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Grappler Gold

Part 2: High School Rankings are Here!

By BV, 12/01/16, 3:15PM EST


Yesterday, we posted the rankings for 160-285 pounds (link). 

Today, it's time to look at the first set of rankings for 99-152 pounds.  As we said yesterday, 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.

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


Here are some other preview articles, in you case you missed them:

Most returning state tournament points Division 1

Most returning state tournament points Division 2 

#1 Division 2 team

Top state tournament team in New York

Top dual meet team in New York


Courtesy of

We typically don't provide 99 pound rankings in the first set, as we wait to see the young talent that emerges. For now, we'll say that our #1 overall wrestler in this class is John Bowne's Brandon Nunez, who injury defaulted to sixth at this weight in Albany in 2016 after placing fifth at Eastern States. (He had a win over Division 2 state champ Jon Charles at SUNY Sullivan). The PSAL senior was a double All-American this summer at Fargo at 100 pounds (fifth in Freestyle, third in Greco). 

Our top-ranked Division 2 wrestler at this weight is Tioga's John Worthing, who was the runner up at the Times Union Center at the lightest class a year ago after an outstanding season.  

Some others we're definitely watching are returning state qualifiers Garrett Semenetz of Mahopac, Terry Adams of Monsignor Farrell, Aiden Rabideau of Clarence, Dennis Robin of Arlington, Marcus Evans of Randolph and Ricky D'Elia of Port Jefferson as well as others who impressed us last year like Ryan Burgos of Hilton and Brock Delsignore of South Glens Falls.  Feel free to let us know who else we should be tracking.


Photo by BV

1. Dylan Ryder, Jr, Half Hollow Hills West-11

2. Matt Griffin, Jr, Jamesville-Dewitt-3

3. Trent Svingala, So, Maple Hill-2

4. Jon Charles, Jr, Central Valley Academy-3

5. Preston Maucere, So, Deer Park-11

6. Zach Redding, Fr, Eastport-South Manor-11


Returning 99 pound state runner up Dylan Ryder takes the top spot after being at #1 for a chunk of last season. He added a Fargo Cadet Freestyle All-American performance to his resume this offseason. Matt Griffin and Trent Svingala split a pair of matches in Albany in 2016, with Griffin winning in the bronze contest.  Svingala topped reigning 99 pound Division 2 state champ Jon Charles at the Eastern States. Charles will be a strong candidate to repeat atop the podium this season.  Preston Maucere had a number of quality wins a year ago and qualified for the NYSPHSAA championships, however, an injury kept him off the mat in Albany. Look for him to be a factor again. Zach Redding of Eastport-South Manor had a terrific offseason, which included national championships at the NHSCA Middle School tournament and the Freak Show as well as the 99-pound title and "Hammer Award" at the Journeymen Classic. 

Right on the verge was Brockport's Cody Anders, who got his hand raised in Albany in 2016 at this weight and is a two-time qualifier. Keep an eye on Ethan Ferro of Palmyra Macedon, who made a strong impact as a seventh grader last season.  JW Simmons of Skaneateles made the Round of 8 at 99 pounds, while Keith Cassar of Oyster Bay won a match at the Times Union Center during the last campaign.  


Photo by BV

1. Greg Diakomihalis, Fr, Hilton-5

2. Mitch Seaver, Sr, Lockport-6

3. Anthony Sciotto, Jr, Rocky Point-11

4. Drew Schafer, Jr, Palmyra-Macedon-5  

5. Michael Gonyea, Jr, Columbia-2

6. Trey Laflamme, Sr, South Jefferson-3


Greg Diakomihalis moves up two weights after capturing his first state title. He looked tough in a silver performance at the Super 32 Challenge (at 106).  Mitchell Seaver has placed in the top four each of the past two campaigns and topped Diakomihalis last year (when the Hilton wrestler bumped up a weight in their dual). Anthony Sciotto had one of the most exciting bouts at the Times Union Center in a close loss to Diakomihalis in the quarters. Drew Schafer is a two-time third placer in NYS, while Michael Gonyea has also made the medal stand multiple times, as has Trey LaFlamme. LaFlamme notched fifth in 2016 at this weight, beating state finalist Austin O'Reilly three times during the campaign.  

