New York Wrestling News will provide LIVE blog and/or video coverage of Sunday’s semifinals/finals at the Union-Endicott Duals.
The coverage page will be at this link.
The outcome of the Union-Endicott Duals typically has a significant influence on the New York State dual rankings. That seems very likely again this year, in the 30th edition of the event, as four of the top five in the NYS Sportswriters Dual Rankings are in the field. In fact, 14 of the 15 squads set to compete at the event are either in the top 10 or are listed as honorable mention.
“We always get excited about it,” said Union-Endicott head coach Josh Ruff. “But this year is probably one of the best we’ve had in a while. We feel like we have the best teams and everyone is pretty tough. It should be a fun weekend of wrestling.”
Indeed, it should.
Wantagh, the returning Dual Meet State Champions in Division I, comes in as the top seed. The Warriors are stocked with quality wrestlers throughout the lineup, including several who are ranked at the state level such as Kyle Quinn (106), Chris Araoz (126), Vinny Turano (132), James Corbett (182) and Dan McDevitt (170).
A year ago, in a contest that essentially decided the Empire State’s top dual team, Wantagh battled to a tie with Shenendehowa at the Civil War Duals and the Warriors were declared the winners on criteria. A rematch between the two powers could happen this weekend, as the Plainsmen are the number three seed.
While Shenendehowa lost a meet earlier this year to Burnt Hills (with some starters out), the squad was back to dominant form at the Teike Bernabi tournament, with seven finalists and four champions, led by Binghamton bound seniors Nick Kelley (138) and David Almaviva (145), both ranked #1 in New York at their respective weights.
A battle between Wantagh and Shenendehowa would certainly be exciting, but there are a number of other teams traveling to Section 4 who have the ability to make the finals as well. Among those are the #2 and 4 seeds, Sachem East and Monroe Woodbury.
Sachem East is undefeated and stands atop the current Suffolk rankings. Undefeated 145-pounder Jackson Mordente has led the way for a lineup that is solid throughout. The upperweight combination of Cristian Nunez (195), John Vigh (220) and Josh Edmondson (285) has gone a combined 38-4 and two more competitors, Conor O’Hara (132) and Michael Pistone (152) sit in the top two in Section 11.
Monroe Woodbury’s starting group has cruised through the competition. Vinny Vespa, Evan Barczak, JP Vandercliff and AJ Voelker have all made a big splash, including winning the Massapequa Holiday Tournament. Like the teams mentioned above, it’s difficult to find a weak spot in the Crusaders lineup.
The following is a look at each of the pools, including some individual matches of interest. To view the schedule, see here.
Pool A: #1 seed Wantagh, Spencerport and Chenango Forks
Spencerport is led by Jon Haas, Trent Egenlauf, Collin Pittman and Austin Coleman. The first three are all included in the statewide rankings and 285-pounder Coleman was strongly considered. Chenango Forks features one of New York’s best, two-time state champion Kyle Kelly as well as another wrestler who will be in the mix in the postseason – Jake Green.
We expect Wantagh will come out on top of this group, and here are three of the individual matches we’re excited to see.
106 Pounds: Kyle Quinn (Wantagh) vs. Jon Haas (Spencerport) – Both are in the top eight of our first New York State rankings. Quinn, an NHSCA All-American last year and Haas, a returning state qualifier, are both coming off tournament titles – Haas at the Teike Bernabi and Quinn at the Raider Invitational.
126 Pounds: Chris Araoz (Wantagh) vs. Jake Green (Chenango Forks) – Araoz is fresh off a Most Outstanding Wrestler performance at the Raider Invitational, while Green took third in a tough Windsor Christmas Tournament weight after capturing gold at the PSAL Holiday event. Both are likely to be fighting for All-State honors in February.
182 Pounds: James Corbett (Wantagh) vs. Trent Egenlauf (Spencerport) – Both Egenlauf and Corbett are ranked in the top eight in New York and both have registered multiple quality victories this year. (For example, Egenlauf topped Anthony Liberatore of Williamsville South and Corbett beat All-Stater Gio Santiago of Sachem North). Both are candidates to go far at the Times Union Center. Isaiah Zimmer of Chenango Forks, a bronze medalist at Windsor, shouldn’t be overlooked.
Pool B: #2 seed Sachem East plus Clarence, North Rockland and Brockport
Sachem East has faced a challenging slate of opponents and is 12-0. The Suffolk squad will see more strong foes at the U-E Duals including 18-0 North Rockland, a balanced team led by Matt Caputo, Blaise Benderoth and the DiMarsicos – Jake and Derek; a Clarence group that comes off a runner up performance at the Teike Bernabi and always-tough Brockport, which has received standout showings from Jared Mesiti and Barton Peters.
