Local wrestler headed for national tournament

WARRENSBURG - Local high school Junior Donovan Santisteban, a standout on the wrestling mats this year, is headed for the national spotlight.

In several weeks, Santisteban will be representing Warrensburg and New York State in the Freestyle and Greco Junior National Wrestling Championship tournament in Fargo, North Dakota.

But to get there, he and his coaches are seeking to raise donations from the community.

Meanwhile, Santisteban has been training several times per week with one of the great national coaches of recent history - Joe DeMeo of Niskayuna.

DeMeo has been mentoring Santisteban, alongside Warrensburg Central Wrestling Coach Mark Trapasso, on the student's moves as well as sharpening his skills.

Monday, DeMeo said Santisteban has considerable talent and skills as a wrestler.

"He's fast and he's strong and tough," DeMeo said. "We have high hopes for him."

DeMeo is apparently a good judge of talent. He's served as the coach for the U.S. Olympic Wrestling team, has coached the U.S. team in the World Wrestling Championships - four times as head coach and 17 times as assistant coach - and has coached 339 U.S. national champions.

Santisteban had a winning season this year, and placed fourth in the Section II tournament in late winter, although he was seeded 8th. He also represented Warrensburg in the Empire State Games.

In preparation for his entry in the national championship tournament, he's attending a training camp at LaSalle High in Troy, then heading off to practice with the New York State Team in Binghamton. Other WCS wrestlers entering the nationals in recent years were Ryan Black, Lenny Baker and Zach Monforte.

Those seeking to support Santisteban's entry into the tournament are urged to contact him at 623-5139 or coach Trapasso at the high school.

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