Section IX Wrestling Championships Preview

The 2010 Section IX Wrestling Championships are coming up this weekend and there is sure to be some tremendous action for the fans. Here is a look at the weight classes.

96lbs: Pine Bush eighth grader Johnny Stramiello has ruled this weight the entire season. Stramiello has rung up a record of 40-4, all four of his losses have come to out of section opponents. Stramiello's closest local competition has been to the Valley Central pair of Ryan Bolger and Jimmy Clark. Stramiello beat Bolger 7-5 and Clark 4-2 and 16-13.
Cornwall freshman Sean Sweeney will be right in the mix and will be looking to settle the score with Stramiello. Sweeney was on the wrong end of a 7-0 score back in late December and will be looking to get even. Sweeney is 28-6 coming into the sections. He owns wins over Adam Khankhel(MW) 3-0, and Joe Ginley (War) 1:08 and also Jimmy Clark (VC) 4-2. Sweeney has not wrestled Ryan Bolger.
Valley Central will most likely have a double entry here with Bolger and Clark. Both have done well. Bolger, a sophomore, has a record of 24-8 while Clark, a freshman, is 12-9. Bolger's only loss to a Section IX wrestler not named Stramiello was a fall to Jorge Chardon of Highland at 103lbs. Not a factor here folks.
Joe Ginley of Warwick, another eighth grader, has a record of 13-13 and more importantly he has a 1-0 win over Jimmy Clark as well as a 3-2 victory over Khankhel so he will probably get the #4 seed.
The top four seeds will probably look like this:
#1 -  John Stramiello(PB)
#2 -  Ryan Bolger(VC)
#3 -  Sean Sweeney (Cornwall)
#4 -  Joe Ginley (Warwick)

103lbs: This is another weight that has been dominated by the top seeded wrestler. Cornwall sophomore TJ Kreider brings a record of 32-3 to the weekend champion ships. Kreider was the section IX runner-up last season at 96lbs and is hungry for a crown. Kreider has a tough fought 5-4 decision over the probable #2 seed Julian Staiano of Saugerties and a 5-2 victory over AJ Voelker of Monroe Woodbury. Kreider also has wins by fall over Jeff Lewis (VC) and Justin Corradino (Warwick).
Julian Staiano, a Saugerties junior has wins over Lewis (3-1 and Newburgh's Johnny Bastone (`13-8). Staiano has a record of 25-3 this season and other than Kreider he has lost to only out of section IX opponents. Staiano has not wrestled Voelker or Corradino.
Warwick's Justin Corradino, a sophomore, will bring a record of 22-8 into the sectionals. Corradino defeated Lewis (8-2) and Voelker (Fall :30) but lost to Cornwall's Dan Storer by fall at the Kohl Invitational. Storer will enter the tournament 3-1.
Monroe's AJ Voelker(13-15) and Jeff Lewis (30-11) have respectable records coming in and will test the top seeds.
#1 - TJ Kreider (Cornwall)
#2 - Julian Staiano (Saugerties)
#3 - Dan Storer (Cornwall)
#4 - Justin Corradino (Warwick)

112lbs: Lots of great wrestlers here but the top two are something special. Both come from Warwick Valley. They are Shane Connolly and Kyle Wierzbicki. Connolly comes in 20-5 while Wierzbicki has a mark of 24-5. Both are sophomores and are extremely tough. Connolly is a two time Section IX Champion but has yet to leave a mark at the big show. This year light be a different story. Connolly wrestled up at 119lbs for half the season and that's where he picked his lone loss to a Section IX wrestler when he dropped a 3-0 decision to Gary Wolff of Monroe Woodbury at the Kohl. Wierzbicki has been just as dominant scoring wins over all local competition. His closest matches in Section IX have been decision wins over Tom Beebe of VC 3-0 and Isaiah Gillian of PJ 5-1. Wierzbicki finished last season 3rd at 96lbs.
Three others who figure to be in the hunt are Rondout Valley's John Hodes, Port Jervis's Isaiah Gillian and Minisink Valley Warrior Andrew Ewanciw. The three have traded victories over each other so far all are wrestling well. Hodes, 20-3 and 3rd last season at 96lbs, has a 6-1 victory over Ewanciw and has split with Gillian winning 16-4 and losing 6-2 while Ewanciw pinned Gillian in an early January dual. Gillian comes in 22-11 while Ewanciw has a record of 28-13.
Joseph Pulver of Saugerties has compiled a record of 24-2 this season and has the ability to pull off the upset.
Others to watch out for include Middletown's Brenden Gonzalez(23-9), Kingston Tiger Aaron McMullen(33-13, Cornwall Green Dragon Jack Storer(23-12) and Brandon Lewis of Rondout Valley who brings a record of 29-13 to the big dance. Lewis was 6th last year at 103lbs.
#1 - Shane Connolly (Warwick)
#2 - Kyle Wierzbicki (Warwick)
#3 - John Hodes (Rondout Valley)
#4 - Andrew Ewanciw (Minisink Valley)

