On Tuesday afternoon, the Hofstra University athletic office released the schedule for the upcoming ’09-’10 varsity wrestling season…Highlighting this series of matches/tournaments will be road trips to Albany, NY for the Northeast Duals (vs. Virginia, Northern Colorado, and Nebraska—November 28th), Primm, NV for the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (December 4th-5th), Greensboro, NC for the Southern Scuffle (December 29th-30th), Fairfax, VA for the annual CAA Duals (vs. Sacred Heart, George Mason, Boston University, and Old Dominion—January 16th), as well as journeys to Ithaca, NY and College Park, MD for duals against Cornell University (February 6th) and the University of Maryland (February 14th)….The Colonial Athletic Association conference tournament will be contested On the campus of Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ on March 5th & 6th….The NCAA tournament will be held March 18th-20th at the QWest Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
In addition to the aforementioned intensive road schedule, the Pride will also play host to several of the nation’s finest as they welcome the University of Buffalo (November 15th), Lock Haven University (December 13th), Ohio State University (January 3rd), Brown/Harvard Universities (January 9th), the University of Missouri (January 22nd), the University of Pennsylvania (January 31st), and Drexel University (February 20th) into the friendly confines of the Mack Sports Complex.
2010 will mark the second consecutive season that the Hempstead, NY based institution plays host to the Buckeyes of Ohio State. Last season, the dual went down to the wire with the two-time NCAA runner-up Bucks emerging with a slim 19-13 victory that saw the fans in attendance come out as the biggest winners on the day…Ohio State will be led by 2008 National Champion (runner-up in 2009) Mike Pucillo (184), 2009 NCAA runner-up Reece Humphrey (141), as well as three-time NCAA All-American Lance Palmer (149)…All three were victorious in the dual last season.
The duals against Harvard, Brown and Drexel should serve as something of a homecoming for several of Long Island’s native sons. Expected to be in the line-up for the Crimson are a pair of two-time NYS Champions in the persons of Steven Keith (Shoreham-Wading River) and Paul Liguori (Wantagh)….Fellow NYS two-timer and 2009 EIWA conference finalist, Corey Jantzen (also of SWR) is rumored to be taking a year off in order to heal from the nagging injuries that have plague his collegiate career during his first two years in Cambridge. Because this information did not originate from Jantzen himself, the validity of it remains unconfirmed….Spencer DeSena (Garden City) is also a likely candidate to be in the line-up for the Crimson. The Pride last hosted Harvard during the 2008 season with the home school earning a 25-12 victory. Last season, Hofstra travelled to the Bay State and left as 31-11 winners.
The Bears of Brown will be represented by a trio of native LIers—-Steve Delorenzo (Wantagh), David Foxen (Garden City), and Mike Piccirillo (Commack)….All three gentlemen had heralded scholastic careers for their respective high schools, winning or placing high in either the Section VIII or Section XI county tournaments…Delorenzo was a State finalist in 2006….
Returning to their Island roots from Drexel University will be a trio of highly decorated competitors—Mike Gomez (Locust Valley), Justin Giani (Huntington), and Joe Booth (Bayville/LI Lutheran). While the Dragon line-up is far from set at this point in time, it is expected that Booth, a 2008 National Prep Champion will be the favorite to win the starting job at 157-pounds. Booth went 7-4 wrestling unattached this season…Gomez, a 2007 NYS DII runner-up (3x NYS DII place-winner) and Giani, a member of the Century club with 101 career wins at Huntington, are both expected to be in the hunt for starting jobs in 2010.
When the Missouri Tigers come to town, they will bring with them returning NCAA Champion, Mark Ellis (285), as well as two-time All-Americans Nick Marable (165) and Max Askren (197)…Ellis was absent from the Tigers’ 22-12 dual victory last season in Columbia. He was however in the line-up the last time that the Pride hosted Coach Brian Smith’s team in November of 2008. Much like last season, the dual in 2007/2008 saw HU jump out to an early lead before Mizzou stormed back to claim the 22-21 victory. It was Ellis’s bonus point win in the final bout of the night that proved to be the difference….The last time that Marable entered the Mack, he was a major decision winner over Ryan Patrovich. But, if last season’s meeting is any indication, the rising junior from Bohemia, NY is quickly closing the gap, making their match-up in 2009/2010 somewhat of a toss-up….Askren will be eager to erase memories of his loss two years ago at the hands of former Pride star Joe Rovelli.
Having unsuccessfully traveled to the Palestra last season, Hofstra will be hungry to avenge their loss last season to the Quakers of the University of Pennsylvania. Standing in their way will be a core of experienced wrestlers the likes of Rollie Peterkin, Bryan Ortenzio, Cesar Grajales, Scott Giffin, and Thomas Shovlin…Hofstra was a 25-11 winner the last time these two institutions hooked up in Hempstead in 2007/2008. However, with a scheduling conflict having forced this dual to be contested at the HU Physical Fitness Center, Coach Rob Eiter and his team will be focused on proving that a change of venue equals a change in fortune.
After tasting defeat at home in ’08/’09, the University of Buffalo will be determined to repay the favor to the Pride this coming season. Factoring immensely into the Bulls’ upset bid will be the collective talents of underclassmen Desi Green, John Martin-Cannon, and Jimmy Hamel. All three wrestlers got their hands raised in last season’s dual and will need to do the same if UB hopes to even the score with the Empire State brethren.
Ticket information for the 2009-2010 season was not available at the time of publication. As soon as the University makes known this information, LHW will make it public….The Pride went 3-2 at home and 10-6 overall in dual matches last season.