Who Will Earn the Crown at the UE Duals?

On January 2nd, 13 ambitious teams from around New York State will make the trip to Union-Endicott to compete in New York’s most competitive dual meet tournament. Often the tournament champion is selected by the New York State Sports Writers Association (NYSSWA) as the number one team in the state. Though they use many events in their final selection, it is the keystone event in their analysis.

duelOn January 2nd, 13 ambitious teams from around New York State will make the trip to Union-Endicott to compete in New York’s most competitive dual meet tournament. Often the tournament champion is selected by the New York State Sports Writers Association (NYSSWA) as the number one team in the state. Though they use many events in their final selection, it is the keystone event in their analysis.  “Pound for pound U.E., for lack of a better system, is the closest thing to a NYS Dual Meet Championship Tourney,” said Glen Irving, the Wrestling Editor for the New York State Sportswriters Association.
Continue reading “Who Will Earn the Crown at the UE Duals?”

Section X1 2009-2010 Division 1 Wrestling Preview

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?

podiumA 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?

Continue reading “Section X1 2009-2010 Division 1 Wrestling Preview”

Section VIII 2009-2010 Season Preview

It’s that time of the year again. No it’s not Thanksgiving or Christmas. Good guess. It’s Wrestling Season. Let’s get the dust off the headgear and put the singlet on. Section 8 has had some dramatic changes, and we will address them. The Pre-season rankings appear way off with wrestlers in the wrong weights, but that’s a story for another day.

tugawarIt’s that time of the year again. No it’s not Thanksgiving or Christmas. Good guess. It’s Wrestling Season. Let’s get the dust off the headgear and put the singlet on. Section 8 has had some dramatic changes, and we will address them. The Pre-season rankings appear way off with wrestlers in the wrong weights, but that’s a story for another day. Continue reading “Section VIII 2009-2010 Season Preview”

This Week in Wrestling: National Tournament Edition

Hi Everyone.

I am back after taking a few weeks off to get some personal ducks in a row (mostly graduate school and family obligations). Anyhow, with the start of the 2009 NCAA DI National Wrestling tournament less than four hours away, I thought that now was as good a time as any to sit down and put to paper my feelings on how I foresee the next three days of non-stop, exhilarating, wrestling action going. Normally, I would do an official preview for an event of such significance and magnitude. However, out of respect for those of you who were subjected to my 3,000 word rant on the state of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), I felt that perhaps it would best to keep this entry nice and casual. In other words, I am fully aware of the fake that with March Madness kicked into high gear, you might prefer the simple, “in and out” approach. Hence, in place of all of the flowery descriptions, endless rhethoric, and whatnot, I will supply only the meat and potatoes. For each weight class, I will list all of the odds on favs, recognize any sleepers in the field, as well as make my predictions on the 10 individual titlists….Sit back and enjoy !!! Continue reading “This Week in Wrestling: National Tournament Edition”

CAA Tournament Preview (UPDATED W/RESULTS)

This weekend, Hofstra University will be looking to add their ninth consecutive conference tournament championship to the trophy case.  However, unlike the previous eight seasons where the Pride entered the tournament as the favorites, 2009 marks a new role for Coach Tom Shifflet’s team, that of underdog.

Much of this shakeup at the top can be attributed to the emergence of Old Dominion University.  Under the leadership of Coach Steve Martin, the Monarchs have assembled some of the deepest recruiting classes over the course of the last two or three seasons.  And, all of a sudden, the efforts off of the mat are starting to pay significant dividends on it, as more than half of the Monarch starters found themselves seeded either #1 or #2 when the official tournament brackets were released late last night.

Having already snapped the Pride’s consecutive conference dual winning streak (formerly the longest in the nation) earlier in the season, the Monarchs would like nothing better than to be able to complete the sweep by becoming the first school not named Hofstra to hoist the CAA title at the end of competition on Saturday evening.

Equally important, as the team race, is the fierce individual battle as wrestlers from eight institutions of higher learning will assemble at Oscar Smith High School (Chesapeake, VA) today to begin a journey that hopefully ends with an automatic birth to the NCAA National tournament in St. Louis, Missouri.   Under the new qualification system, the Colonial Athletic Association is guaranteed 20 automatic qualifiers (125/2; 133/1; 141/1; 149/1; 157/2; 165/2; 174/4; 184/2; 197/4; 285/1). 

