A Quick Look at the National Ratings: Who From New York Ended the Year Ranked?

 
 
Who ended the 2012-13 campaign in the national rankings? We took a look at the most recent postings by Intermat, Flowrestling, Amateur Wrestling News and WIN to see which New Yorkers were included. The rankings by the former two sites were updated after the NHSCA/Flowrestling events, while the others are from before those tournaments occured.

A number of wrestlers were named on one or more of the websites, with sophomore Nick Piccininni of Ward Melville, junior Burke Paddock of Warsaw and senior Tyler Grimaldi of Half Hollow Hills West ranked in the top 20 at their weights by all four of those publications.

Piccinnini, Photo by BV

Piccininni, a two-time state champion, is Flo’s #7 113 pounder in the nation. He ranges from #15-18 on the other sites.  He is also a top 30 recruit in the Class of 2015 according to both Intermat and Flo.

Grimaldi and Paddock ensured that the Empire State is well represented in the 160-pound standings. Paddock ranges between #10 (Intermat) and #15 (Flo) and is also a top 100 recruit in the class of 2014, according to Intermat and Flo.  Meanwhile, Grimaldi is #12 by both Intermat and WIN and #14 and 16 on the other sites.

While not in the top 20 at their weights at this point, Intermat believes both Greene’s Christian Dietrich and Hilton’s Yianni Diakomihalis are among the elite wrestlers at their grade levels. In addition, Flowrestling ranks Diakomihalis and Eastport South Manor’s Adam Busiello among the country’s best at the junior high level.

For the full list of rankings, see below: (Please comment with any changes or additions).

SENIORS

Zach Bacon (Hornell) #17 at 220 (Intermat), #18 at 220 (AWN)

TJ Fabian (Shoreham Wading River) Top 100 Senior recruit (Intermat), #9 at 126 (Intermat), #12 at 126 (Flo)

Tyler Grimaldi (Half Hollow Hills West) Top 100 Senior in the Nation (Flo), #12 at 160 (both Intermat and WIN), #14 at 160 (AWN), #16 at 160 (Flo)

Mike Hughes (Smithtown West) #18 at 285 (Intermat)

Nick Kelley (Shenendehowa) #13 at 138 (WIN)

Nick Tighe (Phoenix) #17 at 138 (AWN)

Zack Zupan (Canastota) Top 100 Senior in the Nation (Intermat and Flo), #8 at 182 (Intermat), #16 at 182 (AWN), #15 at 182 (Flo)

JUNIORS

James O’Hagan (Seaford) #20 at 285 (Intermat)

Burke Paddock (Warsaw) Top 100 Junior in the Nation (Intermat and Flo), #10 at 160 (Intermat), #11 (WIN), #13 (AWN), #15 (Flo)

Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer (Cheektowoga) Top 100 Junior in the Nation (Intermat and Flo), #13 at 132 (Intermat), #18 at 132 (Flo)

Corey Rasheed (Longwood) Top 100 Junior in the Nation (Flo), #13 at 152 (Flo), #16 (WIN)

SOPHOMORES

Nick Piccininni (Ward Melville) Top 50 Sophomore in the Nation (Intermat and Flo), #7 at 113 (Flo), #15 (Intermat), #17 (WIN), #18 (AWN)

FRESHMEN

Christian Dietrich (Greene) Top 20 Freshman in the Nation (Intermat)

JUNIOR HIGH

Adam Busiello (Eastport South Manor) Top 50 Junior High Wrestler in the Nation (Flo)

Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton) Top 10 Junior High Wrestler in the Nation (Intermat and Flo)

 

**AWN Rankings are from March 14; WIN rankings are from April 2, Flo and Intermat rankings more recent

Division II New York State Tournament Recap: PSAL Gets First Champion; MOW Tighe Earns Third Straight and Much More

The New York state high school season has come to an end.  30 wrestlers walked out of the Times Union Center as champions on Saturday night and many others fought to become All-State.

(This article focuses on the Division II tournament.  The Division I recap can be found here.)

In Division II, it was a tight race, but in the end Section 5 reigned supreme, led by the top two schools in the standings – Midlakes and Warsaw.  Midlakes featured five All-State wrestlers – 120-pound runner up Sean Peacock, sixth placer Tyler Smith (195) and a trio of grapplers in the fifth position – Jason Charlette (106), Ralph Mateo (113) and Collin Fox (170).

Just five points behind was Section 6, propelled by the third place squad – Fredonia.  The Hillbillies boasted four medalists, led by the Gardners – Dakota (second at 126) and Jude (third at 145).  Also making the podium for head coach Alex Conti’s squad were Tyler Cassidy and Chris Saden.

Only one team had more than one champion over the weekend, and it was Gouverneur.  Seniors Dillon Stowell (113) and Hunter Ayen (195) made their final high school matches count as they brought a pair of titles back to Section 10.

Speaking of titles, Most Outstanding Wrestler Nick Tighe added another to his collection.  For the third consecutive year, the Phoenix grappler stood on top of the podium.  Joining him was Adis Radoncic, who made history of his own when he became the first-ever state champion from the PSAL.

 

99 Pounds:

The Champion: Derek Spann of Adirondack came in as the number three seed but went all the way to the top, utilizing his solid mat skills to get there.  In the finals, he was trailing after giving up a pair of takedowns to his opponent, Matteo Devincenzo, in the first period, but when Devincenzo took down to start the second, the complexion of the match changed.  Spann used back points there and then again in the third when he chose the top position to seal the title.

And Also . . . Devincenzo was Section 11’s highest placer in the Division II tournament. He had only one loss coming into the weekend (to Division I runner up Vito Arujau) and although not highly seeded, he looked strong throughout the tournament and will be someone to watch in the coming years.

 

106 Pounds:

The Champion: Top-seeded Luis Weirebach opened with a pin and then registered a trio of two-point wins the rest of the way, concluding with a 3-1 victory over Danny Fox in the finals.  The junior, who took fifth in 2012, became the first-ever state champion from his school.

And Also . . . Maple Grove’s Brad Bihler is pretty stingy with points.  Other than his 2-0 loss to Weirebach in the semis, he outscored his foes 31-0 (and added a pin) on the path to third place.  The Section 6 wrestler entered the tournament on a nine-match winning streak and continued to wrestle well in Albany.

 

113 Pounds:

The Champion: Dillon Stowell has significant experience at the Times Union Center, having placed numerous times in the past.  In his last chance as a senior, he reached the top of the podium after beating Nick Casella in the title bout.  In the semis, Stowell topped another veteran of the state tournament, Warsaw’s Austin Keough, by the same score (4-2) as their bout at Eastern States.

And Also . . . Casella knows how to make it to Saturday night. Last year as an unseeded wrestler, he competed for the 99-pound crown, losing a close decision. This weekend he was on a mission to finish higher and once again reached the title bout after defeating the #4 and #1 wrestlers in the bracket.  As a junior, he’ll no doubt be back for another crack at a championship.

 

120 Pounds:

The Champion: The third time was definitely a charm for Trey Aslanian of Edgemont.  In 2011, he led 5-0 before falling to William Koll in the state title match at 103 pounds.  In 2012, he dropped a decision to Sean Peacock of Midlakes for the 113 crown.  But on Saturday night, in a rematch with Peacock, Aslanian came out on top, 4-2, in his final high school contest.  The Section 1 grappler leaves as a champion, with his next destination Princeton University.

And Also . . . The finale against Peacock was a tough, close match but it wasn’t the only one for Aslanian.  In the quarters, the Edgemont standout trailed super freshman Kellen Devlin for much of the match.  (Aslanian won 4-3). Devlin, who came back to take the bronze, completed the year with just three losses and will be among the favorites for the next three seasons.

 

126 Pounds:

Koll, Photo by BV

The Champion: William Koll, a state champion in 2011, said he was disappointed with his third place showing last season.  He got back to the top of the medal stand over the weekend, cruising through the event with his closest match a 6-2 victory over Dakota Gardner in the last bout.

And Also . . . After medaling as an eighth grader in 2012, Gardner had only one setback during the season, in the Section 6 final against Brandon Muntz.  That result likely dropped him to the sixth seed in the bracket, however, he overcame that to get to the title bout as a freshman.  With three campaigns left for Fredonia, New York fans will certainly see Gardner on the podium a few more times.

 

132 Pounds:

Rodriguez-Spencer, Photo by BV

The Champion: In last year’s quarterfinals, Renaldo-Rodriguez-Spencer topped Tristan Rifanburg in overtime, a victory that propelled the Cheektowoga wrestler to the silver medal.  This year, the duo met again, but this time it was in the finals and both came in undefeated.  Rifanburg led 1-0 late into the third period on the strength of an escape and a rideout in the second.  However, Rodriguez-Spencer stayed aggressive on his feet and notched the winning takedown with time winding down.

And Also . . .  Rifanburg is now a three-time state finalist (2010 champion) and a four-time placer . . . and he still has two years of high school left.  Clyde Carey, on the other hand, has now completed his career at Addison. However, he finished on a high note.  A year ago, he wrestled with a significant injury in Albany and came within one match of a medal.  His road wasn’t easy over the weekend as he faced (and topped) returning All-Stater Zach Ayen in round one.  After losing to Rodriguez-Spencer, he captured four straight in the consolations to grab third place.

 

138 Pounds:

Tighe, Photo by BV

The Champion:  Upstate fans were excited about a potential clash between then two-time state champion Nick Tighe and 2012 titlewinner Connor Lapresi at the Eastern States.  It didn’t happen there, but it did occur on Saturday night.  Tighe broke a 1-1 tie in the third with a takedown to pick up his third consecutive crown for Phoenix.  CAA wrestling at Binghamton is next for him.

And Also . . . Lapresi leaves Lansing with another All-State showing as he prepares to take on Division I wrestling at Bucknell.  Also concluding his career with multiple medals was Lewiston Porter’s Dan Reagan.  After taking fourth in this class last year, he moved up to third as a senior.

 

145 Pounds:

Hull, Photo by BV

The Champion:  Royalton Hartland’s Drew Hull outscored his opponents 22-5 on his title run.  Last year, he lost a tight bout in the finals to take second.  This time, he got his hand raised in a 2-0 victory over Norwich’s Frank Garcia.

And Also . . . Garcia, a sophomore, opened with a pin and then won two close matches, in overtime in the quarters and 3-2 in the semis.  After jumping from the top 8 in 2012 to second in 2013, he’ll return looking for more as a junior.

The bronze finisher Jude Gardner of Fredonia had a stellar senior campaign.  He suffered just four losses – and all four were to state champion Hull, including in the semifinals on Saturday morning.  With Hull, Gardner and Eric Lewandowski (second in Division I), there’s no doubt Section 6 was strong at this weight this year.

 

152 Pounds:

Thayer, Photo by BV

The Champion:  At the Section 4 championships, where he took second, Kevin Thayer had an incredible 18-16 victory over returning state placer Dan Dickman of Greene.  His finals victory over Rowdy Prior on Saturday was similarly action-packed.  Prior, a prolific pinner, chose top for the third while trailing and locked up a cradle that seemed likely to give him the gold medal.  Somehow, however, Thayer not only avoided the fall but also got the reversal to seal the title.

And Also . . . Prior provided an exciting semifinal victory.  He was behind 4-2 late in the match but got the pin over Alex Smythe.  Smythe’s tournament is worthy of mention as well.  After taking fifth at the state tournament in 2011, he didn’t get a bid last year.  However, he moved up several weights and had a solid season, coming into the Times Union Center with just two losses (to the previously mentioned Hull and Lewandowski).  One of only two medalists in the bracket not graduating (fifth placer Trey Duvall of Addison is the other), Smythe will look to make a run in 2013-14.

 

160 Pounds:

Paddock, Photo by BV

The Champion: In the semifinals, Mike Beckwith of Greene lasted over three minutes before getting pinned by Burke Paddock.  Beckwith was the only wrestler to stay on the mat with Paddock for that long.  The Warsaw junior stuck all four of his opponents to conclude a tremendous season and collect his first state championship.

And Also . . . Sophomore Nick Gallo fell one victory shy of place on the podium a year ago.  This year, he took several steps forward with a runner up showing.  The Section 2 wrestler defeated third placer Matt Fisher as well as returning medalist Tyler Silverthorn to earn his slot in the title bout.  He should be a force as a junior.

