2011 Division 1 Preview and Predictions from Up North

2011 Divison 1 Wrestling Championships preview and predictions.

by Tim Monahan
2011 Divison 1 Wrestling Championships preview and predictions.

96 Pounds

This weight class is as stacked as any in the field. One undefeated wrestler in returning place winner Kyle Kelly of Chenango Forks-IVKelly comes in 34-0 with 26 wins by fall. Fourth last season at this weight, Kelly has wins over many of the top dogs in this class. Kelly’s wins include victories over Section VI’s Anthony Orefice (Lockport) by fall in 5:48, a 12-10 decision over Jesse Porter of Shenendehowa-II, an 8-2 win over Long Beach stud Steven Sewkumar-VIII and a win over Section IV D2 champion Lucas Malmberg of Marathon in 1:26. Kelly also has wins over the tough Garrehy boys of Maine Endwell-IV disposing of Kobe by 12-3 major decision and decking Zak in a mere 1:40. Then in an effort to avoid family warfare Kelly dispatched Kobe in :56 in the Section IV finals last week.

Before you hand the crown to Kelly though be aware that there are five horses with one loss each on their record. Lets take a look by section starting with Dylan Realbuto of Somers-I. The super soph comes in 45-1 with his lone defeat at the hands of Liam Erickson of Brewster-I way up at 112lbs by a score of 12-4. Realbuto has wins over such studly dudes as Steven Sewkumar of Long Beach-VIII 9-6, Blaise Benderoth-8th (North Rockland-I) 2-1, Johnny Stramiello-9 (Pine Bush-IX) 9-5 and a pair of wins over a super tough Vinny Vespa-8 (Monroe Woodbury-IX).

Section 2’s Shawn Berman of Albany has only a 6-3 loss to Johnny Stramiello on his record to go along with 40 victories. Berman is a pinning machine with 24 wins by way of fall. Berman has a pair of wins over Section 2 runnerup and A4 man Dominic Inzana of Saratoga (36-6). Next on the list of once defeated 96lb’ers is Section VI king Anthony Orefice of Lockport. Just an 8th grader, Orefice is 39-1 with 20 wins by fall. The only blemish being the fall to Kelly as mentioned earlier, Orefice has to be considered one of the early favorites in this packed weight class.

Section VIII Champion Robert Person (Bellmore-JFK) comes in 40-1 with 19 pins and the other Long Island champion Nick Piccinnini of Ward Melville. Piccinnini is another 8th grader and stands 37-1. Person shares the distinction with Benderoth of losing to Justin Cooksey of Macarthur. Person dropped a 9-5 decision to Cooksey for his only defeat of the season.

Piccinnini’s defeat comes at the hands of Krishna Sewkumar back in mid January by a score of 7-4.

Other wrestlers in the hunt include two time defending Section IX Champion Johnny Stramiello of Pine Bush (39-3), Barton Peters III (Brockport-V, 38-7), Bryan Ruggeri (Fairport-V, 38-8), Austin Acquard (Iroquois-VI, 48-4, 16 pins) and Tom Hill (Fulton-III, 28-3). Nathan Marshall (Massena-X), Freddy Dunau (St. Anthony’s) and Josh Antoine (Grand Street Campus-P) round out the field.

103 Pounds

No spotless records in this group but two have one loss apiece in CJ Labate-10 (Commack-XI, 29-1) and Pat Skinner-11 (Kellenberg Memorial, 39-1). Labate has a 3-2 victory over Travis Passaro (Eastport-XI) to his credit while Skinner has defeated Krishna Sewkumar (Long Beach-VIII, 33-3, 25 pins) and also has a win by fall over Alex Oliveto (Suffern-I) to his credit. Skinner’s lone loss came at the hands of Chris Powers of Mt. Sinai the man Labate pinned to win his sectional crown last week in just 1:22. Labate’s lone defeat came from TJ Fabian of Shoreham/WR who won a 3-0 decision back in early January.

Section VIII sends a formidable pair to the big dance including the third place finisher from last season Mark Raghunandan-11 (29-4, 13 pins). The Long Beach junior was stunned last weekend by teammate Krishna Sewkumar-10 in the finals of the sections losing by fall in 5:23. The pair are separated in this years state tourney so it will be interesting to see how this develops.

