High School Round Up: Weekend News and Notes from the Road to Albany

It’s February and that means the road to the state championships has begun.  On Saturday and Sunday, a number of postseason events took place across the state, helping to shape the brackets for this weekend’s Sectional qualifiers.

There were too many big matches and results to recap, but here are just a few of the things that caught our eye.  The countdown to the first whistle at the Times Union Center is now just about two and a half weeks away!

In Section 1, Yorktown has had a strong presence in our individual rankings this season with Joe Mastro, Steven Sabella and David Varian included in the last version and Thomas Murray falling just outside our top 8 at 182.  Those wrestlers continued their winning ways this weekend, with Sabella having a tough match with another high quality wrestler – Scott Wymbs of Horace Greeley.  Both of those wrestlers have what it takes to make some noise later this month.

Dale White of John Jay East Fishkill made the medal stand at 145 a year ago and was someone we were tracking as a potential state title contender coming into the campaign.  However, he didn’t compete due to injury until January.  This weekend, he picked up a title and is undefeated in limited action thus far at 160.  Perhaps his time off will benefit him down the stretch run.

Ashley, Photo by Josh Conklin

In Section 2, Levi Ashley spent a bulk of the season at 182 pounds for Shenendehowa where he took fourth at the Eastern States Classic and nearly placed at the Reno Tournament of Champions against some of the nation’s best.  For the past few weeks, however, he has been up at 195 pounds and has gone undefeated there.  That run includes multiple wins over the tough Wayne Burt of Colonie, including a major decision in the finals over the weekend.  He seems primed for a strong postseason.

Meanwhile, El Shaddai Van Hoesen continued his total dominance, quickly pinning Colonie’s Austin DiCerbo, a wrestler who could contend for the medal stand in Albany if he earns the opportunity.

In Section 3, a few wrestlers ranked in the state were upset. At heavyweight, Canastota’s Jacob Morris beat Brandon Fayle of Lowville 3-2 in the semifinals of the Class C tournament before topping Brandon Yager of Ilion for the championship.  Fayle pinned Morris to win the Class title a year ago.

In addition, Ryan O’Rourke of Adirondack (ranked at 99), fell at 106 pounds to Hunter Owen of Sherburne-Earlville while Ben Honis, who was in the honorable mention section of the rankings, continued his strong season with a 3-2 win over Baldwinsville’s Joe Nasoni.  It was Nasoni’s first loss at 195 this year.

In Section 4, Jordan Torbitt of Whitney Point took center stage at the Class B Championships. Last year as an eighth grader, Torbitt won more than 25 matches and took second at the Sectional tournament at 152 pounds behind All-Stater Dan Dickman of Greene.  He has continued to shine as a freshman, bringing a 33-1 mark into the weekend after avenging his only loss to Newark Valley’s Trevor Hoffmeir.  Torbitt impressed again on Saturday, beating Norwich’s Frank Garcia, a returning state qualifier who was ranked in New York.

Dietrich, Photo by Josh Conklin

The Greene middle/upper weights looked solid with Mike Beckwith and Christian Dietrich grabbing first place. Teammate Joel Roselle missed some time in the lineup but returned at 182 pounds where he took second behind Unatego’s Ryan Marszal.

In Section 5, a pair of wrestlers ranked in New York squared off in the finals of the Class A tournament at 99 pounds, with #1 Yianni Diakomihalis pinning Wayne’s Jake Yankloski.  It was a good day for a number of Diakomihalis’s teammates as well, as brothers Vincent, Anthony and Lou Deprez all won Class A crowns.

In that same tournament, Yankloski’s teammate Bryan Lantry picked up a major decision over Brockport’s Barton Peters, who had come in with a 22-2 mark.

Like Diakomihalis, Hornell’s Zack Bacon sat atop our last set of individual New York State rankings.  The 220 pounder has rarely been challenged this season as he won by bonus points in his first 33 matches.  However, John Martisch presented an formidable obstacle as Bacon edged the Penn Yan wrestler 2-1.

