A Look at the Juniors: Who are the 11th Graders to Watch in New York?

We have been discussing some of the top wrestlers in New York over the past month or so.  We started with our #1 Junior High School grappler in the state, Penfield eighth grader Frankie Gissendanner (see link),then profiled top freshman Yianni Diakomihalis and discussed other ninth graders to watch.  Then, we wrote about the wrestler at the top of the Class of 2016 rankings – Christian Dietrich and other standout sophomores. Next, we discussed stellar junior Nick Piccininni.

Now it’s time to talk about some of the other 11th graders to keep tabs on this season. There were significant differences of opinion on how these wrestlers stack up against each other.  The order of this list could go numerous different ways and will no doubt look different as the season progresses.  For now, however, here’s a look at some of the stars in the Class of 2015.

 

Piccininni, Photo by BV

#1 Nick Piccininni (Ward Melville)– In the eyes of some, Piccininni is the top pound-for-pound wrestler in New York.  The two-time state champion breezed through his sophomore campaign, winning all 43 matches with only four regular decisions.  In a bout many were anticipating the entire season, Piccininni completely dominated multiple-time state titlewinner Kyle Kelly, 14-4, to grab his second gold medal in Albany.  The Ward Melville standout finished second at the FloNationals this spring and went undefeated at the Disney Duals in the summer against top flight competition.  He did the same thing at the Journeymen Classic and the Iron Horse Invitational. Currently ranked #12 among juniors by FloWrestling and #30 by Intermat, Piccininni is a heavy favorite to capture state crown number three.  For more on Piccininni see this link.

#2 Tristan Rifanburg (Norwich) – Rifanburg burst onto the scene several years ago when he grabbed a state championship as a seventh grader.  He has been back to the title bout at the Times Union Center two more times, earning second place in 2011 and 2013, while finishing sixth in 2012.  As a freshman, Rifanburg also earned the silver at the NHSCA National championships. The Section IV standout is ranked as one of the top 100 juniors in the nation by FloWrestling.

#3 Adis Radoncic (Poly Prep) – The PSAL’s first-ever state champion (for RKA) didn’t face an easy path to gold in February, defeating top-seeded Christian Dietrich and multi-time placer Troy Seymour.  In fact, by defeating Dietrich 4-3 in the title bout, Radoncic avenged one of his two losses in a 27-2 campaign.  The three-time state qualifier also came within one win of placing at the state tournament in 2012. Radoncic, who transferred to Poly Prep and confirmed that he will be a junior in 2013-14, was active in the offseason, taking fifth at the NHSCA Nationals in Virginia Beach and competing at Fargo, the Journeymen Classic and the Iron Horse Invitational.

#4 Kyle Quinn (Wantagh) – Quinn had an excellent 36-2 campaign for Wantagh, picking up a state title at 106 pounds.  The multiple-time NHSCA Nationals All-American (third at 106 in 2013) defeated a number of New York state medalists, including Steven Sewkumar and Jon Haas, in the regular season.  In Albany, he pinned All-State wrestler Jimmy Overhiser in the second round before avenging his only two losses of the campaign by beating New Rochelle’s Nick Barbaria, 7-1.  In the state title bout, Quinn came out on top against Westhampton Beach’s Alex Tanzman.  The Nassau County standout also collected victories for Team Kong at the challenging Disney Duals.  His credentials land him high on this list and he will certainly face challenges as a junior, as he may get to face wrestlers who have defeated him in recent weeks – Jesse Dellavecchia, Vito Arujau and Yianni Diakomihalis.

#5 Tommy Dutton (Rocky Point) – Dutton has been competitive at the varsity level for quite some time.  In his 10th grade season, he made his first appearance on the podium in the state capital, taking fourth at 138 pounds after an impressive 50-4 campaign.  The Section 11 star picked up fourth at the Eastern States Classic with his only setbacks coming against an out of state grappler, Derek Arnold of Virginia.  Dutton collected All-American status in 2012, both at the NHSCA Nationals and at Fargo in Freestyle.  He didn’t compete at those events in 2013, but his activity this fall demonstrates that he’s ready to go in his 11th grade campaign.  Dutton took second at the Journeymen Classic up at 152 pounds, losing only to returning state champion Louis Hernandez of Mepham. He then captured the title at the Iron Horse Invitational, including an impressive victory over Gary Dinmore, a two-time New Jersey state runner up who is ranked among the top 100 seniors in the land.

#6 Nick Casella (Locust Valley) – After taking second place at the 2012 New York State championships, Casella earned his way back to the finals in Albany this February where he picked up his second silver medal, this time up at 113.  It was the end of a 39-4 campaign in which half of his losses were to eventual state champion Dillon Stowell of Gouverneur.  Casella followed up the high school season by showing he could compete with some of the nation’s best.  He collected All-America accolades at Virginia Beach and at Fargo, where he took seventh in Greco Roman.  He also competed at the Junior Duals for Team New York in Oklahoma in a busy offseason.

#7 Jesse Porter (Shenendehowa) – Porter has made only one trip to Albany after taking the Section II title as a freshman.  A year ago, he didn’t have the opportunity, as an injury sidelined him after the end of December.  However, he demonstrated clearly this summer that he is formidable wrestler on the national level when he went all the way to the finals in Cadet Greco Roman at Fargo at 152 pounds before placing second.  He followed that showing with a fifth place medal in Freestyle in North Dakota.  Porter looks to be ready for a breakout year in the Empire State.

#8 Nick Gallo (Schalmont) – Gallo grabbed the silver medal at the state tournament in February at 160 pounds, after falling one win shy of the podium as a freshman at 152 (losing to the third and fourth place finishers).  This February, Gallo had a tough path to the finals, besting placers in each of his first three bouts – Gunnar Van Curen (6th), Tyler Silverthorn (5th) and Matt Fisher (3rd).  He went 45-4 as a sophomore in Section II, also making the medal stand at the Eastern States Classic where his losses were in sudden victory to Virginia’s Steven Aiello and 4-2 to the state runner up in Division I, Steve Schneider (and by disqualification).