Action starts today at 11am and will conclude with tomorrow’s finals beginning at 1pm.


Continue reading “CAA Tournament Preview (UPDATED W/RESULTS)”

The Preview: 2009 NY State D1 H.S. Wrestling Tournament

Based upon the section winners and alternate qualifier lists by weight released today, here is a weight-by-weight preview of the NYPHSAA wrestling championships this weekend. Once the final seeds are determined and tournament charts by weight are released we will release our state finalist picks for each weight. Our sectional champion pick is already determined as section 11 – Suffolk County. The depth within this section this year seems to be insurmountable. Sections 2 and 9 should be competitive in Albany this year followed by sections 8, 1, 4 and 6.

Based upon the section winners and alternate qualifier lists by weight released today, here is a weight-by-weight preview of the NYPHSAA wrestling championships this weekend. Once the final seeds are determined and tournament charts by weight are released we will release our state finalist picks for each weight. Our sectional champion pick is already determined as section 11 – Suffolk County. The depth within this section this year seems to be insurmountable. Sections 2 and 9 should be competitive in Albany this year followed by sections 5, 4, 8, 1,  and 6. Continue reading “The Preview: 2009 NY State D1 H.S. Wrestling Tournament”

#23 Hofstra/#3 Cornell Preview (UPDATED W/RESULTS)

athletics

What: #23 Hofstra University vs. #3 Cornell University

When: Sunday February 8th, 2009

Time: 5pm EST

Where: David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex

Coverage: Live Text (Courtesy of Light House Wrestling)

Continue reading “#23 Hofstra/#3 Cornell Preview (UPDATED W/RESULTS)”

LEAGUE III CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW

The Suffolk County League III wrestling championship is scheduled to be held at Smithtown East High School on February 7, 2009. The Redmen from East Islip won each of their league dual meets during the season and its coaches as well as the coaches from the other teams in league III, Smithtown East (6-1), Newfield (5-2), Centereach (4-3), West Islip (3-4), Half Hollow Hills East (2-5), Copiague (1-6) and North Babylon (0-7) look to send a number of their wrestlers to the Suffolk County Championships scheduled to be held at Hofstra University on February 13 and 14, 2009. There is sure to be tough competition in each weight class and the following wrestlers (listed in no particular order) will most likely be in the mix (weight classes are subject to change):

The Suffolk County League III wrestling championship is scheduled to be held at Smithtown East High School on February 7, 2009. The Redmen from East Islip won each of their league dual meets during the season and its coaches as well as the coaches from the other teams in league III, Smithtown East (6-1), Newfield (5-2), Centereach (4-3), West Islip (3-4), Half Hollow Hills East (2-5), Copiague (1-6) and North Babylon (0-7) look to send a number of their wrestlers to the Suffolk County Championships scheduled to be held at Hofstra University on February 13 and 14, 2009. There is sure to be tough competition in each weight class and the following wrestlers (listed in no particular order) will most likely be in the mix (weight classes are subject to change):

Continue reading “LEAGUE III CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW”

#21 Hofstra/UPenn Preview (UPDATED W/RESULTS)

athletics

What: #21 Hofstra University vs.  The University of Pennsylvania

When: Saturday January 31st, 2009

Time: 1pm EST

Where: The Palestra (Philadelphia, PA)

Coverage: Live Video (Courtesy of the UPenn Network)

Continue reading “#21 Hofstra/UPenn Preview (UPDATED W/RESULTS)”

Dual Meet Preview – Hauppaug vs. Huntington

On Friday, January 30, 2009, the Huntington Blue Devils ranked number eleven ( 11 ) by Matslap visit the Hauppauge Eagles ranked number two ( 2 ) for a 6:00 P.M. showdown.

On Friday, January 30, 2009, the Huntington Blue Devils ranked number eleven ( 11 ) by Matslap  visit the Hauppauge Eagles ranked number two ( 2 ) for a 6:00 P.M. showdown.

