Host Pearl River claims first Michael O’Connell tourney title since the ’80s



You should know the drill by now. Here is my story from today’s O’Connell tournament with all of the results from the semis and finals below it, and I’ll be back tomorrow with more reaction, videos and results from other tourneys. 

PEARL RIVER — It had been a long time since host Pearl River won the Michael O’Connell Tournament.

Exactly how long, no one seemed to be sure of, which is an indication of just how lengthy the drought had been.

“We’ve been second a few times, but it was back in the late ‘80s the last time that we won,” Pearl River coach Grier Yorks said. “It’s been decades.”

The Pirates reversed their fortunes on Saturday, claiming a championship at their own tourney by a nearly 20-point margin over second-place Washingtonville.

It was widely expected that defending section champs James Kelly (113 pounds) and John Muldoon (132) would capture individual titles for Pearl River, but it was first-place finishes from the likes of Sean McGarvey (99), Jake Kurzhals (120) and Nick Simeti (138) that sealed the win.

“I’m very happy. I’ve had this goal since my freshman year, and I’ve worked hard for it,” said the senior Simeti. “Once I got to the finals, I wasn’t losing.”

Simeti’s toughest match came in the semifinals, where he beat Hen Hud senior Jack Wagner with a 6-4 decision, but it was Kurzhals’ 4-3 decision over East Ramapo’s Luke Francois in the 120-pound final that was one of the biggest upsets of the tournament.

Kurzhals had watched closely when Francois handled teammate Jack Chesman during a dual meet earlier in the season, which helped him devise a game plan for Saturday.

“My mindset was just trying to move around,” the sophomore said. “If he sticks his arm out, try to get out of the way and take a shot. I had to make opportunities to get some points.”

Despite having nine starters sit out for various reasons, North Rockland displayed its tremendous depth by taking third overall, but had no individual champs.

Nyack placed fourth, with Prakash Thakur (126) and James Giraldez (145) each claiming titles.

“It’s a big test,” Giraldez said after his narrow 6-4 decision over Tappan Zee’s Noah Hovde in the finals. “I’ve been in the finals every year since my freshmen year, and I’ve never won. I wanted to break the curse. I thought this would set the tone for the rest of the season, being my senior year.”

Tappan Zee had both of its big boys – defending section champs John Hartnett (220) and Mike Manni (285) – each earn first-place finishes, with Manni picking up his 100th career win with a 23-second pin in the finals.

“I couldn’t have done it without all of my friends and family, the guys in the room, and the guys that are here right now, like the alumni that came back to support me,” Manni said. “They’ve pushed me to my limits. They’ve believed in me, and they’ve made me believe in myself. I’m so grateful.”

It was a good day for Sleepy Hollow’s Adam Hofling, who won his second consecutive O’Connell title on his birthday.

In a rare move, Hofling won at 160 pounds after wrestling at 170 last season.

“I think 160 was a bit more stacked last year, so I just stayed at 170 and did well,” he said after his 4-3 decision over North Rockland’s Alex Schelmety. “This offseason, I didn’t really gain any weight and I’m looking for some postseason titles this year, so I figured 160 would be best.”

The only other champ from Section 1 was Woodlands’ Elder Calim at 152 pounds.

Muldoon was named Most Outstanding Wrestler from 99-145 pounds, while Manni took home the honors for the 152-285 range.

Team standings: 1. Pearl River (PR) 148; 2. Washingtonville (Was) 129; 3. North Rockland (NRk) 94; 4. Nyack (Ny) 62; 5. East Ramapo (ER) 59.5; 6. Tappan Zee (TZ) 57; 7. Woodlands (Wd) 48; 8. Clarkstown North (CN) 42; 9. Hen Hud (HH) 33.5; 10. Tuxedo (Tux) 32; 11. Croton-Harmon (CH) 29; 12. Sleepy Hollow (SH) 28; 13. Yorktown (Yk) 27; 14. Dobbs Ferry (DF) 14; 15. North Salem (NS) 13.


