Empire Nationals 2012 Features Top Youth Talent in Individual and Dual Championships

Last weekend, over 800 wrestlers from more than seven states descended on SUNY Brockport for the Brute Empire Nationals.  On Saturday, champions were crowned in over 60 brackets in the individual tournament.  The following day, many competitors returned to the mats for dual meet tournaments in both the youth and high school divisions.

The list of individual champions spanned from New York state high school placers like Justin Corradino to NHSCA National champions such as Dane Heberlein and Jordan Torbitt.  Participants came from as close as nearby towns in New York and from longer distances such as West Virginia and Ohio.

“The level of competition and quality of wrestling were absolutely phenomenal,” said Adam Burgos, head coach of the G2 Wrestling Academy in New York, who organized Sunday’s events.  “A lot of really great kids who are used to winning took some losses because they faced great competition.”

Last year, four teams participated in both the youth and high school dual competitions. (It was the first time the event featured a dual component).  On Sunday, 12 squads from five states battled for the youth title.

The finals featured a pair of familiar foes.  At the NYWAY State championships a few weeks ago, G2 finished on top with Cobra Wrestling Academy taking second.  This time, the results were reversed as Cobra, from the Buffalo area, earned the championship.

“I was excited for our kids,” said Cobra Executive Director Keith Maute. “It was exciting that every kid on the team trains at our club, with the exception of one weight where one of our stars was on vacation.  It was a great event to win.”

But the path to the finals was anything but easy.  In pool competition, Cobra came into the final bout against Pennsylvania’s NEPA Posse with a just a two point advantage, but secured the victory with a pin.  Things were even tighter against eventual third place finisher Smitty’s Barn.

After the matches were wrestled against the New Hampshire squad, the score was tied at 24.  The first six tiebreaker criteria didn’t break the deadlock.  On the seventh criterion, Cobra was declared the victor.

“Those duals against NEPA Posse and Smitty’s Barn came down to the wire,” said Maute. “We didn’t wrestle our best down low against Smitty’s, but as the dual meet went on and we saw we could be in trouble, guys stepped up and got the job done.  It was so close – we both had eight wins, there weren’t any pins, techs or majors.   There weren’t any penalty points.  We won on the seventh criteria – most first points scored.”

Maute wasn’t sure how his team would react in the finals.

“I didn’t know if it helped us or hurt us that we wrestled those close duals before,” he said. “The kids definitely understood that every point really matters, but I thought we might be tired.  But it didn’t seem to affect us that much.  There were some close matches and we won them early to set the tone and make us feel comfortable.  We’re very familiar with G2 – we know what they have and vice versa.  The score wasn’t that close in the end, but it was intense.”

“It was a battle,” Burgos added. “I’ve been to high school duals with a lot of emotion and this was right there.  [G2] lost the close matches, but the competition was great.  The coaches were all heated because it was intense, but afterwards, we were all high fiving.”

Cobra also was a finalist in the high school dual event, despite having to forfeit four weights and essentially beginning every meet down 24-0.

“We lost to the Ragin Raisins by 18 points.  If we had all of our guys, maybe we would have had a shot,” Maute said.  “It’s hard to say, they were really good. I was proud of the way the guys wrestled despite missing some weights.”

Both coaches felt that the team competition improved the individual event … and vice versa.

“The dual meet environment really enhances the individual tournament because the teams bring their best athletes,” Burgos said.  “They get a whole weekend of wrestling out of the trip.  One of the referees was telling me that the talent this year far exceeded what he’d seen before.  I attribute that to the clubs bringing their studs and that will continue to make the Empire Nationals better.”

The organizers aim for the event to not only be better, but also bigger next year.  Burgos said the hope is that registration will top 1200 for the individual event with 16 youth teams and 10 high school squads joining the team competition in 2013.

Burgos also acknowledged the work of the many people who contributed to the success of the event in 2012.

