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Salute to the Champions: 2023 NYSPHSAA DI State Kings

By NYWN Staff, 02/28/23, 2:45PM EST

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Merli Ends 55-Year Drought For NFA; Satriano Avenges Two 2022 NYS losses; Marlow Repeats at 118; Ferrara is "Outstanding" In 3-Peating; Five Seniors Go Out in Style by Winning 1st crown; Ryder & Gallo Add 4th and 2nd titles for MV/Underground; "Dr. Regis" Gives a dose of Revenge at 285

102-Pounds: Cooper Merli (Newburgh Free Academy-9)

A history-maker in his second straight trip to MVP Arena (did not place in 2022), NYWN's current #5 overall 2026 prospect [Merli] broke a 55-year state-title drought for the Goldbacks when he earned an 8-4 decision in the 102-pound finale over 2x Suffolk finalist/2023 County Champion, Connor Sheridan (Hauppauge), in a rematch of the 2023 Eastern States Classic (also won by Merli, 5-1)....

Hitting a dump approximately 1:00 into the opening period, Merli would ride out the remainder of the 1st to hold a 2-0 lead after the initial 2:00 feeling out period.  

He'd add a quick switch (:08 into the 2nd) + rideout  in the 2nd to carry a 4-0 lead into the 3rd.  

The final period period starting from the feet, Sheridan would rally, as he notched a pair of takedowns with 1:06 and 0:41 to go in the 3rd to draw within 5-4...

After cutting Merli to make the score 6-4, the Eagle sophomore would be in prime scoring position on two separation occasions in the final 35 ticks of regulation, but, the defense of the S9er proved to be too much, as Merli fended off a single-leg attempt by locking through the crotch and slowly working his way off the mat to get a restart in the last :15.... And then, with Sheridan attempting to spin behind in closing seconds, Merli would connect with another dump for a TD at the buzzer to account for the final tally...

As noted above, Merli's triumph made him the first NFA wrestler since 1968 to win the NYSPHSAA gold medal.  He joins Al Favata (138 pounds) as the only two wrestlers in school history to reach the top of the podium...

Concluding his 9th grade campaign with an overall record of 48-3, Merli punched his ticket to the ship earlier in the day when he utilized one takedown apiece in each of the three periods, complemented by a  2nd period escape to pitch a 7-0 shutout in the semifinals over 2023 Section III titlist, Ryan Munn (Carthage)!

On day #1, he used a TD late in the 2nd period, followed by a reversal during the first half-minute of the 3rd to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 6-3 victory in the round of 16 against 2x S6 finalist/2023 runner-up,  Trevor DellaPenta (Hamburg-Eden)... 

He closed out Friday by exploding for 18 points (3 takedowns, 3 sets of swipes, a reversal, an escape, and one penalty point) to post an 18-4 quarterfinal major decision over 2x Section 2 finalist/2023 champ, Vincent Gralau (Mohonasen)! 


Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Cooper Merli (Newburgh) dec. Connor Sheridan (Hauppauge), 8-4
3rd: William Soto (Newburgh) dec. Vincent Gralau (Mohonasen), 9-6
5th: Anthony Lagala-Ryan (Longwood) dec. Ryan Munn (Carthage), 7-4
7th: Ethan Andrula (Long Beach) dec. Trevor DellaPenta (Hamburg/Eden), 5-0


110-Pounds: Luke Satriano (Valley Central-9)

In what is turning into rivalries for the ages, it was the Viking sophomore [Satriano] avenging both of his losses from last year's big dance to become Valley Central's first state title since 2007 when names like [Pat] Lloyd, [Lou + Cody] Ruggirello, [Ricky] Scott, and [Ed] Bordas combined for eight crowns in span commencing in 2003...

Squaring off with 2023 Eastern States Classic runner-up/#3 seed, Evin Gursoy (Midwood) in the rubber match of a NYSPHSAA tournament series, after 7:43 minutes of scoreless action (both individuals were outstanding in riding out their opponents), it would be Satriano securing the second brass ring in a row for Section 9 when he was able to turn his PSAL opponent for a count with :17 remaining in the second :30 rideout period to seize a 2-0 lead...He'd push Gursoy away in the last :07 and then keep his distance to hoist the hardware via a 2-1 decision....

Satriano and Gursoy split their two 2022 bouts, with the former [Satriano] winning a 7-4 quarterfinal decision, before the latter got revenge with a 4-2 win in the 3rd place bout...

Prior to the finals, the fourth-seeded Satriano, elicited the roar of the MVP Arena crowd when he he tossed defending NYSPHSAA State Champion, Dunia Sibomana-Rodriguez (Long Beach), for a takedown on the edge of the mat in the last :30 of the 3rd period and then proceeded to ride out the last half-minute after a restart to vault himself into the finals by way of a 2-1 decision...