Section 1 sends a pair of horses in champion Jimmy Duckham-12 (Arlington, 37-8) and runner-up Mike Parise-11 (Brewster, 42-2, 14 pins). Parise was fifth last season at 96lbs. Duckham and Parise are joined in the bottom bracket by Sewkumar so the quarters will be extremely exciting. Keep an eye on Amsterdam freshman Brandon Lapi (47-2, 23 pins). Lapi has a 5-2 win over D2 stud horse Aaron Paddock this season and at one point in the season ran off 22 straight victories. One of Lapi’s losses was a 3-1 decision to Parise.

Rocco Russo of Frontier-VI (36-1, 25 pins) is a hammer with only a 6-3 loss to Aaron Paddock way back on January 7th as his only blemish.

Dan Cicarelli (Cicero North Syracuse-III, 34-5), Richie Burke (Ithaca-IV, 26-2) and Section V Champion Vincent Deprez (Hilton, 42-4, 18 pins) and runner-up Geoff brown (Spencerport, 33-6, 15 pins) are all extremely tough and could step up if one of the favorites falter.

Warwick’s Joe Ginley-10 (24-9) draws Raghunandan in the first round in what proves to be a very exciting match.

112 Pounds

Lots of returning place winners here including a pair of runners-up in Corey Rasheed of Longwood and Johnson City’s Sean McCormick. Rahseed, just a freshman, finished second two seasons ago behind Mike Soria at 96 pounds while McCormick was second to Wayne’s Bobby Dierna also at 96 pounds in 2008. McCormick come in 36-2 with 21 pins and the Champion of Section IV while Rasheed is 27-2 with 17 falls but was the runner-up in Section XI to junior Sean McCabe of Connetquot who comes in 35-2 with 18 pins. McCormick made it to the big show the last two seasons finishing 5th last season and 4th in 2009 both at 112 lbs.

This is far from a 3 horse race however as there is talent galore in what may be one of the toughest weights in the entire tournament.

Section 1 sends a pair of monsters in champion Sam Speno (Fox Lane, 42-2, 11 pins, 20 TF’s) and Asher Kramer (Suffern, 35-4, 14 pins). Speno is a stud and has a pair of tech falls over last season’s sixth place finisher Matt Caputo of North Rockland but he is also responsible for the two losses on Sean McCormick’s record this season. McCormick avenged one of those losses with a 2-0 win in the consi finals at the Eastern States and the other Speno loss also came at the Classic in the manner of a 7-4 decision to none other than Mr. Corey Rasheed. Talk about a puzzle.

Kramer, 4th last season at 103lbs, has wins over Section IX’s Justin Corradino as well as Sayville’s Matt Leshinger and Matt Caputo.

A very reliable source tells me to watch Section VIII Champion Ryan Singh (Herricks, 39-2, 22 pins) as he is wrestling his best at this point in time. Singh scored a huge 7-3 victory over previously undefeated John Lanzilotti of Roslyn (47-1, 28 pins) in the section finals last week. The first round match between Singh and McCabe should be an absolute war. Singh’s only losses came at the hands of John Glenn’s Vinny Punzone by fall and 1-0 decision.

Shaker’s Blake Retell-9 (39-2, 26 pins) battles Indian River’s Derrick Gray-10 (41-4, 22 pins) in another great first round match with the winner likely getting a shot at Speno.

Section Five champion Dwann Hall, a senior from Pittsford, comes in 37-5 and runner-up Scott Barrett of Spencerport (35-5) keeps the Rangers tradition of excellence going strong.

Section Six king Steve Michel comes in 35-5 and has a win over two time Division 2 Champion Arik Robinson of Peru. Michel and McCormick look like they could be on a collision course for a tremendous quarterfinals match.

Section IX’s Justin Corradino of Warwick (18-5) and TJ Kreider of Cornwall (34-5, 15 pins) round out a very strong field.

119 Pounds

If there is a tougher weight than 112lbs then it’s got to be 119 as we have a pair of returning champions as well as a pair of runners-up in the field. Huntington’s Nigel McNeil returns to defend his crown from last season while Wayne’s Al Dierna moves up one weight after winning the 103lb championship last season. The way the bracket sits now both McNeil and Dierna are in the upper bracket but I am certain that will be changed.

