The postseason is finally here. Soon, we’ll find out who will have the opportunity to battle for a state title in Albany. But before the Sectional championships get underway, here’s a look at where our panel thinks things stand across the weights in New York State. There are sure to be some surprises and some great performances in the coming weeks by these wrestlers and by others. Please feel free to provide comments or suggestions and we’ll consider them as long as they are done respectfully.
Good luck to all . . .
- Yianni Diakomihalis, Hilton (5)
- Vito Arujau, Syosset (8)
- Jesse Dellavecchia, East Islip (11)
- John Arceri, Huntington (11)
- Chris Cuccolo, Pine Bush (9)
- Garrett Baugher, St. Joseph’s Collegiate (C)
- John Busiello, Eastport South Manor (11)
- Andrew Flanagan, Holley (5)
A Few Notes: Busiello re-enters the rankings after splitting matches with John Arceri, although the Huntington wrestler came out on top in their bout this past weekend. The Suffolk tournament will no doubt be tough at this weight with those two wrestlers and Jesse Dellevecchia all in the top 8. Holley’s Andrew Flanagan also joins the list after edging Jake Yankloski of Wayne. Flanagan looks to improve upon last year’s fourth place finish in this class in Albany.
- Alex Tanzman, Westhampton Beach (11)
- Nick Barbaria, New Rochelle (1)
- Kyle Quinn, Wantagh (8)
- James Szymanski, Shoreham Wading River (11)
- Jimmy Overhiser, Corning (4)
- Jonathan Haas, Spencerport (5)
- Tony Recco, Lyndonville (5)
- Luis Weirebach, Hoosick Falls (2)
A Few Notes: Golan Cohen of Colonie looked great at Eastern States and will likely be in the mix at the state tournament. However, Luis Weirebach‘s recent decision against Cohen vaults him into the rankings, a year after placing at 99 pounds for Hoosick Falls.
- Nick Piccininni, Ward Melville (11)
- Kyle Kelly, Chenango Forks (4)
- Dillon Stowell, Gouverneur (10)
- Bryan Lantry, Wayne (5)
- Tyler Walsh, West Islip (11)
- Andrew Shomers, Lewiston Porter (6)
- Joe Calderone, Walt Whitman (11)
- Cheick Ndiaye, Brooklyn International (P)
A Few Notes: The departure of Anthony Orefice to 120 pounds moved several wrestlers up a few slots from the last time. In addition, Tyler Walsh of West Islip joins the rankings after his victory over Walt Whitman’s Joe Calderone, a returning fourth placer, in last weekend’s qualifier. Andrew Shomers has been solid all year long with a 42-1 record, including wins over All-State wrestlers Orefice and Drew Marra.
- 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)
- Blake Retell, Shaker (2)
- Steve Michel, Lancaster (6)
- Sean Peacock, Midlakes (5)
A Few Notes: The top five hasn’t changed since the last version of the rankings. Muldoon did lose a match in overtime to Nanuet’s Anthony Calvano (who has a number of solid wins), but Muldoon avenged that loss shortly thereafter. The injury to Nick Tolli of Arlington moved him off the list and Steve Michel re-entered. The returning state placer from Lancaster has several quality wins this year including over Sean Peacock, Anthony Orefice (twice) and Kellen Devlin of Amherst (twice). We expect to see strong surges from proven postseason performers such as Robert Person and Trey Aslanian.
- TJ Fabian, Shoreham Wading River (11)
- Dylan Realbuto, Somers (1)
- Chris Araoz, Wantagh (8)
- Mark West, Hauppauge (11)
- Brad Wade, Islip (11)
- Corey Jamison, Huntington (11)
- William Koll, Lansing (4)
- Dakota Gardner, Fredonia (6)
A Few Notes: The top four remain the same as last time at 126. However, there is a bit of a shake-up afterwards. Islip’s Brad Wade moves into the rankings. He has been impressive, beating Corey Jamison twice and state runner up Justin Cooksey. Honestly, eight slots don’t seem to be enough in this class. Wrestlers such as Mike Raccioppi of Minisink Valley, Rocco Russo of Frontier, Laken Cook of Ilion, Jake Nicholson of Waterloo and Freddie Dunau of St. Anthony’s, among others, could do a lot of damage in Albany.
- Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, Cheektowoga (6)
- Tristan Rifanburg, Norwich (4)
- Sam Melikian, Fordham Prep (C)
- Matt Leshinger, Sayville (11)
- Brandon Lapi, Amsterdam (2)
- Vinny Turano, Wantagh (8)
- Conor O’Hara, Sachem East (11)
- Sam Ward, Locust Valley (8)
A Few Notes: Sam Ward of Locust Valley will be someone to watch in the Division II ranks. He upended Vinny Turano shortly after Eastern States and also had a win over Conor O’Hara in early December. Two wrestlers that may be under the radar for those outside of Section 5, Jacob Sepor of Pavilion and Clyde Carey of Addison, are ones to keep tabs on as well.
- 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: Nothing has changed here. However, one wrestler we will be following the rest of the way is Danny Graham of West Seneca East. Before the season, he was mentioned to us by a Section 6 coach as someone who could have a breakout year. Thus far, he is undefeated.
- Louis Hernandez, Mepham (8)
- David Almaviva, Shenendehowa (2)
- Drew Hull, Royalton Hartland (6)
- Tom Grippi, Fox Lane (1)
- Brendan Dent, Connetquot (11)
- Eric Lewandowski, Lancaster (6)
- Jordan Torbitt, Whitney Point (4)
- Nick Koelmel, Immaculate Heart Central (3)
A Few Notes: Louis Hernandez holds the top spot and Eric Lewandowski remains in the rankings, although both dropped a match since our last update. Hernandez’s only setback of the year came up a weight at 152 against the tough Michael Marrero. However, Hernandez’s run through some of New York’s best at Eastern States kept him in the same position. Tom Grippi has been on a tear since dropping a close one to Lewandowski at Eastern States.
