Three local wrestlers win Division 2 titles

By Mike Zummo
Posted 2/14/24

Bradley Gatto wanted to be a Section 9 Division 2 champion just like his older brother Chris.

He fell short last year when he lost in the finals but got through this year when he defeated Port …

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Three local wrestlers win Division 2 titles


Bradley Gatto wanted to be a Section 9 Division 2 champion just like his older brother Chris.

He fell short last year when he lost in the finals but got through this year when he defeated Port Jervis’ Rich Olena in the 116-pound championship match on Sunday at Franklin D. Roosevelt High School in Hyde Park.

“It feels great,” said Gatto, a junior at Highland High School. “I pushed myself all year because I wanted to be a section champ like him. I saw him as a role model for me because I saw him do it when I was a freshman.”

Gatto was the first of two Highland wrestlers to win Section 9 championships.

Quinn Jones won the 152-pound championship. Marlboro’s Reese Greathouse also won his first sectional championship at 131 pounds.

All three will compete at the New York State Division 2 championship meet on Feb. 23 and 24 at the MVP Arena in Albany.

Gatto fell behind Olena early in the first period but rallied to tie in the second period with a takedown. However, Olena was awarded a point when a clasping violation was called against Gatto and he went into the third period, trailing 3-2.

“You’re never done until the final whistle blows so you just have to push through,” Gatto said. “Trust your coaches and trust yourself, and work well with what you do best.”

Gatto took the down position to start the third quarter, 35 seconds in, scored two points on a reversal, and then got two more points on a near fall as he planted Olena into the mat.

“I got so much energy back,” Gatto said. “I was like, ‘I can win this now.’ I just pushed myself. It’s all just a blur. I just had to finish it.”

Then with 55 seconds to go, Olena scored an escape to pull to within two points. However, Gatto kept Olena away from his leg, and managed to get a takedown to put the match away.

“Last time I went against him, he got a lot of good shots on me,” Gatto said. “I worked all the rest of the season on it. I knew where he was coming from, so I just defended the low shots.”

With Gatto’s title in the books, Greathouse was next. Eleven years into his wrestling career, he finally is bringing home the gold after a dominant 10-1 victory over Rondout Valley’s Nick Laskowski.

“It feels good,” Greathouse said. “After 11 years, it’s about time.”

Greathouse flew out of the gate fast with an immediate takedown and went for a quick pin but came away with 3 back points and a 5-0 lead.

“He’s lanky, so I figured, ‘let me try something,’” Greathouse said. “I’ve been doing the same move all season. It just works. If you do it and you do it right, it just works.”

Jones, a Highland junior like Gatto, survived a comeback attempt by Our Lady of Lourdes’ Connor Wilson.

“It was very emotional,” Jones said.

Jones scored a first period takedown and a second-period reversal to take a 4-0 lead, but Wilson scored an escape and a takedown late in the second period to close to within 4-3.

Jones took the down position in the third period, to take a two-point lead, and found himself with Wilson in the neutral position.

Wilson took his shot as time wound down in the match, but time expired before he could complete the takedown and Jones survived to win the section championship.

“With the last shot, I saw that I had about three-quarter defended it,” Jones said. “I looked at the clock and saw there was like 20 seconds left, and just locked in.”

Marlboro’s Lorenzo Caserto continued to have hard luck in the finals, as he lost his third straight Section 9 championship bout when he lost to Our Lady of Lourdes’ Bryce Reilly at 108 pounds. He had lost the previous two section championships to Port Jervis’ Charlie Wylie.

Mark Cozzupli lost his 285-pound semifinal match and went on to place in the third-place match.

Section 9 Division II Championships
108: Bryce Reilly (OLL) def. Lorenzo Caserto (Marl.), 14-1
116: Bradley Gatto (High.) def. Rich Olena (PJ), 11-4.
131: Reese Greathouse (Marl.) def. Nick Laskowski (RV), 10-1

152: Quinn Jones (High.) def. Connor Wilson (OLL), 5-3.

108: Lorenzo Caserto (Marl.) def. Carmello Massey (RH), 10-8.
116: Bradley Gatto (High.) pinned Giacomo Abbate (Ch.), :39.
131: Reese Greathouse (Marl.) pinned Jayden Thiel (Ont.), 1:10.

152: Quinn Jones (High.) def. Owen Curreri (PJ), 8-2.
285: Nick Oosterom (PJ) pinned Mark Cozzupli (High.), 3:46.

101: Justin Jones (PJ) pinned Santino Caserto (Marl.), 3:31; Jace Moore (RH) pinned Tucker Vett (High.), 2:41.
116: Bradley Gatto (High.) pinned Eric VanLeuven (RV), :45.

131: Reese Greathouse (Marl.) pinned Payton Kothe (Ont.), 2:21; Nicholas Laskowski (RV) def. Michael Thomas (High.), 9-2.
138: Markus Ferrara (PJ) pinned Jacob DeClair (High.), 2:45.
145: Anthony Theodore (PJ) pinned Charles Huggins (Marl.), 2:54.
152: Quinn Jones (High.) pinned Jacob Wood (Ont.), 1:57.
160: Sparrow Weiss (Ont.) pinned Daniel Hollifield (High.), 4:45.
190: Zach Bickham (Lib.) pinned Nathaniel Swart (High.), 1:59.
215: Matt Oosterom (PJ) pinned Richard Schneider (High.), :07.
285: Mark Cozzupli (High.) def. Emanuel Celaya Lavariega (RH), 6-2