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NYS High School Rankings - Early February Update

By BV, 02/05/14, 6:30PM EST


It's been a few weeks, so it's time for some new rankings!  The last ones are here. There's less change in this edition than in previous ones, but some new faces have entered and one weight has a change at the top.

Please note that these include both Division I and Division II wrestlers, but do not include grapplers who go to the National Prep Championships rather than the New York State tournament. (For example, Adis Radoncic, who won the NYS title in 2013, but now attends Poly Prep).

As always, we will discuss and consider all comments/feedback as long as they are provided respectfully.  So, feel free to leave a comment below or send us an e-mail at  

Here you go . . .


99 Pounds

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1. Kelan McKenna (New Hartford - 3)

2. Derek St. James (Gates Chili - 5)

3. Dane Heberlein (Alexander - 5)

4. Kyle Mock (Huntington - 11)

5. Adam Busiello (ESM - 11)

6. Jake Silverstein (Hauppauge - 11)

7. Alfredo Olmedo (Arlington - 1)

8. Jacori Teemer (Long Beach - 8)

Arena has been in the honorable mention section of these rankings in the past, but his 36-win campaign with some solid victories, including a 6-1 triumph over Sweet Home's Trent Nadeau, vaulted him into the top 8.

McKenna's state tournament experience will no doubt help him again this year as he looks to return to the podium.  Two other wrestlers who also took the mat in Albany previously - Dean Raymond of Deposit-Hancock and Anthony Sgorrano of South Glens Falls - are definitely wrestlers to watch.  In addition, Deer Park's Thomas Cox and North Babylon's Anthony Sparacio will challenge in a daunting field on Long Island. We continue to be excited about the work of youngsters Bennie Baker of Newark Valley and Zach Lawrence of Duanesburg.  Lawrence had an overtime victory against Brian Kelly of St. Anthony's earlier in the season.  That was the only match Kelly lost at 99 pounds this year.  He has spent quite a bit of time at 106 since St. Anthony's has competed in numerous tournaments outside of New York where there is no 99-pound class. It will be interesting to see if he can make some noise at the lightest weight down the stretch.

106 Pounds

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1. Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton - 5)

2. Parker Kropman (Penfield - 5)

3. Matteo DeVincenzo (Port Jefferson - 11)

4. Josh Logiudice (Guilderland - 2)

5. Ben Tepperman (Hauppauge - 11)

6. Vinny Vespa (Monroe Woodbury - 9)

7. Peter Pappas (Plainview - 8)

8. Chris Cirigliano (BGAH - 4)


After plenty of conversation, there were no changes in the top 8 in this class.  There were several scenarios discussed, especially given Kropman's overtime loss up a weight at 113 against Schroeder's Xiaodi Chen, a 30-match winner this year who placed at the SuperSectionals in 2013.  However, Kropman's strong performance throughout the season (including his title at the Eastern States, with wins over DeVincenzo and Vespa) was heavily weighted. There's also a strong sentiment that Pappas is ready to make a big impact going forward.

Who else did we consider?  Lots of people, including East Rochester's Hunter Olena, Mexico's Theo Powers, Columbia's Johnny Devine and a talented group of Section 11 wrestlers including Rocky Point's Anthony Cirillo, Sachem North's Matt Stallone, Brentwood's Carlos Aucancela and John Glenn's Zach Ancewicz.

113 Pounds

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1. Vito Arujau (Syosset - 8)

2. Kyle Quinn (Wantagh - 8)

3. Joe Calderone (Walt Whitman - 11)

4. John Twomey (St. Anthony's - C)

5. Johnny Stramiello (Pine Bush - 9)

6. John Arceri (Huntington - 11)

7. Gerard Daly (Minisink Valley - 9)

8. Derek Spann (Adirondack - 3)


A little shuffling went on at this weight.  Why?  Twomey has been extremely impressive, with a number of quality victories and just one loss - to the nation's #7 113 pounder (Jack Mueller of Trinity Christian Academy in Texas).  Stramiello, whose three losses are all to Calderone, continues to look great as well, including a win over Arceri at the Big 10 Tournament last weekend.

