Section XI Dominates, Wantagh Takes Home the Team Title

Section XI resumed its state domination this weekend after a three year respite as they took the 2009 New York State DI Championship Sectional Title outscoring, the second place section, Section II by a score of 237.5 to 191. Winning six Sectional Championships in the decade of the millennium, finishing second twice, and third and forth once, Section XI is once more New York State’s section of the decade. Congratulations Section XI on another outstanding season of wrestling.

dsc03210Section XI resumed its state domination this weekend after a three year respite as they took the 2009 New York State DI Championship Sectional Title outscoring Section II, the second place section, by a score of 237.5 to 191.  Winning six Sectional Championships in the decade of the millennium, finishing second twice, and third and forth once, Section XI is once more New York State’s section of the decade.  Congratulations Section XI on another outstanding season of wrestling.

There were many noteworthy accomplishments throughout the weekend.  One prominent accomplishment is Wantagh’s team title outscoring Port Jervis (IX), the second place team, by the score of 78 to 64. Congratulations Wantagh on an outstanding season and bringing home the Team title to Section VIII after many years.   Wantagh returns home with four All-State wrestlers:

John Greisheimer, Wantagh’s 152lb Champion and team co-captain, builds strength as any bout wears on.   Congratulations John.  We will miss you next season and look forward to following your career at Edinboro University.

Paul Ligouri, two time NYS Gold Medalist, two time Bronz Medalist, four time Section VIII champion and team co-captain, lost a close quarterfinal bout to last year’s champion, Andrew Lenzi. Wrestling back to 3rd place, Paul completed his outstanding Varisty wrestling career with the all time Section VIII win record compiling 216 career wins and surpassing PJ Guillespe’s former record of 214.  Congratulations Paul! We will miss you next season and look forward to following your career at Harvard University.

Matt Loew, Wantagh’s 189lb finalist and sliver medalist, was the Cinderella story of the tournament as he knocked off the 2nd seed and 2 time national champion, Christian Boley.  Matt went on to pin Zach Buonaiuto of Miller Place(XI) in the Semifinal bout to enter the finals.  Entering the finals as the underdog against his formidable opponent, Austin Meyes, Matt was up against tremendous odds as his opponent entered the finals wrestling a total of 1:37 out of a possible 18 minutes.  To Matt’s credit, he outlasted all 3 of Austin’s previous opponents, nearly making it through the first period when he was pinned at 1:59.  Congratulations Matt!

Joe Barbato, after securing a wild card bid, had a tremendous tournament as he wrestled back strong to take sixth.  Congratulations Joe!

Nearly completing the All State sweep, Nick Fitzmaurice and Joe Kavanagh wrestled strong but suffered difficult losses in the wrestle backs.  Joe nearly secured All-State honors as he suffered an overtime loss to Josue Mendez in the semifinal wrestle back round.  Congratulations Nick and Joe on valiant performances!

Weight-by-Weight Summary

dsc0319996lbs – Here we saw a rematch of the Section XI finals as Mike Soria of Kings Park (XI) defeated Corey Rasheed.  Long Island dominated this weight with four all-state honors: Mike Soria first, Corey Rasheed Second, Max Soria third, and Joe Barbato sixth.

103lbs – This was a thrilling bout between Damon McQueen(Huntington) and Brian Realbuto (Somers).  Damon lost a close battle by a score of 9-8.  Taking fifth was Malik Rasheed(Longwood)

112lbs – After losing a close semifinal bout to Steven Rodrigues of Fox Lane, Kenneth Collado of Hauppauge went on to take sixth place in a very stacked weight class where the number one seed lost in the opening round.

119lbs – Steven Keith walked into the finals with 2 first period pins and a major decision.  This bout was a rematch of the Eastern State finals where Steven Keith defeated Justin Flamio of Mahopac(I) 10-2.  Justin, determined to make this a different outcome, pushed the action and sent the bout into overtime where Steven Keith proved his mettle with a well executed takedown to end the overtime round quickly.

125lbs – Nick Arujau(Syosset-VIII) won me over mid week with his forum post on the seeding controversy where he declared, “I guess I’ll have to beat all of them.”  Nick Arujau emerged into the finals against last year’s Champion Jamie Franco  of Monroe Woodbury (IX), who will be wearing the Pride singlet next season.  Focused and determined Nick left no doubt about his ability as he went on to win with a convincing 4-0 score.  Taking fifth was Adam Troy of Walt Whitman (XI) and taking sixth was Mike Walker of Uniondale (VIII).