Garcia, Photo by BV

#9 Frank Garcia (Norwich) – The Division II state runner up at 145 pounds this year also took fifth at the Eastern States Classic in January.  After missing time early in the season, Garcia came back strong, avenging a loss to fellow All-Stater Jordan Torbitt to win the Section IV title and collecting a win against past state medalist Isaiah Riccio along the way. The Norwich grappler was one match from placing at 132 as a freshman where he was edged by eventual state champion Connor Lapresi, 3-2.

#10 Anthony Orefice (Lockport) – The two-time placer from Lockport began last season at 113 pounds, where he notched impressive wins such as a convincing 7-1 triumph over eventual Division II state champion Dillon Stowell.  He transitioned up to 120 as the season progressed and went 41-6 overall. All but one of his losses were to All-State wrestlers – three times to New York runner up Steve Michel as well as to Travis Passaro and Mike D’Angelo. A multiple-time NHSCA All-American, Orefice will likely be right back in the mix in 2013-14.

#11 Sam Ward (Locust Valley) – Ward notched his first appearance on the medal stand at the Times Union Center when he took fifth at 132 pounds.  He compiled a 38-4 mark, including quality wins over state placers Vinny Turano and Ryan Kromer.  Three of his losses were to top three medalists in New York – champion Matt Leshinger (by a 3-2 score), runner up Tristan Rifanburg (by a 3-1 tally) and Clyde Carey.  He has also made his mark on the national stage, capturing All-America status at Fargo in 2012 and in Virginia Beach in 2013.  He recently was second at the Journeymen Classic.

#12 Jesse Dellavecchia (East Islip) The Section 11 grappler had a great year at 99 pounds for East Islip, earning fourth at the state tournament and beating several strong opponents.  He also tacked on a fifth place showing at the NHSCA Nationals tournament and notched a victory over the previously mentioned Kyle Quinn at the Journeymen Classic.  He’ll be moving up in weight, but has the potential to go very high on the podium in Albany once again.

Mike D’Angelo was discussed by a number of contributors to this article as someone who will no doubt move up this list as the season moves forward. In a tough weight in Suffolk County, he had a strong sophomore campaign in which he racked up 40 victories and took fifth in Albany. He was defeated twice by state champion Alex Delacruz and twice by third placer Travis Passaro, but registered solid wins over state qualifiers Joe Russ and Lou DePrez as well as All-Staters John Muldoon, Santo Curatolo and the aforementioned Anthony Orefice.  The previous season, as a freshman, D’Angelo was also stellar as he went 33-3 with all three setbacks coming by decision to Nick Piccininni.

Speaking of accomplished wrestlers, Tony Recco of Lyndonville was a state champion as a freshman, but was injured prior to the postseason as a tenth grader and was unable to go for another title in Albany.  We look forward to seeing him back in the fray.

Another lightweight to consider is Mike Raccioppi of Minisink Valley.  The Section 9 grappler faced many of the Empire State’s best last year and took sixth at the Eastern States as well as winning two matches in Albany to come one win from a medal at 126.  Richie Burke of Ithaca, did the same, capturing two victories at the Times Union Center at 132 while Andrew Shomers of Lewiston Porter also got his hand raised in Albany. While we’re mentioning lightweights, Shoreham Wading River’s James Szymanski put on a show at the Eastern States Classic, taking third at 106 pounds.  He didn’t earn a bid to the state tournament, but will be someone to monitor this year as well.  Another wrestler who notched third at SUNY Sullivan, North Rockland’s Blaise Benderoth, a multiple-time state qualifier, will look to place for the first time.  As will Islip’s Brad Wade, a wrestler with a number of quality wins who looks join three other ‘Wades’ on top of the state podium.

How about some others who did find a spot on the medal stand in 2013?  Monroe Woodbury’s Vinny Vespa earned fifth at 99 pounds while Dolgeville’s Danny Fox grabbed second at 106.  Cody McGregor placed twice in NYS for Tonawanda but didn’t make an appearance on the mats at the Times Union Center this year.  He’ll look to get back in 2014.

One of the wrestlers who has grabbed our attention this offseason is Jakob Restrepo of Sachem East. He and Jordan Bushey of Peru both earned All-American status at Fargo at 145 pounds.  (Connetquot’s Gino Titone also picked up five wins in the same bracket, just missing the podium). In the last few weeks, Restrepo has defeated a trio of state silver medalists – Brandon Lapi and Frank Garcia at the Journeymen Classic and Vincent DePrez at the Iron Horse Invitational.  It looks like he’s ready for a breakout year.

In addition to those victories, Restrepo was also sixth at the NHSCA Nationals in the spring where other New York wrestlers placed.  They are: Brandon Aviles (Newfield), Ben Lamantia (St. Anthony’s), Richie Jones (St. Joseph’s Collegiate), Vincent Feola (Walt Whitman) and Trevor Allard (Mexico).

In the middleweights, Connor Lawrence of Duanesburg came within a match of placing in Albany, defeating another 40-win wrestler, Max Lloyd of Palmyra Macedon along the way. Section 2’s Jake Ashcraft and Geno Brancati also have been mentioned as wrestlers with the potential to make a jump, along with Clarence’s Nathan Schwab, Locust Valley’s Michael Dusold and Indian River’s Nick Toutant.

In the upperweights, Ryan Marszal is another wrestler to keep tabs on in 2013-14. The Unatego wrestler nabbed fifth at 182 pounds in his sophomore campaign in Division II and is the only returning placer in that bracket. Marszal had a 36-win season where he moved between 170 and 182 pounds.  Another 182-pounder to mention is Nathanael Rose of Eagle Academy, who went 0-2 as a freshman in Albany at the Division II tournament, but bounced back this February in the Division I event, coming within one win of placing at 182 pounds.  He also fell just one victory short of medaling at Eastern States.  This could be the year he finds his way onto the podium.

