Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY — It was another historic season for the Tioga wrestling program — another Section IV, Division 2 championship, another Section IV Duals title, and another team title at the New York State Division 2 Championships — resulting in coach Kris Harrington repeating as the Valley Sports Report 2019-20 “Coach of the Winter” season.
Harrington took over one of the best programs in Section IV prior to the 2016-17 season. In his four seasons, he has turned the Tigers into the premier program in Section IV.
Tioga won its fourth consecutive Section IV, Division 2 title, edging out preseason favorite Windsor by 1.5 points.
The Tigers also won their second straight Section IV Duals title. They have represented Section IV in all three years of the newly-minted New York State Duals, qualifying for the inaugural tourney as a wildcard.
Tioga advanced six wrestlers to the New York State Division 2 Championships, with five reaching the podium to earn the Tigers their second straight team title in Albany. It marked the second time in three years, Tioga has sent six wrestlers to States.
In Harrington’s four years, Tioga has had 18 state qualifiers, including 11 Section IV champions. The Tigers have had 13 state medalists, including three state champions, two runners-up, and a third-place finisher.
The remainder of the All-Valley Super 7 Coaches of the Winter are:
Brian Miller, girls basketball, Athens: Miller, who made his bones at Waverly with defensive pressure and an up-tempo offensive game, has shifted his philosophy to match his talent at Athens, and the results speak for themselves.
Using solid half-court defense and a patient offense, the Lady Wildcats put together a 22-6 record that included a division title, an NTL Showdown title, a second-place finish in the District 4 Championships, and a trip to the PIAA, Class AAAA playoffs.
The 2019-20 Lady Wildcats under Miller were truly a team that, as a whole, was greater than the sum of its parts.
Dave Mastrantuono, boys swimming, Waverly: Mastrantuono directed Waverly to its third consecutive unbeaten regular season and its fourth consecutive IAC Championships title. Waverly is currently riding a 43-meet win streak.
A year after winning a Section IV, Class C title, the Wolverines bumped up to the rugged Class B ranks and posted an impressive third-place finish.
Devin Shaw, boys basketball, Sayre: Over the last two seasons, Sayre won a total of 13 games.
This season, Shaw directed the Redskins to a 13-13 record, as well as a third-place finish in the District 4, Class AA playoffs, and the program’s first appearance in the PIAA playoffs in 10 years.
Bob Woodward, boys basketball, Athens: After a disappointing loss at NEB on Jan. 10, the Wildcats fell to 6-3. Following a team meeting, Woodward and his charges righted the ship.
The Wildcats reeled off five straight divisional wins and won 12 of 15 games to propel them to an NTL Large School title, an NTL Showdown title, an appearance in the District 4, Class AAAA semifinals.
Athens finished the season with a 19-8 record, a third-place finish in the district playoffs, and a berth in the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs.
Devan Witman, wrestling, Waverly: Witman took over the Waverly wrestling program near rock bottom, and has it on track to a return to prominence with improving numbers and improvement on the mat.
The Wolverines posted an 11-9 record this season, its first winning season since 2010-11, finished third at the IAC Championships, and sixth at the Section IV, Division 2 Championships.
Pete Girolamo, bowling, Waverly: Girolamo has been the coach of the Waverly bowling programs since its inception, and has enjoyed unparalleled success.
Last season, the Lady Wolverines had a 15-year run of IAC Large School Division titles come to an end, and the Waverly boys also saw its eight-year run atop the division end.
This year, a young Waverly boys team reclaimed the division title, and a young girls team was runner-up.
IN PHOTO: Tioga wrestling coach Kris Harrington.
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