New York Kong Earns Spot in the Final Four at Disney Duals After Winning Nine Straight

Next stop – semifinals.

Team New York Kong took eighth at the Disney Duals last year, but guaranteed a better finish in 2013 after winning for the ninth consecutive time in Orlando this week to make the tournament’s final four.

Photo by Steve Weber

On Monday, the wrestlers once again put on a convincing show, winning nearly every contested match (the squad forfeited some bouts) in their victories over Brawlers Fire and Michigan Freeze in the last two duals of pool competition, according to John Passaro.

Those triumphs led to an appearance in the championship bracket of 16, where the New Yorkers came out on top against the Wrestling Factory (Ohio) 41-19, the group associated with one of the top high school programs in the country, St. Edward’s. The bout began at 106, where East Islip’s Jesse Dellavecchia trailed 4-2 before earning a momentum-building second period fall.

“The match was much closer than the score indicated,” Passaro said. “[The opening pin] set the tone for the match against a very tough team.”

Shortly afterwards, the Empire State squad took the mat again against another foe from the Buckeye State – the Ohio Hawks.  The team built a lead from the start, capturing the first six contests. Coming out on top were Kyle Quinn (106), Nick Piccininni (113), Travis Passaro (120), Alex Delacruz (126), Matt Leshinger (132) and Nick Kelley (138).

And New York finished the job from there, with heavyweight Mike Hughes solidifying the victory with a pin at 285 to make the final score, 30-18 and set up the semifinal meeting with Diesel (Pennsylvania).

That clash will take place Tuesday morning at 10 a.m.

The team is coached by Anthony Ciolino and Steve Hromada.


Team NY Kong Moves to 5-0 at Disney Duals After Three Lopsided Wins on Sunday

On Saturday, Team New York Kong cruised through the competition on the way to two dominant dual victories. On Sunday things were even more lopsided in the squad’s three victories over Doughboy Blue, South Dakota Red and Team Ohio Mafia.  In fact, the Empire State grapplers shut their opponents out in the first two meets and overall captured 40 of the 42 individual matches during the trio of dual wins, according to John Passaro.

Day three of action on Monday will begin bright and early for the New Yorkers, as they start at 8 a.m. against Brawlers Fire. After that, it will be a match with Michigan Freeze in the early afternoon.

And then, the “playoff” portion of the event begins as a national championship team will be crowned. Stay tuned for further updates.

Team New York Kong

106 Kyle Quinn

106 Jesse Dellavecchia

113 Nick Piccininni

120 Travis Passaro

126 Alex Delacruz

132 Matt Leshinger

138 Nick Kelley

145 Brandon Lapi

145 Frank Garcia

145 Jakob Restrepo

152 Joe Mastro

160 Steven Schneider

170 Carlos Toribio

182 James Corbett

195 Nick Weber

220 Josh Bonneau

285 Mike Hughes