Who else is in the mix? Marco Vespa of Monroe Woodbury had some impressive offseason results, while Zach Braddell of Tonawanda and Caleb Robinson of Walton-Delhi are back after fourth and fifth place showings, respectively at 106.  Additional Division 2 medalists at this weight could include Eli Rodriguez of Norwich, Mikey Bruno of Putnam Valley, Dalton Gardner of Fredonia and Bryce Smith of Saranac.  In addition,  Zayne Benedict of Vestal made the Round of 8 last year, while Justin McDougald of Niagara Wheatfield did the same at 99.  Also winning matches in Albany were Calvin Chau of Brooklyn Tech, Christian Hansen of Cold Spring Harbor, Jared Altan of Plainedge and Matthew LaPorte of Hoosick Falls. Shane Hetrick of Maple Grove is a multiple-time qualifier, while state representative Max Kropman of Penfield defeated the previously mentioned Braddell last season. Some others we've been told to watch out for include Logan Patterson of Copenhagen/Beaver River, Jonathan Spadafora of Half Hollow Hills East and Christian Encarnacion of Wantagh.  


Photo by BV

1. Adam Busiello, So, Eastport-South Manor-11

2. Orion Anderson, Jr, Schuylerville-2

3. Matt Caccamise, Sr, Wayne-5

4. Cahal Donovan, So, Phoenix-3

5. Alex Samson, So, Victor-5

6. Trent Nadeau, Sr, Columbia-2


Adam Busiello won the Super 32 crown (at 113) and will be the favorite to earn state title #3.  Orion Anderson and Matt Caccamise both left Albany with gold medals in small school action a year ago and could be headed for a showdown. Cahal Donovan had a breakout year for Phoenix which ended with a runner up showing behind Anderson. Alex Samson and Trent Nadeau both made the blood round in the state capital, with Samson notching several quality wins during the year (including over NYS finalists Trey Wardlaw and AJ Burkhart), while Nadeau entered the state tourney unbeaten.  

Kevin DePalma of Farmingdale is on the radar, along with a wrestler who beat him, Suffolk third placer Dan Colondona of Connetquot, as well as Minisink Valley's Tyler Lynch.

Like DePalma, Carson Dobozy of Peru and AJ Putt of Maple Grove made the blood round at the state tournament, while Luke Bokina of Mattituck, Nick Young of Alexander, Jordan Sartin of Saratoga, Chris Massaro of New Paltz, Noah Clausen of Saranac, Nick Conetta of Chester and Dylan Ebanks of Xavier all won in Albany.

Additional returning qualifiers include Jacob Scibek of Horseheads, Joe Simons of Farmingdale, who had a big all-star dual win over Anthony Cirillo this past weekend, Caleb Wiggins of Chenango Valley, William Vanalst of Bronx Studio and John Cantwell of Seaford.  Tony Negron of North Babylon was a state representative in the past who shouldn't be overlooked.


Photo by BV

1. Jon Gomez, Sr, Locust Valley-8

2. John Devine, Sr, Columbia-2

3. Anthony Cirillo, Sr, Rocky Point-11

4. Randy Earl, Sr, John Jay East Fishkill-1

5. Justin Vines, Jr, Wantagh-8

6. Austin Hertel, Sr, Hilton-5


Jon Gomez has taken second, first and third at the state tournament the past three years and has also won an NHSCA National title and twice been a Cadet Freestyle All-American at Fargo. Gomez beat John Devine 7-2 at the Dave Ironman Tournament last year. Devine later had a terrific run in Albany, earning second at 120. Anthony Cirillo has taken fourth and third the past two seasons in NYS and will be a contender, along with Randy Earl, who nabbed fifth at 120 in 2016. The only two losses Justin Vines had all of last year were at the Times Union Center to Cirillo, as he took fourth at 113. Austin Hertel is a past placer for an explosive Hilton squad.