The dub against Sibomana-Rodriguez was a reversal of fortune from last year's Saturday morning session, when it was the Section VIII rep denying Satriano a finals berth, defeating him 9-3!

Putting a bow on a 44-2 body of work, on the first day of action, Satriano was in total cruise control, earning bonus points in both of his matches when pinned 2023 S1 champ, Ryan Ball (Somers-North Salem), at 29-second mark of their round of 16 bout, and then ended the night when a TD + NF in the last 1:00 of the 1st period allowed him to jump out to a 5-0 lead en route to a 9-0 major decision over returning NYS DI 5th, Ralph Keeney (Ballston Spa), in the quarterfinals!


Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Luke Satriano (Valley Central) dec. Evin Gursoy (Midwood), 2-1 TB-1
3rd: Dunia Sibomana-Rodriguez (Long Beach) dec. Ralph Keeney (Ballston Spa), 8-4
5th: Austin Zimmerman (St Joe's Collegiate) pinned Ryan Ferrara (Chenango Forks) 2:01
7th: Mason Mangialino (Comsewogue) dec. Ryan Cieslinski (Spencerport), 3-2


118-Pounds: Matt Marlow (Northport-11)


Photo by Ray Passaro

One year removed from becoming the first individual to win state gold on behalf of Northport, it was Tiger stud, Matt Marlow, capping off an immaculate 41-0 record via a 5-0 decision in the title contest to repeat as the king of the large school 118-pound weight class...

Engaged in a good, old-fashioned, battle for Long Island bragging rights versus 2x State medalist (4th in 2022), Anthony Clem (Wantagh), on Saturday evening, the now two-time titlist out of Section XI [Marlow] struck for the first of his two takedowns with :52 remaining in the 1st period, as he got in on a single-leg and gradually improved on the position until he was able to work his way fully behind for his fellow 11th grade standout...

After riding out the rest of the opening stanza, NYWN's rising #8 2024 in-state recruit [Marlow] continued to add to his cushion during the next 2:00, as he escaped after being ridden for 33 seconds and then dove in on a high-C with 1:15 to go in the 2nd, eventually converting the attack with :42 remaining to enjoy the 5-0 lead at the end of 2.  

The last 2:00 began and ended on the feet as neither man was able to generate any additional offense!

Always a respectful, but hard fought war of wills whenever Marlow is pitted against a Clem, in 2022, on his way to his first state crown, he'd defeat the other half of the twin duo [Joseph], 2-0, in the semifinals when he hit a roll for a reversal in the tiebreakers for the only points of the bout...

In control from pretty much start to finish in his trek back to "Titletown, USA", Marlow broke open a then 6-4 lead against another member of the  Nassau elite, 2x County runner-up, Angel Banegas (Uniondale), in the 3rd period of their semifinal match, when an escape, TD, and turn in the first 1:10 of propelled him to an 11-4 advantage!

Banegas would escape and then earn convert his only takedown of the semis to draw to within 11-7 in the last :28, but Marlow quickly reasserted himself by answering back with a reversal in the last :08 ticks!!!

He went unchallenged on Friday, as he kicked off his repeat bid by sticking 2023 S5 runner-up, Trey LeChase (Fairport), with a power-half in a time of 1:41 in the round of 16....He then punctuated day #1 with a six-takedown, 2 sets of swipes affair that yielded him an 18-3 quarterfinal tech over 2x S2 silver medalist, Nico Rivera (Mohonasen)!!!


Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Matt Marlow (Northport) dec. Anthony Clem (Wantagh), 5-0
3rd: Dillon Arrick (Arlington) pinned Angel Banegas (Uniondale) 4:02
5th: Tyler Whiteley (Burnt Hills) dec. Shane Meenaghan (Chaminade), 6-3
7th: Richard Wood (Brockport) dec. Ken Schmitz (Hamburg/Eden), 2-0


126-Pounds: Jaden Crumpler (Niagara Falls-6)

BRIDESMAID NO MORE!!!..

Erased are the heartbreaking memories of 2022 for the Wolverine superstar senior [Crumpler], who after surrendering a takedown in the final :07 of the third period to drop a 3-1 decision in last year's 118-pound final (to Marlow), officially claimed the top prize this past weekend behind a 4-2 decision over the aforementioned returning State 3rd/2022 NHSCA National runner-up from Wantagh, Joseph Clem...

Allowing the initial TD to the Warrior junior as the clock dipped below 1:00 to go in the 1st period to fall into a brief 2-0 hole, the section 6 stud wasted no time in evening the bout at 2-2 when off the ensuing restart, he earned a reversal and then rode out the last 27 seconds to sent us to the second period all knotted at two apiece...

