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,

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)