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4x NYS Champion Busiello sits atop the c/o 2019 rankings

By Smitty, 10/12/18, 4:30PM EDT


Check out who else made the top 10

1. Adam Busiello - Eastport-South Manor

Arguably the most decorated, dominant and successful wrestler in New York State history is Adam Busiello of Eastport-South Manor.  After the 2019 season, the debate will begin with the likes of Jacori Teemer, Yianni Diakomihalis, Troy Nickerson and fellow Long Islanders Nick Piccininni and Jesse Jantzen. Busiello is already a 4x NYS Champion and holds a 237-7 career record. Adam was also a NYS runner-up as a 7th grader to Jacori Teemer. He was the first 7th grader to make the state finals since Tristan Rifanburg of Norwich in 2010. Adam aims to become NY’s first ever 6x finalist and 3rd ever 5x champion. Busiello has also won the Suffolk County tournament four times and is the heavy favorite for his fifth in 2019. Many have attempted to dethrone the ESM Shark and nearly everyone has failed. His state final wins alone have come against junior #5 Justin McDougald of Niagara Wheatfield in 2018, Rocky Point graduate Anthony Cirillo in 2017, Trey Wardlaw of East Ramapo in 2016 and Benny Baker of Waverly in 2015, who currently wrestles at Wyoming Seminary. The state finals match against Teemer was a prelude to what was to come for Busiello. Adam was actually winning that match until Teemer went from neutral to back for the fall. In hindsight, Busiello is essentially a “defended move” away from being the first ever 6x NYS champion. On top of the endless national tournaments, Super 32’s, Eastern States Classics and state wide titles, Busiello has gained national praise, multiple rankings by Flo and Intermat to name a couple and has decided to continue to athletic and academic career wrestling for the Nittany Lions at Penn St. Adam Busiello is New York Wrestling News clear cut #1 for the Class of 2019

Svingala (Blue) works for a takedown against Brady Worthing (Yellow) - 2018 NYS Finals

2. Trent Svingala - Maple Hill

With #1 out of the way, our #2 ranking could be claimed by a number of wrestlers with similar resumes and accomplishments. Two-time NYS Champion Trent Svingala of Maple Hill gets the nod at #2. For those who don’t know, Trent would win his first of three section 2 titles for Albany Academy in 2016 and finish 4th place in NYS. An impressive freshman season included wins over senior #5 Terry Adams, Rocky Point’s Anthony Sciotto and JD/CBA Matt Griffin. After his transfer to Maple Hill, Svingala would go on to win back to back state titles at 106lbs and 120lb. Trent has compiled a 204-16 career record thus far and we expect that number to pursue and possibly eclipse 250 by season’s end. Trent’s first state title in 2017 came in convincing fashion as he would maul defending state champion Jon Charles of Central Valley 9-2. With the target on his back and put on notice, the Maple Hill Wildcat blasted his way through the 2018 season going 42-0 and capping off a second straight undefeated state championship season. A third state title would be an excellent send off for Trent as he heads to Columbia to wrestle for the Lions in 2020. 

2018 NYS Champion Ross McFarland tilting Dillon Ross of Onteora - 2018 NYS Finals

3. Ross McFarland - Phoenix

At #3 is 2018 NYS Champion Ross McFarland of Phoenix. McFarland, who is known as “Ross the Boss” by mainly everyone in Central NY, persevered in 2018 and finally got over the hump in the finale at states; in dominant fashion if I may add. Three straight pins catapulted McFarland into the finals against Dillon Ross of Onteora. The Phoenix Firebird defeated Ross at Eastern States by a 3-2 margin. In Albany, McFarland would dominate from beginning to end winning via major decision 8-0. The big stage at the Time Union Center is nothing new to McFarland. As a freshman and sophomore Ross would fall to current Cornell wrestler and 3x NYS Champion Hunter Richard who was also from section 3, Holland Patent HS. One thing that sticks out to me about Ross is his motor, the kid doesn’t tire. Having seen him wrestle for multiple years now, he continues to push the pace which eventually causes his opponents to break. This is an attribute that will carry over into his collegiate career. Ross is favored to repeat as state champion in 2019. Senior #6 Jacob Nolan of Saranac may be his toughest challenger if they happen to be at the same weight that is. #56 Robbie Penhollow of Falconer will also be in the mix at 170lbs. Never shying away from a challenge, McFarland will look to defeat all challengers in his path to another state crown. In his final season for the firebirds Ross has a chance to cement his spot as one of the best to ever wear the black and orange. His 173-49 record ranks up there with the likes of Nick Tighe, Austyn Hayes, Tyler Button, Anwar Goeres, Dan Logee and the Crisafulli brothers just to name a few.

