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Grappler Gold

It's High School Rankings Time! (Part 1)

By BV, 11/30/16, 4:45PM EST


We typically don't release rankings in November ...  but this year, we figured we'd get started a little earlier. Seven different Sections have #1 wrestlers. We know some of the weights will change, especially since a number of competitors told us they are still deciding where they'll be at the end of the year. Certainly new faces will emerge as well, but here's a first look at New York in 2016-17.

The weights from 99-152 can be found at this LINK.

Please note: this is a combined ranking for Divisions 1 and 2 and only includes wrestlers who can compete at the NYSPHSAA tournament.  The intention is to put wrestlers in the classes they will be in at the end of the year. 

We are always happy to receive feedback as long as it is done respectfully. Feel free to comment below or send an e-mail to


Photo by BV

1. Ryan Ferro, Sr, Warwick Valley-9

2. Grant Cuomo, Jr, Brewster-1

3. Noah Grover, Sr, Warsaw-5

4. Shvunte Searcy, Sr, Marathon-4

5. Noah Curreri, Sr, Eldred-Liberty-Sullivan-9

6. Tyrese Byron, Sr, Long Beach-8


Ryan Ferro absolutely dominated his way through the state tournament last season with three pins and a tech fall to earn a title a year after taking third in Albany. Grant Cuomo missed much of the year with an injury, but looked very good upon his return, making the podium (fifth) at 152. Buffalo-bound Noah Grover will try to improve upon his third place finish in 2016. He lost an overtime bout to Ferro at Eastern States. Meanwhile, Shvunte Searcy made a statement with fourth in this class at the Times Union Center, while Noah Curreri also made the medal stand. Long Beach's Tyrese Byron got to the blood round at the state tournament and could be a factor (as could his teammate Charlie Spada) at this weight.  Byron topped state placer Anthony Malfitano of Pearl River, another wrestler in the mix at this weight, as well as NYS medalist Jordan Wallace (see 170) during the 2015-16 campaign. Wallace's New Rochelle teammate Jake Logan didn't get his hand raised as a freshman in Albany, but was a double Cadet All-American at Fargo and is on the rise. A host of others prevailed at least once at the state tournament in 2016 and should be watched - Madison Hoover of BGAH, Isaac Mathews of Ketcham, Max Sims of Lindenhurst, Caleb Beach of South Jefferson, Sawyer Overhoff of Eden, Charlie Mahon of Elmira, Garrett House of St. Joseph's Collegiate and Bailey O'Brien of Locust Valley. Eoghan Sweeney of Niskayuna is a multi-time state representative for Section 2. Look out for former state qualifier Jon Loew of Wantagh, who topped Spada over the weekend.


1. Tyler Barnes, Jr, Ballston Spa-2

2. Jason Hoffman, Sr, Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George-2

3. Shawn Mosca, Sr, Carle Place/Wheatley-8

4. Matt Gaiser, Jr, Alexander-5

5. Zach Ancewicz, Sr, John Glenn-11

6. Jacob Smeader, Sr, Hamburg-6


Tyler Barnes made a splash at this weight over the summer, getting to the finals in both Cadet Freestyle and Greco Roman at Fargo, following an All-State showing in this class. The junior, who recently committed to North Carolina State, also recorded a decision over fellow Section 2 wrestler Jason Hoffman during the 2015-16 season. Hoffman is a three-time placer in NYS who will aim to end his career on top (although it's possible that he will stay at 160). Some tough wrestlers Hoffman could face at this weight include returning 160 pound Division 2 runner up Shawn Mosca and 2016 170 pound medalist Matt Gaiser. Zach Ancewicz didn't qualify for the state tournament, but his only losses during the season were in close matches to the eventual third and fourth place NYS medalists in Division 1 (Tristan Almeter and Chris Mauriello) and his active and strong offseason make the Edinboro recruit a candidate for a huge 12th grade campaign. Ancewicz topped training partner Mosca in an All-Star exhibition this past weekend at Madison Square Garden and beat another All-State wrestler and strong candidate for this list, Jordan Wallace of New Rochelle, at Eastern States in 2016.  Jacob Smeader is the only All-State grappler back from last year's 160 pound bracket in Division 1.  Others on the radar include Travis Race (Phoenix), Trevor Snow of General Brown, Micah Miller of Maine-Endwell, Joe Eiden of Sachem East, Justin Harter of Greece, Austin Carr of BGAH and Sammy DePrez of Hilton, among others. Nick Bushey of Peru and Chris Eames of Horseheads both won a match at the state tournament.