“The staff and the support from SUNY Brockport was awesome,” Burgos said.  “Jay Haas, who runs the individual tournament, did an amazing job and coach Bill Jacoutot of Brockport was great.”

For videos of the tournament, see:


The following is a list of dual and individual results for the 2012 Brute Empire Nationals:

Individual Tournament, Championship Finals:

Division 1

43 Pounds: Ryan Devins (Saranac) pin Ethan Illerbrun (Independent), 2:34

48 Pounds: Colin Bradshaw (Pin2Win) dec Myles Gronowski (Cobra), 9-3

53 Pounds: Carson Alberti (Cobra) dec Carter Schubert (Superior Academy), 5-2

60 Pounds: Caleb Schaffer (Blackdog) pin Aidan Murtagh (Newton Braves), 0:41

70 Pounds: Jayden Scott (G2) dec Ethan Sanderson (Titletown Fight Club), 4-0

95 Pounds: Jacob Gates (Mexico) pin Jared Haers (Midlakes), 0:41


Division 2

50 Pounds: Jake Craig (Smittys Barn) pin Anthony Surace (Superior Academy), 0:33

55 Pounds: Ryan Crookham (Neshaminy) dec Stevo Poulin (Journeymen), 2-1

60 Pounds: Kelly Dunnigan (Olympic) over Jacob Deguire (Journeymen), 11-0

70 Pounds: Daniel Sheppard (Tyw) dec Brock Delsignore (Journeymen), 4-1

75 Pounds: Jake Evans (Btw) dec Dean Shambo (Mexico), 2-1

80 Pounds: Cooper Kropman (Penfield 162) dec Anthony Rasmussen (South Jefferson), 4-3

90 Pounds: Case Keagan (Adirondack) pin Ethan Zimmerman (C. Columbia), 0:54


Division 3

60 Pounds: Andrew Fallon (Smittys Barn) dec Myles Griffin (Mexico), 2-0

65 Pounds: Michael Gonyea (Journeymen) dec Nicolas Botello (Smittys Barn), 9-4

70 Pounds: Orion Anderson (Barnbrawlers) maj David Krokowski (Rock Solid), 8-0

75 Pounds: Caleb Johnson (Team Viper) dec Kyle Greene (South Lewis), 4-0

80 Pounds: Connor McGonagle (Smittys Barn) dec Dillan Palaszewski (Journeymen), 7-4

85 Pounds: Matthew Cabezas (Smittys Barn) pin Najee Lockett (Shaker Raiders), 2:45

90 Pounds: Creighton Edsell (NEPA Posse) dec Hector Colom (Ragin Raisins), 1-0

100 Pounds: Eoghan Sweeney (Journeymen) dec Elijah Rodriguez (Gladiators), 5-4

110 Pounds: Jake Hendricks (NEPA Posse) over Matthew Martusciello (Wawc), 13-2

135 Pounds: Frankie Gissendanner (G2) maj Michael Leibl (The Edge), 16-7

160 Pounds: Ian Malesiewski (Ragin Raisins)

200 Pounds: Travis Kuttler (West Branch)


Division 4

73 Pounds: Trent Snader (Renegade Force) pin Timothy Wheeler (Ragin Raisins), 0:42

78 Pounds: Dylan Disano (Marcaurele) dec Cody Craig (Maine Mat Cats), 2-0

83 Pounds: Dane Heberlein (Cobra) dec Brian Courtney (Athens), 2-0

90 Pounds: Parker Kropman (Penfield 162) dec Jonathan Soto (Marcaurele), 2-1

95 Pounds: Jimmy Hoffman (NEPA Posse) dec Troy Keller (Cobra), 6-0

100 Pounds: Yianni Diakomihalis (G2) over Ryan O’Rourke (Adirondack), 2-0

115 Pounds: Brandon Desfosses (Smittys Barn) over Xavier Barber (Dallas), 10-0