The question is can Huntington pull off the upset on the road ?. Hauppauge has shown overall depth throughout their line -up and will be hard to beat. The Blue Devils have some very talented wrestlers spread throughout the line up but can they match the Eagles? Continue reading “Dual Meet Preview – Hauppaug vs. Huntington”

#20 Hofstra/#5 Ohio State Preview (UPDATED W/RESULTS)

athletics

What: #20 Hofstra University vs. #5 Ohio State

When: Sunday January 25th, 2009

Time: 1pm EST

Where: David S. Mack Sports And Exhibition Complex

Coverage: Live Text Coverage (Courtesy of LighthouseWrestling)

Continue reading “#20 Hofstra/#5 Ohio State Preview (UPDATED W/RESULTS)”

#18 Hofstra/North Carolina State Preview (UPDATED W/RESULTS)

athletics

What: #19 Hofstra University vs. North Carolina State

When: Sunday January 11th, 2009

Time: 1pm EST 

Where: David S. Mack Sports And Exhibition Complex

Coverage: HAWC (Hofstra Online Radio)

Continue reading “#18 Hofstra/North Carolina State Preview (UPDATED W/RESULTS)”

Eastern States Seeds

Top 8 seeded wrestlers in each weight class at eastern states classic.

These are the top eight seeds in each weight class :

96: 1. Shane Connolly (Warwick); 2. Gary Wolff (Monroe-Woodbury); 3. Alec Dierna (Wayne); 4. John Delaney (Watervliet-Loudonville Christian); 5. Tom Manning (MacArthur); 6. Curt Rowle (Duanesbug); 7. Jacob Goddeau (Peru); 8. Mitch Moran (Penfield).

103: 1. Arik Robinson (Peru); 2. Vinny Pecora (Baldwin); 3. Brian Realbuto (Somers); 4. Zach Bridson (Timberlane); 5. Alex Grant (MacArthur); 6.Tyrell White (Whitehall); 7. Nick Kelley (Shenendehowa); 8. Brandon Ling (Penfield). Continue reading “Eastern States Seeds”

CHSAA Preview: Lions Looking to Break Flyers’ Stranglehold on Title

February 18th, 2002—This was the date the last time a team other than Chaminade High School could lay claim to the New York State Catholic High School Wrestling title. For the past seven years, the Flyers, under the of guidance of Head Coach, George Dlugolonski, have dominated this tournament, held annually during Presidents’ day weekend. However, as the six-time champions embark upon the start of the 2008/2009 season, they find themselves in a role that they are not accustomed to, that of underdog…

February 18th, 2002—This was the date the last time a team other than Chaminade High School could lay claim to the New York State Catholic High School Wrestling title.  For the past seven years, the Flyers, under the of guidance of Head Coach, George Dlugolonski, have dominated this tournament, held annually during Presidents’ day weekend.  However, as the six-time champions embark upon the start of the 2008/2009 season, they find themselves in a role that they are not accustomed to, that of underdog.  Having lost all four of their 2008 Catholic State finalists (two champions) to graduation, the Mineola, NY based school projects on paper as being no better than the third best team in a continually progressing CHSAA.  If the six-time champs have any hope of extending their streak to seven, they will need to rely heavily upon their trademark depth.  But alas, for the first time in as long as I can remember, the question of the hour has become, will the mighty Flyer depth be enough to overcome the power and polish possessed by the mini juggernaut that is Monsignor Farrell High School?  The Lions, which feature three returning Champions from last season are expected to be the class of the league.  Continue reading “CHSAA Preview: Lions Looking to Break Flyers’ Stranglehold on Title”

MacArthur vs. Wantagh Preview

Just west of Wantagh Avenue and about a mile north of Wantagh High School, MacArthur plays host to the most anticipated dual meet of the Nassau County season as Wantagh and MacArthur face off in this recently intensified rivalry.

MacArthur & Wantagh Set to Battle for Nassau Bragging Rights

Just west of Wantagh Avenue and about a mile north of Wantagh High School, MacArthur plays host to the most anticipated dual meet of the Nassau County season as Wantagh and MacArthur face off in this recently intensified rivalry. 

The dual meet features some possible marquee match-ups as both teams have multiple ranked individual wrestlers, state champions, and national place winners in their lineups.