McNeil has been dominant this season finishing the regular season 36-0 with 19 pins, 4 tech falls and 6 major decisions. His closest match was a 3-0 win over Giovanni Sanchez of Central Islip.

Dierna enters the fray 43-2 with 21 pins. Dierna’s only defeats came from Shane Connolly of Warwick 5-2 and John Glenn’s Vinny Punzone 5-1.

NYS runners-up in the mix are Joe Barbato (Wantagh-VIII, 27-7, 15 pins) and Eric Lewandowski (Lancaster-VI, 39-6, 11 pins, 11 TF’s). Barbato lost to Dierna 9-2 in his finals matchup while Lewandowski dropped a 2-1 heartbreaker to Mark West of Hauppauge.

Three men who look to have much to say about who will wrestle in match #424 are seniors Will Montgomery-Seaford and Nick Oliveto-Suffern and junior Shane Connolly of Warwick Valley.

Montgomery comes in 38-1 with 26 pins including a fall over Barbato in the Section VIII semi finals while Oliveto is 26-1 with only an 11-3 major decision loss to McNeil on his record.

This will be Montgomery’s third trip to the states while Oliveto is making his second trip. Neither has placed although they have come close.

Connolly will be making his fourth trip to the states and comes in 39-3 this season with 24 wins by fall. Connolly is primed and looking to make a big impression this season.

Section 2 champion Corey Southard (Columbia, 32-4) will be Connolly’s first round opponent with the winner likely getting a shot at Dierna.

Section 3 Champ Antonio DeLuca (Rome Free academy, 34-4) and Section 4 King Sam Carpenter of Elmira add to the mix along with alternates Brady Baron (Pittsford-V), Danny Ventura-11 (Fox Lane, 44-2, 27 pins) and Codey Mosley-11 (Averill Park-2).

125 Pounds

Section VI will be sending a stud to the big dance in the form of Dylan Caruana of Kenmore West. Caruana is just a junior but sports a record of 46-0 with 28 pins. 13 of those pins have come in the first period and 8 are in under one minute. Caruana has been so dominant that since the start of 2011 he has registered 17 pins, two tech falls and three major decision victories. Only four wrestlers have prevented Caruana from scoring his team quality points. He’ll be tested early on though as his first round opponent is St. Anthony’s Jimmy Morris, a senior who comes in 36-4 with 21 pins.

I know for a fact that there are two studs who will not be intimidated however and these guys go by the names of Max Miller and Anthony Abidin.

Miller won the Eastern States Classic this season and brings in a record of 37-1 with 27 pins. His only loss was to Morris by a 9-8 decision. Miller is from Shenendehowa and is the reigning Section 2 Champion.

Abidin is a senior from hills East and comes in 32-1 with 20 pins. His only loss was a 4-3 decision to first alternate Alex Gomez of Brentwood.

Section VIII has a champion who brings the most wins of anyone in the entire tournament. John Pellegrino of Division comes in 55-0 with 23 pins, 11 major decisions and 15 decision victories. Pellegrino tangles with two time Section IX champ Gary Wolff (Monroe Woodbury, 32-7) in the first round with the winner getting a crack at the Caruana/Morris victor.

Another first round match that will be worth watching is between Section IX Champion Kyle Wierzbicki of Warwick Valley and Justin Artrip of Suffern, the Section 1 Champion. Wierczbicki comes in 31-8 with 16 pins and is wrestling very well at this stage of the season while Artrip is 40-5 with 25 wins by fall. The winner here will take on the winner of a match between Miller and Section IV champion Greg Partridge of Corning, 23-9 with 9 pins.

Section 3 Champion Mike Sardo of Whitesboro is making his second trip to the state tournament and he comes in with a record of 39-4 while Section 5 Champion mike Piedimonte of Spencerport comes in 32-4 with 12 pins.

First alternate Alex Gomez of Brentwood comes in 39-2 with 21 pins and he will be doing battle with third alternate Dylan Cohen of Williamsville East in Section 6. Cohen comes in 39-3 and has 16 victories by way of technical fall.

Cornwall’s Luke Roth will be the fourth alternate and he will be making his first appearance in the state meet. Roth comes in 34-4 with 16 pins and will take on Sardo in the first round.

