Cornell Captures the New York State Intercollegiate Championships, Led By Five Titlewinners

Dean, Photo by BV

In an event featuring more than 20 teams from the Empire State, Cornell captured the New York State Intercollegiate Championships on Sunday in Ithaca, winning five of the 10 weight classes in the “A” bracket.

The Big Red champions were Mark Grey (133), Chris Villalonga (149), Brian Realbuto (157), Gabe Dean (184) and Jace Bennett (197). Those five wrestlers won 21 matches on the day – and 15 of those victories were by bonus points.

In addition, Bricker Dixon nabbed bronze at 125 for the Big Red while Craig Eifert and Dylan Palacio were second and third, respectively, at 165.  (Both lost to Hofstra’s Joe Booth).

Speaking of Hofstra, the Pride earned second, led by a trio of titlewinners – Jamie Franco (125), Luke Vaith (141) and the previously mentioned Joe Booth (165) as well as three silver medalists – Jamel Hudson (133), Cody Ruggirello (149) and Nick Terdick (157).

The Big Red and the Pride accounted for eight of the 10 champions on the day.  The other two were Columbia’s Eric Fajardo at 174 and Binghamton heavyweight Tyler Deuel.   The Bearcats finished third in the team race, with Army and Columbia rounding out the top five.

Cornell saw success in the “B/Open” tournament as well, picking up six crowns.  Logan David won at 133 as did Alex Cisneros (149), Chris Dowdy (157), Duke Pickett (174), Steve Congenie (197) and Jacob Aiken-Phillips (285).  Also collecting titles were Mike Soria of Buffalo (125), Nick Kelley of Binghamton (141), Alex Dahl of Army (165) and Troy Hembury of Columbia (184).

More coverage from the tournament, including match videos, will be posted in the next few days.

For full brackets and scores, see http://www.trackwrestling.com and search for “NYS Intercollegiate Championships.”

Here are the placewinners for the A and B/Open brackets:

A – 125
1st Place – Jamie Franco of Hofstra
2nd Place – Penn Gottfried of Columbia University
3rd Place – Bricker Dixon of Cornell University
4th Place – David White of Binghamton University
5th Place – Max Soria of University at Buffalo
6th Place – Asher Kramer of Brockport State
7th Place – Enriquez DeJesus of Nassau Community College
8th Place – Jimmy Kaishian of Ithaca College

A – 133
1st Place – Mark Grey of Cornell University
2nd Place – Jamel Hudson of Hofstra
3rd Place – Nick Tighe of Binghamton University
4th Place – Joe Moita of Columbia University
5th Place – Angelo Amenta of Columbia University
6th Place – Logan Everett of Army
7th Place – Justin Farmer of University at Buffalo
8th Place – Alex Gomez of Ithaca College
A – 141
1st Place – Luke Vaith of Hofstra
2nd Place – Matt Bystol of Columbia University
3rd Place – Nick Flannery of University at Buffalo
4th Place – Dylan Caruana of Binghamton University
5th Place – Mark Marchetti of Army
6th Place – Brian Bistis of SUNY Cortland
7th Place – Corey Dake of Cornell University
8th Place – Dominick Giacolone of Ithaca College

A – 149
1st Place – Christopher Villalonga of Cornell University
2nd Place – Cody Ruggirello of Hofstra
3rd Place – Robert Dierna of SUNY Cortland
4th Place – Joe Bonaldi of Binghamton University
5th Place – Brad Mayville of Rochester Institute of Tech.
6th Place – Kevin Strong of Niagara Community College
7th Place – Ryan Tadora of University at Buffalo
8th Place – Alexis Blanco of Nassau Community College

A – 157
1st Place – Brian Realbuto of Cornell University
2nd Place – Nick Terdick of Hofstra
3rd Place – Markus Scheidel of Columbia University
4th Place – Paul Hancock of Army
5th Place – John Northrup of University at Buffalo
6th Place – Tyler Bruce of Niagara Community College
7th Place – Kyle Wade of Nassau Community College
8th Place – Colton Perry of Binghamton University

A – 165
1st Place – Joseph Booth of Hofstra
2nd Place – Craig Eifert of Cornell University
3rd Place – Dylan Palacio of Cornell University
4th Place – Josh Houldsworth of Columbia University
5th Place – Coleman Gracey of Army
6th Place – Chandler Smith of Army
7th Place – Joeseph Cataldo of SUNY Cortland
8th Place – Tory Cain of Rochester Institute of Tech.

A – 174
1st Place – Eric Fajardo of Columbia University
2nd Place – Lou Puca of SUNY Cortland
3rd Place – Brian Harvey of Army
3rd Place – Forfeit Forfeit of Unattached
4th Place – Alex Smith of Army
5th Place – Roy Daniels of Brockport State
6th Place – Owen Scott of Cornell University
7th Place – Frank Affronti of Hofstra
8th Place – Victor Pozsonyi of Hofstra

A – 184
1st Place – Gabriel Dean of Cornell University
2nd Place – Tony Lock of University at Buffalo
3rd Place – Caleb Wallace of Binghamton University
4th Place – Zack Hernandez of Columbia University
5th Place – Scott Bova of SUNY Oswego
6th Place – Nickolas Bellanza of SUNY Cortland
7th Place – Dennis Melendez of Hunter College
8th Place – Tyler Brent of Rochester Institute of Tech.

A – 197
1st Place – Jace Bennett of Cornell University
2nd Place – Bryce Barnes of Army
3rd Place – Cody Reed of Binghamton University
4th Place – Angelo Malvestudo of University at Buffalo
5th Place – Joey Giaramita of SUNY Cortland
6th Place – Chad Obzud of Oneonta State
7th Place – Mathew Booth of Ithaca College
8th Place – Zeal McGrew of Hofstra

A – 285
1st Place – Tyler Deuel of Binghamton University
2nd Place – Jim Donner of Niagara Community College
3rd Place – Lance Moore of SUNY Cortland
4th Place – El Shadai VanHoesen of Niagara Community College
5th Place – Michael Hughes of Hofstra
6th Place – Stephen Snyder of Army
7th Place – Cole Tristram of Brockport State
8th Place – James Benjamin of University at Buffalo

 

B (OPEN) – 125
1st Place – Mike Soria of University at Buffalo
2nd Place – Johnson Mai of Columbia University
3rd Place – Dillon Stowell of Brockport State
4th Place – Sean Badua of USMA Prep School
5th Place – Nathan Santhanam of Army
6th Place – Tyler Walsh of Nassau Community College
8th Place – Kyler Agoney of Brockport State
8th Place – Austin Keough of Alfred State College

B (OPEN) – 133
1st Place – Logan David of Cornell University
2nd Place – Chris Araoz of Columbia University
3rd Place – Kyle Krasavage of Hofstra
4th Place – Mike Lanasa of Stony Brook Wrestling Club
5th Place – Dylan Realbuto of FlWC
6th Place – Jaydon Rice of University at Buffalo
8th Place – Austin Marsico of Army
8th Place – Robert Person of Binghamton University

B (OPEN) – 141
1st Place – Nick Kelly of Binghamton University
2nd Place – Maverick Passaro of Hofstra
3rd Place – Patrick Hogan of FlWC
4th Place – Joshua Kennedy of Cornell University
5th Place – Matt Leshinger of Columbia University
6th Place – Jason Estevez of Unafilliated
8th Place – Eli Bienstock of Cornell University
8th Place – Daniel Palmerino of Brockport State

B (OPEN) – 149
1st Place – Alex Cisneros of Cornell University
2nd Place – Connor Melde of Army
3rd Place – Alec Mooradian of Columbia University
4th Place – Cory Goshkagarian of Hofstra
5th Place – Jahlani Callender of Hofstra
6th Place – Adam Troy of Brockport State
8th Place – Connor David of Cornell University
8th Place – Shane Connolly of Army

B (OPEN) – 157
1st Place – Chris Dowdy of Cornell University
2nd Place – Taylor Simaz of Cornell University
3rd Place – Chad Ryan of Columbia University
4th Place – Joeseph Byrne of SUNY Cortland
5th Place – Kevin Brown of Columbia University
6th Place – Jake Kazimir of Columbia University
8th Place – Muhammed McBride of University at Buffalo
8th Place – Sam Friedfeld of New York University

B (OPEN) – 165
1st Place – Alex Dahl of Army
2nd Place – Anthony Risaliti of Army
3rd Place – Russ Benner of Hofstra
4th Place – Conner Burns of RPI
5th Place – Rrok Ndokaj of University at Buffalo
6th Place – Ryan Therrien of University at Buffalo
8th Place – Troy Taylor of USMA Prep School
8th Place – Jacob George of Cornell University

B (OPEN) – 174
1st Place – Duke Pickett of Cornell University
2nd Place – Jesse Shanaman of Cornell University
3rd Place – Jared Lux of University at Buffalo
4th Place – Austin Weigel of University at Buffalo
5th Place – Jack McKeever of Binghamton University
6th Place – Austin Coniker of Columbia University
8th Place – Josh Reed of SUNY Cortland
8th Place – Patrick Rooney of US Merchant Marine Academy

