The 2010 tourney will host some very interesting early round match-ups this year and section 8 wrestlers seem to be involved in many of them. I’d go as far as to say if section 8 plans on a strong showing in Albany this year then the wrestle-back rounds will be even more important than usual for the team from Nassau to fare well. Suffolk county’s section 11 team is poised to win another state title in 2010 with a comfortable distance between them and a tightly bunched group of sections behind them including 1, 2, 5, 6 , 8 and 9.The CHSAA section is looking solid this year with a projected 6 place-winners to improve on its 9th place showing in 2009.
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Can Conor O’Hara knock off the #6 seed Steve Michel from section 6 to meet either Mark Raghunandan of Long Beach or Pat Skinner of Kellenberg? Look for a Raghunandan – O’Hara quarterfinal match-up. The winner meets Mark West of Hauppauge who will win this weight class in Albany over Eric Lewandowski of 6-Lancaster or Mike Parise of 1-Brewster.
Wantagh’s Joe Barbato will meet defending state champ Mike Soria of 11-Kings Park in the quarterfinal round. Max Soria gets the 3rd seed after the weight class was reseeded so that now leaves a potential for the first ever state final featuring brothers in the same weight class. Last year Max forfeited to Mike in the quarterfinal round and wrested back to a 3rd place finish. A marquee match-up in the quarter finals should have Chris Brienza of C-St. Anthony’s against Same Speno (5th in NY State last year) of 1-Fox Lane. Brienza was 4th in NY state last year behind Max Soria. Mike Soria wins this weight in a match-up with either Al Dierna of 5-Wayne or brother Max Soria. The semifinal between Soria and Dierna will have a bit extra riding on it with the potential of brothers meeting in the final. Joe Barbato defeated Dierna in last year’s tournament and finished 6th. Barbato will meet 1st seed Mike Soria in the quarterfinal round. So expect a Soria-Soria final in Albany this weekend.
Chris Perez of MacArthur runs into defending 103 pound state champ Brian Realbuto in the first round. Jimmy Morris of St. Anthony’s 3rd in NY state in 2009 meets Longwood’s Malik Rashid (5th in NY state last year) in a big first round match-up. This is a deep weight where I see Nigel McNeil in the finals after an upset of Brian Realbuto in the semis. Then McNeil defeats Sean McCormick of Johnson City in the finals in what could be a classic state final match.
Another deep weight in which Suffolk has 3 of the top 8 seeds. Pete Detore of Westhampton Beach will meet defending 112 pound state champ Grant Greene of St. Anthony’s in the quarters. Greene defeated Detore 6-4 in that spot last year. Section 8’s Luke Alber pulls Alex Gomez of Brentwood in the first round. The winner of that match wrestles Damon McQueen of Huntington in the quarters. McQueen was 2nd in NY state at 103 pounds last year. This is a weight where I see the #1 and #2 seed battling out in the finals. Greene over McQueen in a great match on Saturday night.
First seed and 2-time state champion Nick Arajau of Syosset will meet Suffolk’s Ryan Gerondel in round 1. Arajau will win this weight, and I will pick Flamio to squeak by either Rodriguez of 1-Fox Lane or Cam Kelly of 5-Pittsford in the semis to meet Arajau in the finals. Mike Leonard of Clarke will look for an upset as he meets 6th seed Cam Kelly of section 5 Pittsford in the first round. Kelly took 5th in NY at 119 pounds in 2009. The Rodriguez – Kelly match in the quarters should be a good one to watch. Vin Fischetti of C-Farrell will meet #4 seed Connor Sutton of 2-Lasalle in the quarters.
Another tough round 1 draw for a Nassau wrestler as Syosset’s Dan Gewolb meets section 4’s Casey Lanave, 3rd in NY at 125 pounds last year. Bob Dierna is the #1 seed and he will wrestle St. Anthony’s Jamel Hudson in the first round. Nick Meinsen of John Glenn should meet Justin Hyde of 4-Union Endicott in a good quarter final match-up. Dierna seems poised for a state championship and he should meet Taylor Laraia of 9-Newburgh in the finals who would win a close match with Casey Lanave of section 4 in the semifinal.
This weight could produce the best final of the night when Andrew Lenzi of C-Fordham Prep (2nd in NY at this weight last year) defeats Cody Ruggirello of Valley Central (sec. 9). Joe Chiaffitella of Calhoun runs into 3rd seed John Belanger of 2-Shenendehowa in round 1. Suffolk’s Kevin Panebianco gets a bit better spot against #7 seed Joe Slaine of section 1 in the first round. Panebianco can pull off that minor upset to meet Ruggirello in the quarters.
With defending state champ Steve Dutton of Rocky Point as the heavy favorite in this weight class the question becomes who will he face in the finals. Jim Kloc of Iroquois sec. 6 took 5th at 135 last year so he is the logical choice as the 2nd seed. Dan Cataldi of Great Neck South is the 3rd seed so we will have to see if he is prepared to get through to the semifinals to meet Kloc. Dylan Palacio is seeded 4th behind Cataldi who upset him in the section 8 finals. If Palacio can meet the physical challenge of moving up four weight classes he may meet Dutton in the semifinal round. To do that he will have to win another Long island cross section match-up with Troy Sampson of C-Chaminade.
