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Though a Tough Job . . .

Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

LIBERTY'S RANDY CARUSO, on top, beating Nick Miller of Middletown 8-4 at 160 lbs.

. . . Liberty Wrestlers
Keep Working Hard

By Frank Rizzo
LIBERTY — March 13, 2001 – The numbers never seem to add up, and John Lennon doesn’t know what to do about it.
“I don’t know what it is… it’s hard to get kids,” said the longtime Liberty wrestling coach. “We haven’t been able to put together a solid team in years.”
Liberty did not win a single match this year in the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) National Conference — or overall.
“Even when I wrestled (Lennon graduated from Liberty CS in 1970) it was hard to field a team. We’ve had outstanding individuals, even state qualifiers from time to time. But they haven’t had support from their peers.”
Lennon said he had few experienced varsity grapplers this season.
“I had a bunch of freshmen and newcomers and had an opportunity to mix and match jayvee and varsity,” he noted. “Kids got the best opportunity to advance and grow.”
Junior Ryan Ringi had a good season, finishing 20–9. He was the top seed at 140 lbs. in the National Conference Tournament. He beat Paul Edwards of Cornwall 7-3 in the semifinal but lost to Rich Corrigan of Minisink Valley 11-4 in the final.
Ringi qualified for the Section IX Tournament, where he reached the 140-lb. semifinal. He began the tourney by pinning Wesley Marshall of Red Hook at 4:55. In the quarterfinal Ringi gained a forfeit win over Travis Scott of New Paltz.
In the finals, however, he lost to eventual Section IX champ Casey Todd of Monroe-Woodbury, getting pinned at the 47-second mark.
Ringi placed third in the tourney when he avenged his conference final loss in the sectional consolation final, beat Corrigan 3-0.
“Given his goals, he accomplished what he wanted to do,” Lennon said of Ringi.
Soph Dan Ratner (112 lbs.) “had a real good season. He did very well for a sophomore,” Lennon said. “He could have been more competitive if he had wrestled at a lower weight, but did real well against stiff competition.”
Ratner lost in the opening round of the National Conference Tournament to Jesse Ryan of Goshen, 7-6.
He then beat Trevor Munson of Cornwall in the wrestlebacks, 5-3.
Lennon noted the three girls who went out for the team: Lauren Michaud (135), Jennifer Ognibene (275), and Andrea Stabak (130).
Michaud, a freshman, “achieved her goals,” according to Lennon. “She finished the season, scored points in some of her matches, and did not get pinned or lose by a technical call in every match.

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