B (OPEN) – 184
1st Place – Troy Hembury of Columbia University
2nd Place – Michael Alexander of Cornell University
3rd Place – Austin Wilding of Army
4th Place – Liam Korbul of Ithaca College
5th Place – Jack Wedholm of USMA Prep School
6th Place – Nathan Dow of Army
8th Place – McZiggy Richards of FlWC
8th Place – Zachary Baron of Nassau Community College

B (OPEN) – 197
1st Place – Steve Congenie of Cornell University
2nd Place – Matt Idelson of Columbia University
3rd Place – Daniel Choi of Cornell University
4th Place – Stuart Curtis of RPI
5th Place – Michael Fetchet of Columbia University
6th Place – Tom Murray of Unafilliated
8th Place – Scott Votino of USMA Prep School
8th Place – Josh Kettel of FlWC

B (OPEN) – 285
1st Place – Jacob Aiken-Phillips of Cornell University
2nd Place – Trevor Smith of Army
3rd Place – Wyatt Baker of Columbia University
4th Place – Connor Sweeney of Columbia University
5th Place – Brian Walker of US Merchant Marine Academy
6th Place – Mike Silvis of University at Buffalo
8th Place – Dennis Atiyeh of FlWC
8th Place – David Farr of Army

Cornell Defeats Binghamton 33-6 in Home Opener; Realbuto and Dean Dominate With Pins for the Big Red

The night before the New York State intercollegiates, two Empire State squads, Cornell and Binghamton, took the mat in Ithaca with the Big Red winning eight of 10 bouts in a 33-6 final.

The home team started five freshmen and four of them came out on top.  Mark Grey made his home debut with a dominant 18-3 technical fall over fellow rookie (and three-time New York state champion) Nick Tighe at 133 pounds.  Both Brian Realbuto (157) and Gabe Dean (184) recorded pins in their first bouts in Bartels Hall, while Dylan Palacio captured a 10-6 decision at 165.  Corey Dake, in the lineup for All-American Mike Nevinger, dropped a 4-2 match at 141.

“I think the young guys showed the style we want our team to perform on the mat,” said Cornell assistant coach Damion Hahn.  “They did a great job in their first duals.  I think the veterans wrestled well, but they can do some things differently with match strategy.  As a whole, I think the guys wrestled well for our opener.  It’s important to get those jitters out right away.”

The Bearcats jumped out to an early 3-0 lead when David White edged Bricker Dixon at 125 by a 4-3 score.  The Big Red junior got on the board first with a takedown and held a 3-2 lead in the third period. However, White won a late scramble to pick up two points and the victory.

Grey, Photo by BV

Mark Grey took control right away at 133, collecting a 9-2 lead after one with a combination of takedowns and back points, before notching the technical fall early in the third.

The next two bouts were a lot closer, however. Both were 4-2 decisions with the winning points scored late.

At 141, Cornell’s Corey Dake squared off with Dylan Caruana.  The match was deadlocked at two in the final period when the Bearcat grappler took Dake down with less than 10 seconds to go for the 4-2 victory and a 6-5 Binghamton advantage in the meet.

Then, in a rematch of the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open semifinals at 149, Chris Villalonga and Joe Bonaldi were tied at two after seven minutes of action. In sudden victory, both wrestlers were close to scoring on the edge before Villalonga picked up a takedown to win 4-2 and put the Big Red ahead on the scoreboard for good.

In the last bout before intermission, Brian Realbuto made a stellar impression in his first home contest, scoring less than 15 seconds after the opening whistle and holding a 10-1 lead after the first period.  In the second, he reversed Colton Perry to his back and registered the pin to make the halftime score 14-6.

Continuing the youth movement for Cornell was Dylan Palacio, who controlled the 165-pound contest with Vincent Grella.  In fact, he took a 2-0 advantage just 10 seconds into the match and kept attacking throughout, leading to a 10-6 triumph.

The Big Red kept the ball rolling, winning the final four matches.  Owen Scott was completely dominant at 174, nabbing a 15-2 major over John Paris, while Gabe Dean had three quick takedowns in the first before turning Caleb Wallace for the fall.

At 197, Jace Bennett took Cody Reed down with just 20 ticks left in the third for a 4-2 victory and Stryker Lane followed with a win at heavyweight. Lane led 3-0 after two. However, Deuel made a furious comeback with a trio of takedowns before Lane’s riding time gave him a 7-6 victory.

Wrestlers from the Big Red and Bearcats will be back in action on Sunday at the New York State Intercollegiates on Cornell’s campus, along with over 20 other New York squads.

Section 8 Preview: Five State Finalists, Including Champions Hernandez and Quinn, Return for Nassau

Nassau County featured eight state finalists and New York’s top team a year ago (Wantagh).  2013-14 should be another strong campaign for Section 8 as five of those finalists return as do several others who are capable of making a big splash in the postseason.

Division I

Hernandez, Photo by BV

Let’s start with the New York champions who are back looking for two in a row.  Mepham’s Louis Hernandez capped off a 51-1 season by running the table in Albany.  He racked up more than 40 bonus point wins and his performance has been recognized nationally as well, as he is ranked sixth in the country at 152 pounds by FloWrestling.  His standing in the polls was recently bolstered by an impressive performance at the Super 32 Challenge, where he took bronze with a victory over Fox Baldwin of Florida, who was ranked third in the land at the time. Hernandez is also now listed among the top 50 senior recruits in the country by Intermat.

Hernandez was joined atop the podium last year by Wantagh’s Kyle Quinn, who captured the 106-pound title over Alex Tanzman after avenging his only two losses of the season (to New Rochelle’s Nick Barbaria) in the semifinals. Quinn added to his trophy collection in the spring, collecting All-America honors for the second consecutive year at the NHSCA Nationals in Virginia Beach (third at 106).

Two other Nassau Division I grapplers took part in the championship bouts in the state capital.  Syosset’s Vito Arujau had a stellar eighth grade season, racking up over 45 wins and just one loss – in the finals to Hilton’s Yianni Diakomihalis in the ultimate tiebreaker. Arujau followed up by going undefeated at the challenging Waterway Duals and taking third (including a victory over Quinn) at the Journeymen Classic.  He also won his bracket at the Iron Horse Invitational and came within one victory of placing at the Super 32. Look for big things from Arujau once again, this time as a freshman at 113.

Also winning his group at the Iron Horse was MacArthur’s Steve Schneider.  The Binghamton recruit stood out throughout his junior year, grabbing third at the Eastern States Classic before following up with a silver medal in Albany.  He went to the quarterfinals at the Super 32 before falling one win shy of the podium. He’ll be among the favorites in the state capital this time around, likely at 170.

Who are Some Other Seniors to Watch?

Hernandez and Schneider are two of the top members of the Class of 2014 in the Empire State.  The same could be said of Seaford’s James O’Hagan, a heavyweight who made a statement last year in Albany.  In the second round, he upset top-seeded El Shaddai Van Hoesen and then beat the Section II wrestler again in the third place bout.  His only losses during the campaign were to undefeated state champion Mike Hughes (now starting for Hofstra).  O’Hagan, who is headed to Buffalo to play football, sits in the #8 spot nationally at 285 according to FloWrestling.

While O’Hagan is certainly the favorite at the highest weight, there are some other quality heavyweights in the county. Last year’s Nassau runner up Bryan Tenny of Farmingdale and Massapequa’s Tim Gungor both racked up more than 30 victories and split a pair of matches against each other.

Also in the upperweights, Jaison White and Robert Ng are two wrestlers to track.  Plainedge’s Ng was 38-7 at 182 pounds a year ago with 28 bonus point wins, taking second in Nassau behind New York State silver medalist James Corbett. After a loss to Brandon Cassar of Island Trees in late December, Ng captured over 25 straight bouts, including a county semifinal victory over Cassar. At the Times Union Center, Ng went 2-2, coming within one victory of All-State status.

Jericho’s White may be a little under the radar for some fans, but he looks ready for a big year, possibly at 160.  White went 32-6 at 170 pounds as an 11th grader and notched bronze at the Section 8 championships. He also had a strong offseason, going undefeated at the Pop & Flo Duals in the spring as well as the Journeymen Classic in September.

And don’t forget about Justin Cooksey of MacArthur, who took second in the state in 2012 at 106 pounds. After moving up to 126 last year, he won more than 20 matches, but didn’t qualify for Albany.  The Buffalo-bound grappler will look for a return trip to the state capital in his final season with the Generals.

Who Else is Ready to Make a Run?

Arujau won the 99-pound class a year ago, but a number of other wrestlers from that weight have the ability to make noise this season (although most will be in a different weight class).  That includes MacArthur’s Travis Cooksey, a winner of more than 30 bouts, Nassau runner up David Yablans of Jericho, who racked up a 28-2 mark in 2012-13, and Wantagh’s Jonathan Loew, who had quality wins as a seventh grader and will be back at 99.

Peter Pappas of Plainview will be tough at 106 after earning bronze in Nassau in 2013 (and taking second at the Super 32 Middle School event last fall).  Speaking of 106 pounders, Chris Donnelly of Island Trees went to Albany at that weight last year after compiling close to 40 wins.  (He’ll be moving up in weight this year).

