We said the first set of rankings of the year would probably be the toughest. We were wrong. These were much tougher.
However, after much discussion and debate, here are the current opinions of those who collaborated on this project. We will once again consider all of your feedback . . . as long as it’s done respectfully.
So, here you go . . .
- Yianni Diakomihalis, Hilton (5)
- Vito Arujau, Syosset (8)
- Jesse Dellavecchia, East Islip (11)
- Ryan O’Rourke, Adirondack (3)
- John Arceri, Huntington (11)
- Chris Cuccolo, Pine Bush (9)
- Jake Yankloski, Wayne (5)
- Garrett Baugher, St. Joseph’s Collegiate (C)
A Few Notes: Diakomihalis remains at number one despite winning a tournament title up at 106 over Jonathan Haas this weekend. The Eastern States Classic featured some close bouts at this weight, including Cuccolo’s overtime triumph over Yankloski for the title. That came one round after Yankloski’s extra time victory over Eastport South Manor’s John Busiello in the semis. There’s no doubt that Busiello will be heard from in the postseason as well.
- Alex Tanzman, Westhampton Beach (11)
- Nick Barbaria, New Rochelle (1)
- Kyle Quinn, Wantagh (8)
- James Szymanski, Shoreham Wading River (11)
- Jimmy Overhiser, Corning (4)
- Golan Cohen, Colonie (2)
- Jonathan Haas, Spencerport (5)
- Tony Recco, Lyndonville (5)
- Nick Piccininni, Ward Melville (11)
- Kyle Kelly, Chenango Forks (4)
- Anthony Orefice, Lockport (6)
- Dillon Stowell, Gouverneur (10)
- Bryan Lantry, Wayne (5)
- Joe Calderone, Walt Whitman (11)
- Johnny Stramiello, Pine Bush (9)
- Cheick Ndiaye, Brooklyn International (P)
A Few Notes: The makeup of the top 8 here hasn’t undergone too much change since the last rankings. (Barbaria, previously here, moved down to 106 and Calderone joined the list while Orefice has spent some time up at 120). Piccininni dominated at the Eastern States while Kelly did the same the previous week at the Union-Endicott Duals.
- Alex Delacruz, Ossining (1)
- Mike D’Angelo, Commack (11)
- John Muldoon, Pearl River (1)
- Blaise Benderoth, North Rockland (1)
- Travis Passaro, Eastport South Manor (11)
- Nick Tolli, Arlington (1)
- Blake Retell, Shaker (2)
- Sean Peacock, Midlakes (5)
A Few Notes: This weight took more time than most of the others combined. What has changed? Honestly, what hasn’t? The Eastern States tournament was loaded at this class and a number of highly accomplished wrestlers, including the #2, 3, 4 and 5 seeds at the event didn’t place. Why this arrangement? Yes, Delacruz was disqualified while trailing during his semis bout with Muldoon. However, looking at the matches that have taken place among these wrestlers this season, Delacruz pinned D’Angelo, who in turn beat Muldoon earlier this year. Muldoon topped Benderoth, who defeated Passaro for bronze at SUNY Sullivan. (Passaro won their meeting the previous day by fall).
Tolli and Retell turned in strong performances in Loch Sheldrake as well, with Tolli topping Steve Michel and Chris Cataldo on his way to fifth while Retell also placed after beating Santo Curatolo, Cataldo and two-time state runner up Trey Aslanian.
- TJ Fabian, Shoreham Wading River (11)
- Dylan Realbuto, Somers (1)
- Chris Araoz, Wantagh (8)
- Mark West, Hauppauge (11)
- Corey Jamison, Huntington (11)
- William Koll, Lansing (4)
- Dakota Gardner, Fredonia (6)
- Mike Raccioppi, Minisink Valley (9)
A Few Notes: Most of the names are the same here with the order slightly rearranged. Fabian’s championship over the weekend, in which he defeated Realbuto and Koll, puts him on top. Realbuto beat Araoz, who topped Koll. One of the new additions to the list is Mark West, a former state champion who was fourth at Eastern States and will be no doubt be a factor in the postseason. Islip’s Brad Wade is among the many others to keep an eye on. He recently avenged two early season losses and has solid wins over Jamison and state runner up Justin Cooksey.
- Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, Cheektowoga (6)
- Tristan Rifanburg, Norwich (4)
- Sam Melikian, Fordham Prep (C)
- Matt Leshinger, Sayville (11)
- Vinny Turano, Wantagh (8)
- Brandon Lapi, Amsterdam (2)
- Conor O’Hara, Sachem East (11)
- Jacob Sepor, Pavilion (5)
A Few Notes: Rodriguez-Spencer has continued to roll but there was a little shakeup behind him. Two-time state finalist Rifanburg takes the second slot after winning Eastern States this weekend, while the wrestler he defeated for the title, Melikian, is next. Then comes bronze finisher Leshinger, who split contests with Turano at SUNY Sullivan. O’Hara has been on a tear since moving down to 132 pounds.
- Nick Kelley, Shenendehowa (2)
- Nick Tighe, Phoenix (3)
- Connor Lapresi, Lansing (4)
- Tom Dutton, Rocky Point (11)
- Vincent DePrez, Hilton (5)
- Dan Reagan, Lewiston Porter (6)
- Derrick Gray, Indian River (3)
- Skylar Kropman, Penfield (5)
A Few Notes: While the match many were hoping to see, Kelley vs. Tighe, didn’t materialize (Tighe forfeited in the semis), Kelley reinforced his hold on #1 with his outstanding showing. Joining the fray is Penfield’s Skylar Kropman after making the medal stand from an unseeded spot in the bracket at Eastern States.
- Louis Hernandez, Mepham (8)
- David Almaviva, Shenendehowa (2)
- Drew Hull, Royalton Hartland (6)
- Eric Lewandowski, Lancaster (6)
- Tom Grippi, Fox Lane (1)
- Jackson Mordente, Sachem East (11)
- Frank Garcia, Norwich (4)
- Jude Gardner, Fredonia (6)
A Few Notes: Hernandez is the new #1 here after leading the way at the Eastern States. The Mepham wrestler was in great form over the weekend, beating Almaviva in the semifinals before taking out the tournament’s top seed in the finals. State runner up Hull enters the 145 pound rankings after moving down from 152. Garcia missed a portion of the season with an injury but has made an effective return, including a podium showing at the Eastern States. While not presently included, Anthony DePrez is putting together a very solid season for Hilton.
- Corey Rasheed, Longwood (11)
- Tyler Spann, Adirondack (3)
- Angelo Kress, Columbia (2)
- Chris Koo, Great Neck South (8)
- Rowdy Prior, Phoenix (3)
- Brendan Goldup, LaSalle (2)
- Dan DeCarlo, Port Jervis (9)
- Joe Mastro, Yorktown (1)
A Few Notes: Corey Rasheed made a strong statement about who the best in New York is at 152 by rolling through the tournament at SUNY Sullivan, which included a number of ranked opponents. DeCarlo and Mastro made the list after their performances over the weekend as well. Kyle Halliday of Chenango Valley also continues to have a strong campaign, with his only loss coming up a weight to Vestal’s Alex Francik, a wrestler who was strongly considered at 160.
- Burke Paddock, Warsaw (5)
- Tyler Grimaldi, HHHW (11)
- Steven Schneider, MacArthur (8)
- Mike Beckwith, Greene (4)
- Jake Weber, Clarence (6)
- Andrew Psomas, Monsignor Farrell (C)
- Austin Weigel, Onteora (9)
- Nick Gallo, Schalmont (2)
A Few Notes: Paddock captured the battle of the top wrestlers at this weight over Grimaldi. Two of the fastest risers in the rankings were MacArthur’s Schneider and Monsignor Farrell’s Psomas, who battled for third at the Eastern States. Schneider also beat Weber the previous week at the Union-Endicott Duals.
