Team NYWAY Takes 3rd and 631 Elite Grabs 7th; Diakomihalis Brothers, DeVincenzo Among Title Winners at NUWAY Summer Championships

On the first weekend in August, a number of Empire State wrestlers headed to the Jersey Shore to face top notch competition at the NUWAY Summer Championships.  New York was well represented in both the individual (five champions) and dual (two top seven teams) action.  For more details, read on.

Dual Tournament

On Saturday, 26 squads from six different states took the mat to crown a dual meet champion.  Both of the New York entries – Team NYWAY and 631 Elite fared well, with third and seventh place showings, respectively.  Several nationally-ranked grapplers participated, such as the top high school wrestler in the country – Chance Marstellar of Pennsylvania.

Team NYWAY, Courtesy of Adam Burgos

Team NYWAY‘s bronze medal came after 4-1 record.  The group began the day with two convincing victories – a 46-2 triumph over Paramus featuring five pins, and a 37-10 result against Ohio’s Titan Wrestling Club.  The New Yorkers lost just one contested bout during those meets.

The squad then moved on to the Gold Bracket with the other pool winners, and the results were similar early on.  Against Team Triumph Maize, the team got off to a great start courtesy of Kelan McKenna and Yianni Diakomihalis, who picked up a pin and technical fall at 102 and 108 to build an 11-0 cushion.  NYWAY then clinched the 30-14 victory down the stretch with four consecutive victories — by Connor Lapresi (145), Anthony Deprez (155), Quinn Zsido (167) and Collin Pittman (182).

That led to the semifinals, where NYWAY and Michigan’s Flat River Chubb Chubb each won six bouts. However, the squad from the Wolverine State rode a pair of falls, a major and two forfeits to a tight 23-21 victory. (Forfeits were worth two points).

The New Yorkers responded well to their only setback of the day, however, with a dominant 33-6 performance against the Michigan Gold Pitbulls in the consolation bracket.  In fact, the outcome was never in doubt as New York won the first nine matches to earn a place in the bronze match against Triumph Maize.

A number of NYWAY wrestlers went unbeaten on Saturday, including 5-0 grapplers Yianni Diakomihalis (two pins, three technical falls at 108) and Connor Lapresi at 145. Kelan McKenna and Theo Powers combined for a perfect record at 102, while Collin Pittman won all of his matches at 182.

Meanwhile, Long Island-based 631 Elite also began Saturday in dominant fashion, easing through Pool D action with a trio of commanding victories – 30-8 over Freehold Regional High School, 46-2 against Team Parsippany and 43-5 versus Long Branch.  So, it was on to the Gold Bracket.

Against Michigan’s Flat River Chubb Chubb, 631 Elite got off to a hot start, capturing decisions in the first four contests. (The wins were by Matteo Devincenzo (102), Peter Pappas (108), Jesse Dellavecchia (117) and Evan Corso (125)).  However, the Michigan squad grabbed six of the final eight matches to come out on top 27-18.  The next dual, against Triumph Maize ended in an 18-18 deadlock, but the New Jersey team was awarded the victory on criteria, and it was on to the seventh place match for 631 Elite.

The wrestlers ended the day in style, besting the Mat Factory Wrestling Club (Pennsylvania) 22-16 to take seventh. Leading the way throughout the event were a trio of competitors who went 6-0 – Matteo DeVincenzo (102 pounds), Peter Pappas (108) and Jimmy Leach (145).

Individual Tournament

Several individuals also stood out in Long Branch on Friday, as wrestlers took the mat in three different age groups.  New York had at least one champion at each level (Elementary, Middle School, High School).

The Diakomihalis family picked up titles in both the Elementary (Greg at 64/68 pounds) and High School (Yianni at 108) divisions. Both grapplers went 3-0 with each of their victories by bonus points.  Greg had a pin and a pair of majors in which he outscored his opponents 25-2.  Yianni, a 2013 New York state champion as an eighth grader, had a major decision against fellow Empire Stater Peter Pappas sandwiched in between two falls.  Pappas, from Nassau County, rebounded to take bronze.

Courtesy of Adam Burgos

Another returning state finalist, Matteo DeVincenzo of Suffolk County, won a challenging bracket on Friday in which the top three placers were medalists at the Times Union Center in February.  Devincenzo began with a technical fall over James Verbeyst in round one before topping Mexico’s Theo Powers 4-2 in the semis.  Then, in the title bout, Devincenzo blanked VVS Youth Wrestling’s Kelan McKenna, 4-0.  Powers came back for third.

There was more gold for New York in the High School event, with 2012 All-Stater Jimmy Overhiser of Corning, winning at 117.  The Wyoming Seminary-bound grappler began with a fall over an Ohio foe and followed with a 7-2 triumph over state placer Jesse Dellavecchia of 631 Elite in the semis. He then earned a 5-3 win over Val Miele.  Another New Yorker, Jon Errico of Iowa Style, lost only to Miele and took third.

Representing the Empire State as a champion at the Middle School level was David Flynn of Lions, who registered a pair of falls in :49 and 2:00 to win at 145 pounds.

Individual champions Yianni and Greg Diakomihalis were among the competitors that didn’t have enough wrestling after Friday and Saturday’s action.  They traveled to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania along with fellow G2 World Wrestling Academy grapplers Collin Pittman, Ryan Burgos, Anthony Deprez and Kyle Pittman late on Saturday to participate at the American State Games on Sunday.

The following are the members of Team NYWAY and 631 Elite and the individual champions from the NUWAY Summer Championships.