Will Wantagh be intimidated by the long history of MacArthur dominance in Nassau wrestling…or will MacArthur be shocked by this newly established Nassau wrestling power?  It’s not very likely.  These 2 teams will come ready to wrestle and be prepared for a quality high school wrestling battle. This could be the most anticipated Nassau County dual meet since the late 70’s and early 80’s Island Trees/Locust Valley/Long Beach matches.

LHW asked Coach Murphy and Coach Greenblatt a few questions about the anticipated dual meet.  When asked about the mood in the room or if they do anything differently to prepare for such an anticipated early season dual coach Greenblatt seemed to downplay things a bit:

Coach Greenblatt said, “The mood is really no different. We have been busy getting the season in order. It’s a long season and want to peak at the right time. Though this is a fun and anticipated match we have to stick to the big plan (A County Championship is our goal)…I guess this is bigger for them. We have nothing to prove. We’ll do our best for mid December.”

Coach Greenblatt does see some key match-ups Macarthur may need to win this match, and he is not underestimating Wantagh’s ability. “There should be quite a few,” coach Greenblatt responded. “Kavanaugh v Giametta , Hall v Mondella/Saguero, Fitzmaurice v Medieros, Barbato v Grant/Perez/Manning to name a few.” 

Wantagh’s loss to section 9 power Monroe Woodbury did not put a damper on this meeting of top section 8 teams. “Could Monroe Woodbury in their own right be the best team in NY?” Coach Greenblatt questioned.   “In the big State league most matches are decided by the moment, many 3-2 OT matches. Nassau can run with the best, no matter what anyone thinks or says.”

Wantagh Warrior coach Murphy responded similarly when asked about the mood in the room and the preparation for the big match. “Nothing has changed…everything is business as usual,” Murphy said. “We have nothing to prove, we’re treating this as any normal match.”

There’s sure to be some lineup juggling by each coach to take advantage of the best match-ups possible – especially as the match progresses and the outcome does not evolve to plan.  The winner of this dual will need to win one swing match, minimize bonus points in 2 or 3 weight classes where they are expected to lose to top wrestlers, and/or maximize bonus points in one key weight class where they are expected to win. 

Whatever the outcome, this dual meet will showcase two of Nassau County’s top wrestling teams demonstrating their talent and their hard work for the fans to admire and appreciate.  And thanks to the support of the MacArthur Wrestling Parent Club’s toy drive for John Theissen’s Toys for Sick Children, you’re attendance will help to make a happy holiday for a few deserving young children.  

LHW is planning to stream live video of this match provided there are no technical difficulties, which we do not anticipate.  At a minimum, we will support this event with live texting, so if you can’t make the match, tune into Lighthouse Wrestling for the real-time results.

Predictions

Pete Candito Favors Wantagh27-24 based upon the preliminary match info. However, I see the 2 critical possible match-ups as 135 Delacruz vs. Medeiros AND 171 Kavanaugh vs. Giametta. I have Mac losing both of those matches by decision. If they win one of those matches they win the match 27-24. That is how close this match will be. Both teams minimizing bonus points in individual matches they are due to lose will also be the key to victory.

Bill Miller Favors MacArthur:  28-27 based upon my analysis of the likely matchups.  The key matchups that can turn the tide for either team are at 103 Barbatos vs Grant, 125 Frisha vs Palermo, and 130 Fitzmaurice vs Madieros.  These matches can go either way, and depending on the outcome, it is possible for one of these 2 teams to win big.   I took a conservative view on those matchups in my analysis.  Also key to the MacArthur win is to not give up the bonus points in the Ligouri and Greisheimer bouts.  My analysis has Mac fighting off the bonus points in those matchups with Mac holding Ligouri to 4 points and Greisheimer to 5 points.

Let’s hear your opinion.  Vote the poll.

[poll id=”11″]

———————————————————————————————————————————————-

Schedule:

Where: MacArthur High School
Schedule:

5:00 set up
5:30 Mat side weigh-in, no Honor weigh-in 
6:00 toys entries only. Draw weight to begin
6:30 Paid and toys entries
7:00 warm up


———————————————————————————————————————————————-

Macarthur Wrestling Parent Club Hosts Toy Drive

With these two Nassau County Teams wrestling each other, Macarthur’s wrestlers and Parent Club thought it would be the perfect opportunity to give back to the community. They will be hosting a toy drive, with all toys being donated to John Theissen’s Toys for Sick Children. Let’s use this great event to show how generous our wrestling community is by bringing an unwrapped toy to the match.   Free Admission with the donation of a toy.



