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

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Port Jervis all-state WR Filancia headed to Alfred University

Port Jervis senior and Varsity 845 first-team receiver Rob Filancia will continue his career at Division III Alfred University.

Filancia earned Class B first-team all-state honors after setting school records with 64 catches and 1,096 receiving yards.

Playing in college wasn’t a certainty for Filancia in the preseason. But, his record-setting year opened up opportunities.

Filancia’s three touchdown catches helped Port Jervis to its first Section 9 title since 2001 as the Raiders advanced all the way to the state semifinals.

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2020 State Consolation Final Results

Minisink Valley junior 285-pounder Adam Fenner and Port Jervis senior 220-pounder James Oosterom moved up the medals stand, placing in the state for the second straight season.

Fenner, who went 5-1 in the tournament, took third in Division I at 285 pounds after a fifth-place finish.

Oosterom is the first Port Jervis wrestler to win back-to-back medals since Dan DeCarlo in 2014. He edged Mattituck’s Colby Suglia 5-3 in the consolation final. Oosterom also went 5-1 in Albany.

Washingtonville sophomore Andrew Marchese rallied from 7-0 down to defeat Webster Schreoder’s Anthony Surace 11-9 in sudden victory.

State championship
Division I
Third-place consolations
285: Adam Fenner (Minisink Valley) d. Collin Burns (Hilton) 10-1
Fifth-place consolation
99: Michael Adams (Monsignor Farrell) d. Jordan Brown (Monroe-Woodbury) 14-0
106: Chris Crawford (Beacon) d. Justin Morales (Middletown) 4-3
113: Andrew Marchese (Washingtonville) d. Anthony Surace (Webster Schroeder) 11-9, sudden victory;
170: JD Moore (Levittown Division) d. Joe Velazquez (Middletown) 8-5
182: Ryan Stencel (Lancaster) d. Ethan Gallo (Minisink Valley) 7-2
Seventh-eighth place consolation
99: Travis Browning (Frontier) d. Alex Greco (Warwick) 8-1
Division II
Third-place consolation
220: James Oosterom (Port Jervis) d. Colby Suglia (Mattituck) 5-3
Seventh place consolation
126: Hunter White (Hannibal-Cato Meridian) d. Matt Morris (Red Hook) 5-4

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2020 State Wrestling Semifinal Results: Fab Four

Minisink Valley eighth-grader Zack Ryder is headed to the state finals for the second straight year.

Ryder knocked off top-seeded Ivan Garcia of Port Chester 10-7, scoring five points on a throw and three points with a cradle.

Pine Bush senior Tommy Askey became the school’s first state finalist since three-time champion Troy Bouzakis in 1990. Askey was in full control against Brentwood’s Wenchard Pierre Louis in 12-2 win.

Monroe-Woodbury senior Joey McGinty advanced to his first state final with a 3-0 win over Fulton’s Camrin Galvin. McGinty had defeated Galvin earlier in the season.

Onteora junior Nick Ross defeated Saranac’s Bryce Smith to advance to the state Division II 152-pound final as a No. 7 seed. Ross avenged a loss to Smith at the Eastern States Classic.

State championships
Semifinals
Division I

99 pounds: PJ Duke (Carmel) pin Jordan Brown (Monroe-Woodbury) 1:46; 106: Elijah Rivera (Bay Shore) d. Justin Morales (Middletown) 4-2; 126: Zack Ryder (Minisink Valley) d. Ivan Garcia (Port Chester) 10-7; 152: Tommy Askey (Pine Bush) d. Wenchard Pierre Louis (Brentwood) 12-2; 160: Joey McGinty (Monroe-Woodbury) d. Camrin Galvin (Fulton) 3-2; 170: Tyler Albis (John Jay-East Fishkill) pin Joseph Velazquez (Middletown) 1:11; 182: Brock Delsignore (Shenendehowa) d. Ethan Gallo (Minisink Valley) 10-1.

Division II
152 pounds: Nick Ross (Onteora) d. Bryce Smith (Saranac) 3-2.

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2020 State Wrestling Day One Results

Section 9 is sending seven wrestling to the Division I finals after the first day of state championship weekend at Times Union Center in Albany.

