By Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY In just its second season, the Eldred/Fallsburg varsity wrestling team is grappling with success. In addition to posting an overall record of 8-7 during the regular season, the “Yellow Comets” won the Section IX Division II-B title with a perfect 5-0 record.
In its division dual meets, Eldred/Fallsburg defeated Liberty, 42-22; defeated Burke, 36-22; topped Tuxedo, 48-36; beat Tri-Valley, 41-32; and defeated Chester, 54-24.
In addition, at the Section IX Division II championship tournament held on Sunday, Feb. 12 at Rondout Valley High School in Accord, Dominique Vales, Anthony Moriggia and Carl Peterson-Langeland placed in the top four in their weight class.
Vales, a senior co-captain, captured what is believed to be the Fallsburg Comets’ first ever Section IX wrestling championship by winning the 2012 title at 220 pounds. He will represent Eldred/Fallsburg and Section IX at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Championships which are being held today and tomorrow at the Times-Union Center in Albany.
Peterson-Langeland, a freshman in his first year of wrestling at the varsity level, placed fourth in his 160-pound weight class.
Moriggia, a senior co-captain, placed second in his 170-pound weight class.
“We had an outstanding year for only our second year as a varsity team,” Co-Head Coach Tim Bult, Fallsburg said. “It helped that we had some Eldred wrestlers with experience on the team. And Co-Head Coach Jim Corcoran and his son Jesse (of Eldred) had a great deal of wrestling knowledge to share with the team.”
Jesse Corcoran, a junior heavyweight who wrestled at 220 and 285 pounds, was ranked No. 1 in all of Section IX (Division I and Division II) until he suffered a broken leg during a match that ended his season.
Bult noted that the team had other mentors as well.
“Ken Stalter, who was the wrestling coach at Ellenville High School for many years, and his son Ken Stalter Jr., who won a Section IX title and went to states while wrestling at Ellenville, both came in to help our wrestlers this season,” Bult said. “Ian Constable wrestled at Liberty and then transferred to Ellenville and wrestled there. He was a big help as well.”
Bult also credited Assistant Coaches Jason Grossman and Scott Reed for their work this season.
“Coach Grossman did a great job with the modified team,” Bult said. “He had eight wrestlers on the team, four or five of them from Eldred. We’re trying to get a youth program going. With that youth program, we will have a good feeder program for our varsity team.”