135 Pounds: AJ Aerberli (Warwick Youth) dec Trent Kowalski (NEPA Posse), 2-0

175 Pounds: Joseph Messare (Aplea) dec Michael Daskavitz (Lockport), 4-1


Division 5

105 Pounds: Charles Lenox (Ragin Raisins) dec Houstin McCune (Calhoun), 5-1

112 Pounds: Jake Gromacki (Ragin Raisins) dec Jared Price (Pioneer), 6-0

120 Pounds: Kaleb Young (Ragin Raisins) dec Craig Delacruz (Jersey Fresh), 1-0

130 Pounds: Kyle Lukowich (Ragin Raisins) dec Jack Glasl (Brockway), 4-0

135 Pounds: Johnny Taylor (Calhoun) dec Sonny Simonetti (Garden State Fresh), 4-1

140 Pounds: Billy Barnes over Glenn Haines (Garden State Fresh), 11-0

145 Pounds: Connor Lawrence (Journeymen) dec Austin Leon (Angry Fish), 5-3

152 Pounds: Jordan Torbitt (Finger Lakes) pin Dillon Shaw (Vipers), 0:58

160 Pounds: Trevor Allard (Mexico) pin Josh Burge (Elmira), 2:51

171 Pounds: Ethan Barnes (Hughesville) pin Justin Sanders (Gridiron Train), 3:10

189 Pounds: Jeff Velez (Jersey Fresh) pin Joe Nasoni (Baldwinsville), 2:19

250 Pounds: Paul Herrera (Saranac) pin Austin Slocum (Ragin Raisins), 3:39


Division 6

112 Pounds: Bryan Damon (Olympic) pin Bryan Ruggeri (G2), 1:42

125 Pounds: Justin Corradino (Olympic) over Hobie Stranssner (Webster), 10-0

130 Pounds: Logan Everett dec Ryan Kromer (Super Six), 10-4

135 Pounds: Christian Stone (Ragin Raisins) dec Karl Lightner (Ragin Raisins), 4-3

140 Pounds: Danny Delgallo (River Valley Wrestling) dec Dan Reagan (Lancers), 3-2

145 Pounds: Nolan Barger (Ragin Raisins) dec Tim Wheeling (Ragin Raisins), 3-0

161 Pounds: Ryan Vanguilder (Ragin Raisins) dec Rowdy Prior (Pin2win), 2-0

171 Pounds: Cole Shirey (Ragin Raisins) dec Michael Green (Journeymen), 4-3

189 Pounds: Jeffrey Lake (Alden Cobra) dec Zacary Kousa (Olympic), 5-4

220 Pounds: Andrew Welton (Ragin Raisins) pin Reggie Williams (Johnson City), 2:49

275 Pounds: Sam Eagan (Empire State WC) dec Frank Shomers (Niagara Falls), 4-3

** Full results not available for the following weight classes: Division 2 65 pounds, Division 4 (105, 125, 150, 230 pounds), Division 5 (98, 125 pounds) and Division 6 (105, 120 and 152 pounds)


Youth Dual Meet Results 

  1. Cobra Wrestling Academy (NY)
  2. G2 Wrestling Academy (NY)
  3. Smitty’s Barn – (New Hampshire)
  4. Ragin Raisins (PA)
  5. NEPA Posse (PA)
  6. Finger Lakes Wrestling Club (NY)
  7. Journeymen Wrestling Club (NY)
  8. West Virginia Elite (WV)
  9. Superior Wrestling Academy (NY)
  10. 10. Brockport Youth (NY)
  11. 11. Newton Wrestling Club (NJ)
  12. 12. X-Men (NY)

High School Dual Meet Results

  1. Ragin Raisins (PA)
  2. Cobra (NY)
  3. Superior Wrestling Academy (NY)
  4. Team Empire Nationals (NY)
  5. New Jersey Outlaws (NJ)
  6. Garden State Fresh (NJ)

–Betsy Veysman


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