Middletown senior Joseph Velazquez knocked out second-seeded James Araneo of Ward Melville in the 170-pound quarterfinal with a pin after trailing 15-4 in the match.

Teammate Justin Morales, a senior, joins Velazquez in the semifinals at 106 pounds. Monroe-Woodbury freshman Jordan Brown (99), Minisink Valley eighth-grader Zack Ryder (126), Pine Bush senior Tommy Askey (152), Monroe-Woodbury senior Joey McGinty (160) and Minisink Valley freshman Ethan Gallo are also state semifinalists and guaranteed a top-six medal.

Monroe-Woodbury freshman Jordan Brown and Warwick freshman Alex Greco advanced to the state Division I 99-pound quarterfinals, winning by decision.

Joining Brown and Greco in the quarterfinals are Middletown’s Justin Morales (106), Washingtonville’s Andrew Marchese (113), Minisink Valley’s Zack Ryder (126), Pine Bush’s Tommy Askey (Pine Bush), Monroe-Woodbury’s Joey McGinty (160), Red Hook’s Matt Morris and Onteora brothers Nick (152), Pat (160) and Nate Ross (170)

Division I
Quarterfinals
99 pounds: Jordan Brown (Monroe-Woodbury) d. Michael Adams (Monsignor Farrell) 5-3; P.J. Duke (Carmel) tech fall Alex Greco (Warwick) 21-5, 3:02; 106: Justin Morales (Middletown) d. Joe Berenson (Webster Schroeder) 10-5; 113: Stevo Poulin (Shenendehowa) pin Andrew Marchese (Washingtonville) :56; 126: Zack Ryder (Minisink Valley) d. Rocco Camillaci (Hilton) 7-4; 152: Tommy Askey (Pine Bush) d. Dennis Robin (Arlington) 4-3; 160: Joey McGinty (Monroe-Woodbury) d. Adrian Artsisheuskiy (Midwood) 4-3; 170: Joseph Velazquez (Middletown) pin James Araneo 4:36; 182: Ethan Gallo (Minisink Valley) d. Alex Behar (Briarcliff Byram Hills) 7-2; 285: Myles Norris (Freeport) d. Adam Fenner (Minisink Valley) 2-1 2 OT

Round of 16
99 pounds: Jordan Brown (Monroe-Woodbury) d. Freddy Pagan (Fulton) 17-11; Drew Greco (Warwick) d. Travis Browning (Frontier) 4-1; 106: Justin Morales (Middletown) d. Brendan Dellinger (Williamsville Northeast) 9-4; Sal Esposito (Tottenville) d. Jackson Merli (Newburgh Free Academy) 5-0; 113: Andrew Marchese (Washingtonville) d. Nick Lamorte (Rocky Point) 11-0; 120: Alex Booth (Indian River) d. Nick Picariello (Minisink Valley) 2-0; 126: Zack Ryder (Minisink Valley) d. Evan Matias (Rocky Point) 8-0; 132: Jayden Scott (Rush Henrietta) d. Matt Romano (Valley Central) 7-1; Drew Witham (Corning) pin Jordan Suarez (Minisink Valley) 2:15; 138: Tim Bova (Arlington) d. Sean Savacool (Minisink Valley) 6-4; 145: Marvin Lobo (Copiague) d. Ethan Palanca (New Paltz) 2-1; 152: Tommy Askey (Pine Bush) d. Dylan Collins (Frontier) 9-3; 160: Joey McGinty (Monroe-Woodbury) pin Nick Otero (Copiague) 1:14; 170: Joe Velasquez (Middletown) d. Joseph Dixon (Canisius) 4-3; 182: Ethan Gallo (Minisink Valley) pin Cole Rivell (Union-Endicott) :47; 195: Anthony Cascen (Trumann) d. Brian Giacchi (Middletown) 7-3; 220: Alex Semenenko (McKee-Staten Island) pin JC Cabrera (Minisink Valley) 2:17; 285: Adam Fenner (Minisink Valley) d. Joe Nolan (Ossining) 8-4