119lbs: A pair of returning sectional champions head the list here in Minisink Valley's Richard Dennison(112) and Monroe Woodbury's Gary Wolff(103). Dennison is 30-10 this season while Wolff has had another fine season finishing the regular campaign with a record of 35-7. Dennison spent a lot of time at 130lbs early in the season but has made the drop and is wrestling well. Wolff has spent the entire year at 119lbs and has yet to really be tested by a local opponent. His closest local match was that 3-0 win over Connolly at the Kohl.
Also at 119 are Andre Castro of Kingston (31-12), Matt Beebe (30-17) of Valley Central, Richie Mann of Cornwall 26-8 and Shawn Erickson (23-6) of Minisink Valley.
Mann was third the last two season while Erickson was fifth and Beebe was sixth these same years.
Green Dragon Luke Roth could be considered an underdog here. Roth brings in a record of 17-5 and was the sectional runner-up last season at 10-3lbs and finished 4th the season before at 96lbs.
#1 - Richard Dennison (Minisink Valley)
#2 - Gary Wolff (Monroe Woodbury)
#3 - Rich Mann (Cornwall)
#4 - Shawn Erickson (Minisink Valley)

125lbs: This weight class goes eight deep with quality wrestlers. No returning champions here but last seasons runner-up at 125, John Moriarty of Port Jervis is here. The Red Raider senior comes in 29-5.
Valley Central's Nic Smith is here as well and brings with him a fine record of 39-7. One of those wins is a 9-8 decision over Moriarty which should earn the Viking senior the top seed. Moriarty does have a win over a common opponent however with an 8-5 victory over Patrick Hogan of Peru who has a pair of victories over Smith 6-2 and 4-2.
Another wrestler who looks to make a strong showing is three time Section IX place winner Chris Sweeney of Cornwall. The Green Dragon senior comes in 35-5 and looking to improve on last seasons sixth place finish.
Plenty of talent left including Eddie Donohue(32-7) of Middletown, Dennis Brigman(31-3) of Goshen and 4X Section IX place winner Ross Potter of Minisink Valley. All are seniors. Potter, a senior and Warrior captain, will come in with a record of 28-9. He has placed as high as third and will be looking to improve this weekend.
Washingtonville's Ryan Helmke(24-14) and Saugerties Sawyer Mitch Hermanski (21-8) are both seniors looking to make their final shot a good one.
Don't overlook Rondout Valley's Collin Dimler here though. Just a sophomore, Dimler has a record of 25-6 for the season and could make an impact.
The top seed could look like this:
#1 -  Nic Smith (VC)
#2 -  John Moriarty (PJ)
#3 - Chris Sweeney (Cornwall)
#4 - Eddie Donohue (Middletown)