Jake Logan (Black) taking down Jacob Ferreira (Blue/Orange) - 2018 Section 1 finals

4. Jacob Logan - New Rochelle

Section 1’s highest ranked senior is an absolute animal. New Rochelle’s Jake Logan receives a well-earned #4 ranking. The accolades stack up with the best of NY. Like McFarland, Logan was a first time NYS champion in 2018 after two previous appearances fell short. His freshman campaign ended with a dismal 0-2 performance. During his sophomore season Jake found himself battling all season with a familiar opponent, teammate Jordan Wallace. Both Huguenots would qualify for the winter classic in Albany. Both would take different paths but ultimately would meet in the 3rd place bout with Wallace winning 3-2. Prior to Logan's bout with Wallace he would reel off four straight wins after a first round loss to Sachem East’s Joe Eiden. One of those wins was over senior #16 Sammy Deprez 3-2. The progress between 2017 and 2018 for Logan was noticed by the entire state. On top of finishing 41-0, Jake would the prestigious Eastern States Classic defeating two hammers in Chance LaPier of AuSable Valley and Jacob Ferreira of Horace Greeley. Ferreira would prove to be a thorn in the side of Logan as they would meet three more times throughout the season. Two of those matches were extremely close, 3-1 in the Westchester County finals and 5-3 in the state finals. Logan was New Rochelle’s first state champion since Malcolm Allen in 2011. Going into the final stanza for the Huguenots, Jake carriers a career record of 135-28. Upon wrapping up a stellar career for New Rochelle, Jake will be joining the Mountain Hawks of Lehigh to continue his wrestling career. 

Adams (Black/Red) defending a shot against Matt Griffin (Blue/Yellow)

5. Terry Adams - Monsignor Farrell

The Monsignor Farrell Lions has a top 5 wrestler who can arguably go down as one of the CHSAA’s best ever. Terry Adams has been blasting through the Catholic league lightweights for three years running now. The 3x CHSAA Champion holds a 110-12 career record going into his senior season. His accomplishments thus far rank near the top for the CHSAA alongside of fellow Lion alum and 2x state champion Richard Sisti and 3x NYS finalist and 1x champion Lucas Magnani of St. Anthony’s. Adams would hit his stride during his sophomore season. Determined not to duplicate his 0-2 performance as a freshman, Terry would climb to the highest of peaks in 2017 concluding with a state final appearance. To justify his path to prominence, Adams would have to go through section 11 stud Mark Matyka of Riverhead, sophomore #9 Brock Delsignore of Shenendehowa and junior #6 Ivan Garcia of Portchester. The loss to Brandon Nunez in the state finals proved that Adams was capable of competing with the best New York has to offer. His junior campaign confirmed that point. I felt that Terry may have hit a road block after his 7th place finish at Eastern States where he lost to Matt Griffin of JD/CBA and Josiah Encarnacion of Wantagh, two wrestlers that would be in the 106lb weight class at states later in the year. Back to Back 11-3 major decision landed Adams against Griffin for the second time during the season. This time would be different as Adams would flip the script and send the Times Union Center in an uproar by defeating Griffin 13-10 in overtime. The 106lb final against freshman #1 Jayden Scott of Rush Henrietta had some much hype built up as both wrestlers were coming in on such a high note. Scott upended #2 seed Ivan Garcia of Portchester and the aforementioned Josiah Encarnacion of Wantagh. I felt Adams’s experience and composure is what led his to a 3-2 defeat of Scott to claim his first state title. There was never a panic during that match and he kept Jayden’s athleticism at bay which didn’t allow him to open up fully. One last season for the Lions awaits Terry and anything less than second straight state title would be deemed unacceptable. 

