A Wealth of Returning Talent in Section XI
Who will be the contenders at each weight? Which wrestler will win each weight class? With weight certifications and strategic weight class placement those are questions we may not be able to answer just yet. Another question being asked as we approach the beginning of the 2009-2010 Suffolk County wrestling season is the location of the county tournament. Will the tournament be held at the familiar SUNY Stony Brook facility this year instead of deep into section 8?
With many questions still to be answered there are a few things we know we can look forward to in the 2009-2010 Suffolk County wrestling season. With eight county champions and 16 county finalists returning, Section XI will highlight another season that should see the eastern Long Islanders challenge for and defend the state team crown at the NYSPHAA championships. Contending teams for the Suffolk County team title this season will be Hauppauge, John Glenn, Longwood and Rocky Point. With Glenn, Longwood and Rocky Point as pre-season co-favorites the top 4 finish could look like this:
- John Glenn
- Rocky Point
Other teams rounding out the top 15 should include Huntington, Connetquot, Brentwood, West Babylon, Kings Park, Sachem East, Riverhead, Westhampton, Islip, Sachem North, East Islip.
2010 League championship battles shape–up to be interesting as well
- In League 1 Longwood will be a heavy favored with Sachem East and Brentwood looking to challenge. Will Longwood have its eye on the big prize…a Suffolk County title?
- League 2 decided favorite Connetquot will not see a familiar foe as Commack has moved up to League 1. Connetquot should win League 2 handily this season.
- An experienced East Islip team will once again be the favorite in League 3 with Hills East and Smithtown East behind them.
- League 4 should be a battle between Riverhead and West Babylon with the West Babylon heavyweights being the key to a win.
- Hauppauge and Huntington should be a fierce battle once again in League 5 with Hauppauge coming out on top with overall team depth. Kings Park and Islip should follow in the League 5 standings.
- John Glenn and Rocky Point will pose an epic battle in league 6 and then possibly again for the county title. With overall depth favoring John Glenn they should win League 6 and the county title.
The individual championship competition brings back 16 county finalists, eight of whom are defending county champions. With six of those returners being state finalists, and 3 of them state champs, the level of wrestling at the 2010 Section XI wrestling championships should be very high. In addition you have another six of those returning wrestlers being all-state making a total of 12 all state wrestlers returning to compete in an extremely competitive Suffolk County tournament this coming season. Get your tickets and be seated early for the Suffolk County tourney. The unusually large number of interesting early round matches will be even larger this year.
Leading the returning Suffolk County all-state wrestlers back into the 2009-2010 season is Lehigh bound Rocky Point senior Stephen Dutton. Dutton is looking to become a four-time NY State place-winner and two-time NY State champion. He was a state champion at 135 pounds last season and is expected to compete at 140 pounds. Central Islip senior Andy Rodriguez will also look to repeat as NY State champion. His chief competition may once again come from Nick Terdick of John Glenn. Hofstra-bound Terdick is also a senior and was 2nd to Rodriguez in both the Suffolk and NY State finals last season. Both wrestlers could compete at 145 pounds this season. Defending state champion (at 96 pounds) senior Mike Soria of Kings Park will most likely compete at 103 pounds this coming season. The question is will 8th grader Corey Rasheed stay at 96 pounds or also go up to 103. Rasheed lost to Soria in both the county and state finals last season. Huntington senior Damon McQueen lost a wild 9-8 match in the NY State finals last season. McQueen’s long frame should put him in the 112 pound weight class this season.
Nick Meinsen returns as a senior for John Glenn looking to repeat as county champion and improve upon his state tournament performance last year in which he did not place at 125 pounds. It was Adam Troy, returning senior from Whitman, who placed 5th at 125 pounds in the state tournament. That was after a 3rd place finish in the Suffolk County tournament. Billy Coggins, a senior from Rocky Point, will be looking to improve upon his finish in a similar fashion to Meinsen. Coggins placed 5th in NY State last year while TJ Niedhart of Shoreham, who Coggins defeated in the county finals, took 2nd in the state tournament. Coggins’ Rocky Point teammate Anthony Volpe will look to parlay his national tournament success into a NY State title this season. Volpe took 3rd last year in a weight where both finalists have graduated.
Max Soria, also a senior and twin brother of Mike Soria, could contend for a county title this season if he can stay away from his brother’s weight class. Max lost to only to Cory Rasheed in the county tournament last year and only to his brother Mike (via forfeit) in the state tournament last season. Max finished 3rd in both Suffok and NY State last year.
Hauppauge senior Ken Collado will look to improve upon his 6th place finish at the state tournament last year. Collado was a state champ at 103 pounds in 2008. Sophomore Malik Rasheed of Longwood was a 5th place finisher at the NY State tournament in 2009 and may once again face McQueen of Huntington in the county finals if both wresters are at 112 pounds this season.
Other returning Suffolk place-winners (with 2009 Suffolk County place in parenthesis) to be watched closely as potential state tournament qualifiers and place-winners are:
Joe Giaramita of John Glenn (2nd at 145)
Jon Goulding of William Floyd (2nd at 152)
Travis Pitre of Sayville (2nd at 135)
Pete DeTore of Westhampton (2nd at 112)
Nigel McNeil of Huntington, 3rd at 112
Alex Gome of Brentwood (2nd at 119)
Kyle Wade of Islip (3rd at 130)
Chris Dilorio of Sachem East (3rd at 160)
Jake Smith of Smithtown West (4th at 189)
Joe Bilello of Deer Park (4th at 215)
John Wilkinson of West Babylon (3rd at 285)
Ben Lee at Longwood (4th at 285)
Here is a link back to the Lighthouse Wrestling 2009-2010 Suffolk County pre-season individual rankings:
Even with a comprehensive review of returning state place-winners, qualifiers and potential state placers you can count on a couple of unheralded wrestlers to make their mark during the Suffolk 2010 tournament. The fans in Suffolk will have plenty to root for this season and will be treated to the finest wrestling in New York State.