 

170 Pounds:

Radoncic, Photo by BV

The Champion: Coming into the tournament, some were pegging last year’s runner up Cheick Ndiaye, the top seed at 113, as someone who could give the PSAL its first-ever state champion.  Instead, it was Adis Radoncic of Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy who was the first to stand on top of the podium.  The junior did it the hard way – defeating the top two seeds in the bracket.  In fact, it appeared he might be in for an uphill battle in the title bout as he faced #1 Christian Dietrich once before this season at Eastern States and lost that bout 13-4.  However, Radoncic was undaunted and fought off a number of deep shots by the Greene grappler to take a 4-3 decision. Radoncic now has his sights set on being the PSAL’s first two-time champion.

And Also . . .  It’s easy to forget that Dietrich is just a freshman, especially given the way he performed all year.  He amazed many when he placed at 152 pounds as a seventh grader and looked very good all year at a higher weight.  Keeping him out of the top spot over the next several seasons will be a tall order for the rest of the field.

Dietrich’s first round opponent, John Messinger of Putnam Valley, fought back to take fourth.  Winning four in a row to get to the bronze match is an accomplishment, but the way he did it was even more impressive.  He trailed late in nearly all of his wrestleback matches and found a way to come out on top, multiple times in the waning seconds.   In one bout, he tied the match up with two points dangerously close to the third period buzzer and then picked up a takedown a few seconds into overtime to move forward.

 

182 Pounds:

Zupan, Photo by BV

The Champion: Zack Zupan had his eye on a repeat championship all year long and he finished the job.  The future Binghamton Bearcat had little trouble making the title bout as he racked up bonus points in his first three contests before controlling the finale, a 3-2 victory over Warsaw’s Tim Schaefer.  He joined future teammates Nick Kelley and Nick Tighe as titlewinners on Saturday night.

And Also . . . Schaefer finishes high school with a plethora of accolades.  He made the podium five times during his career, beginning with a sixth place finish as a seventh grader.

Hoosick Falls had its first champion in Luis Weirebach at 106 and added a third placer in Brad Burns at 182.  The Section 2 grappler was beaten in double overtime in the quarters but bounced back with four in a row to grab bronze.

 

195 Pounds:

Ayen, Photo by BV

The Champion:  Gouverneur had Dillon Stowell win it all at 113.  And then, the Wildcats crowned a second champion at 195 pounds when Hunter Ayen sent Bryce Mazurowski to his second consecutive silver medal.  Ayen fell behind 6-0 in the match, but climbed back into the bout when he threw the Avon wrestler onto his back.  When he was close to the pin, the referee stopped the action for blood time, but Ayen was unfazed as he added another takedown to win 9-6.  The Gouverneur senior had pinned his first three opponents.

And Also . . . One of those foes for Ayen was Matt Booth.  The Section 6 wrestler excelled in the consolation bracket, outscoring his opponents 30-5 to take third.  In the bronze match he topped Dusty Lewis of Salamanca, the wrestler he beat to qualify for the tournament a few weeks ago.

 

220 Pounds:

Bacon, Photo by BV

The Champion: A pair of undefeated wrestlers marched through the tournament and faced off in the finals with Hornell’s Zack Bacon utilizing strong mat wrestling to take the title 1-0 over Ryan Wolcott.  Bacon came back after a silver medal a year ago to end his career in the top spot.

And Also . . . Wolcott made a smooth transition from 170 pounds, where he won two matches in Albany in 2012, up to 220.  He pinned his way to the championship bout and the 1-0 loss to Bacon was his only setback all season long.  In 2013-14, he’ll look to go from second to first the same way Bacon did in his senior campaign.

 

 285 Pounds:

The Champion: Windsor’s Matt Abbott came into the tournament with a 33-1 mark and 19 pins.  (The sole loss was to the previously mentioned Wolcott).  He exited the Times Union Center as a champion.  Heavyweight matches are often low scoring but Abbott put a lot of points on the board, including 11 in the semis and eight in the finals.

And Also . . . Alex Soutiere, last year’s runner up in this class, took third after winning five wrestleback bouts.  In 2012, Soutiere upset top-seeded Kacee Sauer.  The tables turned this year as Soutiere (the #1 seed) was upended in the opening round by junior Connor Calkins of Section 5. Calkins wound up fifth and as the only non-senior placer, will be in the mix for top honors in 2014.

For all the brackets, see this link.

Congratulations to the Division II wrestlers on a great season.

New York State High School Rankings #3 – Where Things Stand As The Postseason Really Begins

The postseason is finally here.  Soon, we’ll find out who will have the opportunity to battle for a state title in Albany.  But before the Sectional championships get underway, here’s a look at where our panel thinks things stand across the weights in New York State.  There are sure to be some surprises and some great performances in the coming weeks by these wrestlers and by others.  Please feel free to provide comments or suggestions and we’ll consider them as long as they are done respectfully.

Good luck to all . . .

99 Pounds:

Photo by BV

  1. Yianni Diakomihalis, Hilton (5)
  2. Vito Arujau, Syosset (8)
  3. Jesse Dellavecchia, East Islip (11)
  4. John Arceri, Huntington (11)
  5. Chris Cuccolo, Pine Bush (9)
  6. Garrett Baugher, St. Joseph’s Collegiate (C)
  7. John Busiello, Eastport South Manor (11)
  8. Andrew Flanagan, Holley (5)

A Few Notes: Busiello re-enters the rankings after splitting matches with John Arceri, although the Huntington wrestler came out on top in their bout this past weekend.  The Suffolk tournament will no doubt be tough at this weight with those two wrestlers and Jesse Dellevecchia all in the top 8.  Holley’s Andrew Flanagan also joins the list after edging Jake Yankloski of Wayne.  Flanagan looks to improve upon last year’s fourth place finish in this class in Albany.

106 Pounds:

  1. Alex Tanzman, Westhampton Beach (11)
  2. Nick Barbaria, New Rochelle (1)
  3. Kyle Quinn, Wantagh (8)
  4. James Szymanski, Shoreham Wading River (11)
  5. Jimmy Overhiser, Corning (4)
  6. Jonathan Haas, Spencerport (5)
  7. Tony Recco, Lyndonville (5)
  8. Luis Weirebach, Hoosick Falls (2)

A Few Notes: Golan Cohen of Colonie looked great at Eastern States and will likely be in the mix at the state tournament.  However, Luis Weirebach‘s recent decision against Cohen vaults him into the rankings, a year after placing at 99 pounds for Hoosick Falls.

Photo by BV

113 Pounds:

  1. Nick Piccininni, Ward Melville (11)
  2. Kyle Kelly, Chenango Forks (4)
  3. Dillon Stowell, Gouverneur (10)
  4. Bryan Lantry, Wayne (5)
  5. Tyler Walsh, West Islip (11)
  6. Andrew Shomers, Lewiston Porter (6)
  7. Joe Calderone, Walt Whitman (11)
  8. Cheick Ndiaye, Brooklyn International (P)

A Few Notes: The departure of Anthony Orefice to 120 pounds moved several wrestlers up a few slots from the last time.  In addition, Tyler Walsh of West Islip joins the rankings after his victory over Walt Whitman’s Joe Calderone, a returning fourth placer, in last weekend’s qualifier.  Andrew Shomers has been solid all year long with a 42-1 record, including wins over All-State wrestlers Orefice and Drew Marra.

120 Pounds:

  1. Alex Delacruz, Ossining (1)
  2. Mike D’Angelo, Commack (11)
  3. John Muldoon, Pearl River (1)
  4. Blaise Benderoth, North Rockland (1)
  5. Travis Passaro, Eastport South Manor (11)
  6. Blake Retell, Shaker (2)
  7. Steve Michel, Lancaster (6)
  8. Sean Peacock, Midlakes (5)

A Few Notes:  The top five hasn’t changed since the last version of the rankings. Muldoon did lose a match in overtime to Nanuet’s Anthony Calvano (who has a number of solid wins), but Muldoon avenged that loss shortly thereafter. The injury to Nick Tolli of Arlington moved him off the list and Steve Michel re-entered. The returning state placer from Lancaster has several quality wins this year including over Sean Peacock, Anthony Orefice (twice) and Kellen Devlin of Amherst (twice).  We expect to see strong surges from proven postseason performers such as Robert Person and Trey Aslanian.

Photo by Josh Conklin

126 Pounds:

  1. TJ Fabian, Shoreham Wading River (11)
  2. Dylan Realbuto, Somers (1)
  3. Chris Araoz, Wantagh (8)
  4. Mark West, Hauppauge (11)
  5. Brad Wade, Islip (11)
  6. Corey Jamison, Huntington (11)
  7. William Koll, Lansing (4)
  8. Dakota Gardner, Fredonia (6)

A Few Notes: The top four remain the same as last time at 126.  However, there is a bit of a shake-up afterwards. Islip’s Brad Wade moves into the rankings.  He has been impressive, beating Corey Jamison twice and state runner up Justin Cooksey. Honestly, eight slots don’t seem to be enough in this class.  Wrestlers such as Mike Raccioppi of Minisink Valley, Rocco Russo of Frontier, Laken Cook of Ilion, Jake Nicholson of Waterloo and Freddie Dunau of St. Anthony’s, among others, could do a lot of damage in Albany.

132 Pounds:

  1. Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, Cheektowoga (6)
  2. Tristan Rifanburg, Norwich (4)
  3. Sam Melikian, Fordham Prep (C)
  4. Matt Leshinger, Sayville (11)
  5. Brandon Lapi, Amsterdam (2)
  6. Vinny Turano, Wantagh (8)
  7. Conor O’Hara, Sachem East (11)
  8. Sam Ward, Locust Valley (8)

A Few Notes: Sam Ward of Locust Valley will be someone to watch in the Division II ranks. He upended Vinny Turano shortly after Eastern States and also had a win over Conor O’Hara in early December.  Two wrestlers that may be under the radar for those outside of Section 5, Jacob Sepor of Pavilion and Clyde Carey of Addison, are ones to keep tabs on as well.

Photo by Josh Conklin

138 Pounds:

  1. Nick Kelley, Shenendehowa (2)
  2. Nick Tighe, Phoenix (3)
  3. Connor Lapresi, Lansing (4)
  4. Tom Dutton, Rocky Point (11)
  5. Vincent DePrez, Hilton (5)
  6. Dan Reagan, Lewiston Porter (6)
  7. Derrick Gray, Indian River (3)
  8. Skylar Kropman, Penfield (5)

A Few Notes: Nothing has changed here. However, one wrestler we will be following the rest of the way is Danny Graham of West Seneca East.  Before the season, he was mentioned to us by a Section 6 coach as someone who could have a breakout year.  Thus far, he is undefeated.

145 Pounds:

  1. Louis Hernandez, Mepham (8)
  2. David Almaviva, Shenendehowa (2)
  3. Drew Hull, Royalton Hartland (6)
  4. Tom Grippi, Fox Lane (1)
  5. Brendan Dent, Connetquot (11)
  6. Eric Lewandowski, Lancaster (6)
  7. Jordan Torbitt, Whitney Point (4)
  8. Nick Koelmel, Immaculate Heart Central (3)

A Few Notes: Louis Hernandez holds the top spot and Eric Lewandowski remains in the rankings, although both dropped a match since our last update.  Hernandez’s only setback of the year came up a weight at 152 against the tough Michael Marrero. However, Hernandez’s run through some of New York’s best at Eastern States kept him in the same position. Tom Grippi has been on a tear since dropping a close one to Lewandowski at Eastern States.

Brendan Dent enters the rankings after an impressive campaign, including a win over Sachem East’s Jackson Mordente, while Jordan Torbitt blanked Norwich’s Frank Garcia, a wrestler who came within one win of placing in Albany last year. Nick Koelmel of Immaculate Heart Central handed Derrick Gray of Indian River (see 138 pound rankings) his only loss early in the season and has remained undefeated. Fredonia’s Jude Gardner placed in the Times Union Center last year and has only lost to Drew Hull this season (twice).  He may get another shot at Hull this weekend.