One of the wrestlers to beat Donnelly last season, Hector Guerrero of Plainedge comes off a 30-win campaign and is one to watch in the lightweights, as is the wrestler who topped him for third at the Nassau championships – Alan Teemer of Long Beach.   In fact, the Marines have a number of young wrestlers who were mentioned as possible breakout performers, including Matt Maquet, Jacori Teemer and Charlie Spada.  Spada, who will likely move to 120 or 126, lost in the all-county round last year and has had a great offseason, while Jacori Teemer was impressive at the Schoolboy Nationals in the spring, going 6-0 in Freestyle with five wins by pin or technical fall.  When asked about Jacori Teemer, Long Beach coach Ray Adams said “he’s definitely the real deal.”

Speaking of Long Beach, former standout Steve Sewkumar took third in the state last year as a senior.  He had a tough Section 8 title bout, winning by a point against Adam Smith of East Meadow.  Smith is back and one Nassau observer said he’s “a tough, physical kid who will have a great year.”

There was a lot of star power at the 2013 Section 8 championships, but the Outstanding Wrestler and Champion of Champions award went to a freshman – Hewlett’s Owen Bachelder, who had a tremendous run through the tournament.  On the way to the title, he defeated qualifier Michael Fera as well as NHSCA National titlewinner Chris Araoz of Wantagh.

Araoz is one of a number of studs who graduated from Wantagh in 2013.  But on that loaded Warriors team, Matt Langan and Joe Hill found a way to make significant contributions with close to 30 victories each.  Hill registered solid wins over state qualifiers Hunter Dusold and Hunter Richard.  Both will play integral roles for the Warriors this time around as will Nick Vines, who suffered an injury and missed a chunk of the season, but came back and earned bronze in Section 8.

In addition to Vines, other returning Nassau bronze medalists who are looking to climb the ladder include Nick Rondino of Syosset, Adrian Berry of Uniondale and Julius Diaz of Freeport. (They were at 113, 132 and 152, respectively, last year).  In addition, Naquan Warren of Farmingdale and Robert Oliver of Plainedge took fourth (at 120 and 220) in 2013 in the county and are the highest returning placers in their classes.

“I think Naquan Warren is a kid to keep an eye on,” Adams said. “He worked very hard in the offseason. I also think his teammate Dave Brown could do some great things.  He was tough last year and will be someone to watch.”

While Sam Goldman (Port Washington) and John Sherlock (Mepham) were in the fifth place matches in Section 8 last year, some feel they will be climbing much higher this time around. Goldman went 31-4 a year ago (entering the Nassau tournament).  He took fifth at 106 at the Section 8 qualifier, right behind a pair of wrestlers he had defeated earlier in the campaign according to the NWCA Scorebook – the previously mentioned Alan Teemer and Hector Guerrero – and has put in significant offseason work. Sherlock had over 20 victories at 120, including over state qualifier Tom Stobe and against NYS third placer Steven Sewkumar.

Who else could have a breakthrough year? Quite a few nominees were named. Tom and Jack Reina of Garden City provided solid production last year, going a combined 46-12, according to the NWCA Scorebook. (Their teammates Timmy Halaby and upperweight Tom Lane were also mentioned as ready to make a statement).   Hunter Sharf of North Shore was 35-3 prior to counties with a win over Bachelder during the year, while others discussed were Mepham’s Matt Assael, MacArthur’s Jeremy Hughes and Division’s Ricky Stamm (132/138) and Chris Ponce (99).

Team Race

Wantagh lost a lot of firepower with the graduation of wrestlers such as Chris Araoz, Danny McDevitt, James Corbett and Vinny Turano.  However, a strong base of returners, including the previously mentioned Kyle Quinn, Jonathan Loew, Joe Hill, Nick Vines and Matt Langan will lead a lineup that has solid contributors throughout. The Warriors won all the big events last year — the Union-Endicott duals, the Eastern States Classic, the Nassau Dual and Tournament titles and the New York State Division I championships.  Can they continue the tremendous streak?

“To me, Wantagh is still the team to beat,” Adams said. “Until someone beats them, they’re the champions.  They bring back a lot of talent and they work very hard all year long.”

Looking to challenge are a number of squads, including MacArthur, last season’s runner up in the Section. The Generals also boast some heavy hitters with Steve Schneider and the Cooksey brothers leading the way and will also receive contributions from wrestlers with significant match experience such as Sal Randazzo and Jeremy Hughes.

Plainedge will certainly be a threat, led by a number of standouts, including previously mentioned wrestlers such as 2013 Nassau runner up Robert Ng (2013 Nassau runner up) and a trio of returning fourth place Section 8 medalists – Hector Guerrero, Jake Lerner and Robert Oliver.

Like last year, Mepham has a chance to put several wrestlers on the county podium, led by returners Louis Hernandez, John Sherlock (sixth at 120) and Joel Zambrano (fourth at 99).  The Pirates were third in the Nassau tournament in 2013.

Adams also mentioned a few other teams he was looking forward to watch.

“I think Syosset’s tough. Mike Murtha does a really nice job,” the coach said. “Hewlett has come such a long way in a short time.  With Bachelder and Pincus leading the way, they’ll be good.”

Others, on the other hand, mentioned Adams’s team at Long Beach.

“They have so many quality young kids,” said Ascend Wrestling Club’s Craig Vitagliano. “They’re young now, but they have some guys who will win a lot of matches. Two years from now, they’ll be unbelievable.  Once the guys grow and spread out in weight, they’ll be extremely tough.”

 

Division II

Nine Division II section champions return – and seven are from Locust Valley.  It goes without saying that the Falcons will be a tough team to beat in 2013-14.  In fact, Vitagliano said he believes Locust Valley is the best team in Nassau in either Division.

We discussed state finalists Quinn, Arujau, Hernandez and Schneider above in the large school section, but we didn’t forget about Nick Casella who has been in the Division II championship match in Albany for two consecutive years (at 99 pounds in 2012 and at 113 in 2013), taking silver on both occasions.

After a 39-4 campaign as a sophomore, Casella kept his winning ways going in the offseason, placing at the NHSCA Nationals in Virginia Beach and at Fargo in Greco Roman.  He wrestled in numerous other high profile events and plans to compete at 120 pounds in 2013-14. Is this the year he wins it all in New York?

“Nick has continued to work extremely hard,” said Locust Valley head coach Joe Enea.  “He sought out the toughest competition and more than held his own.  He’s setting himself up to win a state championship. We’re hoping to see all our wrestlers take the next step and for Nick, that’s a state title.”

Also returning after an All-State finish (fifth at 132) is Sam Ward.  Like Casella, he has competed all over the country, notching All-America honors in Virginia Beach and placing second at the Journeymen Classic.  His coach said he could compete at 138 or 145.

“With the amount of time Sam put in during the offseason, he’ll be disappointed if he’s not in the state finals,” Enea said. “A lot always comes down to draw and seeding, but we figure him to be one of the top wrestlers in the state this year.”

Just missing the podium in 2013 was Hunter Dusold, who has already qualified twice for the state event and is only a freshman.  He picked up a pair of victories at the Times Union Center last year and is looking to get over the hump as a ninth grader for his first All-State showing. (Dusold made the medal stand at the Junior High Nationals in Virginia Beach this spring).

“Hunter has continued to wrestle throughout the year,” Enea said. “He is hoping to certify at 115 and having two years at the state tournament already separates him from a lot of other guys who might be up there for the first time.  That should be an advantage for him.”

“Hunter Dusold could be a state champion this year,” added Vitagliano.  “He’s that good.”

There were two ‘Dusolds’ in Albany a year ago and that’s the plan again for 2014.  Mike Dusold made his first appearance in the state capital and got his hand raised.

“He has his sights set on 145; we’ll see if he’ll be there or at 152,” Enea said. “He’s one of the tougher guys in the area and hopefully that will translate upstate.  He definitely has the ability to be an All-State wrestler, it’s whether he puts everything together at the right time.”

Additional middleweights that represented Locust Valley and Section 8 in Albany last season, Jordan Formicola (160) and Yamique Webb (170), will be back to try and do it all again.

“Jordan is a tremendous athlete and leader,” Enea said. “He’ll probably stay at 160.  It’s All-State or bust for him – it’s his senior year and it would be his third time in Albany.  I can’t wait to see him on the podium.”

Webb, like Formicola, also plays football for the Falcons.

“[Webb] started wrestling as an eighth grader and picked it up pretty quickly; had a great deal of success as a freshman,” Enea said.  “Last year, he came into his own and the experience he had will really help him.  He’s such a good athlete that anything’s possible.”

The last returning Nassau champion for Locust Valley is Bryan Coll, who won the 99 pound class in 2013.  Coll’s teammate Patrick Briody was third at the Section 8 qualifier.  According to Enea, we could see Coll or Briody at 106 later in the season. (Jon Gomez will man 99 for the Falcons, while Jack Ward will handle 106 in the earlygoing).

That’s a lot of high quality wrestlers from Locust Valley.  But there are several other grapplers to keep an eye on in Division II.  One is eighth grader John DeRidder of Carle Place, who just missed a state bid when he lost in overtime in the county finals to Coll.  (He took third at 85 pounds at the Junior High NHSCA Nationals in Virginia Beach this spring).

