It wasn’t enough that New Paltz wrestling opened the season with a 45-28 win over Eldred-Liberty-Sullivan West (ELSW), or that defending Section 9 champions Chris Massaro and Ben Cuppett both scored victories (the Huguenots third Section 9 champ from last year — Theo Chazkel— graduated), but that history was made in the form of Fiona Bevin, who became the first New Paltz girl to win a match (a first-minute pin of a Red Hook boy in exhibition), followed moments later by Tara Linneman, who scored a 4-0 decision over another Red Hook boy in exhibition. It must have been traumatic for the boys, after the matches both were said to be transferring to a small non-wrestling school in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.
Long-time coach Ryan Pullman has high hopes for this year’s team, especially since the Huguenots return Section 9 runnerups Guy Soumah (220 pounds) and Chris Heisel (132), plus third-place finisher Shane Gullickson (138). Add in newcomers Aidan Cuppett (freshman at 99 pounds) and Ethan Palanca (eight-grader at 106), plus the aforementioned Bevin and Linneman, and New Paltz hopes to unseat defending Section champ Red Hook (New Paltz was runnerup last season).
On the mat, Aidan Cuppett won in his debut over ELSW’s Joseph Curreri; Palanca won by forfeit; Nick (120) and Chris Massaro (126) won by forfeit; Heisel (138) won by forfeit); Gullickson (145) defeated James DeAviero; Jack Purcell (170) pinned Nick Skinner; and Ben Cuppett (182) pinned John DePaulo.
New Paltz (1-0) is at Onteora this Wednesday, December 7 at 5 p.m.; while Highland wrestling will open their season at Rondout this Wednesday at 5 p.m.