Photo by Josh Conklin

152 Pounds:

  1. Corey Rasheed, Longwood (11)
  2. Tyler Spann, Adirondack (3)
  3. Chris Koo, Great Neck South (8)
  4. Angelo Kress, Columbia (2)
  5. Brendan Goldup, LaSalle (2)
  6. Rowdy Prior, Phoenix (3)
  7. Joe Mastro, Yorktown (1)
  8. Alex Smythe, Eden (6)

A Few Notes: The small school tournament in Section 3 will be extremely tough this weekend at 152 pounds.  Tyler Spann, Rowdy Prior and two-time state placer Isaiah Riccio of Beaver River will fight it out for the  title.  Riccio has taken third and fifth the past two years in Albany and knows how to perform on the biggest stage. Rasheed and Koo keep cruising to victories.

160 Pounds:

  1. Burke Paddock, Warsaw (5)
  2. Tyler Grimaldi, HHHW (11)
  3. Steven Schneider, MacArthur (8)
  4. Mike Beckwith, Greene (4)
  5. Jake Weber, Clarence (6)
  6. Andrew Psomas, Monsignor Farrell (C)
  7. Austin Weigel, Onteora (9)
  8. Nick Gallo, Schalmont (2)

A Few Notes: There haven’t been any changes here.  Staying on our radar is General Brown’s Tyler Silverthorn, a placer in Albany last year, who seems to be picking up some steam as the most important matches of the year approach. In addition, returning All-Stater Dale White of John Jay East Fishkill is back after injuries kept him on the sideline for much of the season.  He’ll be someone to watch as well.

Photo by Josh Conklin

170 Pounds:

  1. Dan McDevitt, Wantagh (8)
  2. Christian Dietrich, Greene (4)
  3. Joe Piccolo, HHHW (11)
  4. Troy Seymour, Peru (7)
  5. Carlos Toribio, Brentwood (11)
  6. Zack Buckley, Fredonia (6)
  7. Johnny Vrasidas, St. Anthony’s (C)
  8. Mike Green, Cobleskill-Richmondville (2)

A Few Notes: Joe Piccolo goes to third after pinning Carlos Toribio at the Islip Cup.  Previously, Toribio had notched a 5-0 decision over Piccolo.  The rubber match could happen in a few days.  Mike Green makes his debut in the rankings. The Section 2 wrestler is 40-1 with his loss coming against Vrasidas.  He has defeated state placer Brad Burns and previously ranked Brett Perry of John Jay East Fishkill.  Brockport’s Jared Mesiti is another wrestler who could made a big impact at the state tournament.

182 Pounds:

  1. Zack Zupan, Canastota (3)
  2. Shayne Brady, Carthage (3)
  3. Tim Schaefer, Warsaw (5)
  4. Trent Egenlauf, Spencerport (5)
  5. James Corbett, Wantagh (8)
  6. James Benjamin, Vestal (4)
  7. Gio Santiago, Sachem North (11)
  8. Anthony Liberatore, Williamsville South (6)

A Few Notes: Williamsville South’s Anthony Liberatore, who won multiple matches in the state capital last season, comes in at number eight.  He has put together an impressive season with a single loss (to Egenlauf).  Thomas Murray of Yorktown is also a medal contender.

Photo by Josh Conklin

195 Pounds:

  1. Reggie Williams, Johnson City (4)
  2. Bryce Mazurowski, Avon (5)
  3. Colton Kells, Fairport (5)
  4. Chris Chambers, East Islip (11)
  5. Steven Sabella, Yorktown (1)
  6. Nick Weber, Kings Park (11)
  7. Ben Honis, CBA/Jamesville-Dewitt (3)
  8. Levi Ashley, Shenendehowa (2)

A Few Notes: Ben Honis made the podium at Fargo this summer and has followed up with a strong season, including wins over wrestlers like Hunter Ayen of Gouverneur, Tyler Smith of Midlakes and Scott Wymbs of Horace Greeley.  He also recently beat Joe Nasoni of Baldwinsville, who was in the last set of rankings.  The two could meet again for the Section 3 crown. Joining this list at 195 is Levi Ashley of Shenendehowa, who has moved up after spending much of the campaign at 182. Syosset’s Dan Choi has been dominant and should be a contender in Albany.

220 Pounds:

  1. Zack Bacon, Hornell (5)
  2. Ryan Wolcott, Waverly (4)
  3. Dan Breit, Nanuet (1)
  4. Nick Lupi, Huntington (11)
  5. Mike Silvis, Holley (5)
  6. Richard Sisti, Monsignor Farrell (C)
  7. Joe Sprung, Berne Knox Waterloo (2)
  8. Matt Mott, Lynbrook (8)

A Few Notes: Matt Mott of Lynbrook enters the rankings after his undefeated campaign.  He will definitely be tested this weekend, however, as he wrestles a very tough group in Section 8. Steven Mills of Sachem North will look to top Nick Lupi in Section 11 after a 34-1 season.

Photo by BV

285 Pounds:

  1. El Shaddai Van Hoesen, Columbia (2)
  2. Mike Hughes, Smithtown West (11)
  3. Matt Montesanti, Medina (6)
  4. Alex Soutiere, Ravena (2)
  5. James O’Hagan, Seaford (8)
  6. Terrence Cheeks, NFA (9)
  7. Austin DiCerbo, Colonie (2)
  8. David Varian, Yorktown (1)

A Few Notes: There was some movement here.  The trio of Austin DiCerbo of Colonie, David Varian of Yorktown and Terrence Cheeks of Newburgh have taken turns beating each other with Cheeks coming out on top of recent meetings.  Brandon Fayle of Lowville was upset last weekend, while Austin Coleman of Spencerport looks to be peaking at the right time and will be a tough matchup in the postseason.

————

Special thanks to Mike Carey.

2 weeks to go until the state tournament!

New York State Rankings #2 for 2012-13 Season

We said the first set of rankings of the year would probably be the toughest. We were wrong. These were much tougher.

However, after much discussion and debate, here are the current opinions of those who collaborated on this project. We will once again consider all of your feedback . . . as long as it’s done respectfully.

So, here you go . . .

Photo by BV

99 Pounds:

  1. Yianni Diakomihalis, Hilton (5)
  2. Vito Arujau, Syosset (8)
  3. Jesse Dellavecchia, East Islip (11)
  4. Ryan O’Rourke, Adirondack (3)
  5. John Arceri, Huntington (11)
  6. Chris Cuccolo, Pine Bush (9)
  7. Jake Yankloski, Wayne (5)
  8. Garrett Baugher, St. Joseph’s Collegiate (C)

A Few Notes: Diakomihalis remains at number one despite winning a tournament title up at 106 over Jonathan Haas this weekend.  The Eastern States Classic featured some close bouts at this weight, including Cuccolo’s overtime triumph over Yankloski for the title. That came one round after Yankloski’s extra time victory over Eastport South Manor’s John Busiello in the semis. There’s no doubt that Busiello will be heard from in the postseason as well.

106 Pounds:

  1. Alex Tanzman, Westhampton Beach (11)
  2. Nick Barbaria, New Rochelle (1)
  3. Kyle Quinn, Wantagh (8)
  4. James Szymanski, Shoreham Wading River (11)
  5. Jimmy Overhiser, Corning (4)
  6. Golan Cohen, Colonie (2)
  7. Jonathan Haas, Spencerport (5)
  8. Tony Recco, Lyndonville (5)
A Few Notes: Tanzman remains in the top spot, followed by Barbaria. The New Rochelle wrestler had an impressive Eastern States, earning the crown with victories over Overhiser and Quinn in tight matches in the semis and finals. Szymanski and Cohen enter the rankings after taking third and fourth at that event, featuring several quality victories.

Photo by BV

113 Pounds:

  1. Nick Piccininni, Ward Melville (11)
  2. Kyle Kelly, Chenango Forks (4)
  3. Anthony Orefice, Lockport (6)
  4. Dillon Stowell, Gouverneur (10)
  5. Bryan Lantry, Wayne (5)
  6. Joe Calderone, Walt Whitman (11)
  7. Johnny Stramiello, Pine Bush (9)
  8. Cheick Ndiaye, Brooklyn International (P)

A Few Notes: The makeup of the top 8 here hasn’t undergone too much change since the last rankings. (Barbaria, previously here, moved down to 106 and Calderone joined the list while Orefice has spent some time up at 120).  Piccininni dominated at the Eastern States while Kelly did the same the previous week at the Union-Endicott Duals.

120 Pounds:

  1. Alex Delacruz, Ossining (1)
  2. Mike D’Angelo, Commack (11)
  3. John Muldoon, Pearl River (1)
  4. Blaise Benderoth, North Rockland (1)
  5. Travis Passaro, Eastport South Manor (11)
  6. Nick Tolli, Arlington (1)
  7. Blake Retell, Shaker (2)
  8. Sean Peacock, Midlakes (5)

A Few Notes: This weight took more time than most of the others combined. What has changed? Honestly, what hasn’t? The Eastern States tournament was loaded at this class and a number of highly accomplished wrestlers, including the #2, 3, 4 and 5 seeds at the event didn’t place. Why this arrangement? Yes, Delacruz was disqualified while trailing during his semis bout with Muldoon. However, looking at the matches that have taken place among these wrestlers this season, Delacruz pinned D’Angelo, who in turn beat Muldoon earlier this year.  Muldoon topped Benderoth, who defeated Passaro for bronze at SUNY Sullivan. (Passaro won their meeting the previous day by fall).

Tolli and Retell turned in strong performances in Loch Sheldrake as well, with Tolli topping Steve Michel and Chris Cataldo on his way to fifth while Retell also placed after beating Santo Curatolo, Cataldo and two-time state runner up Trey Aslanian.

Photo by Josh Conklin

126 Pounds:

  1. TJ Fabian, Shoreham Wading River (11)
  2. Dylan Realbuto, Somers (1)
  3. Chris Araoz, Wantagh (8)
  4. Mark West, Hauppauge (11)
  5. Corey Jamison, Huntington (11)
  6. William Koll, Lansing (4)
  7. Dakota Gardner, Fredonia (6)
  8. Mike Raccioppi, Minisink Valley (9)

A Few Notes:  Most of the names are the same here with the order slightly rearranged. Fabian’s championship over the weekend, in which he defeated Realbuto and Koll, puts him on top. Realbuto beat Araoz, who topped Koll.  One of the new additions to the list is Mark West, a former state champion who was fourth at Eastern States and will be no doubt be a factor in the postseason. Islip’s Brad Wade is among the many others to keep an eye on.  He recently avenged two early season losses and has solid wins over Jamison and state runner up Justin Cooksey.

132 Pounds:

  1. Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, Cheektowoga (6)
  2. Tristan Rifanburg, Norwich (4)
  3. Sam Melikian, Fordham Prep (C)
  4. Matt Leshinger, Sayville (11)
  5. Vinny Turano, Wantagh (8)
  6. Brandon Lapi, Amsterdam (2)
  7. Conor O’Hara, Sachem East (11)
  8. Jacob Sepor, Pavilion (5)

A Few Notes: Rodriguez-Spencer has continued to roll but there was a little shakeup behind him. Two-time state finalist Rifanburg takes the second slot after winning Eastern States this weekend, while the wrestler he defeated for the title, Melikian, is next. Then comes bronze finisher Leshinger, who split contests with Turano at SUNY Sullivan. O’Hara has been on a tear since moving down to 132 pounds.

Photo by BV

138 Pounds:

  1. Nick Kelley, Shenendehowa (2)
  2. Nick Tighe, Phoenix (3)
  3. Connor Lapresi, Lansing (4)
  4. Tom Dutton, Rocky Point (11)
  5. Vincent DePrez, Hilton (5)
  6. Dan Reagan, Lewiston Porter (6)
  7. Derrick Gray, Indian River (3)
  8. Skylar Kropman, Penfield (5)

A Few Notes: While the match many were hoping to see, Kelley vs. Tighe, didn’t materialize (Tighe forfeited in the semis), Kelley reinforced his hold on #1 with his outstanding showing. Joining the fray is Penfield’s Skylar Kropman after making the medal stand from an unseeded spot in the bracket at Eastern States.

145 Pounds:

  1. Louis Hernandez, Mepham (8)
  2. David Almaviva, Shenendehowa (2)
  3. Drew Hull, Royalton Hartland (6)
  4. Eric Lewandowski, Lancaster (6)
  5. Tom Grippi, Fox Lane (1)
  6. Jackson Mordente, Sachem East (11)
  7. Frank Garcia, Norwich (4)
  8. Jude Gardner, Fredonia (6)

A Few Notes: Hernandez is the new #1 here after leading the way at the Eastern States. The Mepham wrestler was in great form over the weekend, beating Almaviva in the semifinals before taking out the tournament’s top seed in the finals. State runner up Hull enters the 145 pound rankings after moving down from 152.  Garcia missed a portion of the season with an injury but has made an effective return, including a podium showing at the Eastern States. While not presently included, Anthony DePrez is putting together a very solid season for Hilton.