“John DeRidder is an outstanding wrestler,” Enea said. “He will be someone to watch out for.  If he gets to the states, he is definitely capable of making a run there.”

A few wrestlers have already gotten there and are looking to go back.  They include Clarke’s Tom Stobe, who piled up more than 30 wins a year ago at 120 pounds.

“Stobe was extremely tough,” Enea said. “He’s a tenacious, hard worker.  Clarke runs such a great program that I’m sure he’s only going to be better this year.”

Enea had similar sentiments about Cold Spring Harbor’s Robert Incorvaia, who went 26-6 with 14 pins as a junior at 220 pounds.

“He was a bit undersized last year,” Enea said. “Having him back only helps the Section 8 team because he’ll be better.”

Who are some other wrestlers to track?

Oyster Bay’s Cassidy Exum wrestled in the state tournament in 2012, however, an injury prevented him from finishing last season.  He will be one to watch as will his teammate Kevin Velasquez, who took second in the Section at 182 pounds as a freshman.

“[Velasquez] did very well,” Enea said. “He was a first year wrestler, but he showed some athletic ability and understanding of wrestling.  When you put those together in the upperweights, you could have something special.”

Erik Rodriguez of Wheatley looks to make something special out of his season as well.  He notched silver behind Sam Ward in Nassau a year ago, but Enea mentioned that he has the talent to compete upstate.

Team Race

Locust Valley may be among the best teams in the state this year, with the seven returning qualifiers and several other solid starters.

“With the team we have this year, we’re looking for continued growth,” Enea said. “We believe we can contend to be in the top three or four in the state. It comes down to a couple of tournaments a year that make the difference.  I expect our returning qualifiers to be in the running to go back, although our goal is to send 15 guys upstate.”

Cold Spring Harbor boasts a large group of returning Nassau placers and will look to challenge.

“Cold Spring Harbor definitely returns a lot of good guys,” Enea said. “They were young last year in a lot of spots.  They have the depth to make things interesting.  As much as it’s easy to say that we’re the favorites, we can’t take anyone lightly.  We won’t look past anyone.”

—————–

Thank you to all of the contributors to this article, including Irwin Loew, Craig Vitagliano, Ray Adams, Vougar Oroudjov and Joe Enea.

We will continue to post Section previews as the season approaches.  Here are some others already released:

Section 3

Section 6

Section 7

Section 10

PSAL

World Team Member Alexis Porter of Shenendehowa Commits to McKendree University

It’s been quite a week for Alexis Porter.  On Saturday, she picked up a dominant win in international action in her home gym.  And just a few days later, she committed to McKendree University in Illinois, where she will receive a full athletic scholarship.

“I took a visit and I really, really liked the campus,” Porter said. “The school is a good size and there are really good academic programs in areas I’m interested in.  I thought it was the best fit for me.”

It didn’t hurt that the Bearcats have already seen success in their debut season (with wins over the #4 and #5 teams in the nation). And there are plans in place to build a dedicated wrestling building.

Photo by Justin Cummings/Spotlight News Sports Photographer

“The brand new facility wasn’t the deciding factor, but it influenced me,” she said. “I’m definitely excited about it.”

Porter, a four-time national champion who represented Team USA at this summer’s Cadet World Championships in Serbia, also considered King, Campbellsville and Lindenwood.

She said she will finish her last high school season with Shenendehowa, but then looks forward to transitioning away from folkstyle – for good.

“In women’s college wrestling, it’s just freestyle,” she said. “I think I’m better at freestyle and I enjoy it more.  It will keep me on track for my international goals.”

Porter put on a great display of international wrestling this past weekend.  Prior to the USA vs. Russia Dual at Shenendehowa High School, Porter took on Canadian Keagin Collie at 65 kg.  She took command from the start, racing out to a 6-0 lead after the first period and winning by 7-0 technical fall early in the second stanza.

“It was an incredible event,” Porter said. “It was a packed gym and being able to wrestle in front of the home crowd at my own school was amazing.  Not too many people can say that they represented their country at their own school. I felt the adrenaline and really enjoyed it.  It was a great opportunity for me.”

Photo by Justin Cummings/Spotlight News Sports Photographer

Porter will have more opportunities on the world wrestling scene after going 0-1 at the World Championships a few months ago.  She has a developmental camp coming up in Philadelphia and plans to compete in Sweden in February and then in Austria in June.

“I definitely didn’t finish where I expected or hoped at the Worlds,” she said. “Sometimes you learn more from your failures than your successes.  I took a lot from that trip.  I have some more chances coming up to get some redemption and prove myself on the international stage.  I expect there to be a much different outcome.”

For now, though, Porter is excited to go through her senior year of high school with her future much more clear.

“I’m glad to be done with the recruiting process,” she said. “I enjoyed it – it was definitely an experience.  But now I can settle in and prepare for next year.  There were a lot of decisions to be made and places to look at, but I’m really happy with my decision and how it all turned out.”

—————————————–

Alexis Porter wanted to thank her family, coaches and friends, saying that she “wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am without all of them.”

Buffalo Signs 10 Recruits for the Fall of 2014, Including Eight New Yorkers

The early signing period for wrestling ends today, however, Buffalo’s recruits wasted no time providing their National Letters of Intent.  The Bulls inked 10 wrestlers last week, including eight from New York, according to the school website.

The Empire State wrestlers committed to compete for head coach John Stutzman include state champion Sean Peacock of Midlakes and two-time NYS placers Alex Smythe of Eden and Bryan Lantry of Wayne.  In addition, standouts from Section 2 (Shaker’s Blake Retell), Section 3 (Daniel Smith of South Jefferson), Section 4 (Newark Valley teammates Derek Holcomb and Trevor Hoffmier) and Section 6 (Rocco Russo of Frontier) will take the mat in the MAC conference in the future.

Also joining the class is nationally-ranked Kyle Akins of Illinois and Super 32 placer Jake Gunning of Pennsylvania.

 

For the full release from buffalobulls.com, see this link.

Section 6 Preview: Rodriguez-Spencer Goes for Two In a Row; Who Else Will Earn Gold in 2013-14?

State champion Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, currently ranked #5 in the nation at 138 pounds by Flowrestling (and #8 by Intermat), will look for a second-straight NYS crown to end his high school career.  He is among the many state placers returning in Section 6 this year.  Here’s a look at some of the wrestlers and teams to watch in 2013-14.

 

Division I

Two finalists and two other fifth place finishers that represented Section 6 in the Division I tournament in Albany last year graduated.  But there will certainly be contenders for podium slots at the Times Union Center this year, including Anthony Orefice of Lockport, who will likely be at 126.

A two-time state placer, Orefice began last season at 113 where he registered some quality wins, including a 7-1 decision over Dillon Stowell, the eventual Division II NYS champion.  He later transitioned up to 120 pounds, where he once again qualified for the state tournament but went 1-2.  (Three of his six losses came to New York silver medalist Steve Michel).  Will Orefice return to All-State status as a junior after fourth and fifth place finishes earlier in his career?

 

Seniors to Watch

Orefice has made several trips to the state capital, as has Frontier’s Rocco Russo, a three-time qualifier.  Russo, a future member of the Buffalo Bulls and the all-time wins leader at his school, won 50 matches in 2013-14 at 126 pounds and will look to pick up his first state medal (likely at 145 pounds) before leaving for the MAC conference.

Jake Weber of Clarence went 45-3 with 33 pins as a junior at 160 pounds. He had a tough road in Albany after his opening round pin, as his losses were to the first and third place finishers.  A few weeks later, Weber was chosen for the Long Island vs. Upstate Challenge and competed in offseason events such as the Super 32 Challenge, in which he advanced from day one into the final 16 at 170 pounds.  Weber qualified for the state tournament in 2012 and 2013 and has earned All-America honors at the NHSCA Nationals.  Will 2014 bring a trip to the medal stand?

“[Weber] had a great year,” said Keith Maute, Owner/Operator of the Buffalo Wrestling Club and head coach at Niagara County Community College. “His only losses were to the wrestlers who finished first, second and third in the state [Tyler Grimaldi, Steve Schneider and James Marquez].  It would be surprising if he didn’t place and I expect him to be high on the podium.”

Also at the Super 32 in North Carolina was West Seneca East’s Danny Graham at 138 pounds. Graham rolled through the regular season last year with a perfect 37-0 mark before losing his bouts in Albany.  He hopes to have another shot to get his hand raised this time around.

“I think he’ll be back at 138 again and he should be on the podium this year,” Maute said.

Three other members of the Class of 2014 took the mat at the Times Union Center for Section 6 last February.  Andrew Paulsen of Iroquois wrestled at 170 pounds, but could move down as low as 152 this season, according to Maute.

Meanwhile, Lancaster’s James Empfield competed in the state capital at 195 and Lockport’s Marshall Taylor made an impact at 220 pounds, picking up a pair of wins and coming within one round of making All-State.

“[Marshall Taylor] was very good all year long,” Maute said. “For some people, [James Empfield] kind of came out of nowhere, but he’s a really athletic kid with good size for the weight class.  I think he’ll do very well again.”

 

Who Else is Ready to Make an Impact?

