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High School Happenings: Battles of State Finalists and Other Weekend Standouts

By BV, 12/09/13, 8:15PM EST


Here are seven thoughts on a very busy weekend in New York high school action:


1. It’s Never Too Early for State Finalists to Meet . . .

William Koll of Lansing and Sean Peacock of Midlakes are both state champions.  Koll has captured two titles, while Peacock has one.  However, on the way to that gold medal in 2012, Peacock defeated the Lansing grappler in the semifinals in Albany.

They hadn’t wrestled again in high school action until this weekend at the Palmyra Macedon Duals.  At 132 pounds, Koll came away with a 2-0 victory.  It may be the first of multiple battles between the two Division II stars this season. (The Midlakes team looked very impressive in winning the Pal Mac Duals with a 5-0 record).

Koll and Peacock weren’t the only finalists to square off in the early part of the campaign.  Last year’s 99 pound NYS runner up Vito Arujau of Syosset topped Wantagh’s 106 pound state champion Kyle Quinn on Saturday, 6-3.  It was the second time the Nassau stars faced each other in the past few months, as Arujau also earned a decision over Quinn at the Journeymen Classic.

In another notable match, state placers (and future college teammates), Ryan Kromer of Lewiston Porter and Alex Smythe of Eden faced off this weekend at 170, with Kromer coming out on top.


2. The Battle at the Beach is Back Home

The previously mentioned Arujau and Quinn match was in the 120-pound finals at the Battle at the Beach tournament. Last year, the event couldn’t be held at its usual location at Long Beach High School due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy.  However, on Saturday, the tournament returned to its typical venue and some outstanding wrestling was on display, in addition to the Arujau-Quinn showdown.

Arujau’s teammate Alexander Vargas was the champion at 113, while the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Section 8 championships last year, Hewlett’s Owen Bachelder, won the 132-pound title.  He was joined atop the podium by teammate Matthew Kaminer, who beat former NYS qualifier Miguel Perez of Eagle Academy at 220 for gold.

The home team from Long Beach, which features a plethora of young talent, had several champions.  Jacori Teemer led things off at 99 pounds with a title over Wantagh’s Jonathan Loew in an exciting 13-10 decision.  Both of these wrestlers are capable of making an impact beyond the county this season.

At the next weight, the Marines also came out on top with Matt Maquet blitzing his way through the tournament, including a 12-2 major in the title bout to take the 106-pound class.  Keith Wildstein made it three crowns for Long Beach, when he topped returning state qualifier Camilo Gaitan of Brooklyn Tech to win at 160.

While Gaitan took silver for Brooklyn Tech, his teammate Benjamin Fenyves went one step higher with a title at 182.  In fact, the PSAL made its mark throughout the event.  Eagle Academy’s Nathanael Rose (195) and Nigel Williams (152) both were winners at the tournament, while Elvin Gervacio of Brooklyn International went to the top at 285.

The remaining champions were Adam Smith of East Meadow at 126, Sam Cullen of Farmingdale at 138, Brian Morgan of Massapequa at 145 and Joseph Truono of Clarke at 170.

For full brackets from the event, see and search for the “2013 Battle at the Beach”.


3. Hilton Starts Strong (As Does Clarence) at the Matthew Marino Invitational

Hilton returns four state qualifiers this year, including two finalists.  Propelled by championships by that quartet, the Section 5 squad took first at the Matthew Marino Invitational on Saturday.

Yianni Diakomihalis, ranked #1 nationally, eased to a title at 113 pounds, with all his wins by pin or technical fall. Two-time state finalist Vincent DePrez was similarly dominant at 152.  However, he wasn’t the only DePrez on top of the podium as Anthony DePrez took gold at 160 while Lou DePrez did the same at 138.

Another two finalists for the squad were Joe Fuino at 220 and Mike Spallina, who was second at 170 behind Jake Weber of Clarence.

Speaking of Clarence, the Section 6 squad also stood out, placing second by less than three points.  While Jake Weber was the team’s only titlewinner, three others made the championship round – Brendan Arena at 113, Ryan Burns at 120 and Nate Schwab at 160.  Four additional Red Devil wrestlers competed for bronze.

The event was full of top-notch talent, with a number of other New York state placers winning titles, including Theo Powers of Mexico (106), Bryan Lantry of Wayne (120), Dakota Gardner of Fredonia (145) and Ian James of Greece (285).  Lantry, a two-time All-State grappler, was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler.

Other victors were: Corey Day, Iroquois (99), Anthony Noce, Union-Endicott (126), Richie Burke, Ithaca (132), William Hilliard, Phoenix (182), Gordon Truesdale, Brighton (195) and Cameron Calderelli, Brockport (220).

The brackets can be found here.