Team NYWAY

102 Theo Powers

102 Kelan McKenna

108 Yianni Diakomihalis

117 Jimmy Overhiser

125 Eric Januszkiewicz

130 Bryan Lantry

138 Richie Burke

145 Connor Lapresi

155 Anthony Deprez

167 Quinn Zsido

182 Collin Pittman

 

631 Elite

102 Matteo Devincenzo

108 Peter Pappas

117 Jesse Dellavecchia

125 Evan Corso

130 Tristin Devincenzo

138 Chris Mauriello

145 Jimmy Leach

155 Luke Drugac

167 Dennis Ferro

182 Jake Horton

200 Christian Araneo

Individual Tournament Champions

Elementary – 45/51  Joshua Jasionowicz of Peak Performance
Elementary – 64/68 Greg Diakomihalis of NYWAY
Elementary – 78/84 John Martin Best of Parkersburg Cougars
Elementary – 90/97 Anthony Russo of Unattached
Middle School – 75/90 Joey Carmichael of Scorpions
Middle School – 100 James Verbeyst of PAWS Elite
Middle School – 105/119 Robbie Garcia of Vernon
Middle School – 126/135 Zachary Rooks of Unattached
Middle School – 145 David Flynn of Lions
High School – 102 Matteo DeVincenzo of Unattached
High School – 108 Yianni Diakomihalis of NYWAY
High School – 117 Jimmy Overhiser of G2 World wrestling Academy
High School – 125 Nick Farro of X-Cel
High School – 130 Zack Cooper of Flat River Chubb Chubb
High School – 138 Jordan Hall of Flat River Chubb Chubb
High School – 145 Jesse Rodgers of Mat Factory
High School – 155 Nick Vandermeer of Flat River Chubb Chubb
High School – 167 Devon Pingel of Flat River Chubb Chubb
High School – 182 Tommy Sleigh of Mat Factory
High School – 200 Garett Stehley of Flat River Chubb Chubb
High School – 295 Ryan Prescott of Flat River Chubb Chubb

All-State Wrestler Jimmy Overhiser Ready for New Challenges as He Transfers to Wyoming Seminary

 
 

BY ZAKKARIAH ROLFE

What do the “Walsh Ironman”, the “Beast of the East”, and “The Clash” all have in common? For one, they are all FloMajor wrestling tournaments for the upcoming season. What else? They’re all on the Wyoming Seminary schedule for 2013-14. And they are three of the reasons 2012 All-State wrestler Jimmy Overhiser of Corning is transferring to Intermat’s second-ranked high school program for his junior campaign.

“Have you ever seen a tournament in New York that nationally ranked guys go to and don’t place?” Overhiser asked about the schedule he is determined to dominate. “Well, that’s what happens at those tournaments. The biggest reason I’m transferring to Wyoming Seminary is opportunity. They wrestle the toughest schedule in the USA. If you want to get college recognition, you need to wrestle the top competition week in and week out. That’s something I can’t get in Corning. ‘Sem’ is the perfect fit – but not only for wrestling; for every aspect of my life. I feel it gives me the greatest chance to succeed in whatever I choose to do.”

A big part of that is the coaching he will receive from a familiar face to many New York wrestling fans – Scott Green, a former Binghamton assistant and leader of the Shamrock Wrestling Club.  Green’s list of achievements is long, including being named the USA Wrestling FILA Junior/University Person of the Year in 2009.

“We are excited to have Jimmy on board,” the coach said. “His success in New York shows he has the potential to compete at the national level.  Making a jump to a boarding school like ours is a big step and Jimmy has shown by taking it that he is serious about his academic and athletic goals. I was just as impressed with Jimmy’s academic profile as I was with his wrestling ability in the admissions process. We think we can surround him with the right training partners to help him achieve his goals.”

Indeed, there’s little doubt that Overhiser will have a number of stellar wrestlers to push him.

“I’m going to be surrounded by around 11 state finalists and 10 Prep National All-Americans,” Overhiser said. “I’ve wrestled in hundreds of wrestling rooms, and not one room has ever given me the stability the ‘Sem’ room will give me.”

That stability will also be in place off the mat, although there will be a transition academically and in living away from home.

“It’s going to be great – I’m going to be living thirty seconds from some of the best wrestlers in the country, and I’m going to be living with my friends,” he said. “Who doesn’t want that? As for the academic standards, I’m living on campus right next to a library if I need to study or work on a project, I have a quiet place to work. Seminary has great resources and I’m looking forward to being able to use them to the fullest extent I can.”

It’s something that many others have done before. It certainly worked for two-time National Prep Champion and future Ivy League wrestler Eric Morris.

“’Sem’ helped develop me in ways that I didn’t even realize I was lacking before coming,” Morris said on Facebook. “Suddenly I became more than an athlete; I became a student-athlete. I grew to love learning and as a result I was able to achieve higher grades and test scores than I thought I was capable of. My college ambitions changed from going to a good school to going to a great school. I came to Sem as a talented wrestler and I graduated as a promising Division I athlete and future student at Harvard.”

After a fourth place finish in New York at 106 pounds in 2012 and a 36-5 campaign in 2013 at the same weight, Overhiser has similarly high expectations for himself. (He will likely wrestle at 113 or 120 pounds this year).

He said he is looking to go undefeated and win a Prep National title, and in the long run Overhiser looks to compete for Cael Sanderson and the Penn State Nittany Lions.

“Wyoming Seminary gives me the best opportunity to complete all those goals,” he said. “My job is to take that opportunity and run with it.”