Two things to note concerning Roth, Cornwall head coach Don Blaine will be inducted in the New York State Hall of Fame this weekend. Blaine has enjoyed a tremendous coaching career at Cornwall and is rapidly approaching the 400 victory plateau. Another interesting fact about Luke Roth is that he is following in his father’s footsteps as his father Matt was a runner-up back in 1977 to Tom Pickard of Section 3’s Baldwinsville.

130 Pounds

The intelligent spectator will need at least three extra sets of eyes to keep track of all the action when the 130 pound weight class takes to the mats.

Top of everyone’s list should be senior and four time Section 1 Champion and two time NYS place winner Steven Rodriques of Fox Lane. Steven comes in 37-0 and finished third last season and second in 2009. Rodriques has 19 wins by way of fall and 10 via technical fall.

The road is far from clear for Mr. Rodriques however as a pair of road blocks stand in his way in the form of Timothy Schaefer and Nick Kelley. Schaefer is making his fourth trip to the states while Kelley is here for his third time. Schaefer has placed three times while Kelley has yet to earn a spot on the podium.

Schaefer finished in 4th place last season at 112lbs and was sixth in 2009 at 103lbs and in 2008 at 96 lbs. He will be looking to be a finalist this time round. Schaefer is still only a sophomore out of Lancaster High School and has a record of 38-3 this year.

Kelley is also a sophomore and has an identical record of 38-3 but he has 28 wins by fall.

Kelley has falls over Joe Barbato (Wantagh-VIII), Tim McCann (Monsignor Farrell-CHSAA) and also a fall over Schaefer in 2:40 back at the Eastern States Classic.

Schaefer faces Section 3 champion JT Romagnolli (CBA/Jamesville/Dewitt, 33-5) in the first round while Kelley locks up with Section 4 Champ Brant Page (Horseheads, 32-2, 20 pins). And that’s only the bottom half of the upper bracket, Oh My GOD ! ! !

Section 5 Champion Jimmy Portues of Brockport (29-4) will tangle with fourth alternate Matt Greene of Columbia (38-3, 19 pins) for the right to ruin Rodriques’s tournament. Greene was the Section 2 runner-up behind Kelley and all three of his losses this season have come to Nick Kelley. Apparently if you’re wrestling Matt Greene you’re in trouble if your name is not Nick Kelley.

The bottom bracket at 130lbs has plenty of studliness to match the upper bracket. Some fantastic first round matches will take place here including one between Monsignor Farrell’s Vin Fischetti, the CHSAA champion, and Section VIII Champion Chris Perez of General Douglas MacArthur.

Fischetti was fifth in the state last season and is 40-6 with 27 falls this year and Perez comes in 27-3. This should be a war.

Minisink Valley Warrior and Section IX Champion Andrew Natalizio (35-8, 22 pins) takes on the fourth alternate and one of three Section XI wrestlers in the weight to qualify Casey Brice of Longwood. Brice comes in 23-5 with 14 wins by fall and he is one tough customer. Both Natalizio and Brice are seniors and are leaders for their respective teams. This will be a great match.

Brice’s teammate and NYS runner-up last season Malik Rasheed is in the mix at the weight and he’ll be locking it up with Landon Loughlin of Massena in Section X. Rasheed is 23-5 with ten pins.

Section XI Champion James Dekrone of John Glenn is also in the bracket and he’ll be tangling with Section 3 runner-up and second alternate Cody Sullivan of Camden. Dekrone is 40-1 with 15 falls while Sullivan comes in 39-9 with 19 pins.

Dekrone has his work cut out for him if he’s to avenge his only loss of the season against Rodriques. Stay tuned and for God’s sake don’t blink! !

135 Pounds

Finally a weight class with a sure thing. Yeah right! ! !

This weight class has two former champions and a third wrestler who was a finalist five years ago, is making his sixth trip to the states and has placed four times prior to this season.

First the champions, Brian Realbuto (Somers-1, 49-0, 33 pins) is having a great year and would be in a class by himself were it not for a young man from Wayne High School. Realbuto has taken on and beaten all comers including Mike Caputo (North Rockland) 13-5, Trent Costello (Kingston) 5-0, Dale White (John Jay East Fishkill) 8-7, Ray Nicosia (Longwood) 12-6, Quinton Murphy (Holley Central) 17-12 and a fall over super tough Lance Compton of Attica in 1:32. I list these names not to embarrass anyone as that is not my style, rather it’s a testament to the caliber of opponent Realbuto has faced this season. He ducks nobody! !