Having choice and electing to begin the middle stanza on bottom, Crumpler's eruptive abilities were once again put on full display, as he would be able to turn and get into a single-leg position before transitioning into a double-leg finish to register the reversal :20 into the 2nd to move in front, 4-2...

Locking up a roll-through tilt, he threatened near-fall in the final :40 of the period, but was not rewarded by the mat officials; but he would still successfully maintain his spot on top to preserve his 2pt edge...

Stilling clinging to the 4-2 lead in the last :40 of duration, Crumpler would be able to exhaust the rest of the clock when he transitioned from a throw-by into a single-leg, keeping his grasp of the leg on the edge of the mat until the board showed triple zeros!!!  

His title-run on Saturday made him the third wrestler in school history to go all the way, he joined 1967 champ, Mel Cunningham (127 pounds), as well as 2x state gold medalist, Willie McDougald (2018 @ 132, 2020 @ 145)...

One round earlier, Crumpler upended the other 2023 Nassau County finalist at this weight, as he blew first blood after a scoreless first period when he exposed 2022 NYS 4th, Ray Adams (Calhoun) for a 2pt NF with 1:02 remaining in the 2nd period, and then pulled away with a takedown and escape in the 3rd, to pitch the 5-0 shutout in the semis!

The first day of the festivities was a walk in the park for the top-seed, as he amassed an astounding 31-0 margin in posting back-to-back technical falls in the round of 16 and the quarterfinals against 2x S1 finalist/2022 Sectional champ, Justin Gierum (Fox Lane; 15-0) & 2023 Catholic State Champ, Nik Massaro (St. Joe's Collegiate; 16-0)....An absolute hammer from top, 21 of the 31 points were accrued due to countless turns/tilts by Crumpler!

Suffering his only loss of 2022-2023 in the semifinals of the Eastern States Classic to 2x defending state titlist, Joey Manfredi (Herricks; illness forced him to scratch from the field last week), the swan song campaign for Crumpler hit its final note at 41-1!!!


Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Jaden Crumpler (Niagara Falls) dec. Joseph Clem (Wantagh), 4-2
3rd: Ray Adams (Calhoun) dec. Amarfio Reynolds (Niagara Falls), 5-4
5th: Nikolas Massaro (St Joe's Collegiate) pinned Samson McKissick Staley (Pittsford) 1:53
7th: Taylor Beaury (Saratoga Springs) dec. Taylor Beaury (Saratoga Springs), 4-2


132-Pounds: Tyler Ferrara (Chenango Forks-4)

An individual who has known nothing other than finals appearances in his four trips to NYS tournaments, the final exclamation point on the brilliant career of Tyler Ferrara came in the form of a 9-4 decision over 2022 State 4th, Liam Carlin (Burnt Hills)...

Putting himself in the esteemed company of former 5x State champ, Troy Nickerson, Ferrara (who like Nickerson, will do his college wrestling at Cornell), became just the second Blue Devil to win three or more crowns, as he totaled four takedowns (and a 2nd period escape) to do all the damage he'd need to overwhelm the immensely gifted Spartan sophomore [Carlin]!

His title-match being the lone occasion in which the section 4 living legend was pushed the full distance, our #2 overall 2023 prospect peeled off a pin and two straight technical falls (39-9 margin) in his other three outings to book his ticket to the finale...

Surging to a 7-1 lead in his round of 16 bout with 2023 S9 runner-up, Logan Pennell (Pine Bush), Ferrara would hit a headlock from top to earn the mat slap with 53 seconds remaining in the 1st period (1:07) to pick up the first of his four victories between Friday and Saturday...

The quarter and semifinal rounds were all about displaying his mastery in any and/or every aspect of the sport, as a seven-TD/2-set of NF performance produced a 19-4 victory over 3x Nassau finalist/2023 champ, Ariel Waldman (Hewlett); and then a six-takedown/3-sets of swipe effort generated a 20-5 conquering of 2023 Section VIII bronze medalist, Luke Nieto (Plainedge)!!!

Culminating his final high school season boasting a 33-0 record (highlight both by the state crown and a title on the national circuit at the 2022 Beast of the East), Ferrara was named as the recipient of the Large School Most Outstanding Wrestler Award!!


Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Tyler Ferrara (Chenango Forks) dec. Liam Carlin (Burnt Hills), 9-4
3rd: Justin Shay (Iona Prep) dec. Ariel Waldman (Hewlett), 6-3
5th: Luke Nieto (Plainedge) pinned Michael Giugliano (Miller Place) 2:19
7th: Ryan Eckerle (Commack) dec. Botensky Bauzile (Thomas Edison), 4-0


138-Pounds: Nick LaMorte (Rocky Point-11)


Photo by Ray Nelson

BOOMER SOONER!!