Who else will make their presence felt in Albany in 2014 from the Class of 2015? There are bound to be other juniors ready for outstanding seasons. Send us an e-mail at newyorkwrestlingnews@gmail.com with suggestions.

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Thank you to Mike Carey and Matt Diano for all their hard work to make this article possible and to Kris Harrington for his insights.  Thanks to all of the other contributors around the state – too many to name, but they know who they are.

Journeyman Classic Breakdown: Thoughts and Observations on Sunday's Competition

The Journeymen Classic attracted participants from more than 20 states with top notch talent across the weights. Given that, it wasn’t surprising to see college coaches all over Niskayuna High School, watching the action throughout the day. With six mats in two different gyms, we didn’t watch everything that took place, but here are some thoughts on the event:

(To see videos from the event, click this link).

Corey Rasheed, Frank Popolizio, Yianni Diakomihalis, Nick Piccininni; Courtesy of Adam Burgos

1. Not surprisingly, the undefeated state champions looked like …. undefeated state champions. The Most Outstanding Wrestler honors were awarded to Yianni Diakomihalis (113), Nick Piccininni (120) and Corey Rasheed (160).  All were impressive in going unbeaten and capturing titles.  Diakomihalis faced a tough field (see #2) but continued his winning ways, while Piccininni was in control throughout, including a 10-2 major in the finals against Florida’s Radley Gillis, an NHSCA National champion. Rasheed said that he didn’t feel 100% in his return from injuries, but you wouldn’t know it, as he topped New England champion Andrew Labrie and Fargo All-Americans Jesse Porter and Christian Stackhouse by a combined score of 21-5.  Fellow unbeaten New York gold medalist Rich Sisti cruised to the 225 title, while Louis Hernandez did the same at 152.  And Christian Dietrich, who joins the previously mentioned Empire State grapplers in the national rankings (at 170), went up to 195 pounds and still was in charge all the way through, with a technical fall, a pin and a 12-3 combined score in his other matches.

2. Any time a returning state champion finishes fourth, you know the weight is tough. That was the case at 113 pounds where Wantagh’s Kyle Quinn was defeated early in the day by East Islip’s Jesse Dellavecchia (fourth in New York at 99 in 2013).  Later on, fellow Nassau County grappler and NYS finalist Vito Arujau topped Quinn for bronze, 3-0.  That came after some other great bouts in the bracket, including a state championship rematch between Diakomihalis and Arujau. It’s too early to say whether all of those wrestlers will be at 113 during the high school season, but it was certainly fun to watch this weekend.

3. Those weren’t the only championship performances for New York. At the NUWAY Nationals on the Jersey Shore this summer, Matteo DeVincenzo won the title in a field that included New York placers such as Kelan McKenna and Theo Powers.  That was once again the case on Sunday, as the Port Jefferson state runner up captured a 106 “A” bracket full of heralded competitors, including McKenna and Powers as well as Super 32 Middle School silver medalist Peter Pappas and All-Stater Vinny Vespa.  In Sunday’s finals, DeVincenzo defeated Section 2’s Josh Logiudice, a state qualifier who will be a tough matchup for anyone in his senior season.  Logiudice picked up quality victories over Powers and Vespa.

And how about Connor Calkins of Alfred-Almond?  At the Times Union Center in February, he bested returning state finalist and top seed Alex Soutiere in the opening round of the state tournament and made the medal stand, grabbing fifth.  It looks like he’s ready to go even higher in 2014, as he won the 285 weight at Journeymen with a 6-3 triumph over national champion Jesse Webb of Vermont.

It would be fair to say it’s been a good week for Travis Passaro.  First, he committed to continue his career at Hofstra.  In Albany, he celebrated by winning a challenging weight which included state champion Alex Delacruz, New York placer Mike D’Angelo and All-Americans from out of state such as Kevin Jack and Zach Valley. He cruised in the title bout, 6-0, over Payton Shuford.

4. Several other wrestlers made statements.  One was Jakob Restrepo, who topped a pair of New York silver medalists – Frank Garcia and Brandon Lapi, as well as Pennsylvania state placer Jalen Palmer on his way to the finals in the 145 “A” bracket.  He lost in sudden victory there to New Jersey’s Gary Dinmore, one of the top 100 seniors in the nation according to Intermat.  Restrepo’s performance comes after a successful offseason in which he earned All-America honors in Cadet Freestyle at Fargo and won the Super 32 qualifier at Shippensburg. Another second placer, Sam Ward of Locust Valley, looked good on Sunday, beating multi-time New Jersey placer Joe Trovato as well as Florida medalist Anthony Petrone on his way to the 140 “A” title bout, where he was topped by NHSCA National champion Clay Walker of South Carolina.  He’ll be a contender in Division 2 this year after taking fifth last season at 132.

5. There were plenty of standout showings outside of the “A” brackets as well.  Hector and Tito Colom, who racked up significant victory totals at Dunkirk High last year, breezed through the competition on Sunday, winning all of their matches by bonus points on the way to crowns in the 106 and 113 “B” brackets, respectively.  Middleweights Jimmy Leach (140), Skylar Kropman (145) and Trevor Hoffmier (152) were all unbeaten. Leach went to the Suffolk County finals a year ago and Kropman placed at the Eastern States in 2013.  Both look ready for a breakthrough year as do returning state qualifiers Anthony DePrez (152) and Collin Pittman (182).  Ryan Kromer (160) has already made an appearance on the medal stand in Albany and looks prepared to do it again after beating fellow All-State wrestler Konstantin Parfiryev and qualifier Connor Lawrence at the Journeymen Classic. Jaison White, who won big over the weekend, also went undefeated at the Pop & Flo event in the spring and looks to be someone to keep an eye on at 170.