What Suffolk Teams are Poised for a Top 10 Finish in 2008-2009?

The 2008-2009 Suffolk high school wrestling season should be one of the most fiercely competitively balanced in years with Hauppauge, John Glenn, Longwood and Rocky Point all realistically in the hunt for the county title. Don’t completely count out a few other teams though, since Huntington, Brentwood, Connetquot and Islip all have wrestlers who should factor into county tournament team points come tournament time. As usual many outstanding individuals return for Suffolk including many from the top teams mentioned above.

Hauppauge, John Glenn, Longwood & Rocky Point lead the list of potential D1 champs.

The 2008-2009 Suffolk high school wrestling season should be one of the most fiercely competitively balanced in years with Hauppauge, John Glenn, Longwood and Rocky Point all realistically in the hunt for the county title. Don’t completely count out a few other teams though, since Huntington, Brentwood, Connetquot and Islip all have wrestlers who should factor into county tournament team points come tournament time.   As usual many outstanding individuals return for Suffolk including many from the top teams mentioned above.

County Team Title Contenders: the top 4

Hauppauge returners are state champion Ken Collado (103) and county place winners Adam Lepkowsky (6th at 96) and Scott Munro (5th at 285). Also returning for Hauppauge are ranked wrestlers Nick Mauriello (96), Jesse Marro (140), Kevin Panebianco (145) and Eric Wooley (215). This talented group of wrestlers and an experienced county contender coaching staff could be the formula for a Hauppauge county title.

A talented young team surfaced a couple of years ago and that team just keeps on getting better. John Glenn will challenge for a county title this year by returning state place winner Nick Meinsen (112) and returning county place winners Nick Terdick 3rd  (125), Tyler Sinisgalli (119) and Matt Fusarro (125) both 5th in Suffolk last year. Glenn also returns four quality competitors in county qualifiers Matt Gannon (119),  Chris Carlucci (160) and Alex Rosenberg (171) as well as Joe Giaramita (4th in league 6 at 152). This is certainly a team that could pile up enough county place winner points to win a Suffolk title this tear.

Longwood returns 3 all county wrestlers in county finalist Ernest James (215), William Parks (4th at 171) and Nicky Hall (5th at 103). In addition Casey Brice (119) Mike Sweeney (125), Pat Jennings (130) and Ben Lee (returning county qualifier at 285) broke into pre-season county rankings seen on Long Island wrestling web sites. Malik Rasheed is a returning league champ. Longwood is the real deal and is one of 4 teams that top the Suffolk County team title pre-season lists.

If Hauppauge, Glenn or Longwood do not win a county title then you may not need to look any further than a talented Rocky Point team. Coach Goldstein will have his team ready come county time. Rocky Point returns state place winners Stephen Dutton (3rd at 130) and Matt Ross (5th at 96).  Anthony Volpe, 3rd in Suffolk at 135Lbs. and Billy Coggins, 5th in Suffolk at 145Lbs, also return. Add to that list returning county ranked wrestlers Mike Lopez (2nd in the league at 130) and Jerry Ceccio (league champ at 140) and you have six big point scorers come county tournament time.

Top Teams 5-7

Connetquot has shown improvement over the past several seasons and returns a well-balanced team that should have a strong county tournament. Two county place winners return for the Thunderbirds, Sean McCabe (3rd at 96) and James Corsitto (6th at 125). In addition, James McCabe (112) and James Cameron (125) cracked the pre-season rankings. Both were all county wrestlers two seasons ago. Talented sophomore Nick  LoBue (3rd in league 2 at 152) is also now ranked in Suffolk County. Connor Gribbin (119) and Joe Pellegrino (189) are both returning league champs.