In the last appearance of his storied career, the future University of Oklahoma student-athlete [LaMorte] completed  a perfect 44-0 senior season by soaring to the top of the podium behind a 6-1 decision over Monroe-Woodbury's Jordan Brown, in a clash of returning state medalists...

The sixth R.P. wrestler overall to ascend to the pinnacle of the Empire State and the first since 2015 (Tommy Dutton; 145), LaMorte improved upon his 4th place showing from last season when up 1-0 (2nd period escape) he struck for the only TD of the bout a little over :20 into the stanza, hitting a duck after being stuffed on a single-leg, lifting, and dropping Brown to the mat to go ahead 3-0....

A second stalling warming against the Suffolk rep with :58 remaining in regulation resulted in a point going to Brown to cut the advantage to 3-1...But alas, with the clock as big an enemy as his opponent, the now three-time State placer for the Crusaders [Brown] gambled a bit on a roll attempt from bottom; LaMorte anticipated the sequence and was able to scramble to a dominant top position, catching his foe on his back for 3 near-fall and then riding out the waning moments to bank decision victory!!

Never particularly challenged during the course of the weekend, the only other match in which the Norman bound beast went the full 6:00 was in the semifinal round, when he built up a 5-0 lead (one TD apiece in each of the first two periods; 2nd period escape) at the end of the second en route to a 5-2 decision against 2x S6 finalist/2023 sectional gold medalist, Te`Shaun Mathews (Niagara Wheatfield)!

Holding edges of 2-0 and 11-0 respectively, LaMorte recorded falls in both of his matches on Friday, as he glued 3x Section 4 champ, Ryan Massengale (Horseheads), at the 53-second mark of the 1st period in the round of 16; and then as another bonus, he wrapped up day #1 by beating the buzzer by pinning fellow section XIer, Jared Spahn (Islip), with :01 remaining in the 2nd period in a rematch of their Suffolk finals match...


Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Nick LaMorte (Rocky Point) dec. Jordan Brown (Monroe-Woodbury), 6-1
3rd: Manuel Gonzales (Indian River) dec. Gabriel Goss (Burnt Hills), 5-1
5th: Te`shaun Mathews (Niagara-Wheatfield) pinned Jared Spahn (Islip) 3:14
7th: Cal Arthur Russo (Spencerport) dec. Paolo Ciatto (Iona Prep), 4-2 sv


145-Pounds: Cameron Catrabone (Williamsville North/East-6)

Victory tastes sweet...Even when you're drinking it out a wrestling shoe!!

If you don't believe us, just ask Williamsville North-East's nationally ranked (#12 per Flo) junior 145-pounder [Catrabone], who moments after winning his first career NYS title in emphatic fashion (fall in 2:56 versus 2022 NYS 5th, Renso Montalvo, of section II Amsterdam), celebrated by partaking in a "shoey" while the Division II match was still on-going on the adjacent mat...

Ranked 3rd in the 2024 class polls by NYWN, the future University of Michigan Wolverine finally stood atop the medal stand after previous efforts of 6th-3rd-6th in 2020-2022..

Should he repeat as champion in his senior year next winter, he will be well on his way to equalling the achievements of his father, Jeff, who was a two-timer in Pennsylvania (on behalf of Harbor Creek)  before going on to be a three-time NCAA All-American and setting the career falls record in Ann Arbor!

Known for his flair and creativity from either spot on the mat, the 2x Super 32 medalist/former NHSCA National Champion (2021), has a knack for making things happen quickly, which he did when following a scoreless 1st period, he secured a reversal :15 into the 2nd to gain the 2-0 lead, and then cinched in a power-half, taking it over the top (Ness style) to notch the mat slap to put a premature ending to his match with the Ram senior [Montalvo]...

His fall in the finals was the last of a trifecta amassed by Catrabone, as he previously had pins in the round of 16 (Peterson into a headlock versus 2x State Qualifier/2023 Nassau runner-up, William McMullen, of Bethpage) and quarterfinals (double-leg into a half against 2023 Section 1 titlist, Matthew Masch, of Ketcham) in times of 2:22 and 0:35 to dominate on Friday...

In the one match that did last the full duration, the "Cat" showcased some dynamic skills from the feet, as he transformed a 1-0 lead (escape early in the 2nd period) into a 5-0 cushion when he attacked with a dump and then took his drove his off-balance nemesis, 2x CHSAA State Champion, Maxwell Watson (Iona Prep) to his back for 2+2...

The Gael senior [Watson] mustered one escape in each of the last two periods, but the damage had been done, as Catrabone emerged with the 5-2 semifinal decision!