- Dan McDevitt, Wantagh (8)
- Carlos Toribio, Brentwood (11)
- Christian Dietrich, Greene (4)
- Joe Piccolo, Half Hollow Hills West (11)
- Troy Seymour, Peru (7)
- Zack Buckley, Fredonia (6)
- Johnny Vrasidas, St. Anthony’s (C)
- Brett Perry, John Jay EF (1)
A Few Notes: Another weight with a new #1. McDevitt takes over after coming out on top in a field full of stellar wrestlers and keeping his unbeaten streak as an upperweight alive. Dietrich and Piccolo both defeated Seymour on Saturday while Toribio, Buckley and Vrasidas have continued to wrestle well. Perry got the nod for the eighth spot but Brockport’s Jared Mesiti is also one to look out for at this weight class as is Mike Green of Cobleskill-Richmondville and the previously ranked AJ Voelker of Monroe Woodbury.
- Zack Zupan, Canastota (3)
- Shayne Brady, Carthage (3)
- Tim Schaefer, Warsaw (5)
- Trent Egenlauf, Spencerport (5)
- James Corbett, Wantagh (8)
- Levi Ashley, Shenendehowa (2)
- James Benjamin, Vestal (4)
- Gio Santiago, Sachem North (11)
A Few Notes: Zupan does have some blemishes on his record – a loss while wrestling up at 195 (he was winning at the time of the fall) and a disqualification. However, the former state champion demonstrated that he is the wrestler to beat with his showing at the Eastern States, including a championship win over Schaefer. Egenlauf defeated Corbett at Union-Endicott duals while the Wantagh wrestler responded at SUNY Sullivan by taking third with a win over Ashley. Section 6’s Anthony Liberatore, who wrestled well in Albany last year, continues to impress.
- Reggie Williams, Johnson City (4)
- Bryce Mazurowski, Avon (5)
- Colton Kells, Fairport (5)
- Chris Chambers, East Islip (11)
- Steven Sabella, Yorktown (1)
- Joe Nasoni, Baldwinsville (3)
- Nick Weber, Kings Park (11)
- Dan Choi, Syosset (8)
A Few Notes: Sabella and Nasoni enter after picking up some solid victories as does Chambers after beating Weber (who beat Choi). According to the NWCA Scorebook, Chambers has won every match this year by bonus points (and has 17 first period falls). Reggie Williams stays on top after his weekend title while Mazurowski remains in the second slot as the favorite in Division II. Both Hunter Ayen of Gouverneur and Ben Honis of Jamesville-Dewitt/CBA put on strong showings at the Eastern States and will be threats in February along with Collin Pittman of Spencerport and Tyler Morris of Salem.
- Zack Bacon, Hornell (5)
- Ryan Wolcott, Waverly (4)
- Dan Breit, Nanuet (1)
- Nick Lupi, Huntington (11)
- Mike Silvis, Holley (5)
- Chris Saden, Fredonia (6)
- Richard Sisti, Monsignor Farrell (C)
- Joe Sprung, Berne Knox (2)
A Few Notes: Breit and Silvis traded positions after the Nanuet wrestler defeated the Holley grappler for the Eastern States crown. Minisink Valley’s Josh Bonneau made a statement with his bronze placement at the same tournament and is one we will keep close tabs on, along with Islip’s Ryan Hughes.
- El Shaddai Van Hoesen, Columbia (2)
- Mike Hughes, Smithtown West (11)
- Matt Montesanti, Medina (6)
- Alex Soutiere, Ravena (2)
- Brandon Fayle, Lowville (3)
- James O’Hagan, Seaford (8)
- Austin DiCerbo, Colonie (2)
- David Varian, Yorktown (1)
A Few Notes: The top six didn’t change after the last set of rankings, however, DiCerbo makes his debut after pinning Varian for the bronze at Eastern States. It was one of four falls for the Colonie wrestler at the tournament.
Special thanks to Mike Carey for his tremendous work on these rankings.
* Results based on NWCA Scorebook