Photo by BV

152 Pounds:

  1. Corey Rasheed, Longwood (11)
  2. Tyler Spann, Adirondack (3)
  3. Angelo Kress, Columbia (2)
  4. Chris Koo, Great Neck South (8)
  5. Rowdy Prior, Phoenix (3)
  6. Brendan Goldup, LaSalle (2)
  7. Dan DeCarlo, Port Jervis (9)
  8. Joe Mastro, Yorktown (1)

A Few Notes: Corey Rasheed made a strong statement about who the best in New York is at 152 by rolling through the tournament at SUNY Sullivan, which included a number of ranked opponents. DeCarlo and Mastro made the list after their performances over the weekend as well. Kyle Halliday of Chenango Valley also continues to have a strong campaign, with his only loss coming up a weight to Vestal’s Alex Francik, a wrestler who was strongly considered at 160.

160 Pounds:

  1. Burke Paddock, Warsaw (5)
  2. Tyler Grimaldi, HHHW (11)
  3. Steven Schneider, MacArthur (8)
  4. Mike Beckwith, Greene (4)
  5. Jake Weber, Clarence (6)
  6. Andrew Psomas, Monsignor Farrell (C)
  7. Austin Weigel, Onteora (9)
  8. Nick Gallo, Schalmont (2)

A Few Notes: Paddock captured the battle of the top wrestlers at this weight over Grimaldi. Two of the fastest risers in the rankings were MacArthur’s Schneider and Monsignor Farrell’s Psomas, who battled for third at the Eastern States. Schneider also beat Weber the previous week at the Union-Endicott Duals.

170 Pounds:

  1. Dan McDevitt, Wantagh (8)
  2. Carlos Toribio, Brentwood (11)
  3. Christian Dietrich, Greene (4)
  4. Joe Piccolo, Half Hollow Hills West (11)
  5. Troy Seymour, Peru (7)
  6. Zack Buckley, Fredonia (6)
  7. Johnny Vrasidas, St. Anthony’s (C)
  8. Brett Perry, John Jay EF (1)

 A Few Notes: Another weight with a new #1. McDevitt takes over after coming out on top in a field full of stellar wrestlers and keeping his unbeaten streak as an upperweight alive. Dietrich and Piccolo both defeated Seymour on Saturday while Toribio, Buckley and Vrasidas have continued to wrestle well. Perry got the nod for the eighth spot but Brockport’s Jared Mesiti is also one to look out for at this weight class as is Mike Green of Cobleskill-Richmondville and the previously ranked AJ Voelker of Monroe Woodbury.

182 Pounds:

  1. Zack Zupan, Canastota (3)
  2. Shayne Brady, Carthage (3)
  3. Tim Schaefer, Warsaw (5)
  4. Trent Egenlauf, Spencerport (5)
  5. James Corbett, Wantagh (8)
  6. Levi Ashley, Shenendehowa (2)
  7. James Benjamin, Vestal (4)
  8. Gio Santiago, Sachem North (11)

A Few Notes: Zupan does have some blemishes on his record – a loss while wrestling up at 195 (he was winning at the time of the fall) and a disqualification. However, the former state champion demonstrated that he is the wrestler to beat with his showing at the Eastern States, including a championship win over Schaefer. Egenlauf defeated Corbett at Union-Endicott duals while the Wantagh wrestler responded at SUNY Sullivan by taking third with a win over Ashley. Section 6’s Anthony Liberatore, who wrestled well in Albany last year, continues to impress.

Photo by BV

195 Pounds:

  1. Reggie Williams, Johnson City (4)
  2. Bryce Mazurowski, Avon (5)
  3. Colton Kells, Fairport (5)
  4. Chris Chambers, East Islip (11)
  5. Steven Sabella, Yorktown (1)
  6. Joe Nasoni, Baldwinsville (3)
  7. Nick Weber, Kings Park (11)
  8. Dan Choi, Syosset (8)

A Few Notes: Sabella and Nasoni enter after picking up some solid victories as does Chambers after beating Weber (who beat Choi). According to the NWCA Scorebook, Chambers has won every match this year by bonus points (and has 17 first period falls). Reggie Williams stays on top after his weekend title while Mazurowski remains in the second slot as the favorite in Division II. Both Hunter Ayen of Gouverneur and Ben Honis of Jamesville-Dewitt/CBA put on strong showings at the Eastern States and will be threats in February along with Collin Pittman of Spencerport and Tyler Morris of Salem.

220 Pounds:

  1. Zack Bacon, Hornell (5)
  2. Ryan Wolcott, Waverly (4)
  3. Dan Breit, Nanuet (1)
  4. Nick Lupi, Huntington (11)
  5. Mike Silvis, Holley (5)
  6. Chris Saden, Fredonia (6)
  7. Richard Sisti, Monsignor Farrell (C)
  8. Joe Sprung, Berne Knox (2)

A Few Notes: Breit and Silvis traded positions after the Nanuet wrestler defeated the Holley grappler for the Eastern States crown. Minisink Valley’s Josh Bonneau made a statement with his bronze placement at the same tournament and is one we will keep close tabs on, along with Islip’s Ryan Hughes.

Photo by BV

285 Pounds:

  1. El Shaddai Van Hoesen, Columbia (2)
  2. Mike Hughes, Smithtown West (11)
  3. Matt Montesanti, Medina (6)
  4. Alex Soutiere, Ravena (2)
  5. Brandon Fayle, Lowville (3)
  6. James O’Hagan, Seaford (8)
  7. Austin DiCerbo, Colonie (2)
  8. David Varian, Yorktown (1)

A Few Notes: The top six didn’t change after the last set of rankings, however, DiCerbo makes his debut after pinning Varian for the bronze at Eastern States. It was one of four falls for the Colonie wrestler at the tournament.

Special thanks to Mike Carey for his tremendous work on these rankings.

* Results based on NWCA Scorebook

New York State Rankings #1 for 2012-13 Season

Here we go . . . the first and probably most difficult rankings of the year.  Soon, wrestlers will settle into their weights, more top wrestlers will go head to head and others will be back from injuries. Rankings, especially at this time of year, are subjective and we’re sure there are some wrestlers not included who will make an impact.  They are the opinions of those who collaborated on this project and are meant to generate conversation. We will seriously consider all of your feedback . . . as long as it’s done respectfully.  So, have at it.

Special thanks to Mike Carey for his incredible work to make these rankings happen.

Diakomihalis, Photo by BV

99 Pounds:

  1. Yianni Diakomihalis, Hilton (5)
  2. Vito Arujau, Syosset (8)
  3. Jesse Dellavecchia, East Islip (11)
  4. Peter Pappas, Plainview (8)
  5. Ryan Hetrick, Southwestern (6)
  6. John Arceri, Huntington (11)
  7. John Busiello, Eastport South Manor (11)
  8. Vinny Vespa, Monroe Woodbury (9)

A Few Notes: There are some terrific young wrestlers in this weight, but #1 is Hilton’s Yianni Diakomihalis, who has been extremely impressive not only on the mat for Hilton thus far but all over the country over the past several months.  Before this high school campaign began, he captured the Junior High Championship at the Super 32 Challenge in North Carolina. On his way to that title, Diakomihalis defeated Syosset eighth grader Vito Arujau (who took third). Arujau has been dominant thus far, both at 106 and 99. Suffolk county will have quite a battle in this class.  Over the holidays, Jesse Dellevecchia edged John Busiello in a very close and entertaining match while Arceri won the Windsor Christmas Tournament with a technical fall in the title bout.

106 Pounds:

  1. Alex Tanzman, Westhampton Beach (11)
  2. Jimmy Overhiser, Corning (4)
  3. Tony Recco, Lyndonville (5)
  4. Andrew Flanagan, Holley (5)
  5. Kyle Quinn, Wantagh (8)
  6. Jake Yankloski, Wayne (5)
  7. Jonathan Haas, Spencerport (5)
  8. Steven Lee, West Babylon (11)
A Few Notes: Tanzman took bronze at 99 a year ago, and started the season up at 113 (where he dropped a decision to state champion Nick Piccininni). Overhiser took fourth at this weight a year ago and has picked up where he left off, including a title at the Windsor Christmas Tournament.  Recco, a state champion in 2012, and Flanagan, a placer, have done well up a weight after competing at 99 a year ago. Yankloski caught our attention when he defeated qualifier Bryan Ruggeri of Fairport by technical fall early in the year.  He won his first 16 bouts.

 

Piccininni, Photo by BV

113 Pounds:

  1. Nick Piccininni Ward Melville (11)
  2. Kyle Kelly, Chenango Forks (4)
  3. Anthony Orefice, Lockport (6)
  4. Bryan Lantry, Wayne (5)
  5. Dillon Stowell, Gouverneur (10)
  6. Nick Barbaria, New Rochelle (1)
  7. Johnny Stramiello, Pine Bush (9)
  8. Cheick Ndiaye, Brooklyn International (P)

A Few Notes: This is one of two weights where there was a lot of back and forth on who is #1 and who is essentially 1A. We expect Piccininni and Kelly to settle things on the mat in the finals at the Times Union Center.  Two years ago, Kelly defeated Piccininni in the state semifinals and neither has lost in the state of New York since.  The Ward Melville wrestler’s outstanding performances against top competition outside the state, and a victory over the nation’s top sophomore, Zahid Valencia, gave him the edge.  Of course, Kelly’s many achievements are extremely impressive, including two state titles and placements at Fargo and Virginia Beach.  Anthony Orefice also has had a lot of success both inside and outside of the Empire State.  He was 40-2 a year ago, with his losses coming to Piccininni and Jimmy Overhiser (by default) and he registered a solid 7-1 win over Stowell over the holidays. Like Orefice, Bryan Lantry was fifth in 2012 in the state capital.  After a slow start at the Madison Square Garden title bout, Ndiaye gave Kelly a tough match a few weeks ago, dropping a two point decision.

Person, Photo by BV

120 Pounds:

  1. Robert Person, Bellmore JFK (8)
  2. Rocco Russo, Frontier (6)
  3. Steve Michel, Lancaster (6)
  4. Mike D’Angelo, Commack (11)
  5. Sean Peacock, Midlakes (5)
  6. Trey Aslanian, Edgemont (1)
  7. Kellen Devlin, Amherst (6)
  8. John Muldoon, Pearl River (1)

A Few Notes: Person, a two-time placer out of Section 8 is looking to make the finals for the first time after placing multiple times in the past. A number of these wrestlers have met this year.  Russo defeated Michel early on and then Michel beat Peacock.  Meanwhile, in last year’s state finals at 113, Peacock topped Aslanian.  The Edgemont grappler, headed to Princeton, is on a mission to win a state title after two runner up finishes in Albany.  Mike D’Angelo may not be a familiar name to those outside of Long Island but he suffered only three losses last year – all to Nick Piccininni.  In fact, Piccininni had only four regular decisions prior to Albany and three were against D’Angelo.  Truthfully, D’Angelo won’t have an easy time in Section 11 this year, because a pair of wrestlers who made it to the Round of 12 at the Super 32, Connetquot’s Steven Bulzomi and Eastport South Manor’s Travis Passaro, are also very strong.

Realbuto, Photo by BV

126 Pounds:

  1. Dylan Realbuto, Somers (1)
  2. TJ Fabian, Shoreham Wading River (11)
  3. Chris Araoz, Wantagh (8)
  4. Corey Jamison, Huntington (11)
  5. William Koll, Lansing (4)
  6. Blake Retell, Shaker (2)
  7. Dakota Gardner, Fredonia (6)
  8. Antonio DeLuco, Rome Free Academy (3)

A Few Notes:  Realbuto captured a state title a year ago and will have a challenging group to beat to repeat. Fabian took fourth last season at a deep 120 pound weight and has impressed so far for Shoreham Wading River, as he did while winning seven straight after an opening round loss at the Super 32.  Chris Araoz knows about long winning streaks at national events as he took the 120 pound NHSCA National title last spring. Meanwhile, former state gold medalist William Koll has made the move up a few weights.  He took second this weekend at the Windsor Christmas Tournament behind Corey Jamison, who came into Albany as the number two seed last year but didn’t compete the second day.