Jacob Nolan (White) maintaining control on Bryce Rowe (Black) - 2018 NYS Finals

6. Jacob Nolan - Saranac

What a career our #6 ranked senior has had thus far. Saranac’s Jacob Nolan has quietly wrapped up 183 wins against 21 losses. Jacob is part of a rare group that has competed at states every year since their 7th grade season. He is a 5x section 7 champion for the Chiefs. Even better, Nolan is a 4x NYS place finisher. Aside from his 4th place finish in 2017 and 6th place finish as a 7th grader in 2014, Jacob would finish runner-up twice in 2018 to Bryce Rowe of Chautauqua Lake and in 2015 to Jonathan Gomez of Locust Valley. Those two losses came by the slimmest of margins 2-1 and 8-6 in overtime. Year in and year out when Jacob puts on that blue and gray singlet he and the section 7 faithful know there is a good chance of winning that elusive state championship. It hasn’t happened in his 5 trips to Albany thus far. After speaking to Jacob a few months ago, his focus and determination is on point and ready to bring a state crown back to Saranac. Getting his hand raised in the finale would be section 7’s first state champion since Jordan Bushey won in 2015 for Peru and Saranac’s third ever champion and first since Pat Clancy in 1996. His final rendezvous at states should be an exciting one as both state champions at 152lbs (Dempsey Carroll) and 170lbs (Ross McFarland) are returning along with seniors #9 Zach Lawrence of Duanesburg and #20 Jack Chesman of Pearl River who was a NYS runner-up in 2018.


Shanahan (Green) battling Gissendanner (Red) - 2018 NYS Finals

7. Kiernan Shanahan

Shenendehowa’s Big 3 are all absolute hammers. The third member of this trio is Kiernan Shanahan. Along with Stevo Poulin and Brock Delsignore, Shanahan provides experience, talent and leadership for the Plainsmen. Kiernan has won three section 2 titles during his career. Shanahan is truly a gamer, battling with best and pushing some of the nation’s best to the brink. In his debut representing the Capital region, Kiernan would battle to an 11-6 loss to 5x NYS champion Jacori Teemer in the quarterfinal round. His offseason training, which he specializes in Judo, definitely paid dividends as it launched the section 2 star to prominence and a noteworthy status. His sophomore season for the Plainsmen was Kiernan’s coming out party. On top of winning the Flo-Excalibur tournament, Kiernan also blasted his way through section 2 with ease. He would also make his first state finals appearance losing 7-2 to current Rider freshman and 4x NYS Champion Frankie Gissendanner of Penfield. Returning his junior season still at 145, Shanahan’s focus was on dethroning the reigning state king and sitting atop of the podium himself. Kiernan had a shot at a rematch with Frankie at Eastern States however a hiccup against Mattituck’s Jack Bokina prevented the match from taking place. His performance at ESC was quite impressive as he would finish in 3rd place. En route to his bronze medal performance Kiernan would defeat a slew of accomplished wrestlers including senior #12 state champion Hunter Shaut of Central Valley, TJ Philpotts of Holland Patent and Mattituck’s Jack Bokina in the bronze match. Fast forward to Albany and a third straight section 2 title and all eyes set on that convent rematch with Gissendanner. In order to get to Frankie, Kiernan would have to defeat Senior #8 Kyle Mosher of Southside. A tough battle that ended with a 5-3 decision in favor of Shanahan set the stage. One wrestler aiming to be a 4x NYS champion against the underdog climbing his way to become a first timer. One can argue that the 145lb final between these two great wrestlers was the highlight of the evening. A back and forth brawl that had the entire crowd on the edge of their seats while Shanahan leading late in the 3rd period. Frankie however would storm back to win 7-6. Before Kiernan heads to North Carolina St, he has one final season at Shen. Carrying a 152-19 career record Shanahan comes in favored at nearly any weight he decides to go with the ultimate goal being to become a state champion when it’s all said and done. 