Wrestlers Complete Triple Crowns and Many Achieve Double Titles at the Freestyle and Greco State Championships

 
 
(For information and results from Saturday’s competition in Junior Freestyle and Cadet Greco, see this link. Videos will be posted in the next few days).

It isn’t easy to earn the Triple Crown in New York, capturing state titles in all three styles of wrestling.  But you might think otherwise when looking at the results from this weekend’s action at Broome Community College, as four grapplers (William Koll, Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, Kevin Thayer and Burke Paddock) added Freestyle and Greco Roman crowns to the championships they won in folkstyle back in February in Albany.

Paddock vs Smythe, Photo by BV

The quartet of wrestlers all demonstrated dominance on Sunday in Junior Greco competition. Both Thayer (152) and Paddock (160) faced the same opponent in the title bout as they did on Saturday in Freestyle.  This time, both made quick work of their foes, picking up first period pins.  And speaking of rematches, Rodriguez-Spencer (138) not only defeated Sean O’Hagan in the finals for the second straight day, he also did it by the same score – 5-0, 6-0.  Koll also won in straight periods, taking a 2-0, 11-4 triumph against Blake Retell at 132.

Those wrestlers weren’t the only double champions over the weekend.  Both ATWA’s Matthew Morris (120) and Reggie Williams (195) swept both Olympic styles in Binghamton.

On Saturday, Golan Cohen (113) and Rocco Russo (145) made the title bout in Freestyle, but took second place.  One day later, both returned to the finals and came out on top, with Russo’s victory coming by fall.

It was one of many titlewinning pins on the day, including by Sam Eagan at 220 and Jeff Urbina at 285.  In addition, Beat the Streets collected a pair of Junior Greco titles at 106 (Dolan McColgan) and 126 (Cheick Ndiaye), while crowns were also captured by Andrew Psomas of Farrell Lions at 170 and James Schreck of Sachem 3 at 182.

While there were a number of double champions in the Junior division, as discussed previously, there were more in the Cadet brackets, with 10 wrestlers grabbing a pair of titles over the weekend.

The first three classes were won by Drew Schafer (88), Brian Kelly (94) and Vinny Vespa (100).  After that, seven of the next eight weights featured repeat champions, starting with Parker Kropman at 106 and also including Nick Casella (120), Ian Lupole (126), Leonard Merkin (132), Sam Ward (138), Gino Titone (145) and Jesse Porter (152). The only exception was at 113, where Evan Barczak notched the freestyle championship a day after earning runner up honors in Greco.

The additional double titlewinners were Jacob Woolson (170), Aidan Mathews (195) and Peter Strassfield (285).  A day after registering a bronze showing in Greco, Jake Ashcraft stood on top of the podium at 160 pounds, while Jeremy Hughes picked up gold at 182 and James Bethel did the same at 220.

Full brackets are available at http://www.trackwrestling.com.

For the placewinners from Sunday’s action in Cadet Freestyle and Junior Greco, see below.

 

CADET FREESTYLE RESULTS

Cadet FS – 88 Results
1st Place – Drew Schafer of Superior Wrestling Academy
2nd Place – Justin Lopez of Yonkers
3rd Place – Darwingh Alvarez of Beat the Streets New York City
4th Place – Oscar Lainez of Middletown
5th Place – David Ciciarella of Mohawk Valley Wrestling Club

Cadet FS – 94 Results
1st Place – Brian Kelly of Kings Park Wrestling
2nd Place – David Wolanski of SCHENECTADY

Cadet FS – 100 Results
1st Place – Vincent Vespa of rock hard wrestling
2nd Place – Anthony Sparacio of North Babylon
3rd Place – John Luke Destefano of Beat the Streets New York City
4th Place – Nicholas Forte of Journey
5th Place – Shane Gibbons of Massapequa
6th Place – Maxim Pasichnik of BTS PS 186

Cadet FS – 106 Results
1st Place – Parker Kropman of Titan World Wide Wrestling Clu
2nd Place – Dean Raymond of Team Worldwide Wrestling Club
3rd Place – Sean Miller of Ascend Wrestling Club
4th Place – Johnathon Lauricella of Genesee Valley Wrestling Club
5th Place – Theodore Powers of MEXICO
6th Place – John Devine of Titans

Cadet FS – 113 Results
1st Place – Evan Barczak of rock hard wrestling
2nd Place – Chris Donnelly of Ascend Wrestling Club
3rd Place – Taylor Picciano of Kings Park Wrestling
4th Place – John Kalinoglu of Massapequa
5th Place – Michael Venosa of Section 5
6th Place – Kevin Kelly of rock hard wrestling

Cadet FS – 120 Results
1st Place – Nicholas Casella of Vougar Honors Wrestling Inc.
2nd Place – Benjamin Lamantia of Vougar Honors Wrestling Inc.
3rd Place – Dominic Inzana of Saratoga Springs
4th Place – Jackie Gold of Rocky Point
5th Place – Hunter Howland of MEXICO
6th Place – Brandon Santiago of Beat the Streets New York City

Cadet FS – 126 Results
1st Place – Ian Lupole of Team Worldwide Wrestling Club
2nd Place – Christian Briody of Ascend Wrestling Club
3rd Place – Michael Berkowitz of Vougar Honors Wrestling Inc.
4th Place – Blake Jackson of Superior Wrestling Academy
5th Place – James Rosado of Beat the Streets New York City
6th Place – Nichholas Petralia of Section 8

Cadet FS – 132 Results
1st Place – Leonard Merkin of elite wrestling academy
2nd Place – Freddy Eckles of Buffalo Grapplers Wrestling Cl
3rd Place – Mike D`Angelo of Ascend Wrestling Club
4th Place – Da`mani Burns of Newburgh Wrestling Club
5th Place – Jake Colonna of North Babylon
6th Place – Christopher Ladd of Sachem 3 Style Wrestling Club

