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Newburgh wrestlers set new school record

Newburgh Free Academy’s wrestling team set a new school record Saturday for dual meet wins during a home tournament.

It was the 30th tournament, started by Jeff Cuilty, a former coach, and the Goldbacks needed two victories to set the record at 21 after entering the competition 19-6.

Newburgh’s Joe Russell, at 160 pounds, beat Beekmantown’s Matt LaValley 4-3.

The Goldbacks beat Clinton County’s Beekmantown and then set the school record with a 58-29 victory over Natick. The Goldbacks picked up their 23rd and 24th victories over Long Island’s John Glenn and Shoreham Wading River before losing to John Glenn later in the day.

Chris Leggett, Newburgh’s coach, thought the team had a shot at the new record after the Goldbacks started the season 9-0.

“I figured from that point forward, and during everyday in practice, we were very aware of that number 21,” said Leggett. “And that’s been like a rallying cry.”

The sectional big schools tournament takes place at the end of next week at Monroe-Woodbury.

“The Long Island teams, it’s huge for us to wrestle that level of competition.”

“It’s a perfect springboard into the sections,” said Leggett.

Valley Central, Wallkill and Warwick, other Section 9 big schools, also participated in the tournament, and Leggett is happy with the team entering the season’s final weeks.

“We’re following right along like we should be,” he said.

By Bond Brungard

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