Earning valuable experience at the Times Union Center in 2013 were a number of grapplers, including Niagara Wheatfield’s Shane Helbig, a qualifier as a freshman at 113 as well as a trio of juniors – Clarence teammates Ryan Burns and Nate Schwab and Donny McCoy of Niagara Falls. Burns, who will likely be at 113 according to Maute, has put in the time in the offseason, competing at numerous challenging events.  Schwab had more than 40 wins as a sophomore and hopes to improve upon a season in which he won his opener in Albany before dropping an overtime decision to eventual fifth placer Dan DeCarlo.  McCoy also won his first match in Albany before facing a pair of All-Staters in his last two bouts there.

McCoy and Burns will be joined in the lightweights by a number of other quality competitors who will look to break through to the state’s biggest tournament in 2014.  Tristan Almeter of Iroquois and Anthony Argentieri of Kenmore West both were second in the Section last year, at 99 and 106, respectively.  Argentieri competed at the Super 32 Challenge and earned All-America honors at the NHSCA Nationals in Virginia Beach.

Also nabbing a spot on the medal stand at the NHSCAs was Lake Shore’s Freddy Eckles, who comes off a season in which he recorded over 45 victories.  He appears to be ready for a breakout year, either at 126 or 132.

“Freddy made a lot of strides this offseason and he’s really, really tough,” Maute said. “He will surprise some people.”

If Eckles is at 132, he could face Matt Kloc of Iroquois, who was injured late last year and didn’t compete at the Sectional tournament. Kloc did, however, finish third at the state qualifier the previous year and is ready for his chance to compete in the postseason again.

Who are some others to keep tabs on? Jevon Flynn of Niagara Falls racked up close to 25 wins and was the runner up in the Section tournament at 220 pounds, after spending much of the season at 195.  He lost twice to Marshall Taylor in February.  We’ll see if they meet up again.   At heavyweight, two of the top contenders are Luke Catalano of Lake Shore and Marcellus Hinton of Lockport.  And speaking of Lockport, Kirk Feeney grabbed second at 138 at the state qualifier as part of a 30+ win campaign.

 

Team Race

Clarence returns a trio of Sectional champions – the previously mentioned Jake Weber, Nate Schwab and Ryan Burns.  All three racked up big win totals, as did 99-pounder Dylan Arena, who compiled more than 40 victories a year ago.  Despite the losses of Brandon Glaubner and Nate Ward, the Red Devils should score significant tournament points once again in 2014.

“I think Clarence is the top DI team, both in the dual and tournament formats,” Maute said.

Lockport also has some heavy hitters, with the aforementioned Anthony Orefice, Marshall Taylor, Kirk Feeney and Marcellus Hinton leading the way.

What other teams will step up to challenge?  We’ll find out soon enough.

 

Division II

Section 6 was just five points behind Section 5 in the final Division II standings in Albany, boosted by double-digit wrestlers who finished in the top four in New York.  Seven of those grapplers return, giving the Section a very strong foundation for another run.

Rodriguez-Spencer, http://www.phototrens.com

Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer of Cheektowaga, a two-time NYS finalist and the 2013 132-pound champion, will lead the way.  After picking up state gold for the first time as a junior, he went on to capture a national title at the NHSCA Nationals in Virginia Beach with a victory over highly-ranked Alfred Bannister of Maryland.  The future Iowa State Cyclone looks to cap off a stellar career with another trip to the top of the podium, likely at 138 pounds.

Two of the top sophomores in New York, Dakota Gardner of Fredonia and Kellen Devlin of Amherst, stood out at the state tournament with Gardner, already a two-time NYS placer, going all the way to the finals before dropping a decision to William Koll of Lansing.  Devlin earned third with four bonus point wins in the state capital. His only setback was against eventual champion Trey Aslanian by one point in a match that Devlin led much of the way. Both will move up in weight, with 138/145 possible for Gardner and Devlin likely at 126, according to Maute.

In addition to Devlin, who are the other returning bronze medalists?  Southwestern’s Ryan Hetrick, Maple Grove’s Brad Bihler and Eden’s Alex Smythe.

Hetrick’s path at 99 pounds was anything but easy.  He endured three overtime matches and notched victories over a 2012 placer (Andrew Flanagan) and the bracket’s top seed (Hunter Olena) along the way.

Courtesy of Alex Smythe

Bihler racked up a technical fall, a major, a pin and a 7-0 shutout during his road to third at 106, while the Buffalo-bound Smythe recorded All-State honors for the second time in his career, defeating the fourth seed, Tyler Spann, twice at 152.

Ryan Kromer of Lewiston Porter was fourth at 132 pounds after winning three straight in the consolations.  Kromer, who was second in the Section behind Rodriguez-Spencer, had 48 wins (25 by fall) last season.

“Kromer got a lot bigger and could go up to 152 or 160,” Maute said. “He’s looking very good.”

Yet another Lew Port grappler, Andrew Shomers, came out on top in his first bout at the Times Union Center at 113, before facing the second and sixth place finishers.  He’ll be back looking for more, as will the wrestler who took second at the Section 6 championships at that weight – Andrew Marra of Olean, a 2012 All-Stater who came within one win of making the podium again.

While Marra received a ticket to the state tournament after a silver medal at the state qualifier, Cameron Swick of Royalton Hartland (106), Abdul-Fatah Alshawai of Lackawanna and Brian Westerdahl of Southwestern did not.  However, watch out for them this year (Swick went 25-5, Alshawai was 42-4 and Westerdahl was 41-5 in 2012-13).

Westerdahl beat Ed Hutschenreuter three times a year ago.  However, the Alden grappler is one to watch as he is a two-time state qualifier who won a match in Albany in both 2010 and 2011 before an injury cut his campaign short in 2012.

We haven’t forgotten about Cody McGregor of Tonawanda, who is already a two-time state placer, although he didn’t wrestle in Albany in 2013.  He recently took the mat at the Super 32 Challenge, picking up four victories at 132 pounds against tough opposition from around the country.  Is another trip to Albany in store?

“Last year’s 132-pound bracket was really tough,” Maute said. “There were four guys there who were All-State before and [McGregor] was the one that didn’t make it to the state tournament.  The three guys that finished ahead of him [Rodriguez-Spencer, Kromer and Fredonia’s Tyler Cassidy] all went to Albany and all placed. Cody was right there with them.  He’ll be back and ready to go.”

Like McGregor, Austin Acquard didn’t compete in the state capital last season despite having done so in the past.  Wrestling for Iroquois, Acquard had over 35 victories in the brutal 120-pound class in Division I that featured state runner up Steve Michel, multi-time placer Anthony Orefice and Lake Shore’s NHSCA All-American Freddy Eckles, among others.   Now competing for Pioneer, Acquard will look to represent Section 6 in the small school event, likely at 126 pounds.

Acquard isn’t the only one transitioning from DI to DII this season.  According to Maute, Dunkirk will be changing divisions and as a result, the small school competition now will have to think about Hector and Tito Colom. As a seventh grader, Hector had a 37-5 mark as of early February with a win over state qualifier Kyle Blake. Tito Colom, now a sophomore, had a similarly successful year, with 35 wins, including three over Division II state third placer Brad Bihler of Maple Grove.  Both were completely dominant in winning their brackets at the Journeymen Classic in September. Hector also added a third place showing at the Super 32 Middle School tournament at 100 pounds earlier this fall and a silver medal at the Suplay Kickoff Classic in Oklahoma last weekend.

While we’re talking about Dunkirk, keep an eye on freshman Nick Jones and Marquis Buchanan.

“Nick Jones could win the Section at heavyweight as a ninth grader,” Maute said. “Garrett Rath from Lew Port may be the favorite, but Jones beat him twice this summer.  He won more than 20 matches as an eighth grader at 285, which is pretty good, and he’s improved and bigger, so he’s definitely in the mix.  Buchanan started wrestling in 10th grade, so he was behind, but he put in a lot of work.  He probably wrestled 75 matches this offseason.  He got much more experience and has closed the gap and could do good things.”

 

Team Race

Lewiston Porter has the ability to compile significant points in the Section 6 tournament, led by wrestlers who notched more than 40 victories in 2012-13 — Ryan Kromer, DJ Marshall and Andrew Shomers.  In addition, Garrett Rath will certainly rack up wins at the heavyweight spot.

Falconer lost state placer Brandon Muntz and qualifier Kyle Blake, but the squad brings back wrestlers like Jake Penhollow, Kyle Ross and Jacob Peru as well as several others who had more than 25 victories in 2012-13.

“Falconer is always a really good dual meet team,” Maute said. “They may not have a lot of stars, but every guy they have is a good, solid wrestler.  They usually have lots of guys who win 20 or more matches. I think they’ll be in the mix again this year.”

Fredonia graduated a ton of talent with wrestlers like Zach Buckley, Jude Gardner, Tyler Cassidy, Pat McCarthy and Chris Saden finishing their careers.  However, Dakota Gardner is back and will lead the way, along with wrestlers like 26-match winner Julius Woma.

——————————–

Thank you to the contributors to this article, especially Keith Maute.