130lbs: This should be a very competitive weight class with some awesome talent. Newburgh Free Academy's Taylor Laraia brings in a tremendous record of 43-1 with his only loss being a decision to Wayne's Bob Dierna in the finals of the Eastern States Classic. Everyone knows that Laraia recently took over the top spot in career victories at NFA and this Goldback senior would like nothing more than to add another 8-10 wins to that total. Laraia was third in the state last season and will accept nothing short of a slot in the finals this time round. Laraia has a streak of twenty straight victories going.
Standing in the way will be Valley Central's Robert Bailey. Bailey comes in 44-4. The Viking senior has been dominant at times but does have a blemish on his record with a 4-2 loss to Laraia that occurred back at the NFA Duals in late January. A cerebral technician on the mat, we will see what that experience does for the talented VC senior.
There are a couple more out there who will be looking to add their name to the list of potential finalists. Rondout Valley's Paul Sommer and Minisink Valley's Andrew Natalizio. Sommer (28-10) finished fourth last year at this same weight while Nalatizio brings in a record of 29-9 to the party. Both are juniors.
Saugerties's Mike Rothe comes in 27-3 and will be looking to showcase his talents.
The seedings should look something like this:
#1 - Taylor Laraia (NFA)
#2 - Robert Bailey (VC)
#3 -  Paul Sommer (RV)
#4 -  Andrew Natalizio (MV)

135lbs: Valley Central's Cody Ruggirello has compiled a record of 48-1 thus far and has his sights firmly set on the NYS all time wins record currently held by Winky Shepard who wrestled for Section III's Central Square. Ruggirello is on a mission and nothing short of a NYS crown will satisfy this tremendously talented young man. Already a 4X Section IX Champion, Ruggirello looks to join an elite group that only has two other name as members. Those members have the distinction of owning five Section IX crowns. The members are Troy Bouzakis of Pine Bush and Monroe Woodbury's Jamie Franco. Look for Ruggirello to become the NYS all Time wins leader following the semi-finals and then add his name to the list of five time section nine champions a few hours later.
Minisink Valley's John Murphy comes in 25-11 and Pine Bush's Chris Weston enters the festivities 29-10. Murphy is a  senior and finished third last season at this same weight while Weston is just a freshman but has a boatload of talent. Scott Mazurek of Saugerties comes in 24-8 and should be highly seeded.
#1 - Cody Ruggirello (VC)
#2 - Chris Weston (PB)
#3 - John Murphy (MV)
$3 - Scott Mazurek (Saugerties)

140lbs: This looks to be one of the most competitive weight classes in the tournament. Not a real clear cut favorite but some great talent. Valley Central senior Jake Fenical and Minisink Valley junior Glenn Ferrier sit atop the list here but are followed closely by Kingston Tiger junior Trent Costello.
Fenical comes in 31-10 while Ferrier brings a record of 30-5 to the big show. Costello has quietly won 39 matches compared to only 5 defeats and will be a factor.
Fenical and Ferrier have traded wins with each other and neither have wrestled Costello. Costello's only loss to a local wrestler was to Ruggirello and lots of folks can say that. Costello wrestled CHSAA stud Troy Sampson(Chaminade) tough earlier in the season dropping a tough 3-0 decision. Fenical has placed twice at sectionals including a third place finish last season at this weight.
Others who will compete include Luis Munoz (NFA-28-12), Brian Johnson of Cornwall (25-10 and Red Hook's David Wright who comes in 23-11. Wright is a three time Section IX Division 2 place winner and was the champion last season.
Seeding could be a nightmare after the top three as Munoz beat Johnson 7-1 but lost to David Wright 8-6. Wright and Johnson have not wrestled.
#1 -  Jake Fenical (VC)
#2 -  Glenn Ferrier (MV)
#3 -  Trent Costello (K)
#4 - David Wright (RH)