Meanwhile, Jack Bokina of Mattituck is a two-time fourth placer in Division 2 who was right on the cusp of the rankings and will certainly be a contender in Albany. That's also true of Connor Greiner of Minisink Valley, who beat out-of-state star Jakob Camacho and National Preps runner up Benny Baker last season. CJ Walz of Central Valley is a past placer who made the Round of 8 last year, while Sam Wolf of Warsaw and Kevin Spann of Adirondack both got to the blood round at 106. Also winning a bout in the state capital last year were Satoshi Abe and Kyle Sams of Putnam Valley, Dylan Walker of Attica and Dylan Callahan of Schoharie.  A few wrestlers who have not yet made it to the state tournament but should be watched due to quality wins are Michael Killard of Wantagh and freshman Dan Mauriello of Hauppauge.

Hunter Dusold of Locust Valley is a standout who may be at this weight as well, but for now, if you're looking for him, see the next section.


Photo by BV

1. Jacori Teemer, Jr, Long Beach-8

2. Dane Heberlein, Sr, Alexander-5

3. Hunter Dusold, Sr, Locust Valley-8

4. Ben Tepperman, Sr, Hauppauge-11

5. Mike Venosa, Sr, Victor-5

6. Hector Colom, Jr, Fredonia-6 


Jacori Teemer won a Cadet Freestyle national title and will look to join an exclusive group of four-time state champions this year. Dane Heberlein also has plenty of finals experience in Albany, as a two-time NYS winner (and 2015 runner up). Hunter Dusold, a five-time qualifier and three-time placer (including a state title and runner up finish), could be in the mix here or at 126. He looked tough in a second place finish at the Journeymen Classic (behind Teemer). Ben Tepperman returns after an All-State showing. Mike Venosa didn't get a win at the state tournament, but had quite a resume prior to that, including wins over the previously mentioned Dusold and Tepperman on the way to fourth at the Eastern States. If he wrestles that way, he will certainly find a spot on the podium this time around. Hector Colom, a former placer, also gets in based on quality wins, with victories over state finalists Freddy Eckles and Audey Ashkar as well as Wyoming Seminary's Trent Olson in 2016.  

There was a lot of support for Palmyra Macedon's Emerson Block, as he has twice been All-State, including sixth a year ago.  

Who else picked up wins last year at the state tournament? Putnam Valley's Jared Eliopoulis was one win short of the medal stand, while Mason Gray of Warsaw and Cordell David of Ogdensburg got their hand raised.  Cooper Kropman stood out as a seventh grader, beating an All-State wrestler (Matt Maquet) and battling his way to second place at the Section 5 qualifier.  Chris Gomez of Patchogue-Medford won while representing Team New York against New Jersey at Madison Square Garden last weekend.


Photo by BV

1. Vito Arujau, Sr, Syosset-8

2. Jake Silverstein, Jr, Hauppauge-11

3. Christian Gramuglia, Sr, Burnt Hills-2

4. Kyle Mosher, So, South Side-8

5. TJ Philpotts, Jr, Holland Patent-3

6. Matt Maquet, Sr, Long Beach-8


Vito Arujau is Intermat's #1 wrestler nationally at this weight, a three-time state champ and a Cadet World silver medalist. Jake Silverstein has also been in the nationwide polls. He lost in the ultimate tiebreaker to Jacori Teemer in the state finals a few years ago and is a multi-time All-American at the ultra-tough Super 32 Challenge. Christian Gramuglia grabbed fourth at the state tournament in 2016 at 132, while Kyle Mosher is already a two-time placer prior to his sophomore campaign. TJ Philpotts picked up a fifth place medal for Holland Patent a year ago, while Matt Maquet will look to add valuable points to an excellent Long Beach team with a second-straight All-State performance.

Garrett Gibbons of Massapequa made the Round of 8 in Albany a year ago, while Dillan Palaszewski of Galway is a past placer who won a bout in 2016. Sean McGarvey of Pearl River also got his hand raised at the Times Union Center last season.  Derek Osman of Vestal and Collin Hogan of Peru are multi-time state representatives who could be at this weight.  James Trezza of Smithtown East had a pair of wins last year over state placer Phil Spadafora and is someone to track, as is Matt Saville of South Glens Falls. 