Since the Williamsville district combined the North and East programs into a single entity, he is officially the first to hoist the NYSPHSAA hardware!!!...Colin Crickard, won the 215-pound title in 1994 for "East" to be the first and only predecessor!


Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Cameron Catrabone (Williamsville N-E) pinned Renso Montalvo (Amsterdam) 2:56
3rd: Jesse Vanorden (Wantagh) dec. Amir Avazov (James Madison), 12-5
5th: Maxwell Watson (Iona Prep) dec. Kenny Leverich (Smithtown West), 10-8
7th: Jack Valentin (Long Beach) dec. Colin Carlin (Burnt Hills), 8-6 sv


152-Pounds: Frankie Volpe (Hauppauge-11)


Photo by Ray Nelson

LASER FOCUSED!!!

Five months ago, the Hauppauge senior [Volpe] found himself sidelined with an injury that caused him to miss two of the premier preparation events of the fall (Journeymen Fall Classic, Super 32)....

Relying on a tireless work ethic that guided him during every step of the past four years, this past Saturday, he illustrated that no obstacle and especially no man was going to stand in the way of fulfilling his destiny of becoming a NYSPHSAA State Champion!!! 

Trailing 3-2 at the onset of the 3rd period of his title bout to 2022 NYS DII runner-up, Donavan Smith (formerly of Tioga; now at Elmira), it was the strong defensive base of the Hofstra bound Long Islander that enabled him to breakthrough with THREE takedowns in the final 1:40, as he took his first lead of the match when he evaded Smith's attack and spun behind (1:40 remaining) to go up 4-3...He then cut Smith to even the score, but the action did not remain on the feet for much longer, as some 20 ticks later, he'd again turn "D" into "O", as he stifled another promising shot from his section 4 opponent by locking through the crotch, rolling through, and then coming out on top of the scramble for the takedown to put himself back in front, 6-4 (1:14 to)....Another Smith E1 in the final :28 made it a 1pt match (6-5), but as the clock continued to dip down, the Express 12th grader [Smith] was left with no choice but to throw a Hail Mary in the form of a desperation inside trip; Volpe would defend it and catch him on his back in the last :02 for one final takedown to round out his 8-5 decision (note: it was erroneously marked as 10-5; but NF were clearly waved off)...

As impressive as his performance was in the finals, perhaps the signature conquest of the weekend occurred hours earlier in the semis, as the 2x NHSCA All-American would avenge his only in-state loss of the season (8-3 sv in the finals of the 2023 ESC), striking for two takedowns in the final 60 seconds of a then 1-1 bout to come away with a 5-2 decision over previously unbeaten/2x NHSCA AA/2x Fargo AA, Casper Stewart (Attica-Batavia) in a clash of now three-time state medalists....

Reaching the 40-win plateau for the season (40-3) with his finale triumph, victories 37 and 38 came in the form of a 7-3 decision against 2x Nassau finalist/2023 County Champion, Paul Lichter (MacArthur) in the round of 16, followed by a cradle for the fall in 1:10 over 2x section 2 gold medalist, Josh Warland (Burnt Hills), in the quarterfinals...

Never finishing lower than 4th in any of his state tournament appearances from 2021-2023 (4th in 2021, 3rd in 2022), Volpe's crown was a fitting ending to a dream career...


Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Frankie Volpe (Hauppauge) dec. Donovan Smith (Elmira), 8-5
3rd: Casper Stewart (Attica-Batavia) dec. Landon Lazarek (Hilton), 10-4
5th: Charlie Foster (Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) I.D. Paul Lichter (MacArthur) 2:24
7th: Josh Warland (Burnt Hills) MD Cameron Millender (Sweet Home), 8-0


160-Pounds: Tyler Reed (Cornwall-9)

A true testament to the adage that "champions are created in the offseason", when we watched the Cornwall senior [Reed] competing at the Ken Lesser Memorial in July, it was apparent that something was "different" from when we last saw him at MVP Arena in February 2022...

He had gone from wanting to win; but outright REFUSING TO LOSE!!!

And it was this mentality that ultimately proved to be his calling card in his final appearance as a Dragon, as he joined his uncle, Paul Paquin (2x champ; 1996 @112; 1997 @125), and Will Leonard (2019 @ 220) as just the third individual in program history to seize the brass ring, when he posted an 7-6 comeback victory on the yellow mat!

Demonstrating the heart of a champion, Reed would find himself in a rather precarious situation in the final 1:00 of the opening period in his title-bout with returning State 8th, Joseph Mattei (Herricks)....Caught in a cradle and in danger of seeing his vision of glory dashed, he would fight his way to safety and even manage to secure a reversal in the last half minute to trail only 5-2 at the conclusion of 2:00. 