145lbs: Another weight class without a clear cut favorite. NOT ! ! Warwick stud Mitchell Wightman is the top man here and comes in 31-1. Wightman's only loss was to MW's Mike Vespa at 152lbs on the first day of the Kohl. The Warwick junior avenged that defeat the very next day with a fall over Vespa to win that tournament. Wightman is the defending Section IX 145lb Champion.
Valley Central's Ali Hasan is also on board and comes in 44-7. Last season's 135lb champion, Hasan has a score to settle with Wightman having dropped a tough fought 4-3 decision to the Warwick Valley star at the Section IX Duals back in early December. Both Wightman and Hasan have placed three times in the Section IX Championships.
Plenty of talent ready and able should the big dogs falter. That list includes Rondout Valley's Maxx Stratton, David Abt of Middletown, Colin Casey of Washingtonville and Newburgh's Aaron Moore. Don't count out Red Hook's Colin Waterhouse and Cornwall's Steve Natale.
Stratton was fourth last year at this weight and comes in 39-4 and has yet to taste defeat in 2010 while Abt is 30-9. Both are seniors. Casey is just a sophomore and brings a record of 29-8 into the tournament while Moore is 27-8.
Casey has wins over Stratton (8-7), Natale (8-6) and Waterhouse (7-0) but has a loss to Abt (F 3:09). Abt has wins over Natale (5-0) and Moore (10-1) but has a loss to Warwick's Thomas O'Rourke by fall in 1:36. O'Rourke has placed 5th the last two seasons for Warwick while Natale was fourth and Moore sixth last season and Abt finished sixth.
#1 - Wightman (WV)
#2 - Hasan (VC)
#3 - Stratton (RV)
#4 - O'Rourke(WV) / Abt (Midd)

152lbs: This looks to be a two horse race between a pair of prize stallions in MW's Mike Vespa and MV's Kyle Diesel. Vespa is a senior and comes in 36-6. He is a two time Section IX Champion and three time place winner while Diesel, a junior, enters the tournament 37-5 and has finished third in each of the last three years.
Vespa has been up as high as 171lbs this season but has been at 152 since the beginning of the new year. He has a 5-3 decision win over Diesel. the two are well acquainted with each other as they faced-off in last years semi-finals at 135lbs with Vespa bringing home a 13-5 victory. Both went to the states last season.
Wallkill's John McCarl (25-12), Warwick's Ryan Bedross (20-8) and Saugerties's Reid Kappler (24-4) are capable of upsets. Bedross was fourth last season at 145lbs and is just a sophomore and Kappler, just a junior, rides an eight match win streak into the championship weekend.
#1 - Vespa (MW)
#2 - Diesel (MV)
#3 - Bedross (WV)
#4 - Kappler (S) / McCarl (Wall)

160lbs:You can realistically look six deep in this weight class and find a possible champion and the top nine have 20+ wins. Valley Central's Luke Amrhein and Monroe Woodbury's Dan Smith are returning Section IX finalists as is Tyler Lawlor of Cornwall and all three will be pushing to make the step forward and into the championship circle.
Smith(32-10) should get the top slot here with a decision over Amrhein 5-4 and a pin over Lawlor in 3:56. Amrhein (39-7) and Lawlor (31-5) haven't wrestled each other.
Smith was second last season at 145lbs while Amrhein was the 152 lb runner-up and Lawlor finished second at 135lbs so this weight class shapes up to be a real dog-fight.
Add to that mix seniors Rondout Valley John Kelder (31-8), Devon Senning (MW, 24-8) Kingston's Arsalon Arabani (21-14) and Saugerties Vito Massa( 22-8) and we could have a real party this weekend. And we also have a trio of juniors ready to rumble in Middletown's Robbie Cassidy (27-15), Washingtonville's Matt Zippilli (23-10) and Minisink Valley Warrior Dylan Ferrier (19-16). No clear cut #4 here although Cassidy owns a 6-4 win over Arabani. Senning could get the nod by virtue of his fifth place finish last season.
#1 - Dan Smith (MW)
#2 - Luke Amrhein (VC)
#3 - Tyler Lawlor (Corn)
#4 - Devon Senning (MW)

171lbs: Nick Matthews of Kingston brings in a tremendous record of 42-5 into the tournament but Minisink Valley's Ryan Nicholas enters 33-8 and has a 6-4 victory over the Kingston senior in the first match of the year back in December.
Another name to look for here is Red Hook stud Ivan Carlson. Carlson is 32-5 this season and has split decision with Matthews, beating the Kingston Tiger 3-1 back at the Tiger Duals in December and then losing 2-1 just a few weeks ago.
Warwick's Sean Prell figures to be in the think of things too. Prell has compiled a record of 18-3 so far. He was the 2009 Section IX 160lb Champion but could not go to states. Matthews took his spot and gained valuable experience in the process. Prell is just a junior.
More names to keep an eye on include Steve Psathas (MW, Sr, 26-12), Michael DiGennaro (Middletown, Sr, 24-12 and Cornwall's Nick Mancuso (Jr, 23-12. Psathas has wins over DiGennaro (4-2) and Mancuso (9-1) but Mancuso finished fifth in the section last season at 160lbs. Prell and Carlson have yet to wrestle each other.
#1 - Ryan Nicholas (MV)
#2 - Nick Matthews (K)
#3 - Sean Prell (WV)
#4 - Ivan Carlson (RH)