Oh yeah, Realbuto pinned his way through the Section 1 Championships. Not to shabby!

Realbuto won his NYS crown in 2009 when he defeated Damon McQueen of Huntington 9-8 in an awesome match.

The other state champion at the weight is Wayne’s Bobby Dierna. Dierna comes in 38-1 with 24 pins. Dierna won his crown in 2008 when he defeated Johnson City’s Sean McCormick 11-8. Realbuto was also in the weight that season finishing in fourth place losing a 10-8 decision to McQueen.

All totaled these two studs have placed in the states seven times. Here’s the rundown, Bob Dierna: 2010- 4th @ 130lbs, 2009- 3rd @ 112, 2008-1st @ 96, 2007- 5th @ 96.

Brian Realbuto: 2010- 3rd @ 112, 2009- 1st @ 103, 2008- 4th @ 96.

This is awesome stuff.

Add another name to the mix though as Chenango Forks legend Casey Lanave comes to town looking for his fifth placing and first championship. Lanave finished third in 2010 and 2009 and was fifth in 2008. he did not place in 2007 but was a finalist in 2007 in division 2.

The senior from Chenango Forks will be tested right off the bat as he takes on a matman who gave him one of his three losses in Adam Wallace of Fulton. Wallace is the Section 3 champion and has a record of 43-2 with 24 pins. Wallace’s losses are to Jamel Hudson of St. Anthony’s the CHSAA rep at this weight and division 2’s Wes Blanding of Chittenango-III.

These three stars are far from alone as possible winners at 135lbs. St. Anthony’s Hudson comes in 32-1 and has wins over Wallace and Farrell’s Vin Fischetti, Section VI champion Patrick Mix is 43-2 with 28 pins for Lake Shore High and Section VIII champ Christian Dluginski of Sewanhaka East is 30-2 in an always tough Nassau County.

Sections 2, 9 and 11 each send a pair of wrestlers to the big stage who are both capable of winning the whole thing. Let’s start with Section 2, Champion Jonathan Clemente of Lasalle Institute is 36-6 with 25 pins and he has a win over Section XI champion Kenny Meinsen of John Glenn (41-5). Sophomore David Almaviva of Shenendehowa is the second alternate as well as Section 2 runner-up. Almaviva finished the regular season 35-8.

Section IX send Champion Richard Dennison of Minisink Valley along with runner-up Trent Costello of Kingston. Dennison was the Section IX 112 lb champion two years back and was an alternate last season and Costello was the Section IX 140lb champion last season. Dennison comes in 37-8 with 22 pins and just celebrated winning his 100th career match while Costello brings a season record of 40-7 with 20 pins to Albany and he too won his 100th career match earlier this season.

Dennison draws Meinsen in his first match while Costello has Dierna in his opening round contest.

Rounding oiut the field are second alternate Ryan Reed of Rush Henrietta of Section V and third alternate Connor Bass of Westhampton Beach-XI. Reed comes in 39-2 with 29 pins and Bass is 41-4 with 23 pins.

140 Pounds

Section V leads the way here with a pair of returning NYS place winners in 2011 Section V champion Joe Bonaldi (Greece Olympia, 42-0, 14TF’s) and 2011 Section V runner-up Lewis Cucchiara (Gates Ghili, 21-4). Both are seniors and both placed in the state tournament last season. Bonaldi was 4th @ 135lbs in 2010 and wrestled but did not place at states in 2009 while Cucchiara finished in 3rd place @ 140lbs in 2010. The pair are in opposite brackets for the states so a Section V rematch is a distinct possibility.

Bonaldi takes on two time PSAL Champion Camilo Rodriquez of Curtis while Cucchiara has Section VI runner-up and fourth alternate Luke Falzone of Williamsville South in the opening round.

Section 2 Champion is making his third appearance at states and is looking for his first placing. Sutton is 40-4 this season with 22 pins. Runner-up Jimmy Carucci of Shenendehowa comes in 36-4 and is the second alternate. Sutton’s first round match is with Section VI Champion Mike Feeney (Lockport, 36-7, 13 pins) while Carucci mixes it up with third alternate and Section 1 runner-up Mark Swertfager of John Jay Cross River, Swertfager comes in 40-7 with 19 pins.