Rodriguez-Spencer, Photo by BV

132 Pounds:

  1. Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, Cheektowoga (6)
  2. Matt Leshinger, Sayville (11)
  3. Tristan Rifanburg, Norwich (4)
  4. Sam Melikian, Fordham Prep (C)
  5. Cody McGregor, Tonawanda (6)
  6. Brandon Lapi, Amsterdam (2)
  7. Vinny Turano, Wantagh (8)
  8. Ben Ettlinger, Fox Lane (1)

A Few Notes: Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer is currently ranked nationally at this weight and has a boatload of achievements in the international styles. Last year, he took second in Albany behind Nick Tighe in an entertaining, back and forth, match. Future Columbia Lion Matt Leshinger of Sayville, a returning bronze medalist, went through one of the state’s toughest brackets (Section 11, 120 pounds) just to get to the Times Union Center last season.  Rifanburg, McGregor and Lapi have made a number of appearances on the medal stand and Melikian came within one match of joining them a year ago.

Kelley, Photo by BV

138 Pounds:

  1. Nick Kelley, Shenendehowa (2)
  2. Nick Tighe, Phoenix (3)
  3. Connor Lapresi, Lansing (4)
  4. Tom Dutton, Rocky Point (11)
  5. Vincent DePrez, Hilton (5)
  6. Eric Lewandowski, Lancaster (6)
  7. Codie Gillette, Saranac (7)
  8. Derrick Gray, Indian River (3)

A Few Notes: A pair of Binghamton-bound wrestlers are the favorites to capture titles at this weight in 2013. On the Division I side it’s Kelley, who is looking for his first crown to cap off a terrific career. On the other hand, Tighe is aiming for his third straight championship in Albany. Tighe may have to battle returning 132 pound gold medalist Connor Lapresi, who will wrestle for Bucknell in the future. On the large school side, Tom Dutton had a stellar offseason, placing at both the NHSCA Nationals and Fargo after a successful regular season in Section 11. DePrez and Lewandowski have both competed in the Saturday night finals in the past and will look to get back there this February.

Almaviva, Photo courtesy of Anthony Almaviva

145 Pounds:

  1. David Almaviva, Shenendehowa (2)
  2. Louis Hernandez, Mepham (8)
  3. Isaiah Riccio, Beaver River (3)
  4. Dan Reagan, Lewiston Porter (6)
  5. Jude Gardner, Fredonia (6)
  6. Joey Butler, Burnt Hills (2)
  7. Jackson Mordente, Sachem East (11)
  8. Colby Kash, Clarkstown North (1)

A Few Notes: Almaviva, an All-American, lost some matches this year but did so while making the Round of 12 at the prestigious Reno Tournament of Champions. After taking bronze in Albany last year, he’ll be looking to get to the finals this time. A number of other wrestlers on this list have solid experience at the Times Union Center, such as All-Staters Riccio, Reagan and Gardner. Hernandez made the trip to the state capital last year and wrestled with a severe injury. Now back in form, he dominated tough competition in and outside of the Empire State in the offseason and is looking for big things in a return trip.

Rasheed, Photo by BV

152 Pounds:

  1. Corey Rasheed, Longwood (11)
  2. Tom Grippi, Fox Lane (1)
  3. Drew Hull, Royalton Hartland (6)
  4. Angelo Kress, Columbia (2)
  5. Tyler Spann, Adirondack (3)
  6. Chris Koo, Great Neck South (8)
  7. Rowdy Prior, Phoenix (3)
  8. Kyle Halliday, Chenango Valley (4)

A Few Notes: Rasheed is a three-time placer and two-time runner up going into his junior year.  He took second at 145 in D-I last season while Drew Hull, a two-time medal winner, was the silver placer in the small school tournament.  Tom Grippi handed our #1 at 145 David Almaviva his only loss in Albany last year and finished one match from placing.  He already has over 20 wins.  Kress pinned his way through the PSAL Holiday tournament and racked up a number of wins in offseason events in the international styles. At the state tournament last season, he lost to nationally ranked Nicky Hall in the opening round before winning three straight in the consolations.  Chris Koo has been an All-American twice in Virginia Beach but has yet to travel to the state capital.  He has the ability to not only qualify but go far at the Times Union Center. He most recently was the Outstanding Wrestler at the Massapequa Holiday Tournament. Prior had a 32-3 season last year but two of his setbacks came in the Section 3 tournament (including to Spann).  He has been on fire this year thus far.

Grimaldi, Photo by BV

160 Pounds:

  1. Tyler Grimaldi, HHHW (11)
  2. Burke Paddock, Warsaw (5)
  3. Brendan Goldup, LaSalle (2)
  4. Jake Weber, Clarence (6)
  5. Mike Beckwith, Greene (4)
  6. Nick Gallo, Schalmont (2)
  7. Tyler Silverthorn, General Brown (3)
  8. Austin Weigel, Onteora (9)

A Few Notes: Speaking of 1 and 1A back at 113, Grimaldi and Paddock are both in the national rankings.  Some have Grimaldi higher and some have the reverse. We expect both to stand on top of the podium in Albany in their respective divisions.  Why do we have Grimaldi higher?  He defeated Paddock at the New York State Freestyle championships this year and placed at Fargo while both were in the same bracket. Needless to say, Paddock has a plethora of achievements over the years and will be difficult to beat. Mike Beckwith encountered a number of setbacks a year ago but with very little practice under his belt won Section 4 and a match in Albany.  He has blistered through the competition this year. Silverthorn was one of the few non-senior medalists in either division at 160 in 2012. Gallo came within a bout of the podium as a freshman and Goldup, a former All-Stater, is off to a great start. Weigel was one bout from the All-State status at 170 and will be a handful down at 160. [Dale White has been out injured].

170 Pounds:

  1. Troy Seymour, Peru (7)
  2. Dan McDevitt, Wantagh (8)
  3. Carlos Toribio, Brentwood (11)
  4. Zack Buckley, Fredonia (6)
  5. Christian Dietrich, Greene (4)
  6. Johnny Vrasidas, St. Anthony’s (C)
  7. Joe Piccolo, Half Hollow Hills West (11)
  8. Andrew Voelker, Monroe Woodbury (9)

Seymour, a national runner up and fourth placer at the state tournament last year, stands on top of 170.  Behind him are a number of talented competitors, none of whom have tasted the podium yet at 170.  However, McDevitt was on the medal stand as a fifth placer in 2012 — down at 138. After a growth spurt, he is up several classes and after beating some tough customers this summer, he’s looking like a solid bet to medal again. Johnny Vrasidas made it to the top 8 in Albany in February.  Toribio has started off the year on fire in Section 11, beating All-Stater Gio Santiago and returning qualifier Matt Roberts, both while wrestling up a weight. He also handled Piccolo this past week at the Long Island Challenge. An interesting wildcard is Deitrich, who medaled at 152 as a seventh grader in 2011 and who looked overpowering as he cruised to the Windsor Christmas Tournament title.

Zupan, Photo by BV

182 Pounds:

  1. Zack Zupan, Canastota (3)
  2. Shayne Brady, Carthage (3)
  3. Tim Schaefer, Warsaw (5)
  4. James Corbett, Wantagh (8)
  5. James Benjamin, Vestal (4)
  6. Trent Egenlauf, Spencerport (5)
  7. Gio Santiago, Sachem North (11)
  8. Levi Ashley, Shenendehowa (2)

A Few Notes: Zack Zupan, the top ranked recruit in New York, stands at #1 while fellow Section 3 wrestler Shayne Brady, the Division I runner up a year ago comes in at #2.  The two met in the finals of the Herkimer Invitational, which ended quickly after some good early action when Brady injury defaulted.  Tim Schaefer, a multi-time state placer, is off to another great start for Warsaw after taking third at this weight in 2012.  Benjamin is back after his All-State showing out of Section 4 and fellow medalist Gio Santiago returns to the rankings. Above him is Wantagh’s James Corbett, who has impressed during his undefeated start, including a solid win over the Sachem North wrestler. Egenlauf has won multiple tournaments so far this campaign including the Teike Bernabi.

Williams, Photo by BV

195 Pounds:

  1. Reggie Williams, Johnson City (4)
  2. Bryce Mazurowski, Avon (5)
  3. Dan Choi, Syosset (8)
  4. Tyler Smith, Midlakes (5)
  5. Colton Kells, Fairport (5)
  6. Tyler Morris, Salem (2)
  7. Collin Pittman, Spencerport (5)
  8. Nick Weber, Kings Park (11)

A Few Notes: Reggie Williams conquered all challengers as a sophomore at 195 with the exception of four losses to state champion (and now graduated) Tony Fusco of Shenendehowa. Williams is the favorite to win his first state title.  Next up is another state silver medalist, Bryce Mazurowski of Avon, a future member of the Binghamton Bearcats.  Two 2012 fourth placers also sit here, Tyler Smith of Midlakes (at 195) and Tyler Morris of Salem (at 182). Colton Kells finished in the top 8 in Division I at 195 a year ago while Choi did the same at 182. Pittman gave Williams a lot to handle in the finals of the Teike Bernabi tournament despite a previous setback.

 

Bacon, Photo by BV

220 Pounds:

  1. Zack Bacon, Hornell (5)
  2. Ryan Wolcott, Waverly (4)
  3. Mike Silvis, Holley (5)
  4. Nick Lupi, Huntington (11)
  5. Dan Breit, Nanuet (1)
  6. Chris Saden, Fredonia (6)
  7. Joe Sprung, Berne Knox (2)
  8. Richard Sisti, Monsignor Farrell (C)

A Few Notes: Zack Bacon of Hornell, currently ranked #16 in the country by Intermat, leads the way. Bacon is familiar with Silvis and they are sure to meet this year again. Lupi also earned a spot in the national polls (by Amateur Wrestling News). The Huntington wrestler was upset in the Windsor Christmas Tournament finals by Ryan Wolcott, a returning Top 8 wrestler (at 170). Breit, Sprung and Sisti all made appearances at the Times Union Center in 2012.

Van Hoesen, Photo by BV

285 Pounds:

  1. El Shaddai Van Hoesen, Columbia (2)
  2. Mike Hughes, Smithtown West (11)
  3. Matt Montesanti, Medina (6)
  4. Alex Soutiere, Ravena (2)
  5. Brandon Fayle, Lowville (3)
  6. James O’Hagan, Seaford (8)
  7. David Varian, Yorktown (1)
  8. Anthony Puca, Huntington (11)

El Shaddai Van Hoesen earns the top spot with his absolute dominance thus far as a senior after taking second in 2012.  Another silver medalist, Alex Soutiere, has followed up his run at the Times Union Center with an unbeaten start.  A pair of sixth place finishers are also included, with Smithtown West’s Mike Hughes and Medina’s Matt Montesanti in control just about every time they’ve stepped on the mat.  Brandon Fayle of Lowville fell one bout short of placing in 2012 and has put up solid results again, with the one blemish on his record via disqualification.  Rounding out the rankings are Seaford’s James O’Hagan, an NHSCA Nationals third place finisher who went 31-3 last year and who has lost only to Hughes this campaign (the only match Hughes hasn’t won by fall).  Anthony Puca of Huntington and David Varian of Yorktown, a qualifier out of Section 1, round things out.

* Results based on NWCA Scorebook

Weekend Notes: High School State Finalists Battle; Binghamton Picks Up First Two Victories and Much More

 

Here are a few news and notes from some of the college and high school action around the state this weekend . . .

Binghamton Goes 2-for-2, Army Tops Drexel

Donnie Vinson, Photo by BV

After dropping the first six duals of the season against a tough schedule that included ranked teams such as Cornell, Illinois, Oklahoma and Lehigh, Binghamton began a winning streak this weekend.  On Friday night, Matt Dernlan picked up his first victory as the leader of the Bearcats program as the CAA squad defeated Princeton, 23-12.  On Sunday, Binghamton followed up by capturing six of the 10 contests against league foe Boston to win 26-13.  Going unbeaten on the weekend were nationally ranked wrestlers Donnie Vinson (#3 at 149 pounds) and Nate Schiedel (#6 at 197 pounds) as well as Patrick Hunter (125), Vin Grella (165) and Cody Reed (184).  The Bearcats return to action at the Midlands in Illinois on December 29.

