Summer Heat 2013: Over 400 Wrestlers Compete With All-Staters D'Angelo, Weber, Barbaria and Calderone Taking Titles

TJ Fabian, Louis Hernandez, Carlos Toribio and Mike Hughes were all state champions in 2013. But way before standing on the top of the podium in Albany, they took gold in dominant fashion at the Long Island Wrestling Association (LIWA) Ken Lesser Memorial Summer Heat event in July of 2012.  They weren’t the only champions from last year’s “Summer Heat” to make All-State in 2013, however, as wrestlers such as Jesse Dellavecchia, Brendan Dent, Sam Melikian, Dan McDevitt, Chris Chambers and Kevin Tynes did as well.

Over 400 wrestlers took the mat on Saturday on the campus of Hofstra University in this year’s edition of the tournament.  We’ll have to wait until February to see if this summer’s titlewinners will make their marks in the state capital once again, but there certainly were several impressive performances, including championship showings by multiple returning New York State placers.

2012 medalist Joe Calderone was one of them.  The Walt Whitman standout took first in the 116 pound class, defeating Kareem Askew of Scorpion, 5-1 for first. At the next weight, (123 pounds), New Rochelle’s two-time placer Nick Barbaria (Ascend) also won it all, edging Kyle Scully of Newfield, 3-2 in the finals.

In addition, Mike D’Angelo of Commack, who was fifth at 120 pounds in Albany in the winter, topped his fellow Ascend Wrestling Club competitor Travis Alexander for the 135 pound crown. D’Angelo had a dominant day that included two pins and a 28-1 point advantage over his opponents in his other three bouts.

Like D’Angelo, Nick Weber of VHW (Vougar’s Honors Wrestling), was fifth at the Times Union Center in February.  The Kings Park grappler continued his very busy “offseason” with the title at 198 pounds, beating state qualifier Nathanael Rose in the semis 5-4 before finishing his run with a 7-4 triumph over Jake Horton of Pat-Med.

Who else earned top billing in Hempstead? After placing at the NHSCA Nationals in Virginia Beach in the spring, Vincent Feola of Walt Whitman collected a crown at 223 pounds over Bryan Tenny of Farmingdale, a 2013 state qualifier.

Another wrestler who appeared in Albany, Malik Grant of Warriors Wrestling, captured the 109-pound class with two pins and a 12-1 major in the title tilt. Kyle Mock of Huntington was similarly in control throughout the day on his path to the 102-pound crown, notching a pair of pins and two five-point decisions.

James Szymanski of 631 Elite went 5-0 at 129, besting Evan Corso 10-8 for the gold.  Ascend’s Jake Einbinder won it all at 155, while Ken Gallagher provided another title for VHW at 173.  Also taking first prize were: Mohammed Farhan of Scorpion at 141, Eduardo Ramirez of Amityville at 148, Greg Cherry of Connetquot at 163, David Hamil of Mission WC at 185 and Marcus Rivera of East Islip at 288.

While the event has historically been run on seven mats, that number simply wasn’t enough over the weekend.  According to Steve Meehan, the Hofstra wrestlers and coaches brought an additional mat down from the second floor wrestling room.  Meehan said that otherwise, the event would have run an hour and a half longer due to the number of entrants.

What fueled the higher enrollment? The Open Division.

“Normally we get between 35 and 45 Open wrestlers,” Meehan said. “[On Saturday] we had 103 Open wrestlers.  I am not sure what to attribute this more than double turnout to. A few reasons that certainly helped are that we had wrestlers from the NCWA teams at Stony Brook and Suffolk County Community College, a good group of wrestlers from Uniondale led by Aljamain Sterling, and a group that came from Blackstone Wrestling Club in Rhode Island. There aren’t that many tournaments that have an Open division anymore and this gives wrestlers a much needed venue to compete.”

Many familiar names took advantage of that venue, including 2013 New York state placers such as TJ Fabian, Dan McDevitt, Brett Pastore and Andrew Psomas. [The final results in the Open Division are listed at the end of the article].

Besides providing an opportunity for wrestlers to see solid competition during the summer, the event has additional purposes, according to Meehan.

“One thing that we hope gets across, which we mentioned to the wrestlers before the start of the event, relates to the reason behind the name of our event,” Meehan said. “The name of our event was changed in 2010 to the Long Island Wrestling Association Ken Lesser “Summer Heat” to memorialize a great friend and volunteer from our organization, Mr. Ken Lesser. Ken was tragically killed by a drunk driver while on his way to pick up his daughter from the local library. Our message to the wrestlers is to learn from this experience and never drink and drive. We hope this message resonates with them.”

In addition to that message, the profits from the tournament provide more grapplers with the chance to improve in the sport.

“The Long Island Wrestling Association (LIWA) uses their funds to send need-based wrestlers to wrestling camps in the summer,” Meehan said.  “We send between 30-50 kids to camp each year.”