189lbs: Another deep weight class with lots of talent. Michael McGrath comes in 45-1 and hasn't been defeated since December 11th. That's a streak of 21 straight victories for the Tiger senior boys and girls. Along the way 'Might Mike' has defeated his local competition with a 3-1 win over NFA's Marcus Spearman and a 5-3 win over Warwick's Chris Vealey. McGrath has placed at sections the last four seasons and has his sights set on nothing less than a championship crown this time.
Newburgh Free Academy's Marcus Spearman comes in with a record of 34-3 having lost to McGrath and Vealey 8-5. Spear came back two days after losing to Vealey and exacted a measure of revenge with a 5-4 win.
Whatever happens you can expect some fantastic wrestling at 189 pounds.
Pine Bush has a talented 189lb'er of their own in Joe Gaynor. Gaynor comes in 27-12 and has a big win over Saugerties stud Justin Mentz by fall in 5:36. Gaynor could possibly be the most improved wrestler in the entire section.
Mentz is a senior at Saugerties and brings a fine record of 26-3 to town. Mentz was riding a 13 match win streak prior to the Gaynor match. VC's Yman Bannister (21-18 and Cornwall's Weston Rich (21-13).
These three bulls have taken turns beating each other up this season. Rich beat Bannister 6-5 in early January, Gaynor pinned Rich in 1:45 in late December and Bannister has a pair of wins over Gaynor 11-6 & 7-4.
Bannister finished sixth last season ay this weight so that should give him the nod in the seedings.
#1 - Michael McGrath (K)
#2 - Marcus Spearman (NFA)
#3 - Chris Vealey (WV)
#4 - Yman Bannister (VC)

215lbs: Kingston Tiger Henry Marley has been in the top slot all season and he just doesn't want to give that designation up any time soon. We will see what Port Jervis Red Raider star Andrew Smith has to say about that in a few days. Should be fun.
Marley, a senior, comes in 42-4 and more importantly has a 1-0 win over Smith in December. This Tiger has placed at sections twice, third last season. Marley started the season with 31 straight wins.
Smith is a junior and brings a record of 30-5 into the tournament. He's won his last 14 straight including 7 by fall. You can bet Smith has this date circled on his calendar.
A pair of seniors are hoping to pull off the upset as Logan Steyer of Saugerties and Ross Vucetaj of Minisink Valley are both tough and very capable wrestlers. Steyer comes in with a 25-4 record while Vucetaj has a mark of 21-14.
#1 -  Henry Marley (K)
#2 -  Andrew Smith (PJ)
#3 -  Logan Steyer (Saug)
#4 -  Ross Vucetaj (MV)

285lbs: Newburgh Free Academy's John Carey comes in 37-6 and has been on top of this heap all season long. Carey has been dominant at times and is riding a 14 match win streak. He has defeated all his local competition including a fall over a fall over Ethan Stanley of Saugerties, an 8-6 decision over Seth Stauble of Kingston and a 3-1 decision in sudden victory over Corey Johnson of Valley Central. Carey was fourth last year at 215lbs.
Seth Stauble (35-11) of Kingston and Ethan Stanley (24-3) of Saugerties and both seniors and will be looking to make a name for themselves. Stanley won their only head-to-head match and that was a 3-0 victory in December.
VC Viking Corey Johnson, 24-10, has the ability to compete with the big boys but does he have the size. We will find out together this coming weekend.
#1 - John Carey (NFA)
#2 - Ethan Stanley (Saug)
#3 - Corey Johnson (VC)
#4 - Seth Stauble (K)

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