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Section 9 wrestling captures five state titles, Minisink’s Duke MOW

Photo by Fred Perna

Section 9 stole the show at state wrestling finals Saturday night in Albany.

For the second straight season, Section 9 crowned five Division I (large school) champions out of the 13 weight classes.

Section 9 also captured the team Division I title (229.5 points) for the third straight year. Minisink Valley totaled the most points (88.5) out of any team.

Minisink Valley junior PJ Duke earned most outstanding wrestler honors, winning his third state title. Duke (39-0), committed to Penn State, notched two pins and two technical falls on his way to the 160-pound championship. He is the third Section 9 wrestler to be named MOW of the state tournament, joining Monroe-Woodbury’s Mike Mormile (2001) and Troy Bouzakis (1990).

Newburgh Free Academy sophomore 108-pounder Cooper Merli captured his second straight state title, knocking off top-seeded and 2022 champion Dunia Sibomano of Long Beach 1-0 and avenging a previous season loss. Merli is the first two-time state champion in Newburgh’s stored history.

Valley Central junior Luke Satriano is a back-to-back state champion. Satriano, the second seed, topped top-seeded Matt Marlow of Northport 10-0 in the 124-pound final. He joins Lou Ruggirello Jr. (2004-06) and Ricky Scott (2004-05) as Valley Central’s multi-time state champs.

Middletown senior Stephan Monchery (42-0) won the school’s first state title since 1998 (Rocco Mansueto), pinning Plainedge’s Vincent Petzold in 2:17 in the 285-pound final.

Newburgh Free Academy’s William Soto (51-0) finished his freshman season undefeated, defeating Valley Central eighth-grader EJ Vass 10-0 in the all-Section 9 101-pound final. Soto set Newburgh’s single-season wins record with 51. His 51 wins were the most by a Newburgh freshman ever. 9

Eleven Section 9 wrestlers also took state medals home.

Washingtonville’s Mason Ketcham took second at 145 pounds. Minisink Valley’s Anthony Tresch was third at 145. Wallkill junior Marco Futia (108) and Middletown senior Rahmiere Bradley (285) each finished fourth. Minisink Valley’s Luke Greiner (152)9, Middletown’s Bryson Tibbs (215) and Port Jervis senior Matt Oosterom (215, Division II) placed fifth. Port Jervis senior Ryan Ross (160) was sixth, Newburgh Free Academy junior Chris Leggett (215) recorded a pin for a seventh-place finish. Newburgh Free Academy’s Matt Mercado (131) and Port Jervis junior Maddox McCormick (190) were eighth.

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