Army also was victorious, earning a 22-15 triumph over Drexel on Thursday night.  The Black Knights once again received key wins from 165-pounder Paul Hancock, who recorded a fall, as well as 141-pounder Connor Hanafee and 184-pounder Collin Wittmeyer in pivotal matches.  The squad will take the mat again on January 1 at the Southern Scuffle.

In the first dual meet action of the season for Buffalo, the Bulls were defeated by Central Michigan, 28-7. Six of the 10 bouts were decided by two points or less and unfortunately for Buffalo, the Chippewas came out on top in five of those six close matches.  Winning for the New York squad were Angelo Malvestuto at 197 and John-Martin Cannon, in his return to the mat after missing a few weeks with injury.

All-State Wrestlers and State Finalists Square Off 

A year ago, the dual between Wantagh and Shenendehowa at the Civil War Duals ended in a tie, with the Nassau County team earning the win on criteria.  With both squads going undefeated the remainder of the year, that result was instrumental in Wantagh earning the award as the state’s #1 Dual Meet team.   The powerhouses are both loaded again this year and were set to meet this weekend in Clifton Park as part of the 2012 Civil War Duals.  However, due to a tragic accident in which two Shenendehowa students were killed, the event was appropriately postponed.

However, there were still some top notch matchups this weekend as the 2012-13 season picked up steam.

Drew Hull, Photo by BV

In a dual meet in Section 6, two podium finishers from February took the mat at 152 pounds.  Two-time All-Stater Drew Hull of Royalton Hartland, who captured second place in Albany at 145 pounds a year ago, topped fourth place finisher (at 138) Dan Reagan of Lewiston Porter by the score of 6-0.  (However, Lewiston Porter won the dual 48-30).

At the Herkimer Invitational, a pair of state finalists, Canastota’s Zack Zupan and Carthage’s Shayne Brady sat on different sides of the 182-pound bracket.  The two cruised into the finals, setting up a meeting in the title bout.  However, that match didn’t go the distance, as Brady suffered an injury and defaulted.  (Zupan had taken the early lead).  We hope to see the runner up from Carthage back on the mat soon.

Another Section 3 standout, two-time state champion Nick Tighe of Phoenix, also met a state runner up this weekend, Hilton’s Vincent DePrez, in the 138-pound championship contest of the Matthew Marino Tournament at Webster Schroeder High.   The Binghamton-bound Tighe dominated, grabbing a 16-3 major decision.  It is worth noting that DePrez was one of three second placers for his squad – and for the DePrez family.  His brothers Anthony (145) and Lou (120) also took silver while nationally-ranked teammate Yianni Diakomihalis was the victor at 99 pounds.

In the team race at the Matthew Marino event, which featured strong entrants from Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6, Vermont’s Mount Anthony High took first.  Earning second place was Section 6’s Fredonia, led by four gold medalists — returning state placers Dakota Gardner (126 pounds) and Jude Gardner (145) as well as Zach Buckley (170) and Christian Saden (220).  Buckley had a solid win over Section 5 champion Jared Mesiti, 7-4.

Also taking top billing were state qualifier Colton Kells of Fairport at 195 and state placer Bryan Lantry of Wayne at 113.  Lantry’s teammate Jake Yankloski registered an impressive bonus point victory in the 106 title match against 2012 qualifier Bryan Ruggeri of Fairport.

More Contenders in Action

Matt Leshinger, Photo by BV

In the first weekend of action for Section 11, the Sayville tournament showcased several state title contenders.  Among them were Ivy League-bound seniors Tyler Grimaldi of Half Hollow Hills West (Harvard) and the host school’s Matt Leshinger (Columbia).  Grimaldi, who was second in the state at 160 a year ago, captured Most Outstanding Wrestler honors in Sayville after cruising at 160 pounds.  Meanwhile, Leshinger, who took bronze at 120 in February, had a solid debut up a few weights as he won the tournament at 138 pounds.

Another strong event on Long Island was the Bruins Cup at Baldwin, which provided another opportunity to see a number of strong wrestlers ramp up their seasons.

Steven Sewkumar of Long Beach collected Most Outstanding Wrestler honors for the second consecutive weekend as he took the 113 pound title in a close match against St. Anthony’s Ben Lamantia.  St. Anthony’s celebrated a number of champions, including former All-State grappler Freddie Dunau (126) and 2012 qualifier Johnny Vrasidas (170) as well as Joe Russ (120).

Vito Arujau, Photo by BV

Syosset’s Dan Choi, who came within one match of the medal stand at the Times Union Center in Albany registered four pins on the way to the 195-pound crown while his teammates Joe Scholl (182) and Vito Arujau (106) also made the top of the podium.  Arujau looked dominant for the second straight tournament, earning the title by technical fall.

Led by champions Anthony Messina (132), Jackson Mordente (145) and John Vigh (220) and runners up Conor O’Hara (138), Mike Pistone (152), Mark Tracy (170) and Josh Edmonsen (285), Sachem East took the team title by over 50 points, with Longwood next.

 

MacArthur Takes First at the Mahopac Duals

While multiple Section 8 teams wrestled at the tournaments listed above, MacArthur traveled to Section 1 for the Mahopac Duals.  The Generals were impressive throughout the competition, including a 42-25 victory over Section 4’s Johnson City in the title tilt.  The host team from Mahopac was fourth.

And From the Midwest . . .

While Empire State teams can’t compete at some of the large in-season national events, a pair of 2012 New York State silver medalists made the podium at one of the most challenging tournaments in the country this weekend —  the Walsh Ironman in Ohio.  Jose Rodriguez, who took second at 99 pounds last season while competing for Wantagh, was the runner up at 106 pounds at the Ironman behind Eli Stuckley of St. Paris Graham.  Rodriguez now attends Massillon Perry in the Buckeye State.

Former Longwood star Nicky Hall notched seventh place on Saturday while representing Wyoming Seminary.  Hall is a two-time New York medalist, including a second place showing at 152 pounds in 2012.

For more dual meet results from around the state, see here

To report results, e-mail newyorkwrestlingnews@gmail.com

 

Binghamton Wrestling Announces Nationally Ranked Recruiting Class

By John Hartrick (hartrick@binghamton.edu), Courtesy of bubearcats.com

VESTAL, N.Y. – Head wrestling coach Matt Dernlan and his staff have produced the best early decision recruiting class in the program’s history, locking in six high school standouts. The class includes a pair of top 100 wrestlers and two more multi-state champions.

Amateur Wrestling News has ranked the class 14th best in the nation.

Set to join the Bearcats for the 2013-14 season are: Zack Zupan (Canastota, N.Y./Canastota), Nick Kelley (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa), Nick Tighe (Phoenix, N.Y./Phoenix), David Almaviva (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa), Kyle Kelly (Chenango Forks, N.Y./Chenango Forks) and  Bryce Mazurowski (Avon, N.Y./Avon)

“This class makes a good statement for our program moving forward,” Dernlan said. “We accomplished our objectives on a number of fronts … first we brought in guys who will help us contend for an NCAA title and center our program around kids from New York State. These are six of the 10 best kids in the entire state. They also have characteristics we’re looking to build on. Each of these wrestlers has unbelievable talent but more than anything, they have a huge upside at the next level. They have fundamental qualities we’re looking for, which is the fight to be successful. All six can make an impact for us right out of the gate and we’re very excited to welcome them to our program.”

Below is a capsule look at each recruit.

Photo by BV

Zack Zupan
– 2012 NYS champion
– Three-time NYS placewinner
– No. 87 overall recruit in country (Flowrestling)
– No. 1 recruit in NYS (New York Wrestling News)
– Won Virginia Beach Freshman Nationals and was runnerup at Sophomore Nationals
– Placed eighth at 2012 Flo Nationals
– Set NYS football record for most tackles in a season
– Projected to wrestle at 174/84

Coach Dernlan says …
“Zack is an incredibly gifted athlete. He has talent through the roof but it’s untapped because he’s a three-sport athlete. We’re excited about his upside once he solely focuses on wrestling.”

 

Photo by BV

Nick Kelley
– Five-time NYS qualifier
– No. 93 overall recruit in country (Flowrestling)
– No. 6 132-pounder in country (Flowrestling)
– No. 2 recruit in NYS (New York Wrestling News)
– Placed fifth at 2011 Flo Nationals and fourth at Fargo Junior Nationals
– Projected to wrestle at 141/49

Coach Dernlan says …
“Nick has incredible talent but on top of that, he wrestles as hard as any kid I’ve been around my entire life … and that’s a big statement. He’s going to benefit from the extra minute in college wrestling because he doesn’t get tired. That’s going to be a difference maker for him.”

 

Photo by BV

Nick Tighe
– Two-time NYS champion (2011, 2012)
– No. 15 recruit in country at his weight
– No. 3 recruit in NYS (New York Wrestling News)
– Placed seventh at 2011 Virginia Beach Sophomore Nationals and fourth as freshman
– Projected to wrestle at 133/41

Coach Dernlan says …
“Nick had one of the finest scholastic careers of anyone in the past decade of wrestling in New York State, He’s tenacious and has an unbelievable work ethic. He’s really good on top and has a motor that can go all day.”

Courtesy of Anthony Almaviva

David Almaviva

– Placed third at 2012 NYS Championship
– Two-time NYS qualifier
– Placed eighth at 2012 Fargo Junior Nationals
– No. 7 recruit in NYS (New York Wrestling News)
– Projected to wrestle at 149/57

Coach Dernlan says …
“David is another extremely gifted athlete. He’s probably one of the most technically sound kids I’ve been around in number of years.”

Photo by BV

Kyle Kelly

– Local recruit
– Two-time NYS champion
– Posted back-to-back undefeated sophomore and junior seasons (75-0)
– Placed fifth at 2012 Virginia Beach Junior Nationals
– Two-time Junior National Greco Roman All-American (7th, 7th)
– Ranked No. 6 at his weight in country (Flowrestling)
– No. 9 recruit in NYS (New York Wrestling News)
– Projected to wrestle at 125

Coach Dernlan says …
“On paper, Kyle is probably the most credentialed wrestler in the state. It’s always our goal to keep the Section 4 kids at home so getting Kyle is huge. He’s going to be a very special athlete at the next level.”

Photo by BV

Bryce Mazurowski

– Three-time NYS qualifier
– Runnerup at 2012 NYS Championship
– Went 46-2 as junior with 30 consecutive wins
– Projected to wrestle at 197

Coach Dernlan says …
“Bryce has an unbelievable upside once he gets the proper training. He has all the ability and hunger to get better and will jump to extremely high levels. I’m excited to be part of his growth.”

Weekend Recap: From Cornell and Army in Vegas to the Nittany Lion to High School Action, Including the Andersen and the Return of Vespa and Paddock

For the second consecutive year, Kyle Dake was atop the podium at the prestigious Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas.  The three-time NCAA champion eased his way through the tournament, pinning his first two opponents and then outscoring his foes 32-4 in his remaining three matches.

Kyle Dake, Photo by BV

Dake wasn’t the only finalist for the Big Red, which took third as a team behind Ohio State and Missouri with six total placers.  Also making the finals was freshman Nahshon Garrett, who continued his strong start in a Big Red singlet with a runner up finish to #4 Alan Waters of the Tigers.  The two will meet again in a few weeks in New York City at the “Grapple at the Garden” event.

All-American Mike Nevinger made the medal stand for the second year in a row in Vegas, as he took fourth at 141.  Chris Villalonga and Stryker Lane were both unseeded coming into the event, but both earned sixth place spots (at 149 and 285, respectively), while Jace Bennett took seventh at 197.

Joining the Cornell grapplers on the podium were a pair of Army wrestlers.  Nationally-ranked Daniel Young took eighth at 149 while Paul Hancock was seventh at 165.  The Black Knights stood 24th in the team standings.

Former Suffolk county standout Steven Keith of Harvard was fifth at 141 while Johnson City’s Pete Capone notched fourth at heavyweight for Ohio State.  For full brackets, see here

Cornell, Buffalo Each With Three Placers at the Nittany Lion Open

Photo by BV

The Cliff Keen Invitational wasn’t the only significant college tournament this weekend.  On the East Coast, Penn State hosted the Nittany Lion Open, an event with some brackets of more than 60 entrants.  A number of wrestlers representing Empire State teams impressed, with Mark Lewandowski of Buffalo taking second at 165 pounds behind last year’s NCAA champion, David Taylor.  Lewandowski’s teammates Max Soria (seventh at 125) and Wally Maziarz (eighth at 157) also placed.

