Princeton Tiger did not go the distance once in any of his four matches, including the championship showdown where he amassed a 10-1 advantage over "Cinderella Man"/18th seeded Joe Trovato (Lindenhurst) before flattening his Section 11 opponent with :33 remaining in the 2nd period...
His pin in the finals was the second of two mat slaps heard by Mulhauser in as many days, as he commenced his trek with 25-second fall over 2022 S4 champ, Tyler Keefe (Elmira)!
A true technician in all positions, the S3 living legend, who surpassed the 200-win milestone earlier on Saturday, put on a master display from top in his quarter and semifinal matches, racking up 21 of his 32 combined bouts on near-fall to post identical 16-0 TFs over 2022 S5 silver medalist, Nick Smith (Pittsford), and Minisink Valley's [Andrew] Filip!
As a shocker to no one, Mulhauser was later named as a VERY DESERVING choice for the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler honor!
Trovato's miracle run to the finals featured victories over the #2 (Baldwin's Kwasi Bonsu), #3 (Eric Carlson of Manhasset), and #7 (Spencerport's Joe Marcello) seeds...All three of his victims were 2022 sectional titlists, whereas he was a runner-up in S11!
Future UNC Tar Heel, Jayden Scott (Rush Henrietta) Cannot Contain his job after winning the NYS DI crown at 145-pounds
Schell and Mulhauser (both cited above) were not the only departing senior student-athletes that took that euphoric and proverbial elevator to the penthouse on evening of February 26th!
Spearheaded by two of the most decorated young gentlemen to ever compete as part of the Evil Empire---Jayden Scott (Rush Henrietta) and Rocco Camillaci (Hilton), four more 12th graders (six seniors in total) can say that they went out on their own terms and in storybook fashion by getting their arms raised on the largest of stages as an exclamation to their achievement-loaded high school tenures!!!
Scott, a two-time NYS Large School runner-up (2018, 2020) who never finished lower than 3rd (2019) in his four trips to Albany, at long-long will wear the badge of "State Champ" following a 4-2 decision at 145 pounds over 2019 State bronze medalist, Anthony Conetta (Massapequa)..
Doing all of his scoring during the first 4:00 of the title match, the University of North Carolina signed scholar-athlete converted scoring maneuvers 18 seconds into the 1st period and then in the waning (:06 remaining) moments of the 2nd to account for all of the output he would need against his very determined and capable opposition from Section 8!....Conetta boasted a signature conquest in the semifinals when a 2nd period reversal was the deciding factor in a 2-1 decision over #7 in the nation/2021 Super 32 3rd/2021 NHSCA Freshman National Champion/2x State medalist, Cameron Catrabone (Williamsville North-East), so it goes without saying that in order to win his first crown, Scott toppled a red hot opponent!
The taste of victory now on his lips, erased forever are the memories of the 2018 and 2020 title matches that saw him lose 3-2 and 4-2 decisions to the Terry Adams (Monsignor Farrell) and Zach Redding (Eastport-South Manor) at 106 and 132 pounds....
Consistent from beginning to end, Scott would kickoff his tournament with a 10-1 major decision over 2022 CHSAA State Champion, Sean Degl (Iona Prep), drop the curtain on day #1 with a 7-3 decision against Suffolk titlist, Justin Klein (Miller Place), and then put forth his most authoritative effort in the semis, erecting an 8-4 lead against 2021 J-Men State 4th/2021 NHSCA AA (7th), Frankie Volpe (Hauppauge) before ultimately pinning the Eagle junior at the 3:27 mark!
Camillaci, who like Mulhauser, is a vaunted member of the 2026 incoming class at Princeton University, is officially the cream of the crop in his fifth attempt at the throne...
A Journeymen State runner-up a season ago (lost a 1-0 decision in the 145-pound finale to Carter Schubert) after placements of 5th, 3rd, and 3rd from 2018-2020, the "Italian Stallion" from Hilton was not to denied, either this season or this weekend, as his wrapped up an unbeaten 40-0 record with a four-takedown (three in the 2nd period) effort that propelled him to a 9-5 decision in the 152-pound finals over Wantagh's Benny Rogers (2x returning State medalist; 2021 Florida State runner-up; 2021 NHSCA Junior National runner-up)...
