The inaugural Spartan Duals featured top notch youth action, including an exciting finals match that saw Smitty’s Barn (New Hampshire) overcome an 11 point deficit against a loaded Journeymen Wrestling squad with victories in the last five bouts.
"It was an awesome tournament," Smitty's Barn head coach Matt Smith said. "It was amazing walking into the arena; there were a ton of mats. I didn't know it was going to be this big and this tough."
In the championship dual, Journeymen took control initially, nabbing wins in six of the first seven weights to notch a 22-6 lead. Brody DiCaprio, Ralph Keeney, Leo DeLuca, Liam Carlin, Joshua Warland and Connor Gregory earned those victories for the Albany area group.
The teams then traded wins in the next four weights, to make the team score 29-18.
Smitty's Barn needed to earn wins down the stretch and Smith thought they had the ability to do so.
"We have a group of about six eighth graders who were all New England finalists," he said. "So we knew if we could keep it close going into those upper weights we would have a good chance of pulling it off."
That’s exactly what happened, as the New Hampshire wrestlers picked up a tech fall, two majors, a forfeit and a decision from 115 to 200 pounds to emerge as 40-29 winners.
The upperweights were definitely a strength throughout the day, as in the final seven weights Smitty’s Barn received undefeated performances from Nick Pallaria, Noah Hernandez and Padriac Condon and four win showings by Kelvin Griffin, Jesse Brochu, Cody Wild and Josh Cote.
Journeymen had previously topped Castleton Wrestling Academy, Barn Brothers and Doughboy (and lost to Team NYWAY).
Leo DeLuca put together a monster performance, coming out on top in all five of his matches at 68 pounds by bonus points, including three pins that all took place in the first period. Joshua Warland also went unbeaten, with a 5-0 mark that featured four pins. Their teammates Ralph Keeney, Connor Gregory, Joey Scheeren, Brock Delsignore and Gregory Hotaling all got their hand raised four times.
Taking third place was Vougar’s Honors Wrestling (VHW), a squad that lost a nailbiter to eventual champion Smitty’s Barn, 36-35, in the opening round in a dual that came down to the final bout. The Long Island team captured nine of the 16 individual matches against Smitty's, including bonus point victories from Jack Neilan (52), Joe Manfredi (73), Anthony Conetta (83) and Jordan Soriano (93).
VHW came back to win four in a row, with victories over teams from New York (Superior Wrestling Club), Maine (Maine Trappers), Rhode Island (John Clark Academy) and Massachusetts (Doughboy). The smallest margin of victory in those contests was 19 and VHW put up at least 42 points each time.
For VHW, Anthony Conetta won all five of his bouts, as did Shane Dobbins and David Hunt, while Jack Neilan, Joe Manfredi, Ryan Napolitano, Jordan Soriano, Gavin Bell and Chris Hansen all notched four wins.
The night before the event, the arena was set up using only the light of glowsticks and cell phone flashlights as the weather knocked out all the power in the area. But with the return of electricity on Saturday, the focus was on high quality wrestling.
"It was really good for our guys to battle hard and get after it in a big arena like this," Smith of Smitty's Barn said. "Some of the New York teams we haven't wrestled all year so it was nice to come down here and wrestle guys we don't normally see. It was an awesome day of wrestling ... we had a lot of fun."
52: Julian Rios of Doughboy
63: Shane Dobbins of VHW
68: Leo DeLuca of Journeymen Wrestling
68: David Hunt of VHW
73: Mikey Longo of Superior Wrestling Club
78: Joshua Warland of Journeymen Wrestling
83: Anthony Conetta of VHW
88: Connor MacDonald of Doughboy
93: Jimmy Harrington of Doughboy
100: Kole Mulhauser of Superior Wrestling Club
135: Nick Pallaria of Smitty`s Barn
200: James Doughtery of John Clark Wrestling Academy
*New York wrestlers/teams in bold
52: Jack Neilan of VHW
52: Cooper Merili of Barn Brothers
58: Ralph Keeney of Journeymen Wrestling
58: Gene Edwards of Superior Wrestling Club
63: Gino Manta of Barn Brothers
68: Mike Manta of Barn Brothers
73: Joe Manfredi of VHW
78: Joey Florance of Team NYWAY
78: Freddy Pimental of Doughboy
78: Riley Monica of Superior Wrestling Club
83: Connor Gregory of Journeymen Wrestling
83: Kailen O`Dell of Superior Wrestling Club
88: Ryan Napolitano of VHW
88: Colby Frost of Smitty`s Barn
93: Jordan Soriano of VHW
93: Jared Weinhaus of Barn Brothers
93: Colby Frost of Smitty`s Barn
100: Chase Liardi of Barn Brothers
100: Kelvin Griffin of Smitty`s Barn
100: Joey Scheeren of Journeymen Wrestling
100: Isaac Crane of Team NYWAY
107: Joe Perna of Doughboy
107: Jesse Brochu of Smitty`s Barn
115: Nick Fine of John Clark Wrestling Academy
115: Brock Delsignore of Journeymen Wrestling
115: Cody Wild of Smitty`s Barn
125: Gavin Bell of VHW
125: Josh Cote of Smitty`s Barn
135: Chris Hansen of VHW
135: Gregory Hotaling of Journeymen Wrestling
150: Noah Hernandez of Smitty`s Barn
150: Isaac Corey of Superior Wrestling Club
*New York wrestlers/teams in bold
Barn Brothers saw both Chase Liardi and Jared Weinhaus put in full days, going a combined 13-1 while representing Barn Brothers in both the K-8 and High School competitions. Liardi recorded three pins and a technical fall at the youth level, while Weinhaus notched three bonus point victories during the day. Both competed at 99 pounds in the High School bracket, while Weinhaus was at 93 and Liardi at 100 in the youth action.
Superior Wrestling also had some very busy wrestlers on Saturday. Ethan Ferro logged 10 matches, compiling a 7-3 mark at 120 and 125 pounds and totaling six pins along the way. Mike Alltomer also took the mat 10 times, with six victories (including three falls). Kaleb Burgess went 5-3 across the divisions, while Sam Bergin also posted five wins across both age groups.
Let us know if there are more to add to this category.
1st Place: Smitty’s Barn (New Hampshire)
2nd Place: Journeymen Wrestling (New York)
3rd Place: Vougar’s Honors Wrestling (New York)
4th Place: Doughboy (Massachusetts)
5th Place: Superior Wrestling Club (New York)
6th Place: Barn Brothers (New York)
7th Place: John Clark Wrestling Academy (Rhode Island)
8th Place: Team NYWAY (New York)
9th Place: Maine Trappers (Maine)
10th Place: Castleton Wrestling Academy (Vermont)
Full results are available on trackwrestling.com. Search for "Spartan Duals Youth".