There may not be a better weight in NY State this year than this one. Andy Rodriguez is the defending state champ (at 140 lbs. Last year) and he can meet Vin Digravio of 5-Wayne in the semifinal round…who also was a state champ last year (at 130 lbs.). But Digravio is no lock as he will need to get by a tough Mac Maldarelli of Calhoun in round 1 and then either Ryan Tompkins (4th at 145 last year) of 1-Beacon or Josh Halladay (4th at 135 last year) of Johnson City sec. 4 in the quarters. The bottom bracket of this weight class is not much easier. Tony Carlo of C-Monsignor Farrell, Paul Morabito of 5-Spencerport (6th at 145 in 2009)and #2 seed Mitchell Wightman of 9-Warwick Valley round out this tough bottom bracket. Wightman owns a 4-2 win over Carlo this season. This weight looks to be a final featuring Rodriguez or Digravio against Wightman. Pressed to pick I will go with with Rodriguez winning a 1 point match for the title over Wightman.
An interesting quarterfinal match should pit James Ondris of 8-Massapequa against C-Monsignor Farrell’s Ben Villaret. Giuseppi Lanzi of 2-Amsterdam is the #1 seed and will meet one of those 2 wrestlers in the semis. Lanzi was 3rd in NY at 140 pounds in 2009. Nick Terdick of 11-John Glenn was 2nd in NY at 140 last season; he is the 2nd seed in this weight class. Section 11’s Kyle Wade of Islip pulls a tough first round match against #3 seed Mike Vespa of 9-Monroe Woodbury, but I would expect Wade to get past Vespa to meet section 8’s Nick Fitzmaurice. Nick Terdick may have to win a rematch of the section 8 finals in the semifinals and should win this weight by a decision over Giuseppi Lanzi in the finals.
Long Island boasts the #1 and #2 seeds at this weight in Anthony Volpe of Rocky Point and Joe Giametta of Macarthur. Lamont Fleming of 3-Corcoran got the 3rd seed with his upset over Tom Capone of 3-Watertown in the section 3 finals. That pushed Capone into Anthony Volpe’s semifinal bracket creating perhaps a semifinal match that many expected to be a final. Brandon Meisner of St. Anthony’s will test Capone in the quarter final match up and Joe Chamish of Jericho pulls Capone in round 1. Lou Puca of 11-Huntington should match-up with Lamont Fleming in a lower bracket quarterfinal. This weight should provide a Long Island semifinal with Puca vs. Giametta in the lower bracket and a Capone – Volpe upper bracket semifinal. Volpe should win this weight in a final bout over Joe Giametta of Macarthur.
Joe Kavanagh of Wantagh got the 2nd seed behind Suffolk’s Billy Coggins of Rocky Point. So a Long Island final is a real possibility here and I believe that will happen. Kavanagh from Wantagh could pull off the upset here of Coggins who placed 5th at 160 pounds last year. Kavanagh was a round away from placing at 171 pounds in 2009.
Matt Loew of Wantagh gets the #1 seed in this weight class and will meet Jake Smith of Smithown West in the quarter final round. Chris Dilorio of Sachem East could meet Joe Giaramita of John Glenn in the quarter final if Giaramita can get by #5 seed Marcus Spearman of 9-Newburgh in the first round. That places 4 wrestlers from Long Island in the same semi final bracket. The #2 seed is Brandon Contreras of 5-Penfield but look for Angelo Malvestuto of 6-Niagra Wheatfield to meet Mat Loew in the finals of this weight. Loew was 2nd in NY State at 189 last year and Malvestuto was 3rd at 171 pounds. While several common opponent results over the past 2 years seem to favor Malvestuto, I am am picking Matt Loew to win a finals match of contrasting styles…should be a good one.
Dave Ng of Plainedge meets Islip’s Steve Provezano in the first round with Ng holding the 5th seed at this weight. Connor Horl of Garden City is the 6th seed and Brendan Fowler of Chaminade is the 7th seed. Fowler will have to get by 2nd seed Enzo Zagari of 5-Spencerport to get to a possible semifinal match with Horl or John Acors of 2_Burnt Hills. Horl will also have to defeat a higher seeded wrestler in John Acors. Acors defeated Horl 3-1 earlier this season. Kyle Colling of 6-Pioneer is the 1st seed and he should win the title over Acors in the final. Colling defeated Acors by TF earlier this season.
David Agu of Freeport is the 4th seed and Ben Lee of Longwood is the 8th seed. Yaseen Madussar of Divison gets #7 seed Jonathan Desir of St. Anthony’s in round 1. First seed Lance Moore of 4-Johnson City defeated both McGrew and Lee this season. James Donner of 6-Niagra Wheatfield has not lost a match in NY this year and his first round match-up is a tough one against Ryan Jumpp of 4-Vestal. The #6 seed John Wilkinson of 11-West Babylon will need to win his first bout to meet either Donner or Jumpp in the quarters. I’d expect a good semifinal bout between Donner and McGrew. Moore and Agu should meet in the upper bracket match with Moore winning a state title over McGrew or Donner in the final.