We are the Suffolk Wrestling Officials Association located in Suffolk County, NY. We annually give modest awards to deserving high school wrestlers who will be graduating and moving on to higher education. The awards have been known as the SWOA awards. Beginning with the 2[phone redacted] season, we are renaming the award in honor of two men who helped shape our organization during its infancy. From this season on our annual awards will be known as the Ken Cellan/Tom Riccio Memorial Wrestling Awards. All contributions will be distributed annually to graduating Suffolk County wrestlers who portray elite character, work ethic and attitude, at the Suffolk County Wrestling Coaches Awards ceremony held each spring.
We are reaching out to the wrestling community, their families, friends and businesses to join us in honoring Kenny and Tommy and supporting our local scholastic wrestlers. Help us reach our annual goal. Below are brief biographies on each man.
Kenny Cellan -
Kenny Cellan graduated from Lindenhurst High School in 1956. He was star athlete competing in three sports- football, wrestling and track and field. He was hands down the number one football player coming out of Suffolk County in 1956, competing as a running back, and received a full scholarship to the University of Miami in Florida. Unfortunately, Kenny blew his knee out in the first semester of his freshman year, could not play and returned home in the spring of 1957.
Upon arriving home to Long Island, Kenny became a partner in his dad’s cutlery business, married his high school sweetheart Pat, settled in Lindenhurst, and raised a family of three children. In the fall of 1958 Kenny became a member of the Long Island Wrestling Officials Association and served as the president of the organization for the 1[phone redacted] wrestling season.
From 1963 to his retirement in 2008, Kenny officiated every Suffolk County Wrestling Championship Tournament working most of the finals. He officiated in five New York State Wrestling Championship Tournaments. In 2002, he was selected as the outstanding Suffolk County wrestling official. He was voted into the New York State Wrestling Officials Hall of Fame in 2000. He was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame- New York Division in 2007.
Upon his retirement in 2008 at the Suffolk County Wrestling Championships, he had served fifty years and was given a standing ovation. Kenny passed away in 2008.
Tommy Riccio –
Born in the Bronx, New York in 1942, Tommy Riccio and his family of eight, moved to Huntington, New York when Tommy was in the sixth grade. He attended Walt Whitman High School where he starred in football and wrestling. He graduated in 1960.
Tommy earned a partial wrestling scholarship to Hofstra College (now Hofstra University) and attended the institution for three semesters. Unfortunately, he was forced to withdraw due to financial reasons. In the fall of 1968,Tommy became a member of the Suffolk County Wrestling Officials Association and by the 1[phone redacted] season he was one of the top three officials along with Bill Zaggarino and Kenny Cellan.
As president of the Suffolk County Wrestling Officials Association from 1[phone redacted], Tommy became one of the most respected officials in both Suffolk and Nassau County. He served as Rules Interpreter for many years, worked five New York State Wrestling Championships, where he was rated the top official four times and tied for top honors once. He was inducted into the New York State Wrestling Officials Hall of Fame in 1994.
In 1995, Tommy retired as an official. He received the Suffolk County Coaches outstanding officials award eleven times during his career, was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame- New York Division in 2016, and undoubtedly is the most revered official In Suffolk County history.
Continuing his passion for wrestling, Tommy served as an assistant and head coach at Riverhead High School for ten years. Sadly, Tommy passed away in the fall of 2019
- Bob Panariello
- Hauppauge Wrestling Club Messina
- laurie and al griffiths
- laura griffiths
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