Division II
Quarterfinals
126: Matt Morris (Red Hook) d. Micah Roes (Lowville) 11-3; 152: Nick Ross (Onteora) pin Keagan Case (Central Valley Academy) 6-4, sudden victory; 160: Ethan Stotler (Waverly) pin Pat Ross (Onteora) 1:07; 170: Mikey Squires (Norwich) d. Nate Ross (Onteora) 6-5; 220: Karl Bouyer (Clarke) d. James Oosterom (Port Jervis) 10-3
Round of 16
99 pounds: Gianni Silvestri (Tioga) pin Trevor Tufano (Port Jervis) 5:04; 113: Logan Campbell (Coxsackie-Athens) d. Ryan Ross (Port Jervis) 14-4; 120: Avery Leonard (Cooperstown) pin Joey Curreri (Eldred) 1:13; 126: Matt Morris (Red Hook) d. Jake Murphy (Seaford) 8-5; 132: Marek Bush (Central Valley Academy) pin Joey Amato (Port Jervis) 1:01; 145: Ethan Ferro (Palmyra-Macedon) pin Tyler Benincasa (Red Hook) 1:55; 152: Nick Ross (Onteora) pin Hunter McKenna (Warrensburg Bolton) 1:32; 160: Pat Ross (Onteora) pin Mike DiForte (Petrides) 1:51: 170: Nate Ross (Onteora) pin Jason Fraser (Tonawanda) 1:03; 182: Gabe Monroe (Windsor) d. Hayden Campalong (Red Hook) 7-2; 195: Nate Degroff (Warsaw) tech fall Hunter Roberts (Eldred) 15-0, 4:47; 220: James Oosterom (Port Jervis) tech fall Tyler Smith (Bolivar-Richburg) 15-0, 4:34; 285: Cody Wilson (Albion) d. Devin McGovern (Chester) 5-0

Outbracket
99 pounds: Tufano (Port Jervis) d. Christian Perlleshi (Pleasantville-1) 4-3; 106: Mark Amedore (Schalmont) d. Ryan Kirker (Red Hook) ; 138: Ryan Caudill (Pavillion-York) tech. fall Alex Lopez (Red Hook) 15-0, 4:15

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2020 Section 9 Girls Basketball Brackets

Monroe-Woodbury (Class AA), Cornwall (Class A) and Onteora (Class B) earned No. 1 seeds in the Section 9 tournament.

SECTION 9 TOURNAMENT
CLASS AA
Semifinals

Wednesday, March 4
No. 3 Pine Bush at No. 2 Valley Central, 6 p.m.
Championship
Saturday, March 7
Valley Central-Pine Bush winner vs. No. 1 Monroe-Woodbury at Mount Saint Mary, Newburgh, noon

CLASS A
Quarterfinals
Monday, March 2

No. 7 Saugerties at No. 2 Roosevelt, 5:30 p.m.
No. 8 Wallkill at No. 1 Cornwall, 6 p.m.
No. 6 New Paltz at No. 3 Warwick, 6 p.m.
No. 5 Goshen at No. 4 Red Hook, 6 p.m.
Semifinals
Wednesday, March 4

Cornwall-Wallkill winner vs. Red Hook-Goshen winner at highest seed, 6 p.m.
Roosevelt-Saugerties winner vs. Warwick-New Paltz winner at highest seed, 6 p.m.
Championship
Saturday, March 7

Semifinals winners at Mount Saint Mary, Newburgh, 2 p.m.

CLASS B
Quarterfinals
Saturday, February 29

No. 5 James I. O’Neill at No. 4 Chester, 5:30 p.m.
No. 6 Rondout Valley at No. 3 Marlboro, 5:30 p.m.
No. 7 Ellenville at No. 2 Burke Catholic, 6 p.m.
Semifinals
Tuesday, March 3

Chester-James I. O’Neill winner at No. 1 Onteora, 6 p.m.
Marlboro-Rondout Valley winner vs. Burke Catholic-Ellenville winner at higher seed, 6 p.m.
Championship
Friday, March 6

Semifinal winners at Mount Saint Mary, Newburgh, 5 p.m.

CLASS C
Quarterfinals and semifinals to be determined Thursday
Championship
Thursday, March 5
Semifinal winners at Middletown High, 5 p.m.