We continue to monitor several talented grapplers at this weight, including (but not limited to) John Jay East Fishkill's Jay Albis, Portville's Ryan Thierman, Colonie's Golan Cohen, Oxford's Joe Nelson, Lyndonville's Tony Recco, Kenmore West's Anthony Argentieri, Carthage's Andrew McFarland, Brentwood's Danny Murray, Victor's Mike Venosa, Clarence's Ryan Burns, Locust Valley's Hunter Dusold, Arlington's Brady Robin, Southwestern's Ryan Hetrick and Massena's Nathan Marshall.

Former state placer Jon Haas has returned (with Penfield). Can he make another run?

120 Pounds

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1. Nick Piccininni (Ward Melville - 11)

2. Nick Casella (Locust Valley - 8)

3. Jesse Dellavecchia (East Islip - 11)

4. Bryan Lantry (Wayne - 5)

5. James Szymanski (SWR - 11)

6. Ben Lamantia (St. Anthony's - C)

7. Matthew Morris (Albany Academy - 2)

8. Luis Weierbach (Hoosick Falls - 2)


After taking another look at the season Morris of Albany Academy is having, he moves into the top 8.  The returning state qualifier is unbeaten thus far with a victory over 2013 state champion Weierbach of Hoosick Falls.  Dylan Booth of Port Jervis, another medalist last February, could easily be ranked and will be in the mix in Albany.

Another note - we talked a lot about Casella's loss last weekend up at 126 against the very tough Adam Smith of East Meadow.  Similar to the situation with Kropman, after much debate, most felt that his performance at 120 this season outweighed that match.

We know there are others who are deserving of a ranking. Rome Free Academy's Dandre Norman certainly is one of them, with his unblemished record and wins over NYS placers Derek Spann and Ryan O'Rourke.  In addition, Drew Marra of Olean is having another great year, along with Section 6 competitor Brad Bihler of Maple Grove.  Also on the map is Fulton's Mitchell Woodworth and the wrestler who handed him his only loss (Nick Gaiser of Alexander, who has come on strong lately).

126 Pounds

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1. Travis Passaro (ESM - 11)

2. Alex Delacruz (Ossining - 1)

3. Anthony Orefice (Lockport - 6)

4. Richie Burke (Ithaca - 4)

5. Kellen Devlin (Amherst - 6)

6. Rafael Mateo (Midlakes - 5)

7. Joe Russ (St. Anthony's - C)

8. Mike D'Angelo (Commack - 11)


Orefice moved up a few notches after beating Devlin 4-1 over the weekend.  He is now 36-0 with 25 pins.  Burke also has a three-point victory over Devlin and remains a strong contender (with his losses to William Koll and two out of state, nationally-ranked wrestlers).  Mateo, who placed in the state capital last year, is now 40-0.

There were a number of wrestlers right on the cusp last time and they continued to succeed.  Walton's Dylan Wood has remained unbeaten. In addition, East Meadow's Adam Smith, Lake Shore's Freddy Eckles, Greece's Chris Fantauzzo, Port Jefferson's Tristan DeVincenzo, General Brown's Ryan Snow, Shaker's Blake Retell, Monsignor Farrell's Matt Seitz, NFA's Da'mani Burns, Campbell Savona's Joel Rosko, Hauppauge's Austin Munro, Holland Patent's Hunter Richard, Schroeder's Tommy Lancie and Huntington's Corey Jamison are among those on the radar. 

132 Pounds

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1. William Koll (Lansing - 4)

2. Sean Peacock (Midlakes - 5)

3. Chris Mauriello (Hauppauge - 11)

4. John Muldoon (Pearl River - 1)

5. Frankie Gissendanner (Penfield - 5)

6. Austin Acquard (Pioneer - 6)

7. Cody McGregor (Tonawanda - 6)

8. Carter Merecki (Salem - 2)


Acquard enters the fray after a victory over McGregor.  The Pioneer grappler was previously on the watch list, as he has put together a strong campaign with losses only to Peacock and a Pennsylvania wrestler.