A wrestling season in Suffolk without Huntington in the mix for a county title will not happen this year. Damon McQueen (3rd in NY State at 96 pounds) and Nigel McNeil  (4th in Suffolk at 103) lead the Blue Devils into the 2008-2009 season. In addition Huntington boasts county pre-season ranked wrestler Louis Puca at 145.  Will the Blue Devils be able to contend in the first year without legendary coach Lou Giani at the helm? I would look for a strong top 10 finish.

What does Brentwood have in store for us in 2008-2009. A core of talented wrestlers graduated, but Brentwood will be a factor in 2008-2009. Josue Mendez (171) is a returning 6th in NY State and Alex Gomez (112) was 4th in Suffolk County last year.

Rounding Out the Top Ten Possibilities

What teams will round out the top ten in the Suffolk County tournament by taking the 8, 9 and 10 spots? Islip returns Kyle Wade, 3rd in Suffolk at 130 last year. Cody Hinrichs (215), Jawad Azam (171) and Matt Egan (160) all cracked the 2008-2009 pre-season rankings. Another League 5 team Harborfields also boasts pre-season county ranked wrestlers Andrew Colamussi (130), Kyle Delmuro (171) and Bill Reitz (189).  Sachem East has Dan O’Malley (119) and Sean O’Malley (135).  Shoreham Wading River boasts returning state 3rd place winners TJ Niedhart (145) and Steven Keith (112). East Islip has Nick Ventire at 130 and returns many starters from a young team last year.  Central Islip returns County Champ Andy Rodriguez (140) along with Allen Gomez (112). Whitman returns County runner-up Adam Troy (130) along with Vin Punzone (112). Deer Park has the Lugo brothers Damien at 96 pounds and Rich who was 6th in Suffolk at 140 last year. West Babylon returns county place winner Marvin Titus Cassius at 189 and John Wilkerson looks like a contender at 285. Sayville returns Travis Pitre at 140 (2nd in Suffolk 2 seasons ago), TJ Slevin (119) and Josef Haas (135).

League Outlook and Predictions

Suffolk League 1

Brentwood and Longwood should battle it out for the dual and league tourney title this season. Sachem East and an improving William Floyd team will be the two teams that slide behind Brentwood and Longwood.

The dual you should not miss: Brentwood – Longwood

The pick: Longwood unseats Brentwood as League 1 dual meet and tournament champion.

Suffolk League 2

Connetquot appears to be the team to beat in this league with Commack and Whitman as possible runner-ups.

The dual you should not miss: Connetquot – Commack

The pick: Connetquot  should win the dual meet championship and repeat as league tournament champ.

Suffolk League 3

League 3 may be the most wide open league in Suffolk this year and the toughest league to call. Copaigue continues to improve. Smithtown East, Hills East and North Babylon will also compete. West Islip may have lost too much to compete for a league title this year. East Islip may be underestimated this year and could be the dark horse to win a league title.

The dual with league champ implications: East Islip – Hills East

The pick: East Islip wins the dual championship but Hills East claims the tournament title.

Suffolk League 4

Deer Park and West Babylon appear primed to battle it out for league title honors this season with Smithtown West and Riverhead looking to improve with experience. 

The dual that should crown the league championship: Deer Park – West Babylon

The pick: Deer Park wins the dual and tournament titles in league 4 this season.

Suffolk League 5

Perhaps the most competitive league in New York State – no exaggeration. Harborfields will be improved with many returners. Huntington remains very tough and will be very competitive in its first year without Lou Giani officially as head coach. Islip and Sayville may not have the depth to compete with the upper echelon of this league but they will each produce a quality season. Rising to the top of this league are Rocky Point and Hauppauge.

The dual you should not miss: Rocky Point – Hauppauge

The pick: Hauppauge edges Rocky Point for the dual meet title and Rocky Point goes on to win the league tournament. Both teams finish top 5 in the Suffolk County tournament.

Huntington finishes top 10.

Suffolk League 6

John Glenn is the class of this league with Shoreham Wading River, Mount Sinai, Westhampton  and Miller Place in the mix for second place. 

The dual to watch: John Glenn – Mount Sinai

The pick: John Glenn wins the dual meet and tournament titles in League 6 and finishes top 5 in Suffolk.

Are We Ready to Rumble?

