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High School Happenings: Who Picked Up Big Wins at the Holiday Events?

By BV, 12/30/13, 7:15PM EST


What did the holiday weekend bring in New York high school wrestling?  There was a ton of action all over the Empire State.  Here are some news and notes from many of the events, starting with some tournaments that have been going on for decades.


The 57th Windsor Christmas Tournament

The Team Champ: Colonie, led by titlewinners Austin DiCerbo (285), Wayne Burt (195) and runner up Golan Cohen (113).

The MOW: Dylan Wood of Walton captured a solid field at 126 pounds with a fall in the title bout against Maine-Endwell’s Kobe Garrehy.  Garrehy had a big pin of his own in the quarterfinals, when he beat last year’s Windsor MOW, Corey Jamison of Huntington. [Jamison bounced back to nab third].

Some Highlights:  

Repeat Champs: John Arceri won his second straight Windsor crown, edging 2013 All-State wrestler Golan Cohen at 113 pounds.   Arceri wasn’t the only repeat gold medalist at the event.  Also winning in 2012 and 2013 were Norwich’s Tristan Rifanburg (138), Greene’s Christian Dietrich (182) and Waverly’s Ryan Wolcott (220).

Going Overtime:  Wolcott beat Huntington’s Anthony Puca in overtime for the title.  There were several other championship matches that went past regulation – (at 152 Norwich’s Frank Garcia over Huntington’s Brandon Mendez; at 170 Unatego’s Ryan Marszal against Indian River’s Sonny McPherson and at 145 Addison’s Israel Byler versus Vestal's Robert Mastronardi). 

Dominance:  Lansing’s William Koll was in control throughout the weekend, earning a major over Ithaca’s Richie Burke to win at 132.  Speaking of dominance, Deposit’s Dean Raymond won all his bouts by bonus points on the way to the 99 pound title, while returning state placer Chris Cirigliano of BGAH (106) and Ithaca’s Ian Van Valen (160) picked up majors in the finals.  Saratoga’s Dominic Inzana registered three pins on his path to the 120 pound title.

To see the brackets, click here.


The 50th Massapequa Holiday Tournament

The Team Champ: Connetquot came out on top with five champions - Gino Titone (145), Greg Chery (152), Allon Avgi (170), Chris Beal (182) and Tom Flanagan (195).  

The MOW: Division’s Ricky Stamm continued a strong season with a first place showing at 126 and Most Outstanding Wrestler accolades after outlasting PJ Smoot of Monroe Woodbury in the tiebreakers. 

Some Highlights:

On Top (Again): Tim Gungor was a repeat titlewinner at heavyweight for the host school.  Also winning for the second year in a row were Monroe Woodbury’s Evan Barczak and Vinny Vespa.  Vespa bested the tough Ben Tepperman of Hauppauge 3-1 at 106.  The second place Crusaders also saw Rob Kelly (220) and Kevin Kelly (113) take first place. The previously mentioned Titone and Chery also won in 2012.

Keeping the Momentum Going:  A number of wrestlers off to hot starts continued going strong, with 99-pounder Jacori Teemer of Long Beach, the Hauppague duo of Chris Mauriello (132) and John Donahue (160) and Bethpage's Jake Einbinder (138) winning their weights.


The 49th Annual Teike/Bernabi Invitational

The Team Champ: Shenendehowa topped the standings at Spencerport, led by a trio of titlewinners – Levi Ashley (195), Kevin Parker (138) and Jesse Porter (152) as well as second placer Jordan Maynard (126).

MOWs:  Ashley was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler in the heavyweights after winning a loaded 195-pound class. In the semis, he topped Spencerport’s Trent Egenlauf and then in a meeting of the #1 and #2 grapplers in the state, he doubled up Johnson City’s Reggie Williams, 10-5, in the finals.

Derek St. James of Gates Chili, the lightweight MOW, captured a solid bracket in dominant fashion, with a pair of pins and an 11-0 major.  

Some Highlights: A pair of Lockport wrestlers repeated as Teike Bernabi champions – Anthony Orefice (126) and Marshall Taylor (220).   Taylor avenged his loss in Friday’s round robin action against Tyler Schaefer of Pittsford by beating the Section 5 grappler for the title on Saturday.

Like the Lockport duo, Clarence’s Jake Weber won this event for the second consecutive time.  His squad was the team runner up, with key points scored by a number of silver medalists – Travis Griner (182), Ryan Burns (113), Dylan Arena (99) and Nate Schwab (160).

Several NYS ranked competitors (in addition to the ones previously mentioned) won titles, including Cheektowaga’s Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer (145), Johnson City’s Zach Colgan (160) and Spencerport’s Collin Pittman (182). 