Just missing the top eight are a pair of wrestlers who have split matches this year - Islip's Brad Wade and Sachem North's Sean O'Hagan as well 2013 NYS medalist Said Kahramonov (who topped O'Hagan).  Jesse Manuel of Tioga lost in early December, but has won every match since then, most of them in dominant fashion. Chris Truglio of Minisink Valley is also one to track.

138 Pounds

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1. Brandon Lapi (Amsterdam - 2)

2. Sam Ward (Locust Valley - 8)

3. Tristan Rifanburg (Norwich - 4)

4. Matt Caputo (North Rockland - 1)

5. Justin Cooksey (MacArthur - 8)

6. Mike Raccioppi (Minisink Valley - 9)

7. Dakota Gardner (Fredonia - 6)

8. Freddie Dunau (St. Anthony's - C)


Gardner and Dunau were both in the first rankings of the campaign -- and now they're back.  Gardner, a returning NYS finalist, dropped an early season match to state qualifer Andrew Shomers of Lewiston Porter, but hasn't lost again (and beat Shomers twice in the interim).  Dunau got a late start, but has wrestled well since returning to the lineup and the two-time All-Stater will be a tough opponent for anyone.

The same is true for Curtis Grant of Elmira, who placed last year and will be a threat to do so again even after some losses over the past few weeks (two of which were up a weight). 

We also wish we had more spots for quality wrestlers like Rocco Russo of Frontier and Danny Graham of West Seneca East - who have wrestled three times already this year (Russo won two of them).

And what about Laken Cook of Central Valley and Codie Gillette of Saranac?  The two Division II standouts have combined for a 68-1 record this year and will have a lot to say about who wins it all at the Times Union Center.

We are aware that Cooksey dropped an overtime match up at 145 to the solid Matt Langan of Wantagh last weekend, however, his quality victories this season carried him.

And one more thing . . . we haven't forgotten about wrestlers like Jimmy Leach of Eastport South Manor, Eduardo Ramirez of Amityville, Kevin Parker of Shenendehowa, Colin Royce of Warsaw and Derian Woodard of Midlakes, among others.

145 Pounds

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1. Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer (Cheektowaga - 6)

2. Vincent DePrez (Hilton - 5)

3. Jake Restrepo (Sachem East - 11)

4. Tommy Dutton (Rocky Point - 11)

5. Joey Butler (Burnt Hills - 2)

6. Trevor Hoffmier (Newark Valley - 4)

7. Andy Mollevik (Duanesburg - 2)

8. Jason Hoffman (Hadley Luzerne/Lake George - 2)


Hoffman has picked up wins in each of his 31 bouts, all by bonus points.  We're interested in a possible showdown between Hoffman and Mollevik at the Sectionals.  (However, look out for Steven Culbert of Galway in that bracket as well).

Israel Byler of Addison still maintains an unblemished record, while Connetquot's Gino Titone adds to the challenging 145 pound class in Suffolk.  Alex Herringshaw of Holland Patent looks to return to the podium (and could be challenged at the Sectionals by unbeaten Matt Norris of Homer).

152 Pounds

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1. Louis Hernandez (Mepham - 8)

2. Anthony DePrez (Hilton - 5)

3. Ryan Kromer (Lewiston Porter - 6)

4. Blaise Benderoth (North Rockland - 1)

5. Zach Lugo (Deer Park - 11)

6. Frank Garcia (Norwich - 4)

7. Jesse Porter (Shenendehowa - 2)

8. Angelo Kress (Columbia - 2)


DePrez topped Kromer 6-3 in the championship bout of the Pete Rao Memorial over the weekend to keep his unbeaten season going.