Are we ready to rumble ? There are many questions leading into the season concerning weight certifications. Wrestlers who thought they were going one weight were shocked to find out they were competing at a higher weight class. Now that the shock has worn off and the results are in, we can start the season. Can section 8 duplicate their second place finish in New York State ?

Section 8 2008 -2009 Preview

Are we ready to rumble ?  There are many questions leading into the season concerning  weight certifications. Wrestlers who thought they were going one weight were shocked to find out they were competing at a higher weight class. Now that the shock has worn off and the results are in, we can start the season. Can section 8 duplicate their second place finish in New York State ?

Will anyone stop the MacArthur Generals from winning their unprecedented eighth title in nine years ? Coach Greenblatt has been on record saying this might be his last year of coaching and he could be getting ready to ride into the sunset and wants to take the County Championship with him.

The odds are with the Generals and they have the target on their backs. The formula seems to work. The song, ” We are Family ” made famous by Sister Sledge in 1979 comes to mind as the Generals continue to churn out one county champ after another. The team does not lose but just reloads. They have a few individual winners and lot’s of wrestlers finish in the top six of the counties. The motto has always been  ” Just score points ” You have to like their chances to repeat as few teams match the depth that the Generals can send out on the mat.

While MacArthur might walk off with the best tournament team, the Wantagh Warriors might have something to say about the best dual team. Under the tutelage of Co-Head Coaches, James Murphy ( Coach of the year, Nassau County 2008 ) Paul Gillespie ( Long Beach HS, former Head Coach of the Year ), Assistant Coach Izzy Medina and  Middle School Head Coach John Hamilton (  East Meadow and Calhoun ) it is not a forgone conclusion who wins this year. While the Generals might come out on top at the Counties their neighbors could end up taking the title when they square off for all the marbles on December 17, 2008, at the Generals home gym. Unfortunately, the two rivals are in different divisions and can not meet at the end of the year to determine a true champion as Nassau County has continued to separate the schools by population. Wantagh is in Division 3A while MacArthur is in Division 2A.  

The Generals have Alex Grant, 103 lbs, 2nd in 2008, Chris Perez, 112lbs, Sean Kempf, 119lbs, 2nd in 2008, Ariel Guerrero, 119 lbs, All County, Frankie Mederios, 130 lbs, Brian Herold 145 lbs, All County, 2008, Tyler Dunne, 145lbs /152lbs, ( 6th place in Iowa, Pre-season All American ) Brian Mullholland, 160 lbs, All County, 2008 and Joe Giamiata, 189, lbs, All County.

Wantagh is set to return with Sophomore transfer, Joe Barbato, 96 pounds, All County, 2008, Paul Friscia, 125 lbs, All Conference, 2008, Arquimedes Delacruz, 135 lbs, All County, 2008, Paul Liguori, 135 lbs, 3rd in NYS, Nick Fitzmaurice, 130 lbs, All Conference, Sophomore transfer, Joe Kavanagh, 2nd place, 2008, 171 lbs, All Conference, Josh Kule, 160, All Conference, John Greisheimer, 152 lbs, State Champion,  Matt Loew, 189 lbs, 2nd 2008 and Thomas Hall, 215 lbs, ( Freshman All American ).        

Massapequa is another team with high hopes. With the retirement of Coach Gary Mims,  after the 2006 season there was no downtime as new coach Joe Catalanotto took over and added a few pieces to the puzzle by hiring Kevin Shippos who was a past NYS Champion and All American at the High School Nationals. The Chief’s put in a lot of practice time during the off season. The team lost two state place winners in Mike Doria and Shane Strumwasser but has the luxury of having a large team and numerous returning wrestlers such as Rudy Lanzilotta, 103 lbs, All Conference, Anthony Evangelista, 135 lbs, All Conference, Eric Kauffman, 140 lbs, All County, Josh Maddox, 145 lbs, All Conference, James Ondris, 152 lbs, All Conference, Robert Seckler, 171 lbs, Nick Insnardi, 171 lbs, All Conference and Conor Wetzel, 189lbs All Conference.  

There are several other schools in Nassau that have the potential to move up the ladder and make some noise. Uniondale is one of those teams under the guidance of Coach Tim Goydoy, whose team’s continue to perform in the top ten of nassau county. This team will not surprise anyone any longer with the way they have been turning out All County Place winners.