Photo by BV

1. Yianni Diakomihalis, Sr, Hilton-5

2. Tanner Cook, Sr, Central Valley-3

3. Ross McFarland, So, Phoenix-3

4. Phil Spadafora, Sr, Half Hollow Hills East-11

5. Connor Day, Sr, Iroquois-6

6. Adam Wagner, Sr, South Seneca-5


Like at 138, New York has the top ranked wrestler in the country -- two-time Cadet World champion Yianni Diakomihalis. Tanner Cook and Ross McFarland both brought silver medals back to Section 3 a year ago with Cook's only losses to state champs (Hunter Richard and Brad Bihler). Meanwhile, Phil Spadafora has battled his way onto the podium each of the past two years. Connor Day nabbed a medal stand spot in 2016 at 138, as did Adam Wagner.  

Two additional All-State wrestlers under strong consideration were Dylan Ingrao of Falconer and Ty Rifanburg of Norwich, while we might regret not having Kiernan Shanahan of Shenendehowa in the initial top six after watching him excel in the offseason. 

Speaking of wrestlers to watch, Monsignor Farrell's Steven Isaac topped Jacori Teemer at the Grapple at the Garden tournament last weekend, while North Babylon's Anthony Sobotker returns after missing the 2015-16 campaign with an injury.

Former state finalist Jacob Nolan of Saranac and medalist Zach Lawrence of Duanesburg both were one win shy of placing last year, as was Matt Swanson of Lynbrook. Fellow Section 8 wrestler Lucas Pincus of Hewlett also has the ability to make the podium.  Who else might be here after winning at least once in Albany in 2016? Gianno Silba of Newark Valley, Dustin Joy of Lyndonville, Demitreus Henry of Grand Street, Derick Stowell of Gouverneur and Johnny Devins of Saranac all got in the win column at last year's state championships.

Chris Barker of Fairport topped All-State wrestlers Ross McFarland and Adam Wagner last season, while Jack Chesman of Pearl River is someone to watch, either here or at 152, after qualifying two years ago as an eighth grader before sustaining an injury in the Section 1 finals that ended his season. 


Photo by BV

1. Frankie Gissendanner, Jr, Penfield-5

2. Hunter Richard, Sr, Holland Patent-3

3. Matt Grippi, Jr, Fox Lane-1

4. Peter Pappas, Sr, Plainview-8

5. Connor Melbourne, Sr, John Jay Cross River-1

6. Evan Barczak, Sr, Monroe Woodbury-9


Frankie Gissendanner sits in the top spot after two straight state championships and after that, this weight could be ordered so many different ways. Hunter Richard, FloWrestling's #11 grappler in the nation at 152, comes in at #2 after his second consecutive NYS title, with 138-pound runner up Matt Grippi coming in at #3. Grippi's only two losses came to Yianni Diakomihalis while he had wins over Evan Barczak and Connor Melbourne last season. Melbourne actually beat Barczak twice at the state tournament (and once earlier in the season), which is why we have Melbourne, a two-time NHSCA Nationals silver medalist, ahead of Barczak, although the Monroe Woodbury grappler defeated him and won the bracket at the Journeymen Classic. We haven't seen much of Peter Pappas at this weight yet but the two-time state runner up looked strong at the Journeymen Classic and the Super 32 (where he placed again) with quality wins at 145.  (And no, we didn't forget that Melbourne had a big victory over Richard at the Eastern States last year). So, we'll just have to see how this plays out.

Anthony Laniewski of Niskayuna, Brody Sheppard of Ogdensburg and Charlie Spada of Long Beach all made the Round of 8 in Albany last year. Also getting at least one win at that event were Phoenix Webb of Central Square, Mason Compton of Attica, Collin O'Brien of Watervliet and Dillon Ross of Onteora. Keep an eye on David Miele-Estrella of North Babylon, Billy Sims of Lindenhurst, Chris Mulford of St. Anthony's and Kyle Jasenski of Albany Academy.


For the 160-285 pound rankings, see this link.


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