New Rochelle’s Nick Barbaria suffers torn meniscus

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I know that I said I was going to post my dual meet Power Rankings today, but some regrettable news has surfaced that I wanted to write about first. Look for the rankings tomorrow…

One of the top wrestlers in Section 1 has suffered an unfortunate injury that will end his high school career prematurely.

New Rochelle senior Nick Barbaria tore his meniscus during practice last week and recently underwent season-ending surgery.

“We feel terrible for Nicky,” coach Eddie Ortiz said. “He works incredibly hard year round, does all of the right things and has always been a pleasure to coach. You never want to see a kid’s high school career end this way, especially when they give their heart and soul to the sport as Nicky has done his entire time with the program.”

After winning back-to-back section titles as a sophomore and a junior, Barbaria was expected to be a major player for a state championship this season. He won a prestigious Eastern States title last January and went onto place fourth in the state at 106 pounds.

Barbaria’s older brother A.J. also had his senior season end due to medical reasons in 2012, but Ortiz said that he believes Nick will wrestle again in college.

“He has aspirations to wrestle at the next level and I am sure this won’t be the last time we hear about Nicky Barbaria,” he said. “We all wanted him to finish his career with a state title, but unfortunately sometimes life doesn’t work that way. Knowing Nicky, this will only make him stronger going forward. But it definitely is a tough thing for any program to lose a wrestler of his caliber.”

Barbaria was considered a heavy favorite to win a Section 1 title at 113 pounds, but his injury leaves the field wide open.

Pearl River junior James Kelly is probably the logical choice after claiming a section title at 99 pounds last season, but John Jay-East Fishkill junior Jay Albis, Arlington sophomore Brady Robin and Carmel sophomore Kevin Knox are each returning All-Section wrestlers who will be in the mix. Fox Lane senior Brandon Fay has been wrestling at 113, but is expected to drop down to 106 for the second half of the season.

Photo by John Meore/The Journal News

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8 Comments

  1. Albis IMO should be the favorite, He beat robin 6-0. Already beat an all state kid this year. Kelly is comming up from 2 weight classes from a little boys weight. Lets not forget although kelly was 1st at sectionals, he was 3rd at divisionals. He didnt dominate the weight, he was the best kid on one given day. You put too much on past accomplishments and not wrestling ability.

  2. Devastating news! Nick Barbaria is a class act. Forget his remarkable wrestling ability, the kid is a clear example of what makes wrestlers a step above their peers.

    I agree with Big boy. 99 lbs. is miles away from 113. Albis is the man to beat. Between the other three, Robin, Kelly and Knox, it’s anyone’s match on any given day.

    The absence of Barbaria leaves 113 in what should be a blood bath at sections. Any one of the top 4 mentioned should feel as though they have a legitimate shot at the title. Knox is the underdog having lost to Albis and Brady last year at 106. Things can change dramatically in 12 months.

    I would place them:
    1. Albis
    2. Brady
    3. Kelly
    4. Knox

  3. Rokland on the Rise on

    Brutal, Brutal, Brutal loss to Section 1 and New Rochelle. I felt so bad after hearing the news. We all know how hard these top wrestling athletes work year round and it”s just a shame that this happened. I hope Nick has a speedy recovery and we see him out there on the Collegiate level.

    Big Boy & Old School, IMO Kelly should be the favorite! Kelly took 3RD at the toughest Divisional (Robbins, Olemedo, Mcgarvey). He lost 2-1 to Olemedo in the Semis then pinned Mcgarvey. He then went to Sections and pinned Robbins and easily handled Fay in the Finals. Not a bad resume to be favored at the #1 spot. As for D’Angelo he is certified @ 106. He will start to drop down soon and will probably get a chance to face Fay @ the section duals. Knox is a very tough wrestler and might have a say as to who places where in the section. Finals Kelly & Albis.

  4. John Stramiello on

    My sons and I are very sorry to hear about Nick. I am sure he will make full recovery at some point and continue his career. We wish him a speedy recovery.