Uniondale has highly regarded Mike Walker at 125 lbs, All County, Andre Berry, 152 lbs, 2nd 2008, Troy Sterling, 145 lbs, All Conference and  Amazon at 112 lbs, All Conference.

After the first four teams, the rest of the race for placing in the County Championships is up for grabs. There are several teams that have good wrestlers but the lack of depth will hurt.  Jericho High School is one team that comes to mind. Jericho will have Nick and Mike Tucillo, Joe Chamish and Steven Graziano. They have been putting in many off season workouts at Vougar’s Russian School of Wrestling. These kids are battle tested and will make some noise.

Seaford is another team that is building on their younger but very talented wrestlers. The team lost senior, Blake Fisher and Curren Digney which will hurt, but the Vikings are bringing back Will Montgomery, 103 lbs, 3rd place 2008, Anthony Fachinni, 119 lbs, 2nd place, 2008, and Anthony LoCast, 119 lbs, 4th 2008. The question is if they can add some muscle to the upper weights ? 

Island Trees under the leadership of Damian Garcia has Matt Eberlein, 145 lbs, 2nd place 2008, Mike Alavanja, 119 lbs, Dan Nicolino, 215 lbs, and heavyweight Mike Zibokowski, 285 lbs all returning.

Baldwin lost several key wrestlers from last year including Keron Williams, Willie Quinn, Vinny Famularo and Nick Azcona. The Bruins are returning team captain, Vinny Pecora, All State 103 lbs, 2008, Kyle Cohen, Kevin Yeh, Dylan Cohen and Gerard Quinn. There are several younger wrestlers in the program that have the potential to move up and place in the counties if things fall the right way.

No team lost more All County wrestlers than Plainedge High School. The Devils will have to replace Matt Rich, Jesse Sgaglione, John Makastchian, Rocky Cervini and several  other seniors. This will be a huge mountain to climb but if anyone can develop new wrestlers from football players it is Head Coach Rob Shavers. I believe that given less the team can produce more. Returning for the Devils are Nick Camera and Steve Spurgeon.

Garden City is a young and very talented team. The Trojans return County Champion Mike LoFrese, 1st place 112 lbs, 2008, Danny LoFrese 130 lbs, Matt Schmelizger, 119 lbs or 125 lbs, John Whitman, 125 lbs, Drew LoCurto, and Connor Horl, 215 lbs. The team will benefit by the addition of several wrestlers making the transition from the youth team to the varsity which was run by former 3x All American Jon Masa of  Hofstra and Paul Gillespie. This team could be in the hunt in the near future.

Clarke High School can never be counted out under the leadership of Head Coach Mike Leonard. Last year, the team had Matt Gaynor and Jordan Spirou make the States. Both were lost to graduation. The team will be led by Kelly Palmer, 119 lbs, 6th place, All County, 2008, Tiago Pierera, 112lbs,  Mike Leonard Jr., 125 lbs and several other younger wrestlers. The team has worked very hard throughout the off season and it would not be a surprise to see them hold their own as the season progresses and gains some experience.

Another potential contender is Farmingdale High School. The team is led by Thomas Jackson, 3rd place 2008, 215 lbs, 2008 and Luke Alber, 3rd place, 2008, 112 or 119 lbs. Farmingdale is always in the mix with a new group of tough wrestlers every year.

Bellmore JFK has several wrestlers returning that could make some noise: Joe Maher, Rich Frank, and Mike Snow.

The rest of the teams include:  Dylan Palacio of Long Beach, Mack Maldarelli, Carlos Navas and Valentino of Calhoun HS, German Meza and Christian Toscano of Bethpage, Nick Falco, Steve Rispoli  Robert Mancino, Andrew Danzinger, Joe Ocasio of East Meadow, John Daddino of Sewanaka East, Robert Grabher of  North Shore, Nick Arujau, Sebastian Randazzo and Guy Macchia of  Syosett and the Agu brothers of  Freeport.

It should be a very interesting year with many upsets. How will Section 8 perform upstate?  Can  the Generals be knocked off the top ? Who is going to win individual titles ? Follow the action at www.Lighthousewrestling.com