It's gets harder and harder to leave some former state qualifiers off the list, as Max Lloyd of Palmyra Macedon has compiled a 40-0 mark with 28 pins, Eddie Hutschenreuter of Alden has notched a 39-1 record, Tyler Silverthorn of General Brown is always a force in the state capital and Dennis Ferro of East Islip is a formidable competitor.  Another wrestler to keep an eye on could be Connetquot's Greg Chery.

160 Pounds

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1. Corey Rasheed (Longwood - 11)

2. Dan DeCarlo (Port Jervis - 9)

3. Alex Smythe (Eden - 6)

4. Derek Holcomb (Newark Valley - 4)

5. Dom Celli (Somers - 1)

6. Jordan Bushey (Peru - 7)

7. Zach Colgan (Johnson City - 4)

8. Connor Lawrence (Duanesburg - 2)


This is one of the weights where we wish we ranked more wrestlers.  Jericho's undefeated Jaison White could make a huge run in the postseason. Konstantin Parfiryev did that last year, as he made the 2013 NYS podium and has the ability to do it again. Clarence's Nate Schwab, Ithaca's Ian VanValen and Mexico's Trevor Allard have wrestled well, while Jordan Torbitt of Whitney Point, an NHSCA National champion and returning state medalist, has the talent to win big, but has been battling injuries.

170 Pounds

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1. Burke Paddock (Warsaw - 5)

2. Steve Schneider (MacArthur - 8)

3. Jake Weber (Clarence - 6)

4. Ryan Marszal (Unatego - 4)

5. Gio Gioielli (Brewster - 1)

6. Sonny McPherson (Indian River - 3)

7. Triston Engle (Dolgeville - 3)

8. Ken Gallagher (Northport - 11)


Welcome aboard, Ken Gallagher. The Northport wrestler has racked up a 33-0 record with a recent 7-2 victory over Erik Adon of East Islip, who was in the top 8 earlier this year and previously topped the Suffolk poll. 

Gallagher slides into the #8 spot, while Engle moves up to #7.  The back-and-forth clashes continued in Section 2, as Franky Nassivera of Queensbury lost to Geno Brancati of Hudson Falls, reversing an earlier season result.  Both of those wrestlers are very much in the mix, as are Jake Ashcraft of Burnt Hills, Mike Pistone of Sachem East, Joe Russo of Rocky Point and the aforementioned Adon.  There have been some good performances from Jacob Woolson of Mexico and Timmy Byrnes of Fayetteville-Manlius.  Meanwhile, both Brandon Ellers of Waverly and Tyler Blasko of Wallkill have put together some solid wins, with only one setback each (to Marszal in overtime and to ranked 182-pounder Brett Perry, respectively).

182 Pounds

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1. Christian Dietrich (Greene - 4)

2. Daniel Smith (South Jefferson - 3)

3. Collin Pittman (Spencerport - 5)

4. Brett Perry (JJEF - 1)

5. Mark Tracy (Sachem East - 11)

6. Nick Gallo (Schalmont - 2)

7. David Hamil (Deer Park - 11)

8. Robert Ng (Plainedge - 8)


We continue to see impressive showings by the wrestlers in the top eight.  However, we also have been impressed with a number of others, including returning state placer Trey DuVall of Addison and the unbeaten Chris Pinckney of Port Byron.  William Hilliard of Phoenix, whose only loss came to Pinckney, moved up to 195 for the Liberty/Patriot League championships and we'll be watching how that plays out.  Warsaw's Aaron Paddock is someone to keep an eye on also.

And while Tracy and Hamil have been stellar, they'll see a whole lot of good competition in their state qualifying events with wrestlers like Jake Horton of Patchogue-Medford, Christian Araneo of Ward Melville, Dom Pirraglia of Shoreham Wading River and Ronnie King of Islip.