So on Saturday, more than 400 wrestlers from multiple states and age groups took the mat at Hofstra to hone their skills and help some good causes.

“We ended up starting late due to the turnout and adjustments will be made to prevent this from reoccurring next year,” Meehan said. “After wrestling began, though, things ran pretty smoothly and I think the event gave the wrestlers a great event with really good competition.”

For full results, see and search for Ken Lesser Summer Heat.


Meehan wished to thank a number of people:

“There are so many people that the LIWA has to thank for making our event successful again this year. I am sure I will leave some people out, but here is at least a partial list. We want to thank Hofstra University; the Hofstra University wrestling coaching staff and wrestlers (many of the team’s wrestlers manned the scoring tables for the entire day); the members of the LIWA that handled the registration table and weigh-ins; Ed and Marcia Gould, who handled the computer input and ran the brackets; Tony Cipriano, who is the voice of the tournament and manned the microphone the entire day; the Hofstra wrestling trainer Andy Wetstein; and the amazing high school officials from both Sections 8 and 11 that did a terrific job throwing up the points all day.”


102 Kyle Mock (Huntington) won by decision over Jacori Teemer (Long Beach) (Dec 5-0)
109 Malik Grant (Warriors Wrestling) won by major decision over Tony Novotny (CWC) (Maj 12-1)
116 Joe Calderone (Walt Whitman) won by decision over Kareem Askew (Scorpian) (Dec 5-1)
123 Nicholas Barbaria (Ascend) won by decision over Kyle Scully (Newfield HS) (Dec 3-2)
129 James Szymanski (631 Elite) won by decision over Evan Corso (631 Elite) (Dec 10-8)
135 Mike D`Angelo (Ascend) won by major decision over Travis Alexander (Ascend) (Maj 9-0)
141 Mohammed Farhan (Scorpian) won by decision over Thomas McLaughlin (MartinLuther Cougers) (Dec 7-3)
148 Eduardo Ramirez (Amityville) won by decision over Jimmy Leach (631 Elite) (Dec 1-0)
155 Jake Einbinder (Ascend) won by decision over Peter Pasqualino (Pat-Med Raiders) (Dec 8-1)
163 Greg Cherry (Connetquot) won by decision over John Vouzonis (Williston Pk) (Dec 9-3)
173 Ken Gallagher (VHW) won by forfeit over Joseph Russo (Rocky Point) (FF)
185 David Hamil (Mission WC) won by decision over Dominic Pirraglia (Shoreham-WR) (Dec 8-7)
198 Nick Weber (VHW) won by decision over Jake Horton (Pat-Med Raiders) (Dec 7-4)
223 Vincent Feola (Walt Whitman) won by decision over Bryan Tenny (Farmingdale) (Dec 7-3)
288 Marcus Rivera (East Islip) won by decision over Joe Sallitto (Huntington) (Dec 6-5)


OPEN – 108-119 Jamie Dunn (Mepham) won by tech fall over Andy Martinez (Brooklyn Wrestling Club) (TF 15-0)
OPEN – 126-143 Tyler Walsh (West Islip) won by decision over Kevin Powers (Team Gatto) (Dec 8-2)
OPEN – 132-145 Quamaine Thomas (The Alphas) won by decision over Kenny Albert (Hunter Hawks) (Dec 4-2)
OPEN – 145-148 Marvin Amazon (The Alphas) won by decision over Tj Fabian (Xcel) (Dec 8-2)
OPEN – 149-159 Aljamain Sterling (The Alphas) won by major decision over Chris Araoz (Ascend) (Maj 15-1)
OPEN – 154-162 Jordan Dyer (Brockport) won by decision over Joshua Ferenezy (Warriors Wrestling) (Dec 3-2)
OPEN – 162-169 Andrew Gray (West Islip) won by forfeit over Steven Rispoli (Brockport) (FF)
OPEN – 168-170 Gonzalo Farina (Long Beach) won by decision over Brian Quiroz (Valley Stream Central) (Dec 6-2)
OPEN – 171-175 Blake Fisher (Ballz Wrestling Clug) won by forfeit over Ryan Rheaume (Riverhead) (FF)
OPEN – 174-184 Jack McKeever (Cactus) won by decision over Andrew Psomas (Monsignor Farrell) (Dec 6-0)
OPEN – 186-198 Rrok Ndokaj (BTS) won by decision over Dan McDevitt (Ascend) (Dec 2-1)
OPEN – 198-213 Andrew Cole (Uniondale) won by decision over Zacary Kousa (Olympic) (Dec 5-4)
OPEN – 206-220 Christian Psomas (Staten Island) won by pin over Greg Martin (Kings Park) (Pin 0:30)
OPEN – 229-245 Brian Slattery (Unattached) won by forfeit over Chris Cardella (Walt Whitman) (FF)


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)