At the 6th annual Pop & Flo High School National Duals in Lake Placid, 32 teams took the mat in the high school competition, with about half of the squads including New York wrestlers. Three of the teams, Vougar’s Honors Wrestling Gold (VHW), Finger Lakes Wrestling Club Green (FLWC) and Barn Brothers reached the semis. Those teams finished second, third and fourth, respectively, with New Jersey's Apex winning the title for the second straight time.
The finals between Apex and VHW started at 130 pounds, where three-time state champion Jacori Teemer (Long Beach) put VHW on the board with a decision over NJ placer Kyle DiNapoli. However, Apex went on to score 40 unanswered points before Joe Contrastano (Carle Place/Wheatley) and Sean Bourne (Long Beach) put nine more points up for the Long Island based team. Apex won the dual 52-12. NY state placer Kendall Elfstrum (Monroe Woodbury) competed for Apex, winning all his matches at 182 pounds.
In a rematch of last year’s third place match, VHW squared off with FLWC in an exciting semifinal bout that came down to the end, where VHW sealed the dual with a pin from state champion Terron Robinson (Walt Whitman). One of the key matches of the dual was Jacori Teemer defeating FLWC’s Brian Courtney, 6-5. Courtney won a Pennsylvania state title and a Flo Nationals crown this year.
The other semifinals featured returning champions Apex and Long Island's Barn Brothers. The NY team started off strong with a major decision win at 125 from Matteo DeVincenzo (Port Jefferson) followed by a decision by Jake Silverstein (Hauppauge) over 2015 New Jersey state finalist Gianni Ghione.
It was all Apex after that, however, as the New Jersey team picked up four falls in the dual including nationally-ranked Nick Raimo winning by pin over state champ Tommy Cox (Deer Park). Undefeated Adam Busiello (Eastport-South Manor) and Greg Hodulick (Islip) won for Barn Brothers.
Apex cruised to the finals with a 78-6 victory over Doughboy Gold and two shutouts over Blackstone WC (77-0) and Journeymen Black (68-0). VHW’s path to the championship match was different as the team won in the first round over Clark Wrestling Academy (63-9) and then defeated Apex 2 (NJ) 39-22 in round 2. Afterwards, VHW won by a slim margin over Iowa Style, 27-26, after Iowa Style lost team points over the course of the dual.
THIRD PLACE MATCH
The third place match was a battle of two NY teams, Finger Lakes and Barn Brothers. FLWC started off the dual with a major decision win from Brian Courtney over NYS champ Anthony Sparacio (North Babylon) at 130. Barn Brothers bounced back with a win from NYS finalist Jake Silverstein over state place finisher Brandon Gould (Watkins Glen) of FLWC.
Finger Lakes picked up key bonus points from state champs Frankie Gissendanner (Penfield) and Kobe Garrehy (Maine-Endwell) as well as Nick Carr and Brendan Marsocci (Byron Bergen).
Later in the dual was a state finals rematch between champion Greg Diakomihalis (Hilton) of FLWC and Dylan Ryder (Half Hollow Hills West) of Barn Brothers, with Diakomihalis coming out on top again (5-2). Adam Busiello of Barn Brothers earned the fall over AJ Burkhart (Waverly) in a meeting of NYS titlewinners to bring the team score to 31-22 with still two state champions left to wrestle for the Section 11 based team.
At 120, Tommy Cox picked up more bonus points for Barn Brothers with a 12-1 major over Garrett Lockwood (Groton) before the last match of the dual showcased familiar foes Matteo DeVincenzo and Theo Powers (Mexico). DeVincenzo defeated Powers 5-2, but it wasn’t enough as FLWC went on to win 31-29 for a second consecutive 3rd place finish.
Iowa Style nabbed fifth place going 4-1 on the weekend with wins over South Side WC, Metrowest United, Journeymen Black and Smitty’s Barn. Leading the way was state medalist Evan Frank (John Jay Cross River), who went 5-0.
Journeymen Black placed 8th with a 2-3 record.
GPS Wrestling took 2nd in the “B” bracket while Razor WC was third in that group, with Superior Black and Iowa Style 2 fourth and fifth, respectively. Tinman WC, which featured some New Yorkers, was sixth in that group.
Superior Gold was first in the C bracket, with a 4-1 record over the weekend. VHW-1 was second in that group, with Cobra fourth and Ascend seventh.
Competing in the D competition were Journeymen Gold, Kings Park and FLWC Blue.
Finals Box Score, Apex vs. VHW Gold
130- Jacori Teemer (VHW GOLD) DEC Kyle Dinapoli (APEX) 7-3
135- Gianni Ghione (APEX) WBF Matt Swanson (VHW GOLD) :32
140- Chris Scorese (APEX) DEC Phil Spadafora (VHW GOLD) 5-4
145- Nick Santos (APEX) DEC Lucas Pincus (VHW GOLD) 1-0
152- Stephan Glasgow (APEX) MAJ Tyrese Byron (VHW GOLD) 12-2
160- Dom Mandarino (APEX) DEC Ricky Stamm (VHW GOLD) 12-9
170- Shane Sosinsky (APEX) DEC Joe Eiden (VHW GOLD) 6-1
182- Kendall Elfstrum (APEX) DEC Elijah Rodriguez (VHW GOLD) 4-2
195- Sean O’Malley (APEX) FFT
225- Victor Lacombe (APEX) DEC Zane Black (VHW GOLD) 2-1
285- Eric Chakonis (APEX) WBF Jacob Broder (VHW GOLD) 1:00
106- Joe Contrastano (VHW GOLD) INJ DEF Kyle Kaiser (APEX) :18
113- Hunter Graf (APEX) WBF Christian Encarnacion (VHW GOLD) 1:25
120- Nick Raimo (APEX) WBF Justin Vines (VHW GOLD) 1:41
126- Sean Bourne (VHW GOLD) DEC Phil Ruiz (APEX) 5-3
For more results, see www.tournaflex.com
A great weekend of wrestling surrounded by a picturesque Adirondack landscape made for an awesome tournament. We expect to see a team ready to take Apex’s title next year!