195 Pounds

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1. Levi Ashley (Shenendehowa - 2)

2. Reggie Williams (Johnson City - 4)

3. Nick Weber (Kings Park - 11)

4. Ben Honis (Jamesville-Dewitt - 3)

5. Trent Egenlauf (Spencerport - 5)

6. Nathanael Rose (Eagle Academy - P)

7. Andrew Grella (Beacon - 1)

8. Wayne Burt (Colonie - 2)


There wasn't too much new to report here.  Interestingly, Egenlauf has gone up to 220 a number of times, including for the Clayton Barnard Tournament earlier in January, where he lost a one-point decision to Sam Eagan (see 220 pounds) after beating Eagan earlier in the campaign.  We'll see where he wrestles down the stretch.

James Empfield of Lancaster will be a factor as the season winds down and we believe wrestlers such as South Jefferson's Logan LaFlamme and Baldwinsville's Joe Nasoni could do the same.

220 Pounds

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1. Rich Sisti (Monsignor Farrell - C)

2. Ryan Wolcott (Waverly - 4)

3. John Hartnett (Tappan Zee - 1)

4. Sam Eagan (Churchville-Chili - 5)

5. Marshall Taylor (Lockport - 6)

6. Tyler Schaefer (Pittsford - 5)

7. Rob Kelly (Monroe Woodbury - 9)

8. James Bethel (Saugerties - 9)


The wrestlers at this weight have, for the most part, continued to take care of business.  The rationale for the order remains the same as in the last set of rankings.

Once again, it's worth noting that Huntington's Anthony Puca was right on the verge and is a contender, but will have to navigate a very tough Suffolk class that includes grapplers like Craig Hinrichs of Islip, Vincent Feola of Walt Whitman and Anthony DiMatteo of Sachem North, among others.

We also believe last year's SuperSectionals champion at 285 in Division II, Christian Shepard of Geneva, could make an impact (30-1 with an overtime loss to Schaefer) along with Farmingdale's Bryan Tenny, a returning qualifier.

A pair of Fargo All-Americans are also very much in the mix - Rafal Rokosz of Southampton and Chris Tangora of Bethlehem Central (30-0 with more than 15 pins).

According to the NWCA Scorebook, Brad Cunningham of Salamanca remains undefeated as well.

285 Pounds

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1. Connor Calkins (Alfred-Almond - 5)

2. James O'Hagan (Seaford - 8)

3. Ian James (Greece - 5)

4. Mike Manni (Tappan Zee - 1)

5. Edwin Rubio (John Glenn - 11)

6. Kyle Fiske (Port Jefferson - 11)

7. Trevor Gibbons (Carthage - 3)

8. Erik Feitshans (Alden - 6)


What's new?  A change at the top.  Calkins and O'Hagan have been the definition of dominant for much of this season and will be the favorites in Division II and Division I, respectively, at the state tournament. 

After Calkins stomped through the field at the Eastern States with only pins and technical falls, some members of our panel talked about moving him to the top spot.  It didn't happen then, but this time, it did. O'Hagan recently dropped a 5-2 decision to an excellent wrestler, Jesse Webb of Vermont, a grappler Calkins defeated at the Journeymen Classic.

Flowrestling has also taken this approach, as that site advanced Calkins to the #7 spot in the nation (where O'Hagan was previously) and placed the Seaford wrestler at #10.

Alden's Feitshans joins the rankings at #8.  He has compiled a 39-1 campaign with his one setback coming at the hands of James.

Who else could be in the mix?  Quite a few wrestlers. We believe Austin DiCerbo of Colonie could make some noise in Albany on the large school side and believe Tyler Havener of Oneida, Marcus Ramundo of Schalmont and Jake Morris of Canastota could do the same in the DII bracket.  We also considered wrestlers such as Nick Scott of Cohoes, Mazen Hassan of Monsignor Farrell, Peter Strassfield of Southampton, Nolan Terrance of Massena and Dan Babcock of Deposit-Hancock, among many others.

Thank you once again to everyone around the state who contributed to these rankings.  Special thanks to Mike Carey and Matt Diano.


*Please note that some results from mid-week or those not entered in the NWCA Scorebook may not be reflected.

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