Heralded for the depth of his gas tank and his ability to push the pace, Reed was pedal to the medal during the last two periods, as he squared the bout at 5-5 with an escape and takedowns in the 2nd period.

With all of the momentum on his side to begin the 3rd, he elected to give the Highlander [Mattei] a free release to begin the period, but stayed on the hunt, getting in deep on a single-leg approximately :10 into the final stanza, and then patiently improving his position until he was able to capitalize for the TD with 1:06 remaining to grab the advantage for the first time all match... 

Now just 66 seconds away from gold, there was no way he was squandering the opportunity, as he'd chain wrestle (leg-in, wrist ride, power-half, tight waist, etc) his way to a rideout to preserve the "w"!!!

Reed's victory in the finals was the second of a pair of nailbiters he found himself partaking in on day #2....With his semifinal bout all knotted at 3-3 versus top-seed/2022 State 7th, Connor Gregory (Ballston Spa), he'd have a TD call wiped off the board in the final 1:05, but maintained his focus, marched forward, and found his difference-maker when he dove in a low-single, got Gregory draped over his shoulders, and then relentlessly kept inching closer before finally converting in the final :20 to pick up the 5-3 decision...This win avenged a 5-4 loss suffered at the 2023 Eastern States Classic!

As tense and/or nerve-wrecking as Saturday was, Friday proved to be the opposite for Reed, as he started his journey to the crown by connecting for a pair of takedowns to go up 4-1 before muscling Quinten Morgan (Minisink Valley) over to his back for the fall in a time of 1:06 in a rematch of the 2023 Section 9 finals...

Leading 3-1 in the quarterfinals versus 2023 Section 1 champ, Tristan Robinson-July, he made the wrestler from Ossining regret choosing bottom to begin the 3rd, as he applied a hammering ride before eventually locking up a cradle for the pin with 19-second remaining in the match!

Reed's magical season concludes with him owning a 43-2 overall resume!


Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Tyler Reed (Cornwall) dec. Joseph Mattei (Herricks), 7-6
3rd: Connor Gregory (Ballston Spa) dec. Sean Degl (Iona Prep), 3-2
5th: Johnathan Clohecy (Fulton) pinned Coy Raines (Churchville-Chili) 0:41
7th: Michael Syposs (Niagara Falls) dec. Tristan Robinson-July (Ossining), 6-2


172-Pounds: Brady Unger (Fairport-5)

Like a true (Red) Raider, Unger came, saw, and pillaged his way to an immaculate 46-0 season that climaxed with a 3-2 decision in the 172-pound finals to make him just the third Fairport wrestler to win a state title (Josh Lackey @220 in 2012; William Bolia @ 285 in 2017)...

Pitted in a mano-a-mano showdown with Minisink Valley's Andrew Filip, in a clash of returning 2x state placers, the returning bronze medalist out of section 5 [Unger] notched the only takedown of the match with :51 remaining in the 1st period when he transitioned from hooks into a throw-by to get behind his fellow senior to draw first blood and carry the 2-0 lead into the 2nd...

An exchange of escapes (Filip after being ridden for :43 in the 2nd; Unger cut with :58 to in the 3rd) in the last two periods made the score 3-1, and Filip would have his chance at an equalizer in the final 35 ticks, as he got in deep on a misdirection shot, but would be unable to finish thanks to the poise of Unger, who had an immediate reaction, was able to roll his foe through and then catch a leg to eat up valuable clock before the sequence ended in a stalemate with just 24 seconds still unspoken for.  

Smelling the scent of gold, Unger did not temp fate, as he kept his distance off of an ensuing restart, getting hit twice for stalling in the last 15 seconds to surrender a meaningless point!

A "bull"dozer for the majority of the weekend, his decision triumph in the finals was the lone outing in which the future of Buffalo Bull did not stampede the field, as he accrued two pins and a technical fall in his three prior matches leading up to the finale...

On Friday, he kicked off his run to the top prize when leading 4-1, he drove 2023 S2 titlist, Arman Hashimee (Shenendehowa), to his back for the sub.-1:00 fall (0:59)...

In the quarterfinals,  he was a takedown machine, collecting eight of them before going on the work on the mat and recording a pair of turns for the full allotment to polish off a 22-6 TF over the sectional champ from the Syracuse region, Owen Atchie (Liverpool)!

His semifinal match tied at 2-2 in the 2nd period versus 2023 S1 silver medalist, Sam Szerlip (Nyack), Unger stuffed a single-leg attempt and later transitioned into a cradle to register a fall in 3:28 to punch his ticket to the 'ship!


Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Brady Unger (Fairport) dec. Andrew Filip (Minisink Valley), 3-2
3rd: Sam Szerlip (Nyack) dec. Leo  Venables (Carmel), 10-8
5th: Luke Smeader (Hamburg/Eden) dec. Robby Cunningham (Miller Place), 4-1
7th: Noah Corwin (Wantagh) dec. Aidan Gubarev (James Madison), 3-0


189-Pounds: Zack Ryder (Minisink Valley-9)

The Quest for FIVE Continues....

Returning to the Warrior line-up just weeks ago (the NYSPHSAA Duals being his first matches of '22-'23), the current FloWrestling #3 ranked (@182)/2022 UWW U17 World FS Bronze medalist [Ryder] made it four years in a row that he headed home from the NYS Championships with gold around his chiseled neck!!

A state finalist in every season dating back to his 7th grade year in 2019 (lost a 4-3 decision in the 106-pound match versus eventual 4x State champ, Stevo Poulin), the Penn State University verbal commit ran his streak to 17 straight Empire State Championship tourney wins, as his 3-0 decision in Saturday's 189-pound final gave him four crowns in four different weight classes (2020 @126, 2021 @151, 2022 @160)!

Opposed by a foe hailing from one of the most prestigious family in NYS Wrestling history, returning State 3rd, Elijah Diakomihalis (Hilton), Ryder would do all of his scoring during the 2nd period, as he followed-up a scoreless opening 2:00 by earning an escape :07 into the middle stanza, and then tacked on his only takedown of the match in the final 40 ticks of the period when snapped down on the head, circled around, caught a leg, and then powered through on the edge of the mat...

Diakomihalis having the option and electing to go from neutral in the 3rd, there was no further scoring from either party as Ryder never stopped pushing forward, but was careful to not over-extend himself, maintaining his solid base to keep the shutout intact!

Surrendering just two points between his four outings, Ryder was on the mat for less than 1:00 on Friday, as he'd toss 2023 Section 1 runner-up, Deandre Woods (New Rochelle) for the 21-second fall in the round of 16, and then close out day #1 by hitting a dump for the TD and then locking up his bread-and-butter cradle for the stick in :33 over 2023 S2 gold medalist, Lorenzo Palleschi (Saratoga)!

In his semifinal match, he'd allow a pair of escapes, but that had no barring on the outcome, as up 4-2, Ryder used an underhook/single-leg combination to whip 2x Nassau finalist/2023 runner-up, Kwasi Bonsu (Baldwin), to the mat for the pin with 1:16 remaining in the 3rd period!

While unofficial (many people refuse to count 2021 since it was not a NYSPHSAA sanctioned event), should Ryder do what is expected and add gold #5 to the trophy case in 2024, he'd become just the fifth member of that exclusive club, putting his name alongside the legends of---[Troy] Nickerson (2001-2005), Jacori Teemer (2014-2018), Adam Busiello (2015-2019) and Greg Diakomihalis (2016-2020)...

His four titles already makes him the most distinguished wrestler in S9, as he passed both Troy Bouzakis & {Lou] Ruggirello, who each won three crowns during their iconic careers at Pine Bush and Valley Central! 


Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Zack Ryder (Minisink Valley) dec. Elijah Diakomihalis (Hilton), 3-0
3rd: Eric Carlson (Manhasset) dec. Kwazi Bonsu (Baldwin), 3-2
5th: Braydon Pennell (Pine Bush) pinned Michael Sanchez (Smithtown East) 1:33
7th: Jack MacDonald (Orchard Park) dec. Lorenzo Palleschi (Saratoga Springs), 6-2


215-Pounds: Ethan Gallo (Minisink Valley-9)

The third member of the Warrior murderer's row, when your teammate and/or training partner [Ryder] is an absolute phenom who is in the conversation for NYS "GOAT" distinction, it is not easy to one-up him...

However, that is precisely what the three-sport,  senior 215-pounder [Gallo] succeeded in doing, as he defended his throne in commanding fashion, finishing the weekend with two 1st period periods, complemented by a technical fall, and then a decisive 11-4 decision in his final high school match (and perhaps last appearance ever in a singlet)...

Facing off against a very familiar foe in the person of Ballston Spa senior, Darrien Insogna (7th in NYS in 2022), in the "money match", Gallo would strike for three opening-period takedowns and then two additional TD in the 3rd ( as well as a 3rd period escape) to sweep all three bouts this season between the #1 and #2 ranked gentlemen in the weight class...He had previously gotten the better of his Scotties' rival by scores of 6-1 (first week of the season) and fall in 0:52 (quarterfinals of the Eastern States Classic)...