CLASS D
Livingston Manor is the only Class D team to qualify for the postseason.

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2020 Section 9 Boys Basketball Brackets

Newburgh Free Academy, Minisink Valley, Marlboro, Millbrook and Livingston Manor earned top seeded in the Section 9 tournament.

Defending Class AA champion Kingston is the second seed. Two-time defending Class A champion New Paltz is seeded fourth. Defending Class B champion Ellenville is the sixth seed.

SECTION 9 TOURNAMENT
CLASS AA
Semifinals
Wednesday, March 4

No. 4 Washingtonville at No. 1 Newburgh Free Academy, 6 p.m.
No. 3 Pine Bush at No. 2 Kingston, 6 p.m.
Championship
Saturday, March 7

Semifinal winners at Mount Saint Mary, Newburgh, 10 a.m.

CLASS A
Quarterfinals
Monday, March 2

No. 7 Wallkill at No. 2 Monticello, 6 p.m.
No. 6 Burke Catholic at No. 3 Roosevelt, 6 p.m.
No. 5 Red Hook at No. 4 New Paltz, 6 p.m.
Semifinals
Wednesday, March 4

New Paltz-Red Hook winner at No. 1 Minisink Valley, 6 p.m.
Roosevelt-Burke Catholic winner vs. Monticello-Wallkill winner, 6 p.m.
Championship
Saturday, March 7

Semifinal winners at Mount Saint Mary, 4 p.m.

CLASS B
Quarterfinals
Saturday, February 29

No. 5 Spackenkill at No. 4 James I. O’Neill, 6 p.m.
No. 6 Ellenville at No. 3 Onteora, 6 p.m.
No. 7 Rondout Valley at No. 2 Chester, 7 p.m.
No. 8 Liberty at No. 1 Marlboro, 7 p.m.
Semifinals
Tuesday, March 3

Marlboro-Liberty winner vs. James I. O’Neill-Spackenkill winner at higher seed, 6 p.m.
Chester-Rondout Valley winner vs. Onteora-Ellenville winner at higher seed, 6 p.m.
Championship
Friday, March 6

Semifinal winners at Mount Saint Mary, Newburgh, 7 p.m.

CLASS C
Quarterfinals

Saturday, February 29
No. 5 Sullivan West at No. 4 S.S. Seward, 6 p.m.
No. 6 Rhinebeck at No. 3 Tri-Valley, 6 p.m..
Semifinals
Tuesday, March 3

Tri-Valley-Rhinebeck winner at No. 2 Pine Plains, 6 p.m.
S.S. Seward-Sullivan West winner at No. 1 Millbrook, 7 p.m.
Championship
Thursday, March 5

Semifinal winners at Middletown High, 7 p.m.

CLASS D
Championship
Wednesday, March 4

No. 1 Livingston Manor vs. No. 2 Chapel Field at SUNY Sullivan, 6 p.m.


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MHAL Boys Basketball All-Stars: New Paltz’s DeMaria honored

New Paltz junior guard Justin DeMaria earned Mid-Hudson Athletic League American Conference player of the year honors.

DeMaria, a first-year starter, is averaging 15.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists ahead of Tuesday’s MHAL semifinal against Marlboro.

Onteora’s Jake Stern, a 1,000-point scorer, was named the National Conference player of the year. The awards are voted on by league coaches.

MID-HUDSON ATHLETIC LEAGUE ALL-STARS
AMERICAN CONFERENCE (DIVISION I-II)
PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Justin DeMaria, New Paltz
All-stars: Korbyn Samuels (Marlboro); CJ Faircloth (Marlboro); Mat Shea (Wallkill), Justin Noelizaire (Wallkill); Aaron Coston (Rondout Valley); Brandon Cahill (Red Hook); Luke Crittenden (Red Hook); Jake Londin (Roosevelt); Justin Patsey (Roosevelt); Dylan Craft (Roosevelt)

NATIONAL CONFERENCE (DIVISION III-IV)
PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Jake Stern, Onteora
All-Stars: Zach Fulford (Onteora); Jessie Rodriguez (Ellenville); Michael Clay (Ellenville); Jayden Bennermon (Spackenkill); Jaylen Rouse (Spackenkill); Liam Flaherty (Millbrook); Isaiah Edmonds (Millbrook); Adam Funk (Pine Plains); Brendan Hines (Rhinebeck); Van Edmundson (Webutuck)