In Section 6, in a battle of All-State wrestlers, Steve Michel of Lancaster pinned Anthony Orefice for his second victory over the Lockport wrestler this season at 120 pounds. (The first was a close decision). It wouldn’t be surprising to see the two of them square off again next weekend as they look to get back to Albany.

In another meeting of previous placers, returning state runner up Drew Hull of Royalton Hartland edged Jude Gardner at 145 pounds.  It was Hull’s second victory over the Fredonia wrestler this year.

Gardner’s teammate Chris Saden brought an unblemished record into the weekend, however, he was upended in the finals, as Steven Warthling of Tonawanda earned a 9-6 decision.  It should be an interesting weight at Sectionals.

Troy Seymour became the first-ever wrestler from Section 7 to reach 200 wins.  On Thursday night, the Peru senior pinned Hunter Bishop in the first period at 170 pounds to pick up the milestone victory.  In addition, Peru captured the Champlain Valley title over Saranac.

Hernandez, Photo by Josh Conklin

In Section 8, Mepham’s Jamie Dunn was an All-County wrestler in 2012 and figured to contend for the Nassau title this year.  However, he entered the qualifier with a 23-15 record.  He exited with a title, winning four straight matches, including avenging a loss to Matt Krause and beating top seeded Lucas Pincus in the finals.  His teammates Louis Hernandez and Dan Tracy breezed to championships as well with all bonus wins and look to return to the Times Union Center for the second straight time.

138 pounds will certainly be interesting in the Nassau tournament. Highly ranked wrestlers like Rob Bennett of MacArthur, Quinn Knauer of Baldwin and Rob Rosenberg of Hewlett were among those upset and new contenders emerged, such as Brian Quiroz of Valley Stream Central who came in with a 3-1 record with all four matches in December up at 152 pounds.

Also of note, returning state runner up Justin Cooksey of MacArthur didn’t compete.

Section 9 held its JV Championships over the weekend.  For full results, see here.

In Section 10, Gouverneur closed out another undefeated conference season with a home victory over Massena.  Senior Dillon Stowell collected his 150th career victory and will try for his first state title in a few weeks after placing multiple times.

In Section 11, there were a number of rematches between wrestlers ranked statewide. At 99 pounds, John Arceri of Huntington avenged a loss by fall to John Busiello by edging the Eastport South Manor wrestler 3-2 on Saturday.

In another rematch between two of the top grapplers in New York, Alex Tanzman defeated James Szymanski again, this time by pin. The two had recently wrestled a close bout at 106.

In addition, Islip’s Brad Wade topped Huntington’s Corey Jamison at 126 pounds by a 2-1 score for the second time this season. Wade has been on a very impressive run after a few early losses and looks like a threat to win some matches in Albany – if he can get through the challenging 126-pound Suffolk bracket.

Tyler Walsh of West Islip lost 9-4 to returning fourth placer Joe Calderone of Walt Whitman earlier in the campaign.  This weekend, he prevailed by the same score against Calderone.  Walsh has quietly had a very strong 32-2 year with his only other setback coming against Danbury’s Kevin Jack, the Eastern States Champion at 120.

An article on the PSAL Dual Championship won by Brooklyn Tech, can be found here.

In CHSAA action, Monsignor Farrell crowned seven champions in the New York City qualifier and at least 19 wrestlers from the squad will compete in the Catholic States next weekend.  In the Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA League Finals, St. Anthony’s Johnny Vrasidas was named Most Outstanding Wrestler while teammate Joe Russ earned Champion of Champion accolades.

The following is a compilation of some of this weekend’s results. More will be added when available.  That countdown to Albany continues . . .