A pair of opening round matches to keep an close eye on are between Section 1 Champ Steve Pagliucca (Mahopac, 40-3, 18 pins) and Section 3 Champion Aaron Benedict (CBA-Jamesville/Dewitt, 33-1). The winner gets the winner between Carucci and Swertfager.

In what shapes up to be an awesome match Section IV champion Travis Barnett (Chenango Forks, 29-2) battles Section XI kingpin Adam Lepkowski (Hauppague, 43-2, 22 pins). This will be a fierce battle between two warriors.

Warwick Valley’s Brian Vutianitis comes in 29-8 and will lock up with CHSAA champion Joe Francolino of Monsignor Farrell who comes in 38-11. The winner here gets the Sutton/Feeney winner.

145 Pounds

Five different wrestlers enter the battle with 40+ victories and only one man has an unblemished record. Should make for some great competition.

Three time section VIII champion Dylan Palacio comes in 36-0 and is looking to improve on last season’s 4th place finish. Palacio can beat you all kinds of ways as his win distribution is as follows, The Long Beach junior has 12 pins, 7 tech falls, 7 major decisions and 7 decisions. He has wins this season over Steven Maier(Spencerport) 9-7, Tory Cain (Wayne) 2-1, Rino DeVita (Somers) 13-3, Longwood’s Ricky Renck 8-7, Matt Ross (Rocky Point) 16-8 and he majored Section 2 stud Greg Caneparo of Nanuet 13-2. Nice resume.

Section VI Champion Jimmy Kloc comes in 46-1 and was the NYS runner-up last season at the same weight class 140lbs. Kloc also placed in 2009 when he finished 5th at 135lbs. Both men are juniors this year. Palacio attends Long Beach while Kloc goes to Iroquois.

Kloc takes on Section IV Champion Zakk Rolff of Elmira in the first round. Rolff comes in 26-2. Palacio draws a tougher assignment in his opening round match as he takes to the mat against Section XI runner-up Sean O’Malley of Sachem East (38-5).

Section 3 Champion David Hall is making his third trip to the states and he comes in with a fine record of 47-1 with 31 pins. Hall’s first match is again Section X champion Ebb Foote of Canton, Foote is a sophomore with a record of 27-7.

Section V champion Tory Cain finished sixth@ 140lbs last season and is looking to improve on that this time round. Cain comes in 41-3 with 14 wins by fall. His first round match is against Section XI’s Matt Ross of Rocky Point. Ross is no stranger to the state meet having placed fifth in 2008. The Rocky Point senior enters the tournament with a record of 40-4 with 20 pins. Ross is following in the long line of wrestling excellence at Rocky Point and is certain to make the school and head coach Darren Goldstein very proud. As you recall Rocky Point had three state champions last season in Steven Dutton, Anthony Volpe and Billy Coggins.

2011 Section XI Champion Nicky Hall of Longwood is having a great year bringing a record of 32-2 to Albany. Hall will tangle with Section V runner-up Steve Maier of Spencerport(35-4).

Section 1 Champion Rino Devita (Somers, 44-3, 21 pins) and Section 2 Champion Evan Wallace (39-1, 31 pins) are both explosive and very dangerous wrestlers. Wallace has 31 pins for the season and 18 of those came in the first period the fastest was in seven seconds.

Minisink Valley Warrior Glenn Ferrier won the Section IX crown this season and he brings a fine record of 33-7 with 22 pins to Albany.

Ferrier’s first round match is against Section VI runner-up Joe DeFrancesca (29-8) and the winner gets the winner of the Palacio/O’Malley match.

152 Pounds

A pair of undefeated wrestlers highlight this weight and there is plenty of talent after them.

2010 NYS runner-up Kyle Wade returns for another shot at the title. Wade comes from a long line of elite level wrestlers at Islip High School as well as the Wade family as brothers Lance and Chris were each NYS Champions. Kyle is a senior and comes in 37-0 with 22 pins. He is now a three time Section XI Champion.

Section IV champion Alec Iacovelli of Ithaca is undefeated at 30-0 and has 14 wins by pin. Wade and Iacovelli could meet in the quarterfinals.

Wade’s first round match is against Section 2 Champ Alex espina (Nishayuna, 33-1, 24 pins) while Iacovelli matches up against Section V runner-up and second alternate Aaron Pryhuber (Brighton, 34-8).