Mosher with a headlock on Alex Michelman of Long Beach - 2018 Nassau County semi-finals

8. Kyle Mosher - Southside

Section 8’s only top 10 wrestler is Southside’s Kyle Mosher. With a career record of 199-34, Kyle has put together a career thus far most wrestlers’ dream of and he still has one season left. Kyle is a 5x Nassau county place finisher, winning twice as an 8th grader and last season as a junior. A third section 8 championship in 2019 seems likeable. Remarkably, Mosher joins top 10 wrestlers Busiello, Nolan and Lawrence as 4x NYS place winners. In all four appearances wearing the green Nassau county singlet, the Southside Cyclone has made the semi-finals. Three of the four times came from line 3, the fourth from line 6. Not having made the state finals yet, Mosher’s semi-final defeats were very close and could have easily gone in his favor. Starting in 8th grade, Kyle would fall to now senior standout at Wyoming Seminary Benny Baker 2-1. As a freshman, John Devine of Columbia provided the damage 4-0. Current Nebraska grappler and NYS Champion Jake Silverstein of Hauppauge ended his sophomore bid for a state title 7-4 and last season Kiernan Shanahan squeaked out a 5-3 win. That first match Saturday morning seems to be Kyle’s kryptonite. While finishing fourth twice and fifth twice, one can easily assume another top 6 finish is in order for Mosher. Whether he finishes at the top is yet to be seen and solely depends on him. 

Lawrence (Maroon) in on a deep shot against Dempsey Carroll (Blue/Yellow) - 2018 NYS Semi-finals

9. Zach Lawrence - Duanesburg

The depth of this senior class is so monumental that Zach Lawrence is #9. The Duanesburg senior’s 227 wins is second most of anyone in top 10 behind Busiello’s 237. He only has 23 losses in his 5 year career with the Eagles. Upon completion of his senior season Zach may go down as one of the most decorated wrestlers in Duanesburg’s history right alongside 2x NYS Champion and 2x NCAA Champion Nick Gwiazdowski. Zach’s career started as a 7th grader, taking a similar route as #6 Jacob Nolan. Zach has already won four section 2 championships. A 4-3 hiccup loss to Hoosick Fall’s Nolan Foster in 8th grade prevented him from winning five. Like Nolan, Lawrence is a 4x NYs place finisher as well taking 5th in 7th grade, 4th in 8th grade, 5th as a sophomore and 3rd last season. The wrestlers that Zach has taken down en route to those finishes make his status well known statewide. He has made the state semi-finals 3x in his career. He has been seeded in all 5 appearances in Albany. A well-earned #1 seed last season where he would finish with the bronze medal showed that Lawrence is on the brink on a finals debut in 2019. Defending Champion and #19 Dempsey Carroll returns as well. Carroll upended Lawrence in the semis 4-1. Zach’s 51 wins in 2018 combined with teammate Charlie Grygas’ 46 wins give Duanesburg an excellent 1-2 punch between 152lbs-170lbs. 

Donovan (Blue/Yellow) looking to score points against Luke Bokina (Navy) - 2018 NYS Semi-finals

10. Cahal Donovan - Marcellus

Rounding out the top 10 is Marcellus’s Cahal Donovan. Donovan has put together a formidable career which includes two seasons wrestling for the Phoenix Firebirds. Now back at Marcellus, Cahal's junior season may have been his most dominant. He won 6 individual tournaments and placed third at the prestigious Eastern States Classic. At the ESC, Donovan blasted through some really good wrestlers including state champion Luke Bokina of Mattituck, state runner-up Nicholas Young of Alexander, state bronze medalist Rafael Lievano of Ward Melville. The 13-7 loss to nationally ranked Jack Davis of Wyoming Seminary may have opened up Cahal’s eyes a bit moving forward. Like Lawrence, Donovan earned a well-deserved #1 seed at states. Cahal was the clear cut favorite at 132lbs. During the season he defeated the number 2, 3 and 5 seed. A setback against the aforementioned Bokina suspended Cahal from a second state finals berth. He would finish with the bronze medal defeating Virginia signee Ray Costa of Cold Spring Harbor and Kyle Sams of Putnam Valley. For his career, Cahal is a 3x NYS place finisher. As a freshman he would run the table and finish second to 3x champion Orion Anderson of Schuylerville. Another loss to Anderson as a sophomore, this time in the semis, dropped him to a fourth place finish. Heading into his final stanza with the Mustangs, Cahal looks to become the first state champion in Marcellus history. His dominant style and fluid pace has Donovan as an overwhelming favorite going into 2019. With a 166-18 record, Donovan looks to eclipse the 200 win plateau as well.