4. Dietrich Wins a Tough Bracket as Fulton Captures the Andersen Tournament

Fulton won the Andersen Tournament at Cicero North Syracuse High School on Saturday, with fellow Section III squad South Jefferson coming in second.  Spencerport grabbed third in an event that included teams from at least five Sections.

Fulton was fueled by a trio of first place finishers (Joe Abelgore (99), Mitchell Woodworth (120) and Travis Race (160)), runner up Brandon Hill (132) and five other medalists.

Taking most Outstanding Wrestler honors was Greene’s Christian Dietrich, who captured the 182-pound bracket with a 4-0 blanking of South Jefferson’s Daniel Smith in the championship round.  Three wrestlers who will likely begin the season in our upcoming New York State rankings were in the class – Dietrich, Smith and Spencerport’s Collin Pittman.  Prior to the finals, Dietrich pinned all three of his opponents.

Like Dietrich, Brandon Lapi was a state runner up last year in Albany.  Lapi, an Amsterdam senior, won at 152, with a pin, a default and a combined 10-0 score in his other two bouts.

A number of other 2013 state qualifiers came out on top on Saturday, including Guilderland’s Josh Logiudice at 106, Fulton’s Mitchell Woodworth at 120, Spencerport’s Trent Egenlauf at 195 and Massena’s Nolan Terrance at 285.  Nathan Marshall of Massena competed at the Times Union Center in 2012 before spending last year abroad.  His return to New York wrestling was impressive, as he notched the 113-pound crown.

The additional champions were Carl Rouse of Chenango Forks at 126, Brendan Wheeler of Greene at 132, Patrick Quinlan of Fayetteville-Manlius at 138, Connor Ross of Baldwinsville at 145, Triston Engle of Dolgeville at 170 and Tyler Hudson of Whitesboro at 220.

For the brackets, see this link.


5.  Some Standouts at the Clyde Cole . . .

Shenendehowa graduated some stars, such as current Binghamton University wrestlers Nick Kelley and David Almaviva, however, they still have a lot of talent.  That was clear as they won the team title at the 51st Clyde Cole Invitational over the weekend at Oxford High School by more than 35 points over fellow Section 2 squad Queensbury.

The Plainsmen featured seven finalists and three champions – Dietrich Hartman (106), Jesse Porter (160) and Levi Ashley (195).

State runner up Frank Garcia of Norwich was the co-winner of the Most Outstanding Wrestler award after picking up the 152-pound title with a finals technical fall.  The other MOW was Nate Hansen of the host school, who upset returning All-State grappler Chris Cirigliano of BGA for the 113-pound crown.

Garcia wasn’t the only champion for Norwich.  The squad also took gold at 99 (Ty Rifanburg) and 145 (Tristan Rifanburg).

NYS placers Franky Nassivera of Queensbury (170) and Ryan Marszal of Unatego (182) also won their brackets, while qualifier Trevor Gibbons of Carthage (285) did the same.

The additional champions were Andy McFarland (Carthage, 120), Austin Ryan (Unatego, 126), Darren Ostrander (Groton, 132), Madison Hoover (BGAH, 138) and Alex Avolio (Unadilla Valley, 220).

For full brackets, see this link.


6. New York Making an Impact Out of State . . .

Both St. Anthony's and Johnson City traveled to Pennsylvania this weekend for the Wyoming Seminary Duals.  In a head-to-head meeting, St. Anthony's captured a 41-29 decision over the Section IV squad.  The championship bout of the event featured two of the top 10 teams in the nation - Wyoming Seminary and Franklin Regional.  'Sem' won in a blowout (60-13) and several Empire State natives contributed to the victory - John Busiello (third in NYS last year for Eastport South Manor), Jimmy Overhiser (2012 placer for Corning) and Greg Kleinsmith (Johnson City).


7. Drama at the Dual Meet Championships . . .

Monroe Woodbury and Minisink Valley both finished in the top 20 of last year’s NYS team rankings.  The two squads, which both look to be formidable on the state level again, engaged in a dramatic dual to determine the large school Section 9 Dual Meet title last week.

The meet started at 285, according to Section 9 wrestling’s Mike Carey, and it was a back-and-forth affair.  After 160 pounds, Monroe Woodbury led 21-20.  But, Minisink Valley’s Nick Wentland and Deonte Moore recorded back-to-back pins at 170 and 182 to give their team a commanding 32-21 advantage with only two bouts to go.  Needing 11 points to knot the score, Nick McShea of the Crusaders picked up a technical fall at 195 and then Rob Kelly got the pin at 220 to make it 32-32.  By virtue of eight match victories (versus seven for Minisink), Monroe Woodbury earned the tiebreaker and won the Division 1 dual meet crown after a fantastic late comeback.

Highland won the Division II dual meet title in Section 9.

So, there you have it, some of last week’s highlights.  We’re just a week or so into the season and the drama and fun are just beginning . . .

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