ALBANY – Reality set is as Joey McGinty walked off the wrestling mat for the final time in his high school career.
McGinty shook the hands of his Monroe-Woodbury coaches John Gartiser and Steve Fischbein. The journey that McGinty had worked for so long didn’t have the ending he desired.
Penfield junior Cooper Kropman was the better 160-pound wrestler on Saturday. McGinty tried to start fast but Kropman has all the answers in an 11-3 win in the state Division I final.
“I wouldn't give it up for anything,” McGinty said. “I don't regret anything.
“Over the five years on the wrestling team at Monroe-Woodbury, I've been putting in as much as possible, trying to be the hardest worker, no matter what room I am in.”
McGinty’s dedication was recognized by his peers as Section 9 large-school wrestlers voted for the senior as the team’s sportsmanship winner.
McGinty said he wouldn’t dwell on the final results. He’s got a lot of wrestling ahead of him at Division I Hofstra.
“I have to keep working,” McGinty said. “It's been a great journey and I can't wait to keep going.”
Onteora junior Nick Ross became the second member of his family to wrestle in a state Division II final in the last three years, joining his brother Dillon. Nick Ross finished second at 152 pounds as the No. 7 seed. He placed third at 138 as a sophomore.
James Oosterom of Port Jervis was so overcome with excitement after winning his final state match that he went to high-five the referee.
Oosterom's fifth win of the tournament resulted in a third-place finish and his second consecutive medal.
"I saw him (referee) put up his hands but really he was just stopping the match," said Oosterom after a 5-3 victory over Mattituck's Colby Suglia at 220 pounds. "I felt accomplished right there with that one (win)."
The medal match gave Oosterom the chance to wear his Port Jervis singlet one more time. After a quarterfinal loss to state finalist Karl Bouyer of Clarke, Oosterom reeled off four consecutive wrestle-back matches. Oosterom, who placed fifth at 220 last season, is the first Port wrestler to earn a medal in back-to-back years since Dan DeCarlo in 2013-14.
"James did a great job of recovering after a loss the other day," Port Jervis coach Eric Hartmann said. "He knew his goal was to finish third and he did what he said he was going to do. He listened to his coaches. He was watching film on the kids the last two days and he took care of business."
Minisink Valley junior 285-pounder Adam Fenner moved up to a third-place finish by winning four consecutive matches following a tough 2-1 quarterfinal loss to Freeport's Myles Norris, a state finalist.
"I knew I had the potential to take third and I kept my head up instead of feeling bad for myself," said Fenner, who finished fifth at 285 last year. "(The quarterfinal) was definitely frustrating. You put that in the past and you focus on the future. (Placing third) definitely gives me a lot of motivation. … That's my goal for next year, first place."
Washingtonviille sophomore Andrew Marchese earned his first state medal with a comeback victory. Down 7-0 early in the consolation final, Marchese forced overtime and defeated Webster Schroeder's Anthony Surace, 11-9, for fifth place at 113.
Middletown seniors Justin Morales (106) and Joe Velazquez (170) finished sixth