SOMERS, N.Y. – Sixth-grade wrestler Ryan Ball just wrapped up a season that saw him go 40-8 with 25 pins as he secured All-State honors for the fifth consecutive year.

Ryan, a student at Somers Middle School, attends Empire Wrestling Academy in Somers, which is owned by John Degl, who is also the head coach. Assistant coaches are Khaled Dassan, Alex Delacruz, Nick Weyer, Keith Law and Anthony Tortora.

Competing mostly in the Tri-State area, Ryan entered 14 tournaments, taking first place at Pleasantville, Port Jervis, New Milford (Connecticut), and Danbury (Connecticut). Ryan also won a New York Wrestling Association for Youth qualifier in Newburgh, as well as a USA Wrestling qualifier Duanesburg.

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The 70-pounder went 3-1 at the USA Wrestling Youth State Championships on March 8 at Johnson City, placing third in the U12 age group.

Ryan was scheduled to compete at the NYWAY State Championships at the College at Brockport State University on March 13-14, but the tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ryan went 4-0 at the NYWAY qualifier, which would have earned him one of the top eight seeds in the tournament.

Ryan, ranked No. 7 in the state at 70 pounds (, finished his elementary wrestling career with more 200 career victories.

This summer, he is scheduled to train at three wrestling camps: Penn State University, University of Iowa, and West Point.

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