Photo by BV

1. Louie DePrez, Sr, Hilton-5

2. Jake Peru, Sr, Falconer-6

3. Kendall Elfstrum, Sr, Monroe Woodbury-9

4. Cliffton Wang, Sr, Edgemont-1

5. James Hoeg, Sr, Mattituck-11

6. Jeffrey Browne, Sr, Connetquot-11


A pair of Binghamton-bound state champs lead the way in the top two slots at 182. Louie DePrez looks to become a three-time champ and is a heavy favorite to do so, while Jake Peru racked up pins throughout the season on his path to the state crown in this class in Division 2 last season. Meanwhile, Kendall Elfstrum is back after a fourth place performance at this weight. The Princeton commit topped Cliffton Wang, a bronze medalist a year ago headed to Harvard, in the seventh place contest at the Super 32 this fall. James Hoeg split matches with Wang last year, with the Edgemont wrestler winning the one in Albany. Jeffrey Browne grabbed sixth at the large school tournament at this weight last season and will look to climb the ladder, while Mike Fekishazy was also sixth (at 170) after forfeiting his last two bouts. Look out for the very tough Section 9 competitor, here or at 170. Elijah Rodriguez of Long Beach beat Browne last year, one of his three wins against state placers. Keep an eye on Rodriguez, either at 182 or 195. In fact, that's a theme here and in the next class, as a number of the wrestlers are deciding between the two weights. Simon Chee of Cardozo competed at the Super 32 in this class, while Will Thompson of Byron Bergen made the blood round and Chance LaPier of AuSable Valley won a match in Albany. Mike Sutliff of Hadley Luzerne/Lake George, Max Emond of Central Square and Ben Cuppett of New Paltz are additional returning qualifiers.


Photo by BV

1. Joe Benedict, Jr, Sandy Creek-3

2. Dylan Dubuque, Sr, Columbia-2

3. Evan Frank, Sr, John Jay Cross River-1

4. Tyreek Bromley, Sr, Long Beach-8

5. Connor Breit, Sr, Nanuet-1

6. Mike Spallina, Sr, Hilton-5


Joe Benedict took second as a sophomore at 195 in Division 2, with his only losses of the campaign to eventual champ Jack Buell. After setting records on the football field this fall, Benedict will look to earn a NYS wrestling championship. Dylan Dubuque is the highest returning placer in the large school division after taking fourth. He entered the Times Union Center unbeaten. Evan Frank could be down at 182, where he was third a year ago, and will be a threat in either weight. The John Jay Cross River grappler earned a win over All-Stater Tyreek Bromley (fifth at 182) a year ago. Connor Breit notched fourth at 195 in 2016 in Division 2, while Mike Spallina has been in the blood round each of the past two years. We think he's ready to take the next step. Central Square's Isaac Havens and Kings Park's Sam Schuyler are among the many other wrestlers discussed in this class along with Dylan Nerich of William C. Bryant.


Photo by BV

1. Terron Robinson, Sr, Walt Whitman-11

2. Ryan Ellefsen, Sr, Goshen-9

3. Billy Bolia, Sr, Fairport-5

4. Tanner Zagarino, Sr, Mattituck-11

5. Caleb Null, Sr, Carthage-3

6. Hammond Raes, Sr, Midlakes-5


Terron Robinson and Ryan Ellefsen had a highly entertaining 220 pound championship match a year ago. Could fans be treated to a rematch on Saturday night in Albany? Billy Bolia also placed in that class, with a sixth place showing. Tanner Zagarino earned third at 195 in Division 2 and could be back at that weight, although he has the strength to see success at 220 as well. Caleb Null earned some quality wins a year ago, including a handful over state qualifiers and a placer and could make his presence felt again. We'll be interested to watch Hammond Raes, who went from 106 pounds at the state tournament in 2014, to placing at 160 last year. He'll jump quite a few classes again for this campaign. Jason Cunningham of Brighton, Matt Eldridge of Depew, Mason Mastrangelo of Lancaster and Dan Hayner of Mechanicville-Stillwater are among the many others looking to return to Albany.


Photo by BV

1. Andrew Tanner, Sr, Adirondack-3

2. Laith Alsous, Sr, Lewiston-Porter-6

3. Nick Jones, Sr, Dunkirk-6

4. Ryan O'Shea, Sr, MacArthur-8

5. Deonte Wilson, Jr, Amityville-11

6. Jake Warren, Sr, Burnt Hills-2


Andrew Tanner won the big matches when it counted the most last year, earning a state title for the Division 2 team champs (Adirondack). Laith Alsous was fourth in that bracket, while Nick Jones was a placer in 2015. No Division 1 medalists are currently listed in trackwrestling as Brockport's Mike Mattison suffered injuries that will keep him off the mat, however, Ryan O'Shea made the blood round and should be ready to contend. He edged Jake Warren, a wrestler who has two years of experience at the state tournament, in the first round at the Times Union Center.  Look out for Deonte Wilson, who from what we've seen is ready for a breakout year after moving up from 220. We also strongly considered Jared Crucitti of Fulton. Trentyn Rupert of Newark Valley and Tyler DiLorenzo of Pearl River won a match in Albany last year, while Jayson Gomez of Eagle Academy was a Fargo All-American (although he took a loss last weekend).


The weights from 99-152 can be found at this LINK.

Thank you to all of the contributors from around the state, with special thanks to Michael Carey and Matt Diano.