A number of the title contests went down to the wire in overtime.  Winning in extra time were Carthage’s Andrew McFarland (113), Iroquois’s Tristan Almeter (120) and Johnson City’s Nikola Cejic (285). Also taking the top spot were Aleksei Cartagena of Pittsford (106) and Justin Klein of Rush Henrietta (132).

For brackets from the tournament, see here.


Kenneth Haines Memorial Tournament

The Team Champ: The team race was tight on the campus of SUNY Oswego, with Fairport edging Newark Valley by just one and a half points for the title.

Fairport boasted 11 placers, including champion Anthony Bell (152) and runner up Keenan Springer (138).  Meanwhile, Newark Valley featured four gold medalists -  Bennie Baker (99), Cole Ford (126), Trevor Hoffmier (145) and Derek Holcomb (160).

The MOW: Mexico's Austin Whitney won the 132-pound crown with three pins, including a fall in the championship round over top-seeded Pat Quinlan.  Whitney was one of two titlewinners for Mexico.  The other was Jake Woolson at 170.

Some Highlights: 106 pounds featured a number of wrestlers who have competed at the Times Union Center.  Earning the title was Guilderland’s Josh Logiudice, a state qualifier a year ago, who picked up a default win in the finals over All-Stater Theo Powers of Mexico.  The Section 2 standout pinned his way to the championship match. Also in the bracket was multiple-time qualifier Ryan Brown of Canton and Hunter Olena of East Rochester, the top seed in Albany at 99 a year ago (who took bronze).

In the upperweights, Phoenix’s Will Hilliard (182) and Jamesville-Dewitt’s Ben Honis (195) continued to collect hardware as they both won by fall.  Joining them as champions in the higher classes were Jake Rodriguez of Oswego at 220 and Cameron Rohr of Irondequoit at heavyweight.

Third place squad Fulton was bolstered by Mitchell Woodworth’s crown at 120, while Victor had two champions (Mike Venosa at 113 and Stevie Hetelekides at 138).

For brackets, see here.


Here are a few more thoughts on individual tournaments:

At the Sal DiFazio Tournament at Half Hollow Hills East, Mattituck won the team title, led by Champion of Champions Adam Goode (220) and other gold medalists Brian Pelan (132), Christian Angelson (160) and Stephan Ostrowski (285).

A pair of returning state placers, Mike D’Angelo of Commack (138) and Nick Weber of Kings Park (195) came out on top with Weber recording a technical fall in the finals. However, the MOW was Lucas Escobar of East Hampton, who picked up a fall in the title match at 120 pounds.

Section 1 hosted several events, including the Somers Tournament at which Wantagh nabbed first place with four champions – Jonathan Loew (99), Kyle Quinn (113), Joe Hill (120) and Nick English (195).  Section 2's Columbia earned second, driven by Most Outstanding Wrestler Angelo Kress (152) and additional titlewinners John McHugh (138), Kyle Greene (132), Jim Devine (145) and John Devine (106).

Meanwhile, host Pearl River captured the title at the Michael O'Connell Tournament. Leading the charge were champions Sean McGarvey (99), James Kelly (113), Jake Kurzhals (120), John Muldoon (132) and Nick Simeti (138).

A pair of state placers took Most Outstanding Wrestler honors – Muldoon for the lightweights and 285 pounder Mike Manni of Tappan Zee in the upperweights.

At the Mid-Hudson Tournament, the home team once again took first, with Arlington finishing atop the standings.  The squad boasted a number of champions - Alfredo Olmedo (99), Nick Tolli (132), Mike Peterson (160) and Jon Silveri (182)

All-State wrestlers were on display, with Johnny Stramiello taking home the title at 113 and state champ Alex Delacruz winning at 126.   2013 placer Austin Ingraham of Highland was upended by Longwood’s Brett Brice in the 120-pound finals.

In the upperweights, there were some dominant performances, including both Andrew Grella of Beacon and James Bethel of Saugerties pinning their way to crowns at 195 and 220, respectively.  Grella was on the mat for a total of about two minutes for the day, while Bethel’s longest bout lasted a minute and 10 seconds.

In another case of the home team coming out on top, Queensbury won the Queensbury Holiday Festival in Section 2.  All-State wrestler Franky Nassivera defeated multi-time state qualifier Geno Brancati of Hudson Falls in the 170 pound title bout, while another NYS placer, Carter Merecki, won at 132.


Let's switch over to dual events for a little while . . .


The Joe Davidson Memorial Duals

The Team Champ: Shoreham Wading River took first place in the 10-team tournament, with a number of undefeated wrestlers, including Jack Del Duca (106), Dominic Pirraglia (182) and James Szymanski (120). Szymanski had one of the highlight individual victories of the event when he topped returning All-State grappler Jesse Dellavecchia of East Islip, 8-5.