A protege/product of that G2/Garage system that has delivered such immense successes to past champions such as Yianni Diakomihalis (4x), Greg Diakomihalis (5x), Lou DePrez (3x), Ryan Burgos (2019), etc., Camillaci's ability to scramble out of deep/promising attacks from his Nassau nemesis was invaluable as his defense was transformed into top-notch offense on repeated occasions!
Camillaci would enjoy a similar type triumph in the semifinals, as he piled up three 1st period TDs and then added a fourth score in the 3rd period on his way to a 9-6 decision over Fox Lane's [Jake] Hoffman (2020 NYS DI 5th as noted earlier)!
Rounding out our "last chance" champions were the titlists at 132 and 285 pounds---Stephen Lukas (Eastport-South Manor) and Charlie Tibbitts (New Hartford)!
Lukas, who took 5th at the Journeymen version of the state tournament a year ago, was the lowest seed regardless of classification to win gold in 2022, as he amazingly rallied from the #8 spot in the bracket...
Pitted against a previously unblemished opponent in the person of Washingtonville senior/returning Journeymen State silver medalist, #3 Andrew Marchese (47-0), the "underdog" from Section 11 broke open a scoreless match after the 1st period by rolling through a pair of tilts in the first half minute and last 30 seconds of the 2nd period to gain the commanding 6-0 advantage with just 2:00 left to be wrestled...To his credit, Marchese came on strong in the 3rd, finishing three takedowns to make things interesting; but the clock and the deficit proved to be too much to overcome as Lukas withstood the late surge to survive with a 9-6 decision to culminate his weekend of upset endeavors...
Two rounds earlier (quarterfinals), Lukas was equally lethal once afforded the opportunity to get on top...Facing the top-seed hailing from S6 Starpoint, Griff LaPlante, the Shark 12th grader amassed 11 of his 17 points off of exposures en route to a 17-1 tech over the next generational blue chipper (only in the 8th grad)...
Staying with what was working, Lukas posted another premature conclusion to his semifinal bout when he turned a 7-1 edge at the end of the first period into a 16-1 TF by turning #20th-seeded John Frustace (Arlington), three times for nine total points to end their semifinal bout with :13 remaining in the 2nd period!
Tibbitts (35-0), a 2021 Journeymen State 3rd, as well as a 2021 Super 32 8th, became his school's first state champion in over 20 years (Dan Perry went back-to-back in 1997 and 1998 @171), but the top prize did not come without some agonizing/nerve-racking/dramatic endings...
Trailing 2-1 in overtime against 13th seeded/2020 S11 titlist, Sebastian Regis (East Islip), who had already pulled off attention-grabbing wins over the #1, #4, and #5 seeds, the Binghamton bound big daddy [Tibbitts] brought the crowd to their feet when he dropped the curtain on the 2022 DI championships by hitting a Granby roll for the reversal and then riding out for the 3-2 decision over the upset-minded Suffolk sophomore...Had Tibbitts escaped instead of secured the R2, Regis would have had the option in UTB!
The win in extra frames was second in as many rounds for the future Bearcat, who recorded a takedown with :09 left in sudden victory to upend 2021 J-Men 9th/2022 S9 champion, Stephan Monchery (Middletown), 3-1!
The Spartan beast also had victories by 6-2 over 2022 S11 bronze medalist, Cole Blatter (Comsewogue), and WBF in 3:57 against 2022 Nassau champ, Romeo Turcios (Westbury) on Friday!
If you do not already know the heroic/inspiring story of this Long Beach 8th grader, google it...And if you do, then you realize that before Dunia Sibomana ever laced up his shoes last weekend, he was already a champion in the greatest game there is...LIFE!!
Bravely overcoming the extensive hardships that could easily rob any human being of their spirit, zest, and passion to keep fighting, the native of the Congo and his adoptive family, the Rodriguez, continue to epitomize all that is great about our country and its selfless citizens!!!
Make no mistake about it; the 102-pounder out of Nassau did not need NYSPHSAA gold in order to have the respect and admiration of everyone in attendance...But he wanted it, he worked for it, he deserved it...And now HE HAS IT!!!
Displaying a mind-blowing counter wrestling repertoire in his finals bout with top-seeded/2022 Section 4 champ, Ryan Ferrara (Chenango Forks), the Gladiator/Savage trained youngster would fend off a deep single by connecting with some variation of a cutback straight to his foe's back for 2+2 to jump out to a 4-0 edge less than 1:00 into the 1st period...Moments later, after a restart brought about by the action going out of bounds, Sibomana pounced on an opening and locked up a cradle from which Ferrara was unable to recover...The pounding of the mat came at 1:32 and with it, tears developed in the eyes of the house!
