Binghamton Wrestling Announces Nationally Ranked Recruiting Class

By John Hartrick (, Courtesy of

VESTAL, N.Y. – Head wrestling coach Matt Dernlan and his staff have produced the best early decision recruiting class in the program’s history, locking in six high school standouts. The class includes a pair of top 100 wrestlers and two more multi-state champions.

Amateur Wrestling News has ranked the class 14th best in the nation.

Set to join the Bearcats for the 2013-14 season are: Zack Zupan (Canastota, N.Y./Canastota), Nick Kelley (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa), Nick Tighe (Phoenix, N.Y./Phoenix), David Almaviva (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa), Kyle Kelly (Chenango Forks, N.Y./Chenango Forks) and  Bryce Mazurowski (Avon, N.Y./Avon)

“This class makes a good statement for our program moving forward,” Dernlan said. “We accomplished our objectives on a number of fronts … first we brought in guys who will help us contend for an NCAA title and center our program around kids from New York State. These are six of the 10 best kids in the entire state. They also have characteristics we’re looking to build on. Each of these wrestlers has unbelievable talent but more than anything, they have a huge upside at the next level. They have fundamental qualities we’re looking for, which is the fight to be successful. All six can make an impact for us right out of the gate and we’re very excited to welcome them to our program.”

Below is a capsule look at each recruit.

Photo by BV

Zack Zupan
– 2012 NYS champion
– Three-time NYS placewinner
– No. 87 overall recruit in country (Flowrestling)
– No. 1 recruit in NYS (New York Wrestling News)
– Won Virginia Beach Freshman Nationals and was runnerup at Sophomore Nationals
– Placed eighth at 2012 Flo Nationals
– Set NYS football record for most tackles in a season
– Projected to wrestle at 174/84

Coach Dernlan says …
“Zack is an incredibly gifted athlete. He has talent through the roof but it’s untapped because he’s a three-sport athlete. We’re excited about his upside once he solely focuses on wrestling.”


Photo by BV

Nick Kelley
– Five-time NYS qualifier
– No. 93 overall recruit in country (Flowrestling)
– No. 6 132-pounder in country (Flowrestling)
– No. 2 recruit in NYS (New York Wrestling News)
– Placed fifth at 2011 Flo Nationals and fourth at Fargo Junior Nationals
– Projected to wrestle at 141/49

Coach Dernlan says …
“Nick has incredible talent but on top of that, he wrestles as hard as any kid I’ve been around my entire life … and that’s a big statement. He’s going to benefit from the extra minute in college wrestling because he doesn’t get tired. That’s going to be a difference maker for him.”


Photo by BV

Nick Tighe
– Two-time NYS champion (2011, 2012)
– No. 15 recruit in country at his weight
– No. 3 recruit in NYS (New York Wrestling News)
– Placed seventh at 2011 Virginia Beach Sophomore Nationals and fourth as freshman
– Projected to wrestle at 133/41

Coach Dernlan says …
“Nick had one of the finest scholastic careers of anyone in the past decade of wrestling in New York State, He’s tenacious and has an unbelievable work ethic. He’s really good on top and has a motor that can go all day.”

Courtesy of Anthony Almaviva

David Almaviva

– Placed third at 2012 NYS Championship
– Two-time NYS qualifier
– Placed eighth at 2012 Fargo Junior Nationals
– No. 7 recruit in NYS (New York Wrestling News)
– Projected to wrestle at 149/57

Coach Dernlan says …
“David is another extremely gifted athlete. He’s probably one of the most technically sound kids I’ve been around in number of years.”

Photo by BV

Kyle Kelly

– Local recruit
– Two-time NYS champion
– Posted back-to-back undefeated sophomore and junior seasons (75-0)
– Placed fifth at 2012 Virginia Beach Junior Nationals
– Two-time Junior National Greco Roman All-American (7th, 7th)
– Ranked No. 6 at his weight in country (Flowrestling)
– No. 9 recruit in NYS (New York Wrestling News)
– Projected to wrestle at 125

Coach Dernlan says …
“On paper, Kyle is probably the most credentialed wrestler in the state. It’s always our goal to keep the Section 4 kids at home so getting Kyle is huge. He’s going to be a very special athlete at the next level.”

Photo by BV

Bryce Mazurowski

– Three-time NYS qualifier
– Runnerup at 2012 NYS Championship
– Went 46-2 as junior with 30 consecutive wins
– Projected to wrestle at 197

Coach Dernlan says …
“Bryce has an unbelievable upside once he gets the proper training. He has all the ability and hunger to get better and will jump to extremely high levels. I’m excited to be part of his growth.”


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