Cadet FS – 138 Results
1st Place – Samuel Ward of Ascend Wrestling Club
2nd Place – Kevin Jackson of Ascend Wrestling Club
3rd Place – Jilling Frank of Lindenhurst
4th Place – Wyatt DeMarree of Section 5
5th Place – Steven Prinston of Beat the Streets New York City
6th Place – Marc Paez of Long beach

Cadet FS – 145 Results
1st Place – Gino Titone of Connetquot Wrestling Club
2nd Place – Jakob Restrepo of Vougar Honors Wrestling Inc.
3rd Place – Jordan Bushey of Cellar Dwellers
4th Place – Thomas Wightman of Section 9
5th Place – Steven Culbert of Journeymen Wrestling
6th Place – Brian Bucci of Section 9

Cadet FS – 152 Results
1st Place – Jesse Porter of Journeymen Wrestling
2nd Place – Ronaldo Rodriguez of Beat the Streets New York City
3rd Place – William Marcil of ATWA
4th Place – John Vouzonis of Ascend Wrestling Club
5th Place – Dylan Gifford of Veritas
6th Place – Dylan Studer of Team Worldwide Wrestling Club

Cadet FS – 160 Results
1st Place – Jacob Ashcraft of Journeymen Wrestling
2nd Place – Collin LaBombard of Cellar Dwellers
3rd Place – Andy Cummings of Journeymen Wrestling
4th Place – Max Zhitnik of Tiger Style Wrestling
5th Place – Vance Cuffie of Beat the Streets New York City
6th Place – Zafar Iskandarov of Beat the Streets New York City

Cadet FS – 170 Results
1st Place – Jacob Woolson of Mohawk Valley Wrestling Club
2nd Place – Dakota Wolley of Genesee Valley Wrestling Club
3rd Place – Richie Jones of Cobra
4th Place – Tom Lane of Section 8
5th Place – Tredd Smith of Section 8
6th Place – Madhur Karki of Titan World Wide Wrestling Clu

Cadet FS – 182 Results
1st Place – Jeremy Hughes of Section 8
2nd Place – James Campbell of Titan World Wide Wrestling Clu
3rd Place – Marcello Gennaro of Section 9
4th Place – Colby Staley of ATWA

Cadet FS – 195 Results
1st Place – Aidan Mathews of Dark corner
2nd Place – Nick Mcshea of rock hard wrestling
3rd Place – Tyler Hall of Section 6
4th Place – Christopher Halleran of Tiger Style Wrestling

Cadet FS – 220 Results
1st Place – James Bethel of Dark corner
2nd Place – Khaled Abdoun of Journeymen Wrestling
3rd Place – Chris Tangora of Section 2
4th Place – Elijah Sampo of Mohawk Valley Wrestling Club
5th Place – Chazz Leo of Section 11
6th Place – George O`Mahony of Massapequa

Cadet FS – 285 Results
1st Place – Peter Strassfield of Southampton High School Wrestl
2nd Place – Alex Gonzalez of Geneva
3rd Place – Jordan Keys of Journeymen Wrestling
4th Place – Garyn Huntley of Veritas
5th Place – Victor Palmer-Ortiz of Mohawk Valley Wrestling Club
6th Place – Jake Lanzillo of Averill Park

 

JUNIOR GRECO ROMAN RESULTS

JUNIOR GR – 106 Results
1st Place – Dolan Mccolgan of Beat the Streets New York
2nd Place – Nico Riccio of Journeymen

JUNIOR GR – 113 Results
1st Place – Golan Cohen of Titan
2nd Place – Chris Cuccolo of Pine Bush
3rd Place – Noah Malamut of Poly Prep High School Wrestlin
4th Place – Matthew Stallone of Sachem 3 Style Wrestling Club
5th Place – alex kellar of Section 4
6th Place – Shamar Griffith of Beat the Streets New York

JUNIOR GR – 120 Results
1st Place – Matthew Morris of ATWA
2nd Place – Pedro Rosales of Bearcave
3rd Place – ryan burns of Cobra Wrestling Academy
4th Place – Alpha Diallo of Beat the Streets New York
5th Place – Rashid Powell of Beat the Streets New York
6th Place – Kyle Kelly of Team Worldwide

JUNIOR GR – 126 Results
1st Place – Cheick Ndiaye of Beat the Streets New York
2nd Place – Richard Antonacci of Ascend Wrestling Club
3rd Place – Andrew Taber of North Rose-Wolcott High School
4th Place – Daniel Amancio of Bronx
5th Place – Paul Smoot of Rock Hard Wrestling
6th Place – Ray Konvicka of MVWC

JUNIOR GR – 132 Results
1st Place – William Koll of Finger Lakes Wrestling Club
2nd Place – Blake Retell of Journeymen
3rd Place – Ryan Snow of Section 3
4th Place – Nathan Hayes of Team Worldwide
5th Place – Carl Rouse of Team Worldwide
6th Place – Thomas Walsh of Titan

JUNIOR GR – 138 Results
1st Place – Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer of Buffalo Grapplers
2nd Place – Sean O`Hagan of Sachem 3 Style Wrestling Club
3rd Place – Eric Bergin of Beat the Streets New York
4th Place – Jay Oates of ATWA
5th Place – Nick Strand of Westhampton Beach High School
6th Place – Nathaniel Vargas of Guilderland HS

JUNIOR GR – 145 Results
1st Place – Rocco Russo of New York Super Six
2nd Place – Codie Gilllette of ATWA
3rd Place – Saidyokub Kahramonov of Beat the Streets New York
4th Place – Nathaniel Palmer of ATWA
5th Place – Jay Kindlon of New York Titans
6th Place – Colin Hay of Miller Place Takedown Clubcoli