Section 1, Divisional Results

Section 2 Class Results

Section 3 Results

Section 4 Results

Section 5, Class A

Section 5, Class AA

Section 5, Class B

Section 5, Class BB

Section 5, Class BBB

Section 6, Class A

Section 6, Class AA

Section 6, Class C

Section 6, Class D

Section 8, Division I at Mepham

Section 11 Results

Catholic Qualifier (Upstate)

Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA



Returning State Placers McDevitt, Fabian, Calderone and Hughes Among the Champions at the Ken Lesser Memorial Long Island Summer Heat



For videos of the event, see the link: videos

Photo by Phototrens, http://www.phototrens.com

In February, Wantagh’s Dan McDevitt took the mat at Hofstra at the Section 8 Championships, winning the Nassau crown and a berth to the State tournament at 138 pounds.

This weekend, McDevitt once again wrestled on the Pride campus and earned a spot on the top of the podium.  However, this time at the Ken Lesser Memorial Summer Heat event, he did it in a class 35 pounds heavier.

“I’m just growing and lifting,” McDevitt said.  “I still have plenty of room to grow.  I’m almost six foot now.  I’ve gained about 40 pounds from when the season ended.  I’m just eating and enjoying myself.”

The rising senior enjoyed himself on Saturday as well as he won a loaded weight that had multiple county champions and placers, including Nassau’s first and third placers at 152 (Dan Tracy and Steven Schneider) and Mattituck’s Tomasz Filipkowski, who was one round from medaling at 170 pounds in Division II, among others.

“The 173 bracket was pretty tough,” said event director Steve Meehan. “McDevitt wrestled well and had a very impressive tournament.”

He began with a 5-0 victory and pin before notching a 10-4 decision over Daniel Grabher in the semis.  The Warrior finished strong, defeating Tracy 10-1 to take the title, which he hopes will catapult him toward his goal of winning a state championship at the Times Union Center in 2013.  The question is, at what weight class?

“As of right now, I’m really not sure,” McDevitt said.  “It’s really up in the air completely.  If the season started tomorrow, I could get down to 52.  But I’m really looking to go 70.  But if I don’t get up to 185 or that range, I really don’t know if that’s reasonable given the size of my competitors.”

There was a large group of strong competitors at the event on Saturday across the weights, with around 280 total wrestlers entered in the high school and open divisions.

“The turnout was pretty good and we ended around the time we expected,” Meehan said, adding that an eighth mat might be added in 2013.  “Having it in an air conditioned building was a plus.  We originally called it ‘Summer Heat’ because it used to be in high school gyms which were very hot.  I think all in all, it was a pretty good success and we saw some very good wrestling.”

One source of that good wrestling was TJ Fabian, who like McDevitt, was on the podium at the state tournament last year (fourth at 120).  The Shoreham Wading River rising senior was in control throughout the day, cruising to the 135-pound championship with two pins, a technical fall and a major.

“Fabian had a really good year last year and he should make some noise at the states again this year,” Meehan said.

Two other wrestlers who made some noise last year at states earned gold on Saturday.  At 116 pounds, Whitman’s Joe Calderone recorded three pins in four matches and at heavyweight, Mike Hughes of Smithtown took the title with a pair of falls.

Several other NYPHSAA qualifiers grabbed first place on Saturday, including Louis Hernandez (Ascend), who dominated in the 155-pound bracket, outscoring his opponents 52-15 during the day.   Meanwhile, Sam Melikian, wrestling for Iowa Style, had one close match – a 4-3 victory over Conor O’Hara of Sachem East – but otherwise won only by bonus points on his path to the 141-pound crown.

Melikian wasn’t alone.  Several champions racked up significant bonus points on their path.  Registering two or more pins were Jesse Dellavecchia at 102, Chris Cataldo at 129, Brendan Dent at 148, Carlos Toribio at 185 and Kevin Tynes at 223.  Also winning titles with some bonus wins were Christian Briody at 109, Joseph Russ at 123 and Chris Chambers at 198 and Christopher Plutchok at 163.