Despite the stiff competition, we think Sachem East should live up to the second seed and earn a date in the semis. Here are three matches from this pool that we look forward to seeing.
113 Pounds: Barton Peters (Brockport) vs. Derek DiMarsico (North Rockland) – Peters won his first 15 matches after an appearance at the state tournament last year while DiMarsico already has around 20 wins.
126 Pounds: Brandon Glaubner (Clarence) vs. Anthony Messina (Sachem East) – Glaubner was the champion at the Teiki Bernabi Tournament while Messina has put together a very solid 15-1 season. His only setback was a one-point loss to returning state second placer Justin Cooksey of MacArthur. Troy Feniger of North Rockland could have some interesting matches at this class as well.
145 Pounds: Jackson Mordente is unbeaten and in the top 8 in New York. Matt Caputo has just one loss and has been putting up a lot of bonus point victories. Should be a fun one to watch. [Caputo may wrestle at 138 pounds].
Pool C: #3 seed Shenendehowa plus MacArthur, Minisink Valley and Union-Endicott
MacArthur has already seen a number of top notch opponents this year and has solid wrestlers up and down the lineup. Minisink Valley has received strong contributions from returning state qualifier Mike Raccioppi as well as others such as Josh Bonneau (220) and Union-Endicott had six placers at the Windsor Christmas Tournament, including finalist Andrew Brinser at 285 and third placer Xavian Hughes at 132.
Still, at the end of the day, it will be difficult for any of the teams in the pool to overcome Shenendehowa.
Here are three matchups we look forward to:
120 Pounds: Chris Cataldo (MacArthur) vs. Kevin Parker (Shenendehowa) – Cataldo, 17-1, has won his last five bouts by pin or technical fall. The Generals wrestler lost his opening contest of the campaign at 126 pounds and has been on a winning streak since. Meanwhile, Parker pinned his way to the finals of the Teike Bernabi Tournament, where he finished second behind Steve Michel. He is a returning state qualifier.
126 Pounds: Justin Cooksey (MacArthur) vs. Mike Raccioppi (Minisink Valley) – The two wrestled a year ago in the state tournament at 106 pounds where second-seeded Cooksey earned a 7-3 decision. Will the match be similar months later and up several weights?
138 Pounds: Nick Kelley (Shenendehowa) vs. Rob Bennett (MacArthur) – Kelley is always fun to watch as he keeps pushing the pace for the entire duration of the match. Bennett sat on top of the Section 8 rankings at this weight, (although he did drop a match in the dual against Sachem East), and is a quality wrestler.
Pool D: #4 seed Monroe Woodbury plus Islip, Johnson City and Fulton
Section 9’s Monroe Woodbury has looked like one of the top dual teams in the state this year. Islip has also excelled, with an 11-1 mark. (The loss was to Sachem East). Johnson City boasts one of the state’s top wrestlers in 195-pounder Reggie Williams as well as other state qualifiers like Greg Kleinsmith and Zach Colgan. Fulton, always one of the best in Section 3, has been propelled by a number of wrestlers, such as Mitchell Woodworth (106) and Thomas Hill (120) this year.
It looks like it should be a great battle between the Crusaders and the Buccaneers for a spot in the semifinals.
Here are three of the many matches of interest:
106 Pounds: Mitchell Woodworth (Fulton) vs. Evan Barczak (Monroe Woodbury) – Both Woodworth and Barczak have made a habit out of making the finals of big tournaments. Woodworth, the top ranked wrestler at his weight in Section 3, finished second at both the Andersen and the Kenneth Haines Memorial while eighth grader Barczak recently won the Massapequa Tournament and is #1 in Section 9. Johnson City’s Isiah Colgan may also make an impact at this weight.
170 Pounds: AJ Voelker (Monroe Woodbury) vs. Greg Kleinsmith (Johnson City) – Voelker stood on top of the podium at the Massapequa Holiday Tournament and has been a strong presence in the Monroe Woodbury lineup all season. Kleinsmith, a 2012 state qualifier as a freshman, recently returned to action at the Teike Bernabi event, where he took second place.
195 Pounds: Reggie Williams (Johnson City) vs. Craig Hinrichs (Islip) – Williams is the top wrestler in New York at 195. Hinrichs has piled up wins this year, with a single loss – to the previously mentioned Nunez of Sachem East.
We will be providing blog and/or video coverage of the Union-Endicott Duals on Sunday.
The coverage page will be at this link.