Section VI Champion Irvin Buck (Niagara Falls, 37-1, 23 pins) is in the bottom bracket and takes on Middletown’s Julio Gonzalez (40-7, 19 pins). Gonzalez was the Section IX runner-up this season behind Newburgh’s Aaron Moore (39-5).

Moore faces Section V champ Frank Affronti (Wayne, 43-6) in his first round match.

Section 1 Champ Vin Grella comes in 42-3 with 23 pins and Section VIII Champion Adam DeJesus (Long Beach, 32-4) are both excellent wrestlers who could take it all.

160 Pounds

Section IX has a pair of stars here in Warwick Valley’s Mitch Wightman and Minisink Valley’s Kyle Diesel. Both have been to the states before with Wightman finishing fifth last season and just missing a place the previous year. Wightman comes in 32-1 and the top ranked wrestler in the state while Diesel is 39-4 and ranked just behind the Wildcat senior. The two battled tough in their section finals last week with Wightman winning by the slimmest of margins.

Section VIII Champion Jermaine John of Bethpage comes in 37-1 with 21 pins. He should not be overlooked. John and Wightman could meet in the quarterfinals.

Patrick Jennings of Longwood is the Section XI Champion and brings a record of 33-2 with 21 pins in. He has faced Diesel three times with the MV Warrior winning two of those matches.

Section XI will send three qualifiers to the states as alternates Nick Lobue (Connetquot, 32-3) and Rich Lugo (Deer Park, 36-6) will all make the trip.

Section VI Champoion tyler Bruce of North Tonawanda is 34-1 with 17 pins and Section V Champ Joe Inzana is 34-6 with 15 pins.

Section 1 Champion Aaron Butler (North Rockland, 34-4) and Section IV Champ Tyler Lusht (Chenango Forks, 27-6) battle in the opening round with the winner getting a shot at Jennings. Should be a great battle.

171 Pounds

Some great wrestling here with two time Section IX Champion Sean Prell leading the way. Prell comes in 35-3 with his only losses to Craig Scott, Tony Lock and Zach Zupan, all are in division 2. Prell has wins over Thor McHugh (Arlington, 39-5, 28 pins), Chance Menendez (Hauppague-XI, 38-5, 20 pins) who Prell has beaten twice, Matt Lashway (Shenendehowa-II, 33-8, 24 pins) and also Tim Coyne of Section 1 who he see in the first round Friday morning. Prell will then have at Menendez again and then the winner of Joe Shell/McHugh and Ian Solcz (Pittsford-V, 40-4).

Section 2 Champ Joe Shell is 47-4 with 30 pins and Section 3 king Troy Benjamin is equally impressive at 39-6 with 25 pins.

Shell has Section 1runner-up Thor McHugh (39-5, 28 pins) in the opening round while Benjamin takes on Andrew Jones of Plainedge the Section VIII Champion who is 33-3.

Joe Amoia of Kenmore East, the Section VI champion comes in 41-3 with 29 pins while Section V Champ Richie Childs comes in 43-2.

Section 1 Champion Joe Berkowitz is 40-1 and section XI Champ Chance Menendez-Hauppague has a fine record of 38-5 and both look to be in the hunt.

Sections V’s Ian Solcz is an alternate who brings 40 wins into the tournament and should not be overlooked.

Section VI stud Joe Amoia (Kenmore West, 41-3 with 29 pins) is in the upper bracket and faces Lashway first round with the winner getting the Childs/Dan Manganaro (Horseheads, 33-2, 18 pins) winner.

189 Pounds

Section VIII Champion Joe Kavanagh comes in 34-0 and was the runner-up last season to Billy Coggins of Rocky Point. He’ll be trying to take it to the next level this season.

Standing in his way are a host of great wrestlers including Section 1 champion Joe Cummings of Nyack, 37-1 with 14 pins.

Shenendehowa’s Tony Fusco is a junior and stands 36-2 while Section 3 Champion Zach Race is 42-4 with 30 pins. Section VI Champion Jake Kelly of Niagara Wheatfield comes in with a record of 43-3 and 29 pins while Section XI sends a pair of studs in Champion Joe Giaramita (John Glenn, 34-3 and runner-up Frank Abondanza (Mt, Sinai, 38-2). Abbondanza actually has a pair of wins over Giaramita.

