State wrestling thoughts: Askey, Ryder champions on and off mat

The buzz around the state wrestling finals was as much about changing Section 9’s history as it was about making it Saturday night.

Respecting the past. Embracing the present.

With Section 9 fans cheering loud and proud, Minisink Valley eighth-grader Zack Ryder and Pine Bush senior Tommy Askey were crowned the area’s 47th and 48th state champions Saturday night.

Ryder was the only champion to pin his opponent in the Division I finals, cradling previously-undefeated George Oroudjov of in 4:35. Askey was one of two Division I champions to knock off a returning titlist, defeating Iona Prep’s A.J. Kovacs 8-5. Can’t recall a more notable win by a section wrestler in recent years. Intermat had Kovacs ranked No. 5 nationally at 152 pounds before the tournament.

Both Ryder and Askey’s finals victories connected to Troy Bouzakis, one of the section’s greats. Ryder is the section’s second eighth-grader to capture state gold. Bouzakis was the first in 1986. Askey broke a 30-year, state-title drought at Pine Bush. Bouzakis claimed his third and final championship his senior year in 1990.

Wrestling is the passion for both Ryder and Askey. They are year-round wrestlers. They are both respected as class acts by their peers and others around the sport.

Ryder’s first title is just the start. He’s driven to win four more. While, Askey could assist in his college future. Some big-time schools including Virginia have been monitoring Askey’s senior season.

The futures of Ryder and Askey are worth watching closely. And, the state champions’ work ethic and determination are examples for young wrestlers to follow.

Here’s our coverage of the state wrestling championships through video and photo:

PHOTOS: State championship day one

PHOTOS: State championship day two

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.
  • Categories

  • Archives