Gazzillo, Juncaj named first-team Class A all-state

By Justin Rodriguez

Section 9 Football Insider

Cornwall linebacker Steve Gazzillo helped the Green Dragons to a perfect season and scored the game-winning touchdown on a 1-yard run in the Class A state championship.

For an encore, Gazzillo has been named a first-team all-state selection by the New York State Sportswriters Association (NYSSWA), which released its Class AA and Class A teams on Tuesday. For a complete list of the teams, visit, NYSSWA unveiled its Class B, C, D and eight-man all-state teams last Tuesday

“It’s an honor to be one of the best of the best,” said Gazzillo, who led Cornwall in tackles the last three seasons. He had 121 stops this year. “It’s pretty awesome to end my career like this in terms of success. It doesn’t get much better than winning a state championship and being on the all-state team.”

Minisink Valley defensive lineman Anton Juncaj joined Gazzillo on the Class A first-team. Cornwall running back Amin Woods, the 2018 Section 9 Football Insider Player of the year, and kicker Chris DiMedio were second team picks. Freshman quarterback Aidan Semo, who passed for 2,230 yards and 27 touchdowns, and defensive back Alex Suarez made the third team. New Paltz senior linebacker Kenny Verney also made the second team.

“I’m really happy for Anton,” Minisink Valley coach Kevin Gallagher said. “He is the best defensive player that I have ever coached. Anton has all the tools, the size, the strength, the speed, the attitude. He is really something to watch and I know he will do great at the next level.”

(Anton Juncaj. Photo credit: Michelle Fenner.)

According to Gallagher, Juncaj is receiving attention from SUNY Albany and a handful of Division II schools. He was a second-team Class AA all-state selection last year.

Newburgh running back Terry Anderson led the way for Section 9, making the second team in the secondary. Teammate Giani Hill, a running back, made the third team. The Goldbacks have won five consecutive Section 9 titles. The all-state football teams are compiled using input from numerous reporters, league officials and coaches across the state.

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