JUNIOR GR – 152 Results
1st Place – Kevin Thayer of Veritas
2nd Place – Nigel Williams of Beat the Streets New York
3rd Place – Max Garkusha of Beat the Streets New York
4th Place – Askar Raimbek of Beat the Streets New York
5th Place – Tanner Phillips of ATWA
6th Place – Mirlan Jumabaev of Beat the Streets New York

JUNIOR GR – 160 Results
1st Place – Burke Paddock of Team Ten
2nd Place – Alexander Smythe of New York Super Six
3rd Place – Michael Tropiano of Vougars Honor Wrestling (VHW)
4th Place – Jimmy Marquez of Journeymen
5th Place – Derrick Gardner of Averill Park
6th Place – Jordan Formicola of falcons

JUNIOR GR – 170 Results
1st Place – Andrew Psomas of Farrell Lions
2nd Place – Liam Bass of Westhampton Beach High School
3rd Place – Troy Seymour of ATWA
4th Place – David Bunn of Copiague
5th Place – Garrett Davis of New York Titans
6th Place – Mark Anthony Perez of Unattached

JUNIOR GR – 182 Results
1st Place – James Schreck of Sachem 3 Style Wrestling Club
2nd Place – Isaiah Zimmer of Team Worldwide
3rd Place – Cedrick Stephens of Beat the Streets New York
4th Place – Mark Tracey of Sachem 3 Style Wrestling Club
5th Place – Ronnie King of Islip
6th Place – Alex Moss of MVWC

JUNIOR GR – 195 Results
1st Place – Reggie Williams of Team Worldwide
2nd Place – Giovanni Santiago of Sachem 3 Style Wrestling Club
3rd Place – Roland Zilberman of Beat the Streets New York
4th Place – Nathanael Rose of Beat the Streets New York
5th Place – Richard Duermeyer of Buffalo Grapplers
6th Place – Maleke Cunningham of Beat the Streets New York

JUNIOR GR – 220 Results
1st Place – Sam Eagen of Empire/Titan
2nd Place – Luke McKee of ATWA
3rd Place – Rafael Rokosz of Southhampton HS
4th Place – Endy Nunez of Rams Wrestling Club
5th Place – Sean Fergusan of Rocky Point
6th Place – Allen Michael Rios of Team Worldwide

JUNIOR GR – 285 Results
1st Place – Jeff Urbina of Copiague
2nd Place – Nolan Terrance of ATWA
3rd Place – Matthew Abbott of Team Worldwide
4th Place – Mason Cross of New York Titans
5th Place – Quasar Hampton of Beat the Streets New York
6th Place – Mark Ifraimov of Beat the Streets New York

Fargo 2012 Recap for NY: Three National Champs and More Than 25 All-Americans

After eight days full of wrestling at Fargo, New York boasted three National Champions, 28 total All-Americans and a number of breakout performances.

The following are some of the stories that emerged during the week.

Seniors Go Out Strong

The Empire State’s class of 2012 was outstanding, featuring the winningest wrestler in state history (Quinton Murphy), a National Champion who represented the USA All-Stars at both the Dapper Dan and Dream Team Duals (Brian Realbuto) and a grappler who remained undefeated throughout the high school campaign, the New York Freestyle and Greco States, the NHSCA Senior Nationals and the Disney Duals (Dylan Palacio). In all, five New Yorkers were ranked in Intermat’s final Top 100.

Brian Realbuto, Photo by Boris Veysman

Murphy, Realbuto and Palacio all placed in the top four in brackets of more than 75 entrants at Fargo, going a combined 23-6 against some of the best in the nation.

After a bronze medal finish in 2011, Murphy returned and took silver at 138 pounds.  He showed resilience, winning five in a row to make the finals after losing a match on the opening day.  He will next compete in the Big 10 as a member of the Indiana Hoosiers.

Realbuto and Palacio will also wear red in college – Cornell Big Red.   Both took fourth on Saturday after impressive runs.

Realbuto, last year’s champion at 145, wrestled well despite an injury.  He defaulted to Oliver Pierce, a wrestler he defeated last year at this tournament, to take fourth.  Similarly, Palacio was dominant for much of the event and stood fourth on the podium after dropping his final bout against Wisconsin’s Matt Gray on Saturday.

All three will be worth watching on the NCAA scene in the coming years.

Stating Their Cases

The early national rankings included several Empire State representatives, such as Nicky Hall, Troy Seymour, Nick Lupi and Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer.  But several of the state’s top rising seniors who weren’t listed made clear statements over the past few days.

Tyler Grimaldi, a 2012 state runner up who was an All-American at the NHSCA Junior Nationals in the spring, once again made his presence felt at a national event, winning seven matches and taking sixth place in the deep 160 pound bracket.

“I always see the rankings, but they don’t mean too much to me,” Grimaldi said. “It’s all about wrestling on the mat and getting the wins.  With more wins, the rankings will come.”

Those rankings may also come for other members of the Empire State squad.

Kyle Kelly of Chenango Forks, a two-time champion in New York, made the medal stand for the second consecutive year in Greco, and a pair of workout partners from Section 2, Nick Kelley (fourth at 132 pounds) and David Almaviva (eighth at 145 pounds) showcased their skills in Junior Freestyle.  Kelley, a multi-time state placer, picked up seven victories, defeating nationally-ranked grapplers such as Jared McKinley of Indiana.

“Before the tournament, I was really hoping to be an All-American, but you never know how it will work out there with the draw and so many great wrestlers,” Kelley said. “I felt like I was pretty strong at the weight. I had some tough matches where I think my strength and my conditioning were big advantages.  When the matches went on longer, I felt more confident.  I felt like [opponents] started dying down and I started regaining energy.”

The same could be said for Almaviva, who was wrestling up a weight from the high school season.