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2020 state wrestling seeds, first-round matchups

Monroe-Woodbury senior Joey McGinty is seeded second at 160 pounds in the state Division I tournament. McGinty took fourth at 152 as a junior. [JOSH CONKLIN/FOR THE RECORD]

Pine Bush senior 152-pounder Tommy Askey and Monroe-Woodbury senior 160-pounder Joey McGinty, both returning medalists, earned No. 2 seeds for the state Division I championship Friday and Saturday at Times Union Center in Albany.

Askey, the only undefeated section wrestler (37-0) heading into the state tournament, placed fourth at 145 pounds last season. Nationally-ranked A.J. Kovacs of Iona Prep (36-3), the 2018 state 145-pound champion, is the top seed at 152. Askey and Kovacs met in last year’s state quarterfinals. Kovacs won 8-5.

McGinty finished fourth at 152 pounds last season. Penfield junior Cooper Kropman (38-0) is the top seed at 160.

Minisink Valley eighth-grader Zack Ryder, a 2018 106-pound state finalist, is the fourth seed at 126 pounds.

Monroe-Woodbury freshman Jordan Brown, competing in just second year of wrestling, is seeded fourth at 99 pounds.

Onteora junior 160-pounder Pat Ross is the highest-seeded Section 9 Division II wrestler at No. 3. Twin brother Nick, who placed third in the state at 138 last season, is the seventh seed at 152.

Here are the preliminary matchups for the first round, which begins at 10 a.m. Friday. Matchups are scheduled to change due to weigh-ins and scratches.

Division I
99 pounds: No. 4 seed Jordan Brown (Monroe-Woodbury, Fr., 27-4) vs. Freddy Pagan (Fulton-3, Fr., 30-10); No. 9 Alex Greco (Warwick, Fr., 35-5) vs. No. 8 Travis Browning (Frontier-6, Soph., 42-4).
106: No. 5 Justin Morales (Middletown, Sr., 35-2) vs. Brendan Dellinger (Williamsville Northeast-6, Jr., 31-9); No. 8 Jackson Merli (Newburgh Free Academy, Soph., 37-5) vs. Sal Esposito (Tottenville-PSAL, Sr., 36-8)
113: No. 9 Andrew Marchese (Washingtonville, Soph., 35-3) vs. No. 8. Nick Lamorte, Rocky Point-11, Fr., 41-4)
120: No. 11 Nick Picariello (Minisink Valley, Sr., 34-7) vs. No. 6 Alex Booth (Indian River-3, Soph., 34-5)
126: No. 4 Zack Ryder (Minisink Valley, Eighth-grader, 43-4) vs. Evan Mathias (Rocky Point-11, Sr., 29-8)
132: No. 11 Jordan Suarez (Minisink Valley, Sr., Sr., 41-4) vs. No. 6 Drew Witham (Corning-4, Sr., 36-3); No. 15 Matt Romano (Valley Central, Sr., 35-8) vs. No. 2 Jayden Scott (Rush Henrietta-5, Soph., 45-1)
138: No. 12 Sean Savacool (Minisink Valley, Sr., 31-3) vs. No. 5 Tim Bova (Arlington-1, Soph., 41-6)
145: No. 12 Ethan Palanca (New Paltz, Jr., 30-3) vs. No. 5 Marvin Lobo (Copigue-11, Sr., 45-2)
152: No. 2 Tommy Askey (Pine Bush, Sr., 37-0) vs. Dylan Collins (Hamburg-6, Soph., 42-4)
160: No. 2 Joey McGinty (Monroe-Woodbury, Sr., 33-4) vs. Nick Otero (Copigue-11, 35-5)
170: No. 7 Joe Velasquez (Middletown, Sr., 42-6) vs. Joseph Dixon (Canisius-CHSAA, Jr., 43-4)
182: No. 5 Ethan Gallo (Minisink Valley, Fr., 40-4) vs. Cole Rivell (Union-Endicott, Sr., 10-2)
195: No. 12 Brian Giacchi (Middletown, Sr., 31-6) vs. No. 5 Anthony Cascen (Truman-PSAL, Sr., 35-4)
220: No. 16 JC Cabrera (Minisink Valley, Sr., 18-4) vs. No. 1 Alex Semenenko (McKee-Staten Island Tech-PSAL, Soph., 32-2)
285: No. 6 Adam Fenner (Minisink Valley, Jr., 43-1) vs. Joe Nolan (Ossining-1, Sr., 35-5)