We will continue to post Section previews as the season approaches.  Here are some others already released:

Section 3

Section 7

Section 10

PSAL

Section 7 Preview: Fargo All-American Jordan Bushey, Former Top 8 Finisher Codie Gillette Among Those Looking to Break Through to the Podium in 2013-14

We have been posting previews for Sections around the state and today we continue with Section 7.  For links to previous articles, please see the end of this story.

A pair of All-State wrestlers from 2013, Troy Seymour of Peru and Gage Bourdeau of Beekmantown completed their senior seasons. And according to Peru coach Mike Hogan, Seymour’s teammate Nick Forget, who took fifth at 126 a year ago, has decided to graduate early and forgo his final season of high school wrestling.

But that doesn’t mean Section 7 won’t have contenders for state placement in 2014.

One wrestler who is likely to make an impact at the state level is Peru’s Jordan Bushey, who came within one win of the podium in Albany last season, with a 2-2 performance at 138 pounds.  Both of his victories were major decisions and his losses were to multiple-time state placers who are now freshmen at Division I programs (Connor Lapresi, Bucknell and Drew Longo, Lehigh).  Bushey had an impressive showing at the summer’s biggest event – the National Freestyle Championships at Fargo. He went 6-2 against some of the nation’s best competition, finishing as an All-American with a seventh place medal at 145 pounds.

“[Bushey] was close to placing at states – in the match to place he unfortunately wasn’t feeling well and it really held him back,” Hogan said. “At any rate, he put in the time this summer and did a great job in Fargo.  He could be at 152. He’s developed nicely and we’re pretty excited about his chances this year.”

Another Peru grappler looking to get back to the state capital is Ethan Feazelle, a sophomore who has won a match at the Times Union Center each of the last two seasons.   Hogan expects him to wrestle at 126 pounds.

While Tanner Phillips hasn’t taken the mat yet in Albany, he is a potential candidate to do so this time around after competing at Fargo this summer.  According to Hogan, the likely 160-pounder has taken second at the Section 7 championships three times.

[Another wrestler Hogan was excited about in the fall was 220-pounder Luke McKee, who made appearances at the Times Union Center the past two seasons and was the runner up in both Freestyle and Greco Roman at the New York States in May of 2013.  Unfortunately, according to the coach, McKee suffered a knee injury during the football season and will miss his senior campaign on the mat].

It isn’t just Peru wrestlers who are threats to make the medal stand.  In 2013, Matt Lashway of Northern Adirondack went 2-2 in Albany at 195 pounds to come within a victory of All-State honors.  After a 35-9 junior campaign, he’ll be one to watch in the upperweights.  Meanwhile, his teammate Austin Trombley got his hand raised in his initial contest at 106 pounds in 2013 at the state tournament before going 1-2 and will look for another shot in Albany.

That isn’t all.  Saranac also has some formidable wrestlers in the mix, including John Devins, who drew top-seeded Hunter Olena of East Rochester in the opening round of the state tournament at 99 pounds in 2013.  James Black of the Chiefs also had a tough test right away at the Times Union Center – nationally-ranked Burke Paddock of Warsaw.  Hogan also mentioned another strong lightweight from the Saranac squad – Jake Nolan.

“Devins was the Outstanding Wrestler in our section tournament last year,” Hogan said. “He’ll probably go 106. He’s very athletic and has wrestled since he was four.  He actually has generations of wrestling in the family – he’s definitely been around the sport.  He was only in seventh grade last year, but he was pretty tough.”

Also likely to represent Saranac at the last event of the high school calendar is Codie Gillette.  After making the top 8 as a sophomore in Albany, Gillette began strong with a major decision in the state capital this year before facing Norwich’s Frank Garcia, the eventual runner up, in the quarters at 145 pounds.  The match went to three overtimes before Garcia prevailed.  With his experience at the biggest event of the season, Gillette is a strong candidate to bounce back with a medal as a senior.

“Gillette is very tough,” Hogan said. “He won two matches at states before, but hasn’t put three together yet.  He’s a very hard worker who puts in time year round. He’s very close.”

A newcomer that could make some noise in Section 7 this year is Jay Oakes, formerly of Section II’s Galway.  According to Hogan, Oakes was undefeated a year ago and won his Class event before sustaining an injury in the Sectional tournament that effectively ended his season.

“He’s a tough kid who transferred in,” Hogan said. “I heard a lot of good things about Jay and he improved a lot this summer.”

From a team perspective, Peru has been the top squad in the Section and once again has a strong foundation with wrestlers such as Bushey and Feazelle.  But other teams, such as Saranac and Northern Adirondack have their share of talented wrestlers to potentially make things interesting.

“We should have a decent team and a good year,” Hogan said. “Saranac sent four kids to Fargo this summer like we did and when you do that, you’re training hard for at least a month and a half of the offseason.  Beekmantown always finds a way to put out a good team too.  I think we’ll have some good performances in Section 7 this year.”

—————————-

Thank you to the contributors to this article, especially Peru coach Mike Hogan.

 

Returning State Qualifiers from 2013

John Devins, Saranac (99)

Austin Trombley, Northern Adirondack (106)

Ethan Feazelle, Peru (120)

Nick Forget, Peru (126)**

Jordan Bushey, Peru (138)

Codie Gillette, Saranac (145)

James Black, Saranac (160)

Matt Lashway, Northern Adirondack (195)

Luke McKee, Peru (220)**

Scott Guerin, Northern Adirondack (285)

**Unlikely to compete according to Hogan

 

We will continue to post Section previews as the season approaches.  Here are some others already released:

Section 3

Section 10

PSAL

 

 

USA and Russia Split a Pair of Dual Meets in New York; Plus Cornell Wrestle-Offs, Hofstra in Oklahoma and More

World class international wrestling came to the Empire State this weekend, as Team Russia visited New York for a pair of duals against the USA.  On Saturday in Clifton Park, the visiting team captured a 4-3 victory, but the Americans returned the favor on Sunday in Ithaca by winning four of the seven bouts.

In the latter dual, three former Cornell stars represented the Red, White and Blue in front of the home crowd – Frank Perrelli, Kyle Dake and Cam Simaz.

Perrelli took the mat at 55 kg in the opening contest of the meet against Omak Syuryun.  Both wrestlers placed a week ago at the NYAC Holiday International (Syuryun second, Perrelli fourth).  It was the Russian that took charge early with a takedown shortly after the opening whistle.  He continued to add to his lead and finished with a 7-0 win.

It was a similar story at 60 kg, where Aleksandr Bogomoev got on the board first and controlled the remainder of the bout, defeating Jimmy Kennedy by technical fall to give the Russians a 2-0 dual lead.

However, in a back-and-forth affair, Kellen Russell shifted momentum at 66 kg.  The former Michigan NCAA champion fell behind 3-0 early, but fought back to take a 4-3 advantage at the end of the opening period.  The wrestlers exchanged leads for much of the second, with the score tied at 11 late in the period.  Russell then picked up two points for exposure and recorded the fall with just seconds remaining to get the USA on the board.

Photo by BV

It was then time for the second Big Red grappler – Dake – to take center stage.  He registered a pair of pushouts in the opening stanza to take a 2-0 lead after one. The only scoring in the second period was a pushout by the Russian with less than 30 ticks to go, giving Dake a 2-1 victory and knotting the dual at two matches apiece.

Clayton Foster kept things moving forward for the USA in a strong performance at 84 kg.  The former Oklahoma State upperweight attacked throughout the bout and for his efforts came away with a 9-1 triumph over Vladislav Gabaraev to make the team score 3-1 in favor of the Americans.

Next up was another Cornell graduate – Cam Simaz.  At last weekend’s NYAC Holiday International, Simaz met Georgii Gogaev.   The Russian took a 7-1 lead in that match before Simaz rebounded to win 14-7.  On Sunday, the two had a similar beginning, as Gogaev jumped out to an early 6-0 lead.  This time, there wasn’t a comeback, as the Russian notched a 9-0 win.

With each team having captured three matches, it all came down to the heavyweights —  Zach Rey of the USA and Aleksandr Kusraev of Russia. A passivity point and a pushout fueled Rey to the 2-0 victory and clinched the dual for the United States.

Prior to the main event, there were a trio of freestyle exhibition matches featuring New York wrestlers.

In the first, General Brown’s multi-time state placer Ryan Snow topped Ithaca’s Julian Korfine by a 9-2 score.  Next up was Lansing’s two-time NYS champion William Koll, who cruised to an 8-0 technical fall over Carl Rouse of Chenango Forks.

The third bout was a rematch of the 2013 Division I NYS finals at 99 pounds – Yianni Diakomhalis of Hilton and Vito Arujau of Syosset.  The two have met this offseason, with Diakomihalis, the #1 wrestler in the nation at 106 pounds, coming out on top.  However, on Sunday, Arujau earned a seven-point victory in an action-packed bout between two of the best freshmen in the country.

There were also bonus matches including Empire State standouts on Saturday at Shenendehowa High School before the first USA vs. Russia dual meet (aka, the Resurrection).

Porter, Photo by Justin Cummings/Spotlight News Sports Photographer

Women’s world team members Alexis Porter and Jenna Burkert were both totally dominant against Canadian opponents.  Porter, a high school senior, earned a 7-0 technical fall at 65 kg on familiar turf in her own high school gym over Keagin Collie.  After the first period, Porter led 6-0 and it didn’t take her long into the second stanza to end the match.