Sibomana celebrated in emphatic style, going air bound with a cartwheel to the unanimous roar of the populace!!!
Seeded 3rd, just to reach the title contest, Sibomana had to run a gauntlet of hungry and potent up-and-coming stars!
Allowing the first TD of his round of 16 bout to 2x S3 titlist, Freddy Pagan (Fulton), the next great LB Marine answered back with 14 straight points (2 takedowns, a reversal, three sets of near-fall) to win a 14-2 major decision!
A war of LI's finest ensued in the quarterfinals, as Sibomania used three TDs and two turns to hand Mason Mangialino (Comsewogue) his first loss of the year, 12-2!
Tied up at 2-2 entering the 3rd period of his semifinal collision with another undefeated rival, S9 titlist Luke Satriano (Valley Central), Sibomana exploded for seven points in the last 2:00 (escape, two takedowns, and swipes) to emerge with a 9-3 decision against the heralded second-seeded freshman
Matt Marlow Makes History; Wins 118 pound Bracket to Give Northport Their 1st State gold medalist
Two seasons ago as a 8th grader, the extraordinary lightweight from Northport not a state medalist; he was not a state qualifier; in fact, he did not even place in the top-6 of the Suffolk County Championships!!
But yet, here he proudly stands in the winter of 2022 as the first and only Tiger to win NYSPHSAA gold following a 3-1 decision at 118 pounds versus 2x Section 6 champ, Jaden Crumpler (Niagara Falls)!
A defensive/strategic battle for much of the contest, all signs pointed at the title match being extended to sudden victory as the two combatants had only managed an exchange of escapes in the 2nd and 3rd periods...
But then the Long Islander took matters into his own hands in the final 35 ticks, as he shot in on a double, switched to a single, and then got the better of a 50/50 scramble to convert the title-winning TD with approximately :13 to go in the 3rd!
Late activity in the name of victory was nothing new for Marlow, who won his semifinal match versus 2022 Nassau Champion, Joseph Clem (Wantagh), when he hit a roll for a reversal in the final :14 seconds of the alternating half minute overtime rideouts to log a 2-0 decision win!
The escape to Crumpler in the championship match the only point allowed by Marlow, the newest history maker/heartbreaker from S11 had a fall in 0:25 over another S6 rep, Zachary Dellinger (Williamsville North-East) in the round of 16, and a 7-0 blanking in the quarters against 2022 Nassau runner-up, Ray Adams (Calhoun)
Marlow ends his 10th grade season as the owner of a 37-1 record!
|WEIGHT CLASS||WINNING WRESTLER||RESULT||DEFEATED WRESTLER||SCORE|
|102||Dunia Sibomana (Long Beach)||WBF||Ryan Ferrara (Chenango Forks)||1:32|
|110||Joseph Manfredi (Herricks)||DEC||Mikey Manta (Hauppauge)||5-1|
|118||Matthew Marlow (Northport)||DEC||Jaden Crumpler (Niagara Falls)||3-1|
|126||Tyler Ferrara (Chenango Forks)||DEC||Brayden Fahrbach (Mount Sinai)||5-2|
|132||Stephen Lukas (Eastport-South Manor)||DEC||Andrew Marchese (Washingtonville)||9-6|
|138||PJ Duke (Minisink Valley)||DQ||George Oroudjov (Ithaca)|
|145||Jayden Scott (Rush-Henrietta)||DEC||Anthony Conetta (Massapequa)||4-2|
|152||Rocco Camillaci (Hilton)||DEC||Ben Rogers (Wantagh)||9-5|
|160||Zack Ryder (Minisink Valley)||DEC||Nick Sanko (Pittsford)||6-3|
|172||Dylan Schell (Queensbury)||DEC||Mikey Altomer (Minisink Valley)||4-1|
|189||Kole Mulhauser (Central Square)||WBF||Jake Trovato (Lindenhurst)||3:27|
|215||Ethan Gallo (Minisink Valley)||DEC||Ryan Stein (Shaker)||6-0|
|285||Charlie Tibbitts (New Hartford)||DEC||Sebastian Regis East Islip)||3-2 TB|
A coach will impact more people in one year than the average person will in an entire lifetime.---Billy Graham