Brendan Dent enters the rankings after an impressive campaign, including a win over Sachem East’s Jackson Mordente, while Jordan Torbitt blanked Norwich’s Frank Garcia, a wrestler who came within one win of placing in Albany last year. Nick Koelmel of Immaculate Heart Central handed Derrick Gray of Indian River (see 138 pound rankings) his only loss early in the season and has remained undefeated. Fredonia’s Jude Gardner placed in the Times Union Center last year and has only lost to Drew Hull this season (twice). He may get another shot at Hull this weekend.
- Corey Rasheed, Longwood (11)
- Tyler Spann, Adirondack (3)
- Chris Koo, Great Neck South (8)
- Angelo Kress, Columbia (2)
- Brendan Goldup, LaSalle (2)
- Rowdy Prior, Phoenix (3)
- Joe Mastro, Yorktown (1)
- Alex Smythe, Eden (6)
A Few Notes: The small school tournament in Section 3 will be extremely tough this weekend at 152 pounds. Tyler Spann, Rowdy Prior and two-time state placer Isaiah Riccio of Beaver River will fight it out for the title. Riccio has taken third and fifth the past two years in Albany and knows how to perform on the biggest stage. Rasheed and Koo keep cruising to victories.
- 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: There haven’t been any changes here. Staying on our radar is General Brown’s Tyler Silverthorn, a placer in Albany last year, who seems to be picking up some steam as the most important matches of the year approach. In addition, returning All-Stater Dale White of John Jay East Fishkill is back after injuries kept him on the sideline for much of the season. He’ll be someone to watch as well.
- Dan McDevitt, Wantagh (8)
- Christian Dietrich, Greene (4)
- Joe Piccolo, HHHW (11)
- Troy Seymour, Peru (7)
- Carlos Toribio, Brentwood (11)
- Zack Buckley, Fredonia (6)
- Johnny Vrasidas, St. Anthony’s (C)
- Mike Green, Cobleskill-Richmondville (2)
A Few Notes: Joe Piccolo goes to third after pinning Carlos Toribio at the Islip Cup. Previously, Toribio had notched a 5-0 decision over Piccolo. The rubber match could happen in a few days. Mike Green makes his debut in the rankings. The Section 2 wrestler is 40-1 with his loss coming against Vrasidas. He has defeated state placer Brad Burns and previously ranked Brett Perry of John Jay East Fishkill. Brockport’s Jared Mesiti is another wrestler who could made a big impact at the state tournament.
- Zack Zupan, Canastota (3)
- Shayne Brady, Carthage (3)
- Tim Schaefer, Warsaw (5)
- Trent Egenlauf, Spencerport (5)
- James Corbett, Wantagh (8)
- James Benjamin, Vestal (4)
- Gio Santiago, Sachem North (11)
- Anthony Liberatore, Williamsville South (6)
A Few Notes: Williamsville South’s Anthony Liberatore, who won multiple matches in the state capital last season, comes in at number eight. He has put together an impressive season with a single loss (to Egenlauf). Thomas Murray of Yorktown is also a medal contender.
- Reggie Williams, Johnson City (4)
- Bryce Mazurowski, Avon (5)
- Colton Kells, Fairport (5)
- Chris Chambers, East Islip (11)
- Steven Sabella, Yorktown (1)
- Nick Weber, Kings Park (11)
- Ben Honis, CBA/Jamesville-Dewitt (3)
- Levi Ashley, Shenendehowa (2)
A Few Notes: Ben Honis made the podium at Fargo this summer and has followed up with a strong season, including wins over wrestlers like Hunter Ayen of Gouverneur, Tyler Smith of Midlakes and Scott Wymbs of Horace Greeley. He also recently beat Joe Nasoni of Baldwinsville, who was in the last set of rankings. The two could meet again for the Section 3 crown. Joining this list at 195 is Levi Ashley of Shenendehowa, who has moved up after spending much of the campaign at 182. Syosset’s Dan Choi has been dominant and should be a contender in Albany.
- Zack Bacon, Hornell (5)
- Ryan Wolcott, Waverly (4)
- Dan Breit, Nanuet (1)
- Nick Lupi, Huntington (11)
- Mike Silvis, Holley (5)
- Richard Sisti, Monsignor Farrell (C)
- Joe Sprung, Berne Knox Waterloo (2)
- Matt Mott, Lynbrook (8)
A Few Notes: Matt Mott of Lynbrook enters the rankings after his undefeated campaign. He will definitely be tested this weekend, however, as he wrestles a very tough group in Section 8. Steven Mills of Sachem North will look to top Nick Lupi in Section 11 after a 34-1 season.
- El Shaddai Van Hoesen, Columbia (2)
- Mike Hughes, Smithtown West (11)
- Matt Montesanti, Medina (6)
- Alex Soutiere, Ravena (2)
- James O’Hagan, Seaford (8)
- Terrence Cheeks, NFA (9)
- Austin DiCerbo, Colonie (2)
- David Varian, Yorktown (1)
A Few Notes: There was some movement here. The trio of Austin DiCerbo of Colonie, David Varian of Yorktown and Terrence Cheeks of Newburgh have taken turns beating each other with Cheeks coming out on top of recent meetings. Brandon Fayle of Lowville was upset last weekend, while Austin Coleman of Spencerport looks to be peaking at the right time and will be a tough matchup in the postseason.
Special thanks to Mike Carey.
2 weeks to go until the state tournament!