A human-wrecking ball for every second of his two-day stay in Albany, identical to his effort in the Section 9 championships, Gallo made short short of Middletown 11th grader,  Bryson Tibbs (Middletown), pinning (bundle) the sectional silver medalist in 68 seconds on Saturday morning to book his trip to the finals...

Any intentions to deny Gallo on Friday also proved quite futile, as  he'd establish a 7-1 lead before utilizing a bundle (his preferred finisher of the weekend) to glue the Section 2 runner-up, Pat McKinley (Saratoga Springs), at the 55-second mark of their round of 16 meeting...

The full bag of tricks was unleashed in the quarterfinals, as Gallo converted a takedown and then proceeded to turn/tilt 2x S5 runner-up, Jackson Burns (Spencerport), on three separate occasions to serge to a 9-1 lead at the end of the 1st period....He'd go on to add another 3pt tilt in the 2nd, and then close the show with an escape and two TDs in the 3rd to generate the 17-2 terminator!  

A movement (The Underground) that started with their fathers---Daniel [Gallo] & Darren [Ryder] at the heart of it, it was fitting that in their last night competing together, Ethan joined Zack as the only two Minisink Valley wrestlers in program history to win two or more state golds!!!

Still uncommitted in terms of the next level, rumor on the street is that Gallo might be leaning towards the baseball diamond (if not doubling up by also playing football); however, we truly hope he considers entertaining the wrestling offers that have surely piled in...He's a supremely gifted young man who has a mega ceiling of potential in whatever endeavor he pursues in college!


Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Ethan Gallo (Minisink Valley) dec. Darrien Insogna (Ballston Spa), 11-4
3rd: William Francois (Longwood) dec. Jackson Burns (Spencerport), 4-3
5th: Jaiden Green (Bellport) dec. Bryson Tibbs (Middletown), 18-12
7th: Ben Velasquez (MacArthur) MD Rocky Files (Central Square), 10-2


285-Pounds: Sebastian Regis (East Islip-11)


Photo by Ray Passaro

THE PINNED BECOMES THE PINNER!!

Meeting for the second time this season, the last time that 2022 NYS runner-up [Regis] went toe-to-toe with 2x State medalist/2022 NHSCA AA/2022 Fargo GR AA, Stephan Monchery (Middletown), it did not end well...

Thrown and stuck in 1:08 in the finals of the 2023 Eastern States Classic, fortunes would be turned around this past Saturday night for the Suffolk County resident, as it was his turn to dish out some cold revenge, stuffing a Monchery double-leg try, countering with a front-headlock, and then forcing in an underhook which he used to drive the Bear junior to his back where he was held until the slap of the mat came with :20 remaining in the 2nd period to transform a 2-2 bout into an ending evening!!!

The third pin in four appearances for Regis between Friday and Saturday, in the run-up to the highly anticipated rematch versus Monchery, he'd register 1st period falls in the round of 16 and semifinals, turning a 3-2 deficit into a :57 smothering of 2x S4 finalist/2023 champ, Qymani Viera-Powell (Union-Endicott), on day #1....On Saturday morning, he'd pancake 2x S2 titlist, Will Hotaling (Colonie), utilizing that same front-headlock/underhook combination to get on and off the mat in just 97 seconds...

In the one bout where he was forced to go the full distance, he took control of a then 2-1 match by exploding for seven points (escape, takedown, 2NF, TD) in the 3rd period to prevail, 9-3, in the battle of LI County champs over Plainedge's Vincent Petzold!

Still having his entire season year ahead of him, Regis, who wrapped up his junior campaign with a 51-1 body of work, will have the opportunity to join Rob Vaccaro (1st in 2000 @96; 1st in 2001 @103) as the only two E.I. wrestlers to win two state crowns...As it stands, he is now the fourth in program history (Ted Gregory @ 215 in 1983; Dave Ingram @ 130 in 2006) to do the deed!!  


Full Medal Match Results:
1st: Sebastian Regis (East Islip) pinned Stephan Monchery (Middletown) 3:40
3rd: Cameron Groncki (Mohonasen) pinned Will Hotaling (Colonie) 3:56
5th: Tommy Carlsen (Lancaster) pinned Gabriel Garibaldi (Iona Prep) 3:52
7th: Rahmiere Bradley (Middletown) forfeit over Ty Rader (Victor)

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Sorenson 3-Peats; Florance & Duncanson Repeat; Sibble Dethrones Hitchcock; Joslyn Knocks Off 2x champ; Aiello & Fahrbach Are Suffolk Strong; Bellis prevails in Clash of 3x NYS Medalists; Hoose, Steals 172-pound crown; Nevills & Bailey Bring Glory to S3; No one is Sweeter at 145; Cook Joins brother

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Semi-Finals are set, Blood round is set, LET'S GO!