130lbs – Vinnie Digravio of Wayne (V) defeated Joey Grippi of Fox Lane (I) by the score of 9-5.

135lbs – Stephen Dutton of Rocky Point (XI) dominated the weight class as he went on to defeat Andrew Lenzi of Fordham Prep (C ) by the score of 10-1 in a rematch of the Eastern State finals.  Taking third was Paul Ligouri of Wantagh (VIII) as he went on to wrestle strong in the wrestle backs after suffering a close defeat to Andrew Lenzi 6-5 in the quarterfinal contest.

140lbs – Proving his win in the Section XI finals was no fluke, Andy Rodriguez of Central Islip (XI) defeated a determined Nick Terdick of John Glenn (XI) by the score of 3-2.  Taking 5 and 6 respectively in the weight class was Andre Berry of Uniondale and Matt Eberlein of Island Trees.

145lbs – You can’t say enough good things about this General: Brian Herold.  He’s often overlooked, but he is without a doubt one of the top wrestlers on Long Island as he went on to prove it in a strong finals showing against the nationally renowned Zach Clemente of Lasalle (II).  With less than 10 seconds left on the clock in the third period, behind 8-5, Brian Herold nearly scores a 4 point move with a takedown that briefly put Zach Clemente to his back.  Anthony Volpe of Rocky Point (XI) took 3rd as he defeated Ryan Tomkins of Beacon(I) 8-3.

dsc03239152lbs – John Greisheimer of Wantagh defeated Josh Veltre of Greece Olympia (V) by a score of 4-3.  Josh was strong on his feet and he proved to be a challenge for John, but John never losing focus, toughed out the win in classic style as he seems to get stronger in the closing seconds of every bout.  Chris Carlucci of John Glenn (XI) went on to take fifth with a win over Zach Mccormick of Johnson City (IV) by the score of 6-4. Chris toughed out a nice overtime win in the semifinal wrestle backs to secure all-state honors.

160lbs – TJ Neidhart of Shoreham Wading River (XI) loses to a very strong James Brundage by the score of 17-10 to take second.

171lbs – Defeating Joe Kavanagh of Wantagh(VIII) in the semifinal wrestle backs to secure all-state honors, Jose Mendez of Brentwood (XI) takes forth; John Daddino of Sewanhaka East (VIII) takes sixth.  The 171lbs weight class was one of a few weight classes dominated by Long Island all-state wrestlers with 2 or more place winners.

189lbs – As I covered this one earlier, I’d simply like to say congratulations Matt on an awesome performance.  Zach Buonaiuto of Miller Place (XI) went on to take all-state honors with a sixth place finish.

215lbs – Knocking off the first seed in the semifinal bout, Ernest James of Longwood (XI) went on to defeat Steve Butler of Port Jervis (IX).

dsc03255285lbs – This was one of only two weight classes with no Long Island place winners.  Ken Alterac of Lasalle (II) defeated JD Zitone of Port Jervis (IX).

Congratulations to all the Long Island wrestlers.  You made us proud.  And for those of you who will be moving on to college next season, please let us know of your plans so that we may continue to follow your careers.

2009 NYS Championships DI Completed Brackets
2009 NYS Championships DII Complete Brackets
Courtesy of

5 thoughts on “Section XI Dominates, Wantagh Takes Home the Team Title”

  1. Fine column Mr. Miller.

    Some extra comments Bill: a western Nassau guy here.
    Where is St. Anthony’s ? Smithtown, no ? I know, not part
    of Sect XI. But the Western Half of our Great Island produced
    what; 6 NYS Champs, including young Grant Greene.

    And Josh Veltre, Greece Olympia, was 59-0 going into his 152
    pound Championship match. And he was ahead in the 3rd period.
    But the “Hammer” from Wantagh STRUCK. Congrats to both great
    wrestlers !

    Thank you,

  2. Al,

    Thank you for the fine words….Having worked alongside Bill Miller for the past few months, I can tell you, his dedication and passion has no rival

    St. Anthony’s is located in South Huntington, I believe…However, Grant Greene is a native of Cold Spring Harbor (Nassau) School District, as evident by his run to the DII finals as an 8th-grader.

    Greisheimer and Veltre certainly had quite the battle…Regardless of which one had gotten their hand raised, the winner would have been deserving of the title…Ironically, I am hearing that Veltre might be headed to Edinboro. Therefore, if truth, those two should make for a hell of a wrestle-off in the coming four or five years.

    Thanks again for your warm words….I know Bill is appreciative of them.

    –Matt Diano

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