For Cornell, Billy George and Joe Stanzione were both fourth, at 197 and 141, respectively while Ryan Dunphy took seventh at 149.

For the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club, Brian Realbuto continued his stellar year on the mat, making the semifinals before being disqualified. Mark Grey took sixth at 133, winning four straight after a second round loss in sudden victory to eventual runner up Jimmy Gulibon.  In the fifth place contest, Nassau’s Anthony Abidin, headed to Nebraska next year, defeated Grey, 9-3.

Former Duanesburg star Nick Gwiazdowski continued his successful redshirt campaign, taking first at heavyweight with a convincing major decision over Penn State’s Jimmy Lawson in the title bout.

For full results from the Nittany Lion Open, see here.

High School Weekend Watch – Andersen Tournament

In the high school ranks, there were a number of quality events throughout the state.  One was up North in Section 3, as the Bill Andersen Tournament was host to squads from Sections 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10.  When the brackets were released, fans were intrigued by the possibility of returning state champion Zack Zupan of Canastota meeting Christian Dietrich, an All-State wrestler from Greene who missed all of last season with injury.  The match came to fruition in the 182-pound finals, but there wasn’t much drama. Zupan notched a number of takedowns in a 13-5 victory.

Brandon Lapi, Photo by BV

Two-time state champion Kyle Kelly of Chenango Forks looked strong at his new weight, capturing the title at 113 pounds with two pins, followed by major decision in the finals.  Other New York state tournament veterans such as multi-time placer Brandon Lapi of Amsterdam and four-time qualifier Isaiah Perry of Massena earned gold at 132 and 138, respectively.

Section 4 power Greene showed that it will be very tough in the middle to upperweights with finalists in four straight weights, starting at 152. All-State wrestler Dan Dickman began the run with the title at 152, edging Tommy Quinlan of Fayetteville-Manlius in a 6-5 decision.  Mike Beckwith (160) didn’t have any close matches as he earned two pins and didn’t give up any points in his other contests while Joel Roselle (170) also had a pair of falls (and a technical fall) in addition to a 1-0 title bout victory over Daniel Smith of South Jefferson.

Smith and South Jefferson finished atop the team standings, led by a host of top three placers, including champions Jared Carroll (99) and Caleb Beach (106).  In addition, Jon Crast was second at 132 while Antonio Diaz was the runner up at 220.  In bronze position were Ryan Charlebois (195) and Trevor Cowles (160).

For full results see here.

Returns for Vespa and Paddock

Seeing the names Vinny Vespa and Aaron Paddock in the box scores from events this weekend was a welcome site.  Aaron Paddock recorded a fall at 170 in Warsaw’s meet with Campbell-Savona.

Meanwhile Vespa wrestled at 99 pounds for Monroe Woodbury, taking MOW honors at the Carlucci Duals at SUNY Purchase.  Monroe Woodbury won the title at the event with a finals victory over Section 1 power Fox Lane.  For a detailed account of that event, see here.

Battle at the Beach

In the weekend preview, we spoke about the Battle at the Beach taking place despite severe damage to host Long Beach High School.  (The event was moved to Lynbrook High).

Dan McDevitt, Photo by BV

Wantagh won the event convincingly, with an improved Hewlett squad taking second and Syosset grabbing third.  NHSCA Nationals All-American Kyle Quinn of the Warriors earned Most Outstanding Wrestler honors after defeating Long Beach’s Steven Sewkumar in an exciting 113-pound final.  Also capturing titles for the Warriors were Jonathan Loew at 99 pounds, Chris Araoz at 132, Vinny Turano at 138, Nick Vines at 145, returning All-Stater Dan McDevitt at 170 and James Corbett at 182.  Turano and McDevitt beat teammates in the finals –  Matthew Langan and Richard Grillo, respectively.

Several other wrestlers stood out.  Vito Arujau made a successful debut for Syosset at 106, dominating his way to the title.   According to NYWN contributor Irwin Loew, 160-pound winner Tim Davidson of Kellenberg had a stellar day on his way to the top of the podium.  Other champions were: Mike Petrone of South Side (120), Simon Greebel (Hewlett, 126), Konstantin Parfiyev (James Madison, 152), Dan Choi (Syosset, 195), Matt Mott (Lynbrook, 220) and Lester Enriquez (Hewlett, 285).  For more results from this event, see below.

Team Scores

1. Wantagh 357.5

2. Hewlett 210.5

3. Syosset 200

4. Clarke 150.5

5. Long Beach 133.5

Championship Finals

99 – Jonathan Loew (Wan) TF Alex Vargas (Syo) TF 18-2 3:46
106 – Vito Arujau (Syo) pinned Jack Nicholas (Syo) F 1:06
113 – Kyle Quinn (Wan) dec. Steven Sewkumar (LB) 6-4
120 – Michael Petrone (SS) md. Tyler Constantine (Clk) 12-1
126 – Simon Greebel (Hew) dec. Joe Hoffman (Clk) 4-1
132 – Chris Araoz (Wan) TF Charlie Curcio (Lyn) 16-0
138 – Vinny Turano (Wan) dec. Matt Langan (Wan) 7-3
145 – Nick Vines (Wan) dec. Rob Rosenberg (Hew) 3-2
152 – Konstantin Parfiryeva (Mad) def. Michael Tropiano (EM) by dflt
160 – Tim Davison (KM) pinned Joe Truono (Clk) F 0:48
170 – Dan McDevitt (Wan) TF Rich Grillo (Wan) 16-0
182 – James Corbett (Wan) TF Cedrick Stephens (Win) 15-0
195 – Dan Choi (Syo) pinned Zamarr Allen (LB) F 3:19
220 – Matt Mott (Lyn) pinned Enndy Nunez (Clk) F 0:35
285 – Lester Enriquez (Hew) dec. Mark Ifraimov (Mad) 7-0

Most Outstanding Wrestler: Kyle Quinn (Wantagh, 113)

Most Falls, Least Time: Matt Mott (Lynbrook, 220) – 4 in 7:19

 

For details on more of the high school action this weekend, see here.

To report results, please e-mail newyorkwrestlingnews@gmail.com

 

Binghamton-Bound Stars Tighe and Zupan Lead the Way for Section 3 in 2012-2013 (Section Season Preview)

Section 3 finished second in the Division II state championships last year, with five finalists and three champions.  Two of those titlewinners, Nick Tighe (Phoenix) and Zack Zupan (Canastota) look to finish their careers atop the podium before heading to Binghamton.  Carthage’s Shayne Brady made an impressive run to the finals a year ago in Division I and looks to move step higher on the podium in his final season of high school wrestling.  For more on the wrestlers and teams to watch in Section 3 in 2012-13, read on.  

(Special thanks to John Drew of cnywrestling.com for his significant contributions to this story).

Division II

 

2012 Returning State Placewinners 

Sixth Place: Alex Herringshaw, Holland Patent, 99 Pounds

Third Place: Ryan Snow, General Brown, 106 Pounds

State Champion: Nick Tighe, Phoenix, 126 Pounds

Third Place: Isaiah Riccio, Beaver River, 138 Pounds

Sixth Place: Tyler Silverthorn, General Brown, 160 Pounds

State Champion: Zack Zupan, Canastota, 170 Pounds

Additional Returning State Qualifiers (from 2012)

113 Pounds: Laken Cook, Illion

152 Pounds: Tyler Spann, Adirondack

160 Pounds: Matt Fisher, Oneida

285 Pounds: Brandon Fayle, Lowville

 

Seniors to Watch:

 

Zack Zupan, Photo by Boris V

Fans in Section 3 will be treated to two of the top seniors in New York this season with Zack Zupan of Canastota and Nick Tighe of Phoenix looking to pick up some more hardware in their final high school campaigns.

Both stood on top of the podium in Albany last year after making their way through two of the toughest weight classes at the event.

Zupan came out on top of a 170 pound bracket that included current Division I wrestler Nick Mitchell (who came into the tournament undefeated) and two wrestlers that finished second at the NHSCA Nationals a few weeks later (Burke Paddock of Warsaw and Troy Seymour of Peru).

Tighe, already a two-time champion, was simply dominant, earning three pins in four matches to capture the title in a field containing such wrestlers as Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer (one of the top 50 juniors in the nation, according to Intermat), multi-time placer Corey Dake of Lansing and former state champion Tristan Rifanburg of Norwich.  His 47-2 year featured 31 total falls and only six regular decisions.

Tyler Spann (Adirondack) – Spann had big wins over Kaleb Smith and Rowdy Prior in the Section tournament last season to punch his ticket to Albany, and a return trip is very likely.  He tallied a 35-6 record as a junior at 145 and 152 pounds, going 1-2 at the Times Union Center with his losses coming against state champion Ben Haas and fourth place finisher Dan Dickman of Greene.

Matt Fisher (Oneida) – John Drew described Fisher as an “absolute gym rat” who “possesses freakish strength for someone his size”.  He won more than 35 bouts a year ago at 160 pounds and went 1-2 at the state tournament, although both of his losses were by one point.  He will look to take a few steps further next year to make the medal stand as a senior.

 

Also Keep an Eye On . . .

They weren’t state champions last year, but the following are wrestlers to watch this upcoming season.

Laken Cook, Ilion – Cook didn’t make the podium in 2012 but has in the past (fourth at 96 pounds as an eighth grader and fifth at 103 as a freshman).  He compiled a 36-7 record with 20 pins in 2011-12, including six straight falls in January.  With around 125 victories already in his career, he is a lightweight to watch as he tries to make a return to All-State status.

Brandon Fayle, Photo by Boris V

Brandon Fayle, Lowville – Fayle was within one victory of placing at the state tournament in 2012.  He won a pair of bouts in Albany and lost to both the fifth and sixth place finishers by one point.  The senior brought a 35-2 record into the Times Union Center, with his two losses to wrestlers he also beat during the campaign.  As one of three wrestlers returning from the top 8 a year ago, Fayle could get on the podium – and quite high on the podium – in his last season.

Isaiah Riccio, Beaver River – Riccio earned third place at the state tournament in 2012 at 138 pounds a year after taking fifth at 140 in Albany.  The senior has picked up 30 or more wins in each of the past three campaigns.  In 2011-12, he notched a 41-3 record with all of his losses coming to All-State wrestlers (two close decisions against runner up Anthony Finocchiaro and against fourth placer Nathan Silverthorn).

Tyler Silverthorn, General Brown – The junior reached the century mark in wins last season when he racked up a 46-5 mark and a sixth place finish at the Times Union Center at 160 pounds.  He was the only sophomore to medal at that weight in either Division. (In fact, only one other non-senior placed at 160 — Tyler Grimaldi of Half Hollow Hills West in Division I).  Silverthorn also earned All-America status at the NHSCA Nationals in Virginia Beach as both a ninth and tenth grader.

Ryan Snow, General Brown – Snow has finished in the top 3 in Albany in each of the past two seasons.  The lightweight dropped two bouts in December of his sophomore year, but then proceeded to get his hand raised 33 consecutive times before losing 4-2 to Cheick Ndiaye at the state tournament.  He rebounded to take third after earning second the previous February.  Snow will be in contention for a first state title this year.

There are also several others who didn’t get a ticket to Albany but have a great chance of finding themselves on the mats at the Times Union Center this February.

Rowdy Prior, Phoenix – Prior went 40-6 as a junior at 152 pounds.  He lost to All-State wrestler Frank Affronti of Wayne in the first week of the season in early December and then won 31 out of 34 bouts prior to taking fourth at the Section 3 tournament.  Prior defeated multiple state qualifiers during the campaign, such as Conner Fox of Midlakes, Josh Maier of Brockport and Tony Torrese of Fulton.  He will certainly be a contender to go to Albany and win some matches on the big stage.

Dan Smith, South Jefferson – According to Drew, Smith has earned All-America honors and is seeking to pick up some more accolades in the Empire State.  The junior notched a 35-12 mark last season, including a victory over state fourth place medalist Jared Soule.  Six of his losses were to Matt Fisher and Tyler Silverthorn and he may get another chance against those wrestlers again in 2012-13.