99 – Sean McGarvey (PR) dec. Dean Artrip (Tux), 8-3; Trey Wardlaw (ER) maj. dec. Thomas Barsuch (CH), 13-2. 106 – No matches. 113 – James Kelly (PR) pin Patrick Patierno (Yk), 0:50; Maxim Kutespau (CN) pin Mike DiPietro (HH), 5:04. 120 – Luke Francois (ER) tech. fall Connor Thomas (Yk), 21-6; Jake Kurzhals (PR) dec. Andrew Barsuch (CH), 5-3 OT. 126 – Prakash Thakur (Ny) dec. Jonathan Ortiz (ER), 11-3; Cristian Hilario (NRk) pin Nick Cipriano (DF), 2:27. 132 – John Muldoon (PR) pin Jared Knox (Was), 2:09; Joe Gedeiko (TZ) dec. Dan Stachelek (Tux), 6-0. 138 – Justin Duboff (NRk) maj. dec.  Daniel Kraemer (Wd), 14-6; Nick Simeti (PR) dec. Jack Wagner (HH), 6-4. 145 – James Giraldez (Ny) pin Austin Paul (NRk), 2:35; Noah Hovde (TZ) tech. fall Liam Heslin (Tux), 15-0. 152 – Jordan Artope (HH) dec. Mohamed Shidid (Was), 6-5; Elder Calim (Wd) pin Kyle Lindsay (DF), 2:20. 160 – Adam Hofling (SH) maj. dec. Sheeler Lubin (ER), 15-1; Alex Schelmety (NRk) dec. Chris Martin (Was), 12-6. 170 – Bruce McLee (Was) dec. Marcus Stroud (ER), 8-2; Ben Schiller (CN) dec. George Denegry (SH), 5-4. 182 – Brian Beyers (Was) maj. dec. Zac Williams (Tux), 9-1; Adonis Alcime (Ny) pin Kyle Mallory (HH), 0:18. 195 – Keyon Harris-Milner (Was) dec. Houston Porter (Wd), 9-8; Connor Brooks (NRk) pin Devin Lewis (CH), 1:48. 220 – John Hartnett (TZ) pin Bryan Kondracki (PR), 0:53; Sam Weinger (Was) pin Alex Pavloff (CH), 3:54. 285 – Mike Manni (TZ) pin Alex Rodriguez (Tux), 0:26; Jahkem Collins-Martinez (ER) pin Dave Avery (PR), 1:30.

Third place

99 – Artrip (Tux) maj. dec. Brendan Henry (TZ), 13-0. 113 – DiPietro (HH) maj. dec. Knox (Was), 13-3. 120 – Barsuch (CH) pin Thomas (Yk), 2:25. 126 – Brandon Bobe (Was) dec. Cipriano (DF), 8-4. 132 – Ross Mandel (Yk) pin Mike Sullivan (TZ), 3:11. 138 – Wagner (HH) dec. Kraemer (Wd), 3-2. 145 – Paul (NRk) pin  Jake Yelin (CN), 1:39. 152 – Shadid (Was) tech. fall Joe Quinn (NRk), 21-6. 160 – Rob Gullo (PR) dec. Martin (Was), 3-1. 170 – Teddy Fleming (NS) dec. Stroud (ER), 4-1. 182 – Williams (Tux) dec. Mike Vogel (NRk), 3-0. 195 – Porter (Wd) pin Lewis (CH), 1:27. 220 – Pavloff (CH) dec. Eddie Anderson (Tux), 7-0. 285 – Collins-Martinez (ER) pin Rodriguez (Tux), 2:30.


99 – McGarvey (PR) dec. Wardlaw (ER), 5-0. 106 – Dylan Conway (PR) by forfeit. 113 – Kelly (PR) maj. dec. Kutespau (CN), 13-2. 120 – Kurzhals (PR) dec. Francois (ER), 4-3. 126 – Thakur (Ny) maj. dec. Hilario (NRk), 12-1. 132 – Muldoon (PR) pin Gedeiko (TZ), 2:46. 138 – Simeti (PR) maj. dec. Duboff (NRk), 15-7. 145 – Giraldez (Ny) dec. Hovde (TZ), 6-4. 152 – Calim (Wd) pin Artope (HH), 5:48. 160 – Hofling (SH) dec. Schelmety (NRk), 4-3. 170 – McLee (Was) pin Schiller (CN), 2:19. 182 – Beyers (Was) pin Alcime (Ny), 5:09. 195 – Harris-Milner (Was) dec. Brooks (NRk), 3-2. 220 – Hartnett (TZ) dec. Weinger (Was), 3-0. 285 – Manni (TZ) pin Avery (PR), 0:23.


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  1. Is it correct to assume all the North Rockland studs are sitting this one out to make space for Eastern States?

  2. Rockland on the Rise on

    CWE: Yes, the hammers are all there but their on the bench. They seem to think that the Eastern’s is more important. I don’t get it. {LOL}

  3. Ror, North rockland put 4 “jv kids” into the finals. That tells you they made the right decision to not send their best team.

  4. What was up at 106?
    Manni has 100 wins, for a SuperHeavy that is quite a milestone. Congrats to the Big Guy!!!

  5. 100 wins for a super is a little deflated. with 285 being a required weight. While 250/275 used to be optional.

    of his 100 wins would it be safe to say a third of them were forfeits ?