Burkert’s appearance on the mat was brief against last weekend’s second place finisher at the NYAC Holiday International, Michelle Fazzari, at 59 kg.  [Burkert was third at that event at 63 kg].  Burkert took control from the opening whistle and recorded a first period fall.

Then, it was time for the men’s competition.  Russia got off to a good start, capturing the 55 and 60 kg matches as Omak Syuryun topped Sam Hazewinkel 8-4 and Aleksandr Bogomoev picked up an 8-0 technical fall over Nick Simmons.

However, 16-year old phenom Aaron Pico of California turned the tide when he registered an 8-0 win over Alibeggediz Emeev, a wrestler who was the 66 kg runner up at the NYAC Holiday International last weekend.  In his senior level debut, Pico began with a pushout for a 1-0 lead about a minute into the match. That’s how the initial stanza ended, however, it wasn’t close for much longer as Pico notched a takedown shortly into the second period, added a pushout and then tacked on two more takedowns to clinch the victory.

Fay, Photo by Justin Cummings/Spotlight News Sports Photographer

Moza Fay then kept the momentum going for the USA, pinning Boris Makoev at 74 kg. But the visiting squad responded. At 84 kg, Keith Gavin controlled most of the contest against Vladislav Gabaraev and held a 4-2 lead late into the match.  It was the Russian, however, who owned the final minute, tying the score with 46 seconds to go and tacking on two more takedowns in the final 30 seconds to win 8-4.  Georgii Gogaev then made quick work of Dustin Kilgore at 96 kg with a 10-2 technical fall before Tyrell Fortune ended the dual on a positive note for the USA with a 2-0 win over Aleksandr Kusraev at heavyweight.

 

Also in Ithaca . . . the Cornell Wrestle-Offs

While Sunday allowed some of Cornell’s recent greats to take the mat on campus one more time, Saturday showcased some of the Big Red’s future stars in the Red/White Eliminations (wrestle-offs). The first five bouts of the afternoon resulted in major decisions, beginning with All-American Nahshon Garrett, who started the day off with a 17-6 victory over Bricker Dixon at 125 pounds.  Like Garrett, Mark Grey won a title last weekend at the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open.  Grey continued his strong start to the season, piling up points during a 15-4 win over Logan David at 133.

With Mike Nevinger recovering from an injury, freshman Corey Dake took the spotlight at 141, notching a 9-1 triumph over Josh Kennedy.  Fellow rookies Alex Cisneros and Brian Realbuto then came out on top decisively at 149 and 157.  Cisneros defeated Conner David 10-0 while Realbuto bested Taylor Simaz 11-1.

Palacio, Photo by BV

At 165, fans saw the first close bout of the day.  It didn’t look like it would be tight initially, as freshman Dylan Palacio took control early against Bearcat Open runner up Craig Eifert.  Palacio led 6-1 in the second period after a pair of takedowns and a reversal.  But Eifert stormed back, knotting the score in the third to force overtime.  In the extra session, Palacio struck with a takedown to capture the 9-7 victory.

After grabbing third at the Bearcat Open, Jesse Shanaman followed up with a 10-1 major over Jake George at 174 while freshman Gabe Dean, who entered the national polls this week after beating two ranked foes in Binghamton, topped Billy George 7-2 with a late takedown and near fall at 184.  197 pounders Jace Bennett and Steve Congenie then endured a back-and-forth battle. Congenie had two takedowns but Bennett reversed him both times.  The difference was a pair of back points, as Bennett collected the 6-4 win.

Finishing off the wrestle-offs at heavyweight were Stryker Lane and Jacob Aiken-Phillips.  After a scoreless first period, Lane scored five straight points on an escape, takedown and reversal to win 5-0.

Cornell returns to action next weekend at home with a dual against Binghamton and the New York State Intercollegiates.

Hofstra in the Sooner State . . .

Vaith

The Pride wrestlers have certainly taken on a number of challenges early in the season, facing multiple ranked teams last weekend. Hofstra squared off with another tough opponent on Sunday, dropping a 36-6 dual on the road against Oklahoma.

The home team went ahead early with a decision by returning NCAA champion Kendric Maple over Cody Ruggirello at 149 and a major by Justin DeAngelis against Nick Terdick at 157.  The Pride got on the board with a 1-0 win by Joe Booth at 165 over Clark Glass, but the Sooners then went on tear, capturing six consecutive matches.  In a meeting of ranked wrestlers, Luke Vaith ended the dual on a positive note for the Pride with a 6-3 win over 2012 All-American Nick Lester at 141.

And Results from a Few Additional Tournaments . . .

Several New York wrestlers made the top four at the East Stroudsburg Open on Sunday.  Binghamton’s Jack McKeever nabbed the title at 174 pounds with six victories.  His Bearcat teammate Nick Tighe, a three-time New York state champion, earned third at 133 in his second-ever college tournament.  In the bronze bout, he topped Hofstra’s Kyle Krasavage.  (A few other Empire State natives placed, including Brown’s Billy Watterson (champion at 125) and Anthony Finocchiaro (second at 133).  Two other New York high school wrestlers made the finals – Harrison Cook of Penn and Patrick Hogan, wrestling unattached.  Sean Badura of USMAPS was fourth at 125.

Brockport traveled to the Wolverine State for the Eastern Michigan Open on Saturday.  Making the podium for the squad was 197 pounder Paul Glover, who finished first.  He began with three decisions, before coming out on top in the championship round against Kenneth Hayden of Michigan.

At the Roger Williams Invitational, Cortland took third place, driven by champion Lance Moore (285), second placers Brian Bistis (141) and Joey Giaramita (197) and bronze medalists Jacob Green (125), Brendan Dent (157) and Lou Puca (174).

 

In non-college action, three wrestlers from New York took top four medals at the Suplay Kickoff Classic in Tulsa.  For a recap of that event, see here.

Here are the results from the USA vs. Russia Duals:

USA VS RUSSIA RESULTS at Ithaca (Sunday) USA 4, RUSSIA 3

55 kg/121 lbs. – Omak Syuryun (Russia) tech fall Frank Perrelli (USA) 7-0
60 kg/132 lbs. – Aleksandr Bogomoev (Russia) tech fall Jimmy Kennedy (USA) 8-0
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Kellen Russell (USA) fall Alibeggediz Emeev (Russia)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Kyle Dake (USA) dec Boris Makoev (Russia) 2-1
84 kg/185 lbs. – Clayton Foster (USA) tech fall Vladislav Gabaraev (Russia)  9-1
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Georgii Gogaev (Russia) tech fall Cam Simaz (USA) 9-0
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Zach Rey (USA) dec Aleksandr Kusraev (Russia) 2-0

HIGH SCHOOL EXHIBITIONS (FREESTYLE)

Ryan Snow (General Brown) over Julian Korfine (Ithaca)

William Koll (Lansing) over Carl Rouse (Chenango Forks)

Vito Arujau (Syosset) over Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton)

 

THE RESURRECTION – USA VS RUSSIA RESULTS (Saturday) at Clifton Park, RUSSIA 4, USA 3

55 kg/121 lbs. – Omak Syuryun (Russia) dec Sam Hazewinkel (USA) 8-4
60 kg/132 lbs. – Aleksandr Bogomoev (Russia) tech fall Nick Simmons (USA) 8-0
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Aaron Pico (USA) tech fall Alibeggediz Emeev (Russia) 8-0
74 kg/163 lbs. – Moza Fay (USA) fall Boris Makoev (Russia) 1:34
84 kg/185 lbs. – Vladislav Gabaraev (Russia) dec Keith Gavin (USA) 8-4
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Georgii Gogaev (Russia) tech fall Dustin Kilgore (USA) 10-2
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Tyrell Fortune (USA) dec Aleksandr Kusraev (Russia) 2-0

WOMEN’S EXHIBITION

59 kg/130 lbs. – Jenna Burkert (USA) fall Michelle Fazzari (Canada) 1:27
65 kg/143 lbs. – Alexis Porter (USA) tech fall Keagin Collie (Canada) 7-0

 

E-mail newyorkwrestlingnews@gmail.com with further results.

 

Hector Colom, Dylan Ryder and Ivan Garcia Finish in the Top Four at the Suplay Kickoff Classic in Tulsa

BY MATT DIANO

With the start of the 2013-2014 high school season right around the corner, a quartet of Empire Staters would make the trek all the way to Tulsa, Oklahoma to compete in the 2013 Suplay Kickoff Classic.  When the dust had settled after two fierce days of battle, three-fourths of the New Yorkers would find themselves in the top-four as Hector Colom would take second and Dylan Ryder would emerge with a third place finish in the 15 & Under division while youngster Ivan Garcia would claim a strong fourth in 10 U competition.