Deer Park was second, while Sachem North notched third.


Mountain Duals

The Team Champ: General Brown edged fellow Section 3 squad South Jefferson 40-39 to capture the 16-team event with an 8-0 mark. Burnt Hills grabbed bronze with a 7-1 record in the tournament.

Joey Butler of Burnt Hills, who was third in Albany last year, had another strong outing, beating multi-time New York state placers Brandon Lapi of Amsterdam and Tyler Silverthorn of General Brown. [Lapi split time at 138 and 145 during the weekend].

Also of note, Dolgeville’s Triston Engle defeated Fargo All-American Jordan Bushey of Peru 7-4.  Bushey spent some of the event at 160 but the match with Engle came at 170 pounds.


Dunkirk Duals

The Team Champ: Falconer continued to show dual strength, going 10-0 to win the 16-team Dunkirk Duals at the Cattaraugus Community Center in Section 6.  That included a win over Lewiston Porter, which was ranked #4 in the NYSSWA small school polls.

In a meeting of wrestlers who have competed at the state tournament, Andrew Shomers of Lewiston Porter edged Fredonia’s NYS runner up Dakota Gardner, 6-5 at 145 pounds.


Holley Duals

The Team Champ: Webster Schroeder took the title after racking up an 8-0 mark, while Brockport was second at 7-1. 

In the meet between the top two finishers, Schroeder’s Tommy Lancie notched a quality 7-6 win over multi-time state qualifier Barton Peters at 126 pounds.  Lancie was named to the All-Tournament squad, along with a number of his teammates – George Bardanis, Xiaodi Chen, David LaSpina, Mike LaLoggia, Sam Vacchetto and Joe Lupicella

The “MVP”s were Kellen Devlin of Amherst and TJ Rowe of Brockport.


Dick Vincent Duals

Midlakes and Warsaw were recently tabbed as the top two small school teams in the state by the NYSSWA.  In 2012 at the Dick Vincent Duals, the teams battled, with Midlakes coming away with a one point victory. This weekend, the tables were turned, according to, with Warsaw coming away with a 37-34 triumph.


Brett Dixon Memorial Duals

The Team Champ: Penfield went a perfect 7-0 to stand atop the standings.  In a head-to-head battle, Penfield defeated second place Cortland 47-23. Leading the way for winning squad was Frankie Gissendanner, who was named to the Most Outstanding Wrestlers list. 

Also included in the MOW group were: EJ Sampo (Central Square), Alex Herringshaw (Holland Patent), Brad Lucas (Cazenovia), Chris Pinckney (Port Byron), Liam Kotas (West Genesee), Michael Bay (Cortland) and Dempsey King (New Hartford).


Clarke Duals

Locust Valley put together some strong performances, topping tough fellow Nassau County squad, Plainedge, 45-28 and edging Suffolk foe Walt Whitman 40-39 (in addition to several other triumphs).  In the Locust Valley/Walt Whitman dual, the Section 11 team took a three-point lead late in the meet with consecutive pins at 132 and 138 by Elvin Campos and Hekmat Naeemi.  (The dual started at 152).  It all came down to the last bout, with All-State wrestler Sam Ward putting Locust Valley over the top with a major decision at 145 for the one-point win.

Central Valley went undefeated at the Lewis County Duals, while Alfred Almond did the same at the Don DeBadts Valley Duals.


More State Placers . . .

More state placers looked good in all corners of New York.  Tonawanda's Cody McGregor won the Akron Invitational, while Port Jefferson's Matteo DeVincenzo did the same at the West Islip Tournament.  Alex Smythe won the Pine Valley event.  Both heavyweight James O'Hagan of Seaford and Louis Hernandez of Mepham picked up MOW accolades at the East Meadow and Charles McCullough tournaments, respectively.


And A Few Notes from Out of State . . .

Minisink Valley’s Chris Truglio won the championship at 132 pounds at the Linn Crawn Memorial tournament in New Jersey on Friday.  His teammate Mike Raccioppi was second at 138, while three other members of the squad – Tom and Gerard Daly and Frankie Hernandez – were third.

Meanwhile, Port Jervis went to the Tony Iasiello Christmas City Tournament where state placers Dan DeCarlo and Dylan Booth were finalists.  DeCarlo was victorious at 160 pounds, while Booth was the runner up at 120.

St. Anthony's took third as a team at the Danbury Holiday Tournament, led by champions Brian Kelly (99), John Twomey (113), Kevin Jackson (138), Andrew Pryor (160) and Peter Corbett (220).


That's (a lot of) what happened this weekend in high school wrestling.  The Long Island Challenge happened today (Monday) and the North Country Invitation ends the year with a bang on Tuesday.  If you want to report more results, contact us at

Happy New Year!

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