Sullivan wrestling recognized
SULLIVAN COUNTY April 9, 2013 On Sunday March 10, Section 9 wrestling recognized its top coaches, athletes, and others who have given their best towards improving Section 9 Wrestling. Sullivan County's three Division II teams brought home seven awards after a strong season of outstanding sportsmanship, hard work, injuries, and persistence. Our county provided three Section 9 champions who battled and held their own in Albany against the best.
The merged team of Eldred-Fallsburg wrestlers took home the Section 9 President’s Award for their assistance in helping set up and run the Eastern States Classic held at Sullivan County Community College in January. This elite wrestling tournament draws the top wrestlers from all over the east coast to compete in a grueling two-day tournament. Coach Tim Bult was presented the plaque to thank the team for their selfless commitment in helping run such a large tournament. A Special Recognition Award plaque was presented to Eldred-Fallsburg coach Jim Corcoran for his continued volunteer work for the Eastern States running the security needed for such a large competition for the past three years.
Tri Valley’s first-ever sectional champion was senior Kevin Palko who earned his title after only three years of wrestling experience. Palko was the 152 pound underdog in the Section 9 championships held in Liberty in February and fought fiercely to capture his crown. He plans on attending Sullivan Community College studying Criminal Justice and would like to wrestle for the new wrestling program set to launch in the fall. He would like to establish a youth wrestling program at Tri-Valley to get more youth interested in the sport and gain the necessary experience to compete at the higher levels something he saw firsthand at the state tournament.
Liberty's three-time Section 9 champion Andy Martinez was the favorite to win the Section 9 crown again this year at 182 pounds, after placing sixth last year in New York State championships. He was presented with his championship plaque and vows to continue to support a very young but talented Liberty wrestling team next year while he attends Sullivan Community College.
Like Palko, Martinez plans on majoring in Criminal Justice and wrestling for the nascent program. Martinez thanked his five-year coach John Lennon for his continued support through both success and defeat.
Eldred-Fallsburg wrestler Jesse Corcoran also won a sectional championship at 220 pounds. He was the top- seeded wrestler in the sectionals and pinned two opponents en route to the title. Corcoran had another pin in the state tournament to graduate with an impressive overall record of 95 wins 21 losses in his high school career. Corcoran will be attending Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island next year to study in their culinary honors program.
The Section 9 wrestling "Comeback of the Year Award" was also presented to Corcoran after being knocked out of the sectionals last year with a broken leg suffered in the semifinals of a tournament in Marathon, NY. He was a Section 9 runner up in his freshman and sophomore year. Corcoran has also sustained two broken noses, battled meniscus in his knee as well as shoulder injuries over the course of his scholastic career.
The last recipient of an award was Liberty coach John Lennon, who was awarded with the John Bell Lifetime Achievement Award. Lennon was presented the award by Bult who wrestled under Lennon in the 1980s for Liberty. Bult is now the athletic director for Fallsburg as well as the wrestling coach. He presented a heartfelt speech about Lennon’s 34 years of dedication to the Liberty wrestling program. Lennon was able to secure this year’s sectional championships at Liberty High School for the first time in history.
His dedication and commitment to the sport of wrestling has had a long-lasting impact upon the district. Lennon plans to retire this year and stated it was an honor to coach so many talented wrestlers, including Martinez for the last five years.