Ryder, a Candlewood resident who was representing the 631 Elite Wrestling Club, would post five wins at 75 pounds. He began with a defeat at the hands of the eventual champion, Kyle Biscoglia of Iowa, in the opening round of the tournament.  (Biscoglia is Flo’s #42 overall junior high prospect and was second at the 2013 Super 32 Middle School Tournament).  Up against a proverbial wall, finding himself in the consolation bracket a lot sooner than he is accustomed, the young Suffolk County stud would respond in a big way, pitching the 7-0 shutout over Oklahoman Spencer Edwards, and then following it up with back-to-back pins in a combined 3:37 against five-time Georgia Kids State Champion, Trevor Burdick (2:59) and 2013 Ohio Junior High State qualifier, Kyle Ryan (0:38).  In the consolation semifinals, Ryder would keep the momentum going, jumping out to a 5-0 lead before surrendering a late takedown to win 5-2 over 2013 Ohio Grade School State Champion, Gabriel Tagg.  In the bronze medal bout, Ryder would be in control from the opening whistle to the final buzzer, recording the only points of the match in a 5-0 decision over Pennsylvania’s Brandon Seidman. (He would lose his true second bout to Malik Heinselman).

Like Ryder, Hectom Colom’s tournament would begin on a bit of a sour note as he too would find himself on the short end of a decision (3-1) in the first round.  In a 101-pound match versus the host state’s Colton Denney, the Dunkirk eighth grader created multiple scramble positions in the third period in an attempt to even the score with a takedown.  To the credit of his foe, Colom would be unable to get himself sufficiently untangled to score the much needed points.  This hard fought loss would be the only one of the weekend for the Buffalo Wrestling Club representative as he would go on to utilize his excellent skills from the top position to reel off seven consecutive wins. Commencing his comeback effort with a 15-0 technical fall over Kansas’s Dante Rodd, Colom would find himself in a bit of a dogfight in his next bout against another opponent from the Jayhawk State, two-time Youth State placewinner (2nd in 2012; 3rd in 2013), Kaj Perez.  With the score all deadlocked at two apiece heading into the third period and Perez having choice, the New Yorker would come up clutch, breaking the tie with a tilt for three near-fall points.  This would prove to be the difference as he would ride out the full 90 second duration to advance with the 5-2 decision. Colom would have a much easier time of it in his next match, dominating Derek Holschlag to the tune of a 4-0 decision.  The runaway train of success would refuse to stop in the consolation quarterfinals when Colom earned a third period reversal to get a 6-4 win over 2013 Missouri Kids bronze medalist, Jackson Henson.

In the consolation semis, a rematch with Denney would await him.  However, unlike the first matchup, Colom would never allow himself to fall behind, fighting off a deep shot attempt in the first period, earning an escape in the second, and then riding out the entire third to walk away with the 1-0 decision.  In the third place match, it would be a case of déjà vu against New Jersey’s Christopher Cannon.  In identical fashion to his previous victory over Denney, a second period escape would be all Colom would need as he rode his way to victory, working a crab ride for much of the last 45 seconds and just missing near-fall on at least two occasions in the last half minute.

He then tackled one more challenge – a true second bout against Tanner Ward.  He emerged victorious in that contest by a 6-4 score to nab silver, a finish that caps off what has been an unbelievable offseason for Colom, as he adds this medal to the gold he won at the Journeymen Classic in September and the bronze he won in the Middle School division of the Super 32 tournament last month.

Last, but by no means least, would be Port Chester’s Ivan Garcia, who went 5-2 with both of his losses coming to the same opponent, California’s Alex M. Ramirez (3-1 decision in the quarterfinals; by fall in 2:27 in the third place bout).  Aside from his inability to master his rival from the West Coast, Garcia would cruise this weekend, using his excellent defensive skills to limit the offense of his foes. He would outscore his five victims by a cumulative tally of 22-2, beginning with 5-0 and 7-1 decisions in the first two rounds over Isaac Klinkhammer (2013 South Dakota Novice State runner-up) and Mitchell Mesenbrink (5th in the 2013 Wisconsin Kids State Tournament), respectively. Garcia would then shake off the disappointment of his first loss to Ramirez by going on a mini winning streak, beating back-to-back Arkansas wrestlers, Tristan Stafford (2-0) and Tripp Mays (1-0), before getting his hand raised one final time in the consolation semifinals, 7-1 over Jackson Eller.  The win over Eller would have to be considered one of the best of Garcia’s career when you consider that the former entered the tournament as a six-time ASICS/USA Wrestling Kids All-American in the international styles (including an Intermediate National Title in Greco-Roman in 2012).  While the weekend would end in defeat, there is no question that the Section I wrestler should be very proud of his effort as his top-4 finish here surpasses the sixth place showing he put forth last month at the Super 32 Tournament.

Tito Colom of Dunkirk was also in action this weekend, going 2-2 at 108 pounds.

For Full results, please visit Trackwrestling.com.

Big Red Update: Binghamton Open Recap and Some Big Upcoming Events

 

Cornell head coach Rob Koll provided the following update on last weekend’s opening action at the Binghamton Open and some big upcoming events in Ithaca.

 

Our guys opened the season wrestling “unattached” this past weekend in Binghamton. It was a great opportunity to put our practice room training to the test.  I am pleased to say that the vast majority of our guys passed.  Here is a brief synopsis of the weekend.

 

 

125:

I’m pretty sure I/we said that Nahshon Garrett would be a national champion before he graduated from Cornell.  The good news is it looks like he will make us look prophetic sooner rather than later. Nahshon absolutely dominated the field.  This domination included a 7-4 finals victory over Penn State’s 2x NCAA runner-up Nico Megaludis.  Nahshon has improved every facet of his wrestling.

133:

When we recruited current assistant coach Mike Grey almost seven years ago, we did so with the sole intent of attracting his much tougher brother Mark.  Our master plan is currently paying dividends. Mark blew through the weight class and wasn’t challenged until the finals where he defeated his Penn State opponent by a 3-1 score.  Over the past year, Mark has developed into an incredibly physical and athletic 133 pounder.  He is strong in every position and is brutally tough.  I do not recall ever having a freshman who hand-fights or controls the position as well as Mark. That being said, I have to say that in all honesty brother Mike still kicks his a… in practice! (Sophomore Logan David was 1-2).

141:

Mike Nevinger is nursing an injury but will be back in time for the Grapple at the Garden, if not sooner.  Corey Dake won two matches in his freshman debut while fellow freshman Eli Bienstock claimed one victory.

149:

Chris Villalonga looked great, pinning two opponents and winning by major decision in two other bouts.  He has put on a few pounds of muscle and he is wrestling with confidence.  Freshman Alex Cisneros also looked great as he dominated his way to the finals.  The two did not wrestle in the finals.

157:

Freshmen Brian Realbuto (7-1) and Taylor Simaz (5-1) both wrestled well.  This weight was a major question mark going into the season.  I am quite comfortable that this weight class will not be a weakness for the Big Red! (Chris Dowdy was 4-2)

165:

Junior Craig Eifert made a successful return to the mats after sitting out last year due to a knee injury.  Craig cruised to the finals before falling to NCAA champion David Taylor.  Craig is as good as anyone on his feet but needs to commit to his mat work.  Marshall Peppelman and Dylan Palacio were unable to compete due to injury and sickness.  Marshall will be back in two weeks and Dylan will compete this weekend. Jake George was 2-2.

174:

Sophomore Owen Scott wrestled his way to the finals before falling to All-American Matt Brown.  Owen is long, lanky and funky. He got a little banged up and will miss this weekend’s Red/White match.  Jesse Shanaman went 6-1 on his way to third place.

184:

Freshman Gabe “Bear” Dean mauled his way to the finals before falling to 2X NCAA champion Ed Ruth. On his way to the finals Dean defeated the country’s 10th and 15th ranked wrestlers.

197:

Junior Jace Bennett placed second.  Jace has made improvements every year and this year is no exception.  Jace has the physical and technical skills to be on the podium in March.  This will occur when he dedicates himself to dominating for seven complete minutes.  Jace still takes mental breaks but we will fix this weakness. Freshman Steve Congenie went 5-2, and placed 4th.

285: Stryker Lane went 4-2.

For complete results go to: http://www.bubearcats.com/sports/wrest/jkopen13.pdf

 

The Weekend Ahead

This weekend we have our Red/White wrestle-offs on Saturday at 3:00.  We originally set the time for 1:00 but moved it back to allow anyone who is at the football game to attend.  The matches are scheduled to be:

Red/White Wrestle Off

125- Nahshon Garrett vs Bricker Dixon

133- Mark Grey vs Logan David

141- Corey Dake vs. Josh Kennedy

149- Conner David vs Alex Cisneros

157- Brian Realbuto vs Taylor Simaz

165- Dylan Palacio vs Craig Eifert

174- Jake George vs Jesse Shanaman

184- Gabe Dean vs Michael Alexander/Billy George

197- Jace Bennett vs Steve Congenie

HWT- Jacob Aiken-Phillips vs Stryker Lane

 

USA vs. Russia Featuring Big Red Stars Dake, Simaz and Perrelli

Photo by BV

On Sunday, the Russians come to town to face the USA team featuring Kyle Dake, Cam Simaz and Frank Perrelli. The match starts at 1:00.  Admission is free for the Red/White and only $10 for the Russian dual.

Here is a great video promoting the Russian dual:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBKfI9dE8D

Hope to see you there!

All the best, Rob