In addition to the efforts on the mat, Meehan mentioned the key role of the many volunteers who helped to make the tournament run smoothly.  Their work exemplified that of the tournament’s namesake, Ken Lesser.

“The tournament is named for [Lesser] for a number of reasons but a big one is because of the pure volunteer that he was,” Meehan said. “The first words out of his mouth were always, ‘what can I do to help?’  He helped his own school and Long Island wrestling so much.”

For the top three placers in each weight, see below.

For full brackets for the High School Division, see this link.

For full brackets for the Open Division, see this link.

For videos, see videos

Championship Matches and Third Place Finishers

102 Pounds: Jesse DellaVecchia (East Islip) over Chris Martorello (VHW), 8-3

Third: Brett Brice (Longwood)


109 Pounds: Christian Brody (Chaminade) over Christopher Meloni (SWR), 4-2

Third: Matt Stallone (Sachem North)


116 Pounds: Joe Calderone (Whitman) over Evan Corso (X-Cel), Fall

Third: Ben Lamantia (VHW)


123 Pounds: Joseph Russ (VHW) over Simon Greebel (Ascend), 4-3

Third: Jack Taddeo (SWR)


129 Pounds: Chris Cataldo (Five Star) over Marshall Winston (St. Anthony’s), 7-6

Third: Tyler Walsh (West Islip)


135 Pounds: TJ Fabian (X-Cel) over Vinny Turano (Wantagh), 9-0

Third: Michael LaNasa (Plainedge)


141 Pounds: Sam Melikian (Iowa Style) over Alex Ynoquio (Beat the Streets)

Third: Conor O’Hara (Sachem East)


148 Pounds:  Brendan Dent (Connetquot) over Matthew Haenel (VHW), 6-1

Third: Kevin Jackson (Ascend)


155 Pounds: Louis Hernandez (Ascend) over Declan Grey (VHW), 13-4

Third: Richie Luxmore (Hogwarts)


163 Pounds:  Christopher Plutchok (Wantagh) over Michael Vespe (Ascend), 9-4

Third: Paul Gernavage (West Babylon)


173 Pounds: Dan McDevitt (Wantagh) over Dan Tracy (Ascend), 10-1

Third: Steven Schneider (VHW)


185 Pounds: Carlos Toribio (Beach Boyz) over Johnny Vrasidas (St. Anthony’s), 4-0

Third: Matt Goulbourne (Central Islip)


198 Pounds:  Chris Chambers (East Islip) over Gio Santiago (Sachem North), 17-4

Third: Jake Horton (Pat-Med)


223 Pounds: Kevin Tynes (Brooklyn Tech) over Endy Nunez (Clarke), Fall

Third: Nicholas DellaPace (Nesconset)


288 Pounds: Mike Hughes (Smithtown) over Lester Enriquez (Hewlett), Fall

Third: Dan Hayden (East Islip)


Open Division

Weight Class 1:

Champion: Andrew Petroulias (Westhampton)  2nd Place: Jonathan Reyes (West Babylon)

Weight Class 2:

Champion: Robert Ferrante (Team Tugman)  2nd Place: John Lanzillotti (Ohio State)

Weight Class 3:

Champion: Davon Russell (Global)  2nd Place: Adam Troy (Huntington)

Weight Class 4:

Champion: Blake Fisher (Seaford)  2nd Place: Sean Messina (Hunter)

Weight Class 5:

Champion: Joe Cataldo (Five Star)  2nd Place: Clint Bodo (New Hyde Park)

Weight Class 6:

Champion: Colin Gironda (Franklin & Marshall)  2nd Place: Patrick Argast (Belmont Abbey)

Weight Class 7:

Champion: Gregory Martin (Kings Park)  2nd Place: Ryan Kelly (Power)

Weight Class 8:

Champion: Brian Slattery (Mount St. Vincent)  2nd Place: Michael Karbowiak (Crossfit)