ALBANY – Zack Ryder’s drive to be one of Section 9’s best all-time wrestlers started after his historical moment one year ago here at the Times Union Center.
Ryder became the section’s first seventh-grade state finalist and pushed two-time defending champion Stevo Poulin of Shenendehowa in a one-point setback at 106 pounds.
Jumping up to 126 pounds this season, Ryder heard his doubters. He read online about how some thought he wouldn’t place in the top eight this weekend. Some predicted Hilton’s Rocco Camillaci (51-4) would pick off Ryder in the quarterfinals.
They were wrong. Ryder defeated Camillaci 7-4 to advance to his second state semifinal before he starts high school.
“I'd seen so many articles saying Rocco was going to beat me,” said Ryder, who improved to 45-3 on the season. “I was ready. Haters are the motivation.”
Ryder opened his day with an 8-0 win over Rocky Point’s Evan Matias, who kept the round-of-16 match close early. He earned a semifinal matchup against returning state medalist and top seed Ivan Garcia of Port Chester.
“I felt like this (his quarterfinal against Camillaci) was going to be my hardest match of today,” Ryder said. “I just had to get mentally right. That first match wasn't very good. I just had to get ready for this match. They were (both) really good wrestlers. I haven't wrestled them yet. I had to be really good and prepared.”
Section 9 sent seven Division I wrestlers to Saturday morning’s semifinal round, including Minisink Valley freshman 182-pound Ethan Gallo. Gallo topped Alex Behar of Briarcliff-Byram Hills, 7-2, in a quarterfinal that was hanging in the balance when Gallo was called for a questionable illegal slam. Behar elected to continue the match and not leave the mat with a victory.
Gallo recorded the fastest pin by a section Division I wrestler with a 47-second fall over Union-Endicott’s Cole Rivell in the round of 16.
Pine Bush senior 152-pounder Tommy Askey maintained his undefeated season (39-0) with a hard-fought 4-3 quarterfinal win Arlington’s Dennis Robin. Askey, who placed fourth in the state at 145 last season, defeated Robin, 5-3, in the Eastern States Classic final last month. Next up for Askey is unbeaten Wenchard Pierre Louis of Brentwood (42-0).
Onteora junior Nick Ross was the only section Division II wrestler to advance to the semifinals. Ross, who took third place at 138 last year, pulled out a 6-4 win in sudden victory over second-seeded Keagan Case of Central Valley Academy at 152 pounds.
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
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
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