“It was great watching [Almaviva] do so well, especially wrestling up at 145,” Kelley said. “It seemed like he was still stronger than most of the guys he wrestled.”

Plainsmen on the Podium

Nick Kelley, Photo by Boris Veysman

Kelley and Almaviva weren’t the only success stories from their school this weekend.  Some entire states captured five or fewer medals.  Shenenedehowa High School earned five on its own, including a pair of national titles in the women’s competition by Alexis Porter and a Cadet Greco fourth place showing by Jesse Porter.

“There are a ton of All-Americans to work with in our room now,” Kelley said. “Having practice partners like that helps us all get better. We have a lot of tough wrestlers coming back next year.  I think we’ll be pretty solid.”

Head coach Rob Weeks will certainly have a solid team, one that will likely be a top contender again in Albany.

Girl Power

Speaking of Alexis Porter . . . the ladies brought home three national titles.

“Getting a pin in the Cadet finals like Alexis did – that’s a big deal,” Kelley said.  “Then, winning another title in Junior Freestyle was great. She had a great tournament.”

In addition to Porter’s two championships, Mary Westman improved upon her second place showing in 2011 to demonstrate that she is the top 159-pounder in the land.

Warsaw’s Hanna Grisewood was also a finalist for the Empire State, taking second at 112 and Rosemary Flores was third at 130 pounds a year after taking double titles.

The Future

Quite a few of the stars of this year’s event will be eligible to return.  In addition to wrestlers such as Nick Kelley, Almaviva, Grimaldi, Kyle Kelly, Flores and the Porters, several others who made an impact may wear the New York singlet again in 2013.

Rodriguez-Spencer went 10-2 at the Junior Duals and followed that up with a third place finish in Greco.  He’ll be a threat in both styles next year, as will Chris Cuccolo who medaled in Greco this year after placing in both styles in 2011.

Leading the charge for the Cadets were Freestyle All-Americans Thomas Dutton and Chris Tangora as well as Greco placer Benjamin Honis, who was one win short of medaling in Freestyle as well.  They will be joined by Santo Curatolo, Brendan Goldup and Sam Ward, who will look to climb higher on the podium.

And of course, there are the wrestlers who didn’t become All-Americans this time, but will break through the barrier next year.  Just ask Nick Kelley, who was 3-2 in his last appearance at Fargo in 2010.  Or Grimaldi, who went 1-2 last July.

“I got beaten up last year at Fargo,” Grimaldi said.  “It was tough.  But over the entire year I had the mentality of working hard to do better.  Am I happy with 6th this year?  No.  But if I put it in perspective and look at the step I took from last year, I realize it was a big accomplishment.  I’m 100% coming back next year.  I have unfinished business in Fargo, North Dakota.”

That kind of mentality promises to bring a large medal haul back to New York in July of 2013.  But for now, with Fargo 2012 in the rearview mirror, it’s time to change the focus back to folkstyle.  The countdown to the 2012-13 high school season has begun.

 

2012 New York All-Americans at Fargo

Junior

106 Pounds: Kyle Kelly, 7th Place Greco

113 Pounds: Josh Antoine, 8th Place Greco

120 Pounds: Santo Curatolo, 6th Place Greco

132 Pounds: Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, 3rd Place Greco

152 Pounds: Brendan Goldup, 5th Place Greco

160 Pounds: Connor Sutton, 5th Place Greco

182 Pounds: McZiggy Richards, 4th Place Greco

182 Pounds: Chris Loew, 7th Place Greco

 

132 Pounds: Nick Kelley, 4th Place Freestyle

138 Pounds: Quinton Murphy, 2nd Place Freestyle

145 Pounds: David Almaviva, 8th Place Freestyle

152 Pounds: Brian Realbuto, 4th Place Freestyle

160 Pounds: Dylan Palacio, 4th Place Freestyle

160 Pounds: Tyler Grimaldi 6th Place Freestyle

 

Cadet

94 Pounds: Chris Cuccolo, Cadet Greco 5th

132 Pounds: Jesse Porter, Cadet Greco 4th

132 Pounds: Sam Ward, Cadet Greco 7th

182 Pounds: Benjamin Honis, Cadet Greco 7th

 

138 Pounds: Thomas Dutton, 8th Place Freestyle

195 Pounds: Chris Tangora, 8th Place Freestyle

 

Women –  Cadet

143 Pounds: Alexis Porter, Cadet Freestyle Champion

143 Pounds: Kennedie Eddings, Cadet Freestyle 6th

172 Pounds: Yuneris Diaz, Cadet Freestyle 3rd

 

Women –  Junior

112 Pounds: Hanna Grisewood, 2nd Place

130 Pounds: Rosemary Flores, 3rd Place

139 Pounds: Alexis Porter, Champion

159 Pounds: Mary Westman, Champion

172 Pounds: Yuneris Diaz, 5th Place

Porter, Cuccolo, Ward and Honis Place in Cadet Greco; Four Remain Unbeaten in Junior Greco

Day 3 at Fargo was all about Greco Roman wrestling with the conclusion of the Cadet competition and the beginning of the Junior action.

At the end of the day, four Empire State wrestlers stood on the podium as Cadet Greco All-Americans.  At 132 pounds, Jesse Porter of Ballston Lake took fourth after going 6-2 overall, while St. Anthony’s Sam Ward (6-2) grabbed seventh at the same weight after defeating Marshall Osborne of Missouri in his final bout.

Chris Cuccolo earned fifth in his third straight event in Fargo, this time at 94 pounds.  In July of 2011, he was fifth in both Greco and Freestyle in the 84-pound class.  The Pine Bush wrestler topped Tanner Cox of Utah 1-0, 4-0 in the fifth place match on Monday.

In the upperweights, Benjamin Honis ended his tournament in seventh position at 182 pounds after a 1-0, 2-0 victory over Minnesota’s Wyatt Richardson.