Division II
(Note: Red Hook’s Rian Kirker (106) and Alex Lopez (138) will wrestle in outbracket matches (No. 16 vs. 17 seed)

99 pounds: No. 14 Trevor Tufano (Port Jervis, Soph., 29-7) vs. No. 3 Xavier DeJesus-Remch (Canisteo-Greenwood-5, Soph., 42-0)
106: No. 16 Rian Kirker (Red Hook, Fr.) vs. No. 17 Mark Amedore (Schalmont-2, Jr.)
113: No. 12 Ryan Ross (Port Jervis, Eighth-grader, 31-3) vs. No. 5 Logan Campbell (Coxsackie-Athens-2, Jr., 35-3)
120: No. 14 Joey Curreri (Eldred, Jr., 26-8) vs. No. 3 Avery Leonard (Cooperstown-3, Jr., 44-5)
126: No. 7 Matt Morris (Red Hook, Sr., 36-5) vs. Jake Murphy (Seaford-8, Jr., 30-3)
132: No. 15 Joey Amato (Port Jervis, Sr., 32-6) vs. No. 2 Marek Bush (Central Valley Academy, Jr., 50-5)
138: No. 16 Alex Lopez, Red Hook, Sr.) vs. Ryan Caudill (Pavillion-York-5)
145: No. 14 Tyler Benincasa (Red Hook, Sr., 29-13) vs. Ethan Ferro (Palmyra-Macedon, Jr., 49-3)
152: No. 7 Nick Ross (Onteora, Jr., 27-3) vs. Hunter McKenna (Warrensburg Bolton, Jr., 39-1)
160: No. 3 Pat Ross (Onteora, Jr., 35-3) vs. Mike DiForte (Petrides-PSAL, Sr., 16-4)
170: No. 9 Nate Ross (Onteora, Sr., 29-4) vs. No. 8 Jason Fraser (Tonawanda-6, 26-5)
182: No. 12 Hayden Campalong (Red Hook, Jr., 20-7) vs. No. 5 Gabe Monroe (Windsor-10, Soph., 30-3)
195: No. 14 Hunter Roberts (Eldred, Sr., 26-6) vs. No. 3 Nate Degroff (Warsaw-5, Sr., 42-4)
220: No. 7 James Oosterom (Port Jervis, Sr., 35-2) vs. No. 10 Tyler Smith (Bolivar-Richburg, Sr., 50-3)
285: No. 12 Devin McGovern (Chester, Sr., 23-4) vs. No. 5 Cody Wilson (Albion-6, Sr., 29-4)

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Wrestling: Romano, Greco, Merli earn state wildcards

Valley Central’s Matt Romano, left (blue singlet) is headed back to the state tournament as one of Section 9’s two wildcards. ALLYSE PULLIAM/For the Times-Herald Record

Valley Central senior 132-pounder Matt Romano earned his third trip to the state tournament and second as a wildcard with the announcement of at-large bids Wednesday.

Romano (35-8) finished second at the Section 9 Division I tournament Saturday. The 2018 Section 9 Division I 126-pounder is seeking his first state medal next Friday and Saturday (Feb. 28-29) at the Times Union Center in Albany. He was 1-2 as a freshman (113 pounds) and sophomore. Romano’s 186 career wins rank third in Valley Central history behind state champions Cody Ruggirello and Ricky Scott. Romano has been working one-on-one with Ruggirello this season.

Warwick freshman 99-pounder Alex Greco (35-5) earned his first state trip. Greco was second at the section Division I tournament.

Newburgh Free Academy sophomore Jackson Merli will be making his first state championship appearance. Merli (37-5) placed second at 106 pounds in the Section 9 Division I tournament.

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