Tim Fargo, Lowville – Fargo was mentioned as a possible “sleeper” pick for the upcoming campaign.  He had over 35 wins last year with 19 pins at 132 pounds, with a victory over state qualifier Joey Love of Gouverneur.

Drew also believes that the 126/132 pound weight classes are worth tracking this year in Division II.  “Those weights look like they could be explosive,” he said. “Junior John Mazza of Mohawk and sophomore Triston Engle of Dolgeville put on some of the most entertaining head-to-head matches of the year last season.  Throw General Brown senior Brian Lear and Onondaga sophomore Tyler Field into the mix and you have potentially the deepest weight class in the section.  Those wrestlers faced off many times last year, and the results were rarely more than a point or two either way.  Very interesting weight class to watch, for sure.”  He added that Nick Tighe will of course be the strong favorite wherever he wrestles.

Team Race . . .

Canastota finished 24.5 points ahead of Phoenix last year (although the Firebirds came out on top of Division II statewide in Albany) and the two teams look like they will be fighting for the title again in February.

While both teams suffered significant losses to graduation, including Section finalists Anthony Finocchiaro, Steve Fallon and Travis Conklyn for the Raiders and state champion Tyler Button and Austyn Hayes for the Firebirds, the squads also return several formidable competitors.

In addition to Zupan, Canastota will boast Section runner up (at 113) Nate Walker, two third place finishers from a year ago, senior Wyatt Albanese and junior Jacob Morris and three other medalists – Connor Russ (fifth at 126), Joe Tiller (sixth at 145) and Jesse Puchales (sixth at 182).

For Phoenix, Tighe will lead the way while Rowdy Prior (fourth at 152) and fifth place wrestlers Brad and Nate Dietz will also put significant points on the board.

General Brown, which took third will also make some noise, with Ryan Snow and Tyler Silverthorn leading the charge.  Corey Gaffney, who was fifth at 195 will be among the upperweight favorites.

South Jefferson belongs in the discussion as well.  The squad went 24-4 last year and was a final four team at the Section 3 dual meet championship as well as fourth at the Section 3 tournament.  The Spartans bring back runner up Logan LaFlamme, fourth place finishers Adam Hutchinson (106) and Dan Smith (160) as well as sixth place medalist Ryan Charlebois (195) and could fare very well in the dual meet competition this year.

 

Division I

 

Returning State Placewinners (from 2012)

Second Place: Shayne Brady, Carthage, 170 Pounds

Additional Returning State Qualifiers (from 2012)

99 Pounds: Dempsey King, New Hartford

106 Pounds: Kevin Paul, Baldwinsville

113 Pounds: Thomas Hill, Fulton

120 Pounds: Derrick Gray, Indian River

126 Pounds: Antonio Deluco,  Rome Free Academy

132 Pounds: Connor Grome, West Genesee

145 Pounds: JT Romagnoli, Jamesville-Dewitt

 

Top Seniors . . . 

Shayne Brady, Photo by Boris V

Zupan and Tighe weren’t the only Section 3 grapplers in the Saturday night finals this past February. Shayne Brady of Carthage racked up a 38-2 record with 14 pins as a junior.  After an end of December loss to Burke Paddock, Brady reeled off over 25 straight victories to earn a state finals bid against Plainedge’s Dan Spurgeon.  After earning the silver medal, he’ll be looking to climb one rung higher on the ladder in 2013.

Derrick Gray, Indian River – The Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Section 3 tournament as a junior, Gray had a successful 2011-12 campaign.  The senior went 41-4 a year ago with 28 pins and a host of quality victories, including wins against state qualifiers Pat Webster, Curtis Barney, Codey Bond and Rocco Russo.  He was one round from making All-State and will no doubt be shooting for that achievement in his final season for Indian River.

Antonio DeLuco (Rome Free Academy) – DeLuco has been a section finalist three times, winning two titles.  He was 38-7 last year and earned a victory by major decision in Albany.  He will look to get on the medal stand in his final season for the Black Knights.

Tim Sposato (Baldwinsville) – After racking up a 36-5 mark last season, Drew believes the senior could be poised for breakout year in his final campaign.  He picked up a win over multiple-time All-State grappler Ryan Snow of General Brown last season.

Also Keep an Eye On . . .

Dempsey King, New Hartford – King sported a 28-5 record in his freshman year, with two wins over state placer Alex Herringshaw of Holland Patent.  His draw at states was difficult, as he dropped matches to the top two seeds, Kyle Kelly and Jon Haas, but he will be a threat to go further in 2013.

Ben Honis, Jamesville-Dewitt – Honis made his presence felt in Fargo, earning All-American honors in Cadet Greco and coming within one victory of doing the same in Freestyle.  His success in the ultra-competitive event in North Dakota built off a strong sophomore season at 182 pounds, after moving up from 135 pounds as a freshman.  Honis went 30-4 and was edged by a point in the Section 3 finals by Garrick Cook, who pinned him early in the season.  It seems likely that summer momentum will help him go further in the postseason as a junior.

Mitchell Woodworth, Fulton – “Woodworth never stops wrestling,” Drew said. “I think he’s going to have a huge sophomore year in Section 3.  He narrowly lost to Dempsey King in the section finals at 99 pounds (after defeating him in the class finals the week before) and he stood toe-to-toe with Chenango Forks two-time state champ Kyle Kelly at the Bradshaw Tournament last year before bowing out 6-0.”  He is likely to move up after a summer of weight training.

Tom Quinlan and Patrick Quinlan, Fayetteville-Manlius – The Quinlan brothers saw a lot of success last season, with junior Tom registering a 34-6 record with second place showings in five different events.  He’ll try to get over the hump from silver to gold this season while his brother, 30-9 a year ago will aim for a Section title.

Nick Toutant, Indian River – In his 37-3 freshman season at 106 pounds, Toutant lost three matches, each by a single point.  Two of those setbacks came against state qualifiers.  The Indian River lightweight also topped All-State wrestlers Alex Herringshaw and Cody Carbery.

Team Race . . .

Indian River was a 16.5 point winner over Fulton in 2012 and the Warriors will be tough again.  Most Outstanding Wrestler Derrick Gray returns after a 41-4 season in which he came within one win of placing at states.  The other two titlewinners for Indian River, Garrick Cook and Derrek Dalton graduated as did silver medalists Jordan Berry and Matt Simpson.  Trying to make up for those losses will be runner up Nick Toutant (106) and senior Michael Mullins (third at 113) as well as a duo of sixth place finishers Sonny McPherson and Jody Brown.

Like Indian River, Fulton brings back a first, second, third and two sixth placers.   Also like the Warriors, Fulton said goodbye to several standouts, including All-State grappler Adam Wallace, and Section victors Tony Torrese and Nick Woodworth. Junior Thomas Hill is the returning champion and Mitchell Woodworth the 2012 runner up.  Also back are Austin Whitney (third at 106), Connor Aldash (sixth at 132) and Brennan Roberge (sixth at 285).  Of course, another significant change for the squad is the loss of 500 match winner Mike Conners, the head coach who spent 25 years at the helm of the program.  Chris Stalker will try to start a new legacy as he takes over for a legend.

Carthage could be in the mix based on the firepower in the lineup.  Shayne Brady was 38-2 and will be a contender for a state title.  Trevor Gibbons, who was second at 285 returns after a 33 win campaign as does third placer William BateyQuintin Reid and Colin Ryan, fourth and fifth, respectively in 2012 will also be back in a Comets singlet as will Andy McFarland.  The only major pointscorer not returning is Josh McFarland, who was third at 145.

 

For more previews:

Section 1 Preview

Section 1 Feature:  Aslanian and Realbuto, All-State Wrestlers and Workout Partners, Seek to End Their Careers on Top of the Podium

 

Zack Zupan of Canastota Discusses His Commitment to Binghamton and His Drive For Another State (and National) Title

Photos by Boris Veysman

Zack Zupan celebrated his commitment to Binghamton this weekend by getting some much needed, and rare, time off.

“One of my buddies has a camp up North with a big fishing area,” he said. “We went up there and hung out a little bit.  It’s nice to go away and do some relaxing activities because my schedule has been pretty jam-packed.”

It would be fair to say that Zupan has been busy. Five days a week this summer, he’s been doing speed sessions and weight training for five hours, beginning at 8 o’clock in the morning, under the guidance of Todd Cutrie.  When he’s finished, he heads to work on a nearby farm for several hours before either teaching pee wee wrestling or participating in football practice in the evening.

The work he’s put in has been obvious on the mat throughout his high school career, as he has made his presence felt both in New York and on the national scene.  His accolades include a national title at the NHSCA Freshman tournament in 2010 at 160 pounds and two other All-America finishes at national events.  He also placed at the New York states on three occasions, including a championship at 170 pounds in 2012, which he believes had a lot to do with the training he put in with Cutrie.

While Zupan was happy to get his first New York crown in February, his performance in the title bout against Nick Mitchell of Frewsburg [a 3-2 decision] left him less than totally satisfied.

“I was a little disappointed with my finals match,” Zupan said. “I didn’t wrestle the entire six minutes like I could have. I definitely hesitated on some opportunities and could have scored more points than I did.  I’m looking to put on a better show next year.”

Before he takes the mat for Canastota, however, he has some business to take care of on the gridiron.  He is excited to begin double sessions with the football squad shortly, as he hopes to reach some milestones this fall.  He said if things go as planned, he believes he can break the state record for tackles and go over 5,000 yards rushing in his last days wearing his helmet and shoulder pads.

“I’ve played football for a long time and it’s not easy knowing I won’t be able to play anymore,” he said. “I know it’s hard to get recruited in New York as a 5-10, 200 pounder.  But you have to realize what you were given and commit to the amazing opportunities you have and make the most of them.”

That’s what Zupan plans to do.  He expects to compete at 182 pounds on the mat as a senior, wrestling for his father Nick (also a Section 3 champion), his coach who has taught him so much in the sport.

“My father went about it the right way,” he said. “He didn’t force me to wrestle.  He was busy coaching high school and getting back late on Saturdays from tournaments.  He told me if I really wanted to wrestle, I should set an alarm and wake him up on Sundays.  That way, it was my choice.  I always set the alarm.  We traveled all over the country and he coached me all the way through.”

So, do father and son still go toe-to-toe in the room?

“I wrestled with him a lot when I was younger, but he knows what’s good for him now,” Zack Zupan said. “He knew when the day would come and he retired when he was undefeated against me.”

When he goes off to college, Zupan feels he will be surrounded by familiar instruction.  In fact, similarities between his father’s Canastota staff and the Bearcat coaches contributed heavily to Zupan’s commitment.

“I think the coaching staff at Binghamton has the same philosophy,” Zupan said. “They believe in training smarter, not harder.  I think I’ll have a nice adjustment to college with the staff they have in place.”

Head coach Matt Dernlan took the reins of the program a few months ago and Zupan takes pride in being the first recruit of the Dernlan era.

“It’s absolutely significant to me,” he said. “I feel like I’m going to help start a great thing.  I get to be one of the first stepping stones in where this program wants to go.  The coaches believe there is so much talent in New York and they want to keep the best in state and win national titles that way.  I’m excited to be part of that.”

Zupan added that he chose the Bearcats over schools like Cornell, Virginia, North Carolina State and Lehigh for other reasons as well.

“I took an unofficial visit and liked that it’s not huge,” he said. “I mean, 16,000 people is a lot to me — it’s more people than are in my town.  But it’s on the smaller side for college and I feel like I’ll be taken care of there and I’ll be one of their main guys and I really appreciate that.  I don’t think I’ll be just another piece of meat which sometimes happens in Division I wrestling.”

He also is excited to follow the path of Section 3 alum Justin Lister, an All-American for Binghamton.

“I watched [Lister] a lot growing up,” he said. “He was coming out of high school when I was coming in.  I just liked the way he wrestled.  What I always remembered about him was that he was a really mean kid on the mat.  Off the mat, he was polite and nice.  But when it came to wrestling, he wasn’t shy.  He was a Section 3 All-American and I think it will be cool wrestling at the same school as him.”

But first things first.  Before he tackles the college scene, Zupan has a few more wrestling honors in mind.

“I want to be a dominant state champion and then win FloNationals,” he said. “Then, I can’t wait to go to college.  I’m really looking forward to working toward a national title at Binghamton.”