Section IX Champion Joe Gaynor had a tremendous year finishing with a record of 44-4 with 32 pins. Gaynor has a first round match again Section IV freshman Reggie Williams of Johnson City who brings in a record of 36-11 with 16 pins. A win over Williams would put Gaynor in line for either Offhaus or Cummings which will be an awesome match. Gaynor, a Pine Bush senior, has the ability to reach the finals where hell most likely meet up with Kavanagh. Gaynor is an exceptional individual and is on his way to West Point where he will embark on a tremendous career in the Army. Winning a state title would be a fitting tribute to a tremendous high school career to one fine young man.

Section VI runner-up Rodney Offhaus (Iroquois) brings 48 wins to the table with 33 by fall. Offhaus finished second in Section VI behind Jake Kelly of Niagara Wheatfield who finished the regular season 43-3 and 29 pins.

215 Pounds

Section V Champion Jake Barnhardt (Penfield) is 44-2 with 28 pins and Section 3 Champion Derek Dalton (Indian River) is 45-1 with 29 pins. Both are on opposite sides of the bracket and could be on a collision course.

Section VI Champion Adam Donner of Niagara Wheatfield comes in 39-4 with 20 pins and Mike Almaviva of Shenendehowa is 33-3 with 18 pins.

Section VIII Champion Tom Hall has a record of 39-3 with 17 pins and Section 1 Champion Lucas Myer of John Jay Cross River, 41-4 are all capable of going all the way.

Section IX representatives are Champion Pavel Gorelov (Warwick Valley, 27-5, 12 pins) and Andrew Smith (Port Jervis, 33-6, 16 pins).

Gorelov has an opening round match against Section 1’s Lucas Myer of John Jay Cross River and with a win he most likely tangles with Donner. Barnhardt and Hall are sitting in the upper half of the top bracket and that quarterfinals match should be great. Smith has a great chance to reach deep into the championship round of this year’s tournament. Derek Dalton will be a test for the Red Raider senior though.

285 Pounds

Two undefeated wrestlers here as David Ng (Plainedge, 43-0 20 pins) and Alex Tibbles (Indian River, 47-0) are pointed directly at each other. Ng is the Section VIII champion while Tibbles won the Section 3 Crown.

Section 1 Champion Andrew Scopino (Mahopac, 40-2) and runner-up Malcolm Allen (New Rochelle, 33-5) are both talented and could pull an upset.

Section Ix offers a pair of talented juniors in Champion Ethan Stanley of Saugerties and Seth Stauble of Kingston. Stanley comes in 31-2 while Stauble led Section IX in wins with 46.

Stauble is sitting pretty well with a first round match against Joe Manna of Island Trees. Manna comes in 38-6 with 20 pins and is the fourth alternate. A win and Stauble takes on David Ng who finished third last season at 215lbs.

Look for Scopino or Jonathan Desir (St. Anthony’s, 26-1, 13 pins) to be waiting in the semi’s.

In the bottom bracket Saugerties junior Ethan Stanley has a first round match against Section IV’s Tyler Bayer (31-10 with 17 pins) and then either Malcolm Allen (New Rochelle, 33-5) or Robert Knight (Brockport-V, 31-4, 14 pins).

Section 2 king Cole Lampmann of Shenendehowa (34-6) and Mr. Tibbles will have at it to see who makes the other semi final bout. Tibbles is a pinning machine with 28 overall and 25 of those came in the first period. Of those 25, 20 were done in under one minute with the fastest coming in five seconds You can’t lie down that fast so this young man has to be something special.

Here’s my picks:

96: Dylan Realbuto over Kyle Kelly
103: Mark Raghunandan over Mike Parise
112- Sean McCormick over Sam Speno
119: Nigel McNeil over Will Montgomery
125: Max Miller over John Pellegrino
130: Steven Rodriquez over James Dekrone
135: Brian Realbuto over Bobby Dierna
140: Joe Bonaldi over Lewis Cucchiara
145: Dylan Palacio over Jimmy Kloc
152: Kyle Wade over Irvin Buck
160: Mitch Wightman over Kyle Diesel
171: Sean Prell over Troy Benjamin
189: Joe Gaynor over Joe Kavanagh
215: Jake Barnhardt over Andrew Smith
285: Alex Tibbles over David Ng

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