All four of the All-Americans are currently registered to compete in the Cadet Freestyle event, beginning on Wednesday.

Junior Greco Roman Begins

The Junior Greco Roman competition got underway and after the first day of action, a number of New York wrestlers remained unbeaten.

McZiggy Richards, Photo by Boris Veysman

At 132 pounds, both Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer and Jessy Williams won all five of their bouts.

After going 8-0 at the Junior Duals a few weeks ago in Greco, Connor Sutton kept the momentum going with a 5-0 mark at 160 pounds.  McZiggy Richards also had an unblemished performance, with five victories at 182.

Also remaining in the hunt from the Empire State are two-time state champion Kyle Kelly (106), Josh Antoine (113), Santo Curatolo (120), Brendan Goldup (152) and Chris Loew (182).

Junior Greco wrestling resumes on Tuesday, while the Junior Women’s Freestyle tournament will take place as well.

2012 New York All-Americans

Cadet

94 Pounds: Chris Cuccolo, Cadet Greco 5th

132 Pounds: Jesse Porter, Cadet Greco 4th

132 Pounds: Sam Ward, Cadet Greco 7th

182 Pounds: Benjamin Honis, Cadet Greco 7th

Women

143 Pounds: Alexis Porter, Cadet Freestyle Champion

143 Pounds: Kennedie Eddings, Cadet Freestyle 6th

172 Pounds: Yuneris Diaz, Cadet Freestyle 3rd

NY Wrestlers Clinch Spots on the Podium During Day 1 of Cadet Greco Nationals

After watching his sister Alexis win a National Championship on Saturday, Jesse Porter went undefeated as well during the first day of Cadet Greco Roman action at Fargo, North Dakota.  Porter was 5-0 at 132 pounds, as was fellow New Yorker Sam Ward of St. Anthony’s.  Both Porter and Ward have clinched spots on the podium and will face each other in the next round on Monday.

Two other New York wrestlers are guaranteed All-America honors. Chris Cuccolo, who took fifth in this event in 2011, notched four victories and will place no lower than sixth at 94 pounds.  Meanwhile, Benjamin Honis of Jamesville-Dewitt will wrestle for seventh place against Wyatt Richardson of Minnesota at 182 pounds tomorrow.

Eden’s Alexander Smythe tallied a 4-1 record on the day at 152 pounds and will take on Ricky Regas of Texas in his next bout.

For full results on these Empire State grapplers for the Cadet Greco Roman competition, see below:

94 Pounds: Chris Cuccolo (Pine Bush)

Match #1 Chris Cuccolo (New York) over Tanner Tidswell (Tennessee) Fall 2-0,1:15
Match #2 Paul Fitterer (Minnesota) over Chris Cuccolo (New York) Dec 3-0,3-0
Match #3 Chris Cuccolo (New York) over Bridger Carpenter (Idaho) Dec 1-0,4-0
Match #4 Chris Cuccolo (New York) over Jacob Gardiner (California) Fall 3-0,1:12
Match #5 Chris Cuccolo (New York) received a bye.
Match #6 Chris Cuccolo (New York) over Jon Gabriel (Pennsylvania) Dec 1-1,6-4

132 Pounds: Jesse Porter (Shenendehowa)

Match #1 Jesse Porter (New York) over Brandon Arteaga (Illinois) Dec 1-2,4-0,2-0
Match #2 Jesse Porter (New York) received a bye.
Match #3 Jesse Porter (New York) over Grant Bolduan (Minnesota) TF 6-0,6-0
Match #4 Jesse Porter (New York) over Austin Kraisser (Maryland) Dec 6-0,2-1
Match #5 Jesse Porter (New York) over Troy Wilson (Washington) Dec 6-0,5-1
Match #6 Jesse Porter (New York) over John Kenyon (Idaho) Dec 4-0,1-0

132 Pounds: Sam Ward (St. Anthony’s)

Match #1 Sam Ward (New York) over Jacob Johnson (Minnesota) Dec 1-0,6-
Match #2 Sam Ward (New York) over Griffin Rose (Illinois) Fall 1-0,1:12
Match #3 Sam Ward (New York) over Maxwell Meddings (Ohio) Dec 3-0,3-1
Match #4 Sam Ward (New York) over Joseph Hayek (Nebraska) Dec 1-0,3-0
Match #5 Sam Ward (New York) over Troy Vandall (Arizona) Dec 2-0,1-0
Match #6 Sam Ward (New York) received a bye.

152 Pounds: Alexander Smythe (Eden)

Match #1 Alexander Smythe (New York) over Andy Hinrichs (Virginia) Dec 6-0,4-1
Match #2 Alexander Smythe (New York) over Jeric Kasunic (Pennsylvania) Dec 2-0,1-0
Match #3 Alexander Smythe (New York) over CJ McKinnis (Oregon) Dec 2-0,3-0
Match #4 Bobby Reece (Washington) over Alexander Smythe (New York) Dec 3-0,3-2
Match #5 Alexander Smythe (New York) over David Witczak (Illinois) Dec 5-0,1-0

182 Pounds: Benjamin Honis (Jamesville-Dewitt) – will be in the 7th place match vs. Wyatt Richardson (Minnesota)

Match #1 Benjamin Honis (New York) over Andrew Fenton (Ohio) Dec 2-1,3-1
Match #2 Benjamin Honis (New York) over Hunter Dunn (Michigan) Dec 4-2,2-1
Match #3 Benjamin Honis (New York) over Samuel Colbray (Oregon) Dec 3-2,0-6,1-0
Match #4 Tim Grote (Illinois) over Benjamin Honis (New York) Dec 0-1,1-0,3-0
Match #5 Benjamin Honis (New York) received a bye.
Match #6 Nick Osowski (Wisconsin) over Benjamin Honis (New York) Dec 2-1,4-1