Rank Wrestler School-Section Division Last year's weight
11 Marco Vespa Monroe Woodbury-9 1 120
12 Hunter Shaut Central Valley-3 2 145
13 John Worthing Tioga-4 2 113
14 Warren McDougald Niagara Wheatfield-6 1 145
15 Joey Slackman Commack-11 1 285
16 Sammy DePrez Hilton-5 1 182
17 Sean Carter North Babylon-11 1 113
18 Tyler Kellison JD/CBA-3 1 126
19 Dempsey Carroll Copenhagen-3 2 152
20 Jack Chesman Pearl River-1 2 152
Rank Wrestler School-Section Division Last year's weight
21 Matt Garland South Jeff-Sandy Creek-3 2 113
22 Alex Samson Victor-5 1 113
23 Corey Connolly Rocky Point-11 1 152
24 Caleb Robinson Walton-Delhi-4 2 120
25 Zach Braddell Tonawanda-6 2 126
26 Trentyn Rupert Newark Valley-4 1 285
27 Aaron Wolk Horace Greeley-1 1 160
28 Devin Woodworth Horseheads-4 1 120
29 Logan Dubuque Peru-7 2 120
30 Joe Simons Farmingdale-8 1 138
Rank Wrestler School-Section Division Last year's weight
31 Matthew Schreiber Horace Greeley-1 1 99
32 Cory Day Iroquois-6 2 145
33 Jhordyn Innocent East Ramapo-1 1 195
34 Will Leonard Cornwall-9 1 220
35 Liam McIntyre Westhampton Beach-11 1 182
36 Chandler Merwin Walton-Delhi-4 2 113
37 Ryan Burgbacher Patchogue-Medford-11 1 145
38 Austin Lamb Tioga-4 2 138
39 Mike Rigermann Pioneer-6 2 220
40 Christian Gannone Eastport-South Manor-11 1 113
Rank Wrestler School-Section Division Last year's weight
41 Bradley Cheek Canisteo-Greenwood-5 2 120
42 Ty Raines Churchville-Chili-5 1 138
43 Paul Illicete Copiague-11 1 160
44 Austin Sergeant Fairport-5 1 120
45 Jonathan Spadafora Hills East-11 1 138
46 Sam Wolf Warsaw-5 2 160
47 Lajess Sawyer Center Moriches-11 2 170
48 Ty Bartolomei North Tonawanda-6 1 106
49 CJ McMonegal North Rockland-1 1 113
50 Thomas Hughes Fulton-3 1 113
Rank Wrestler School-Section Division Last year's weight
51 Marvin Canales-Vanegas Smithtown West-11 1 106
52 Tyler Serafini Newburgh-9 1 152
53 Justin Amendola Rocky Point-11 1 106
54 Zach Williams Hannibal-3 2 152
55 Victor Perlleshi Pleasantville-1 2 126
56 Robbie Penhollow Falconer-6 2 170
57 Dylan Gianikos Patchogue-Medford-11 1 220
58 Nicholas Meglino Edgemont-1 2 170
59 Joseph Gannone Eastport South Manor-11 1 152
60 Patrick Walsh Olean-6 2 182

A lot of firepower from ranks #51-#60, led by four Suffolk County hammers. Smithtown West’s Marvin Canales-Vanegas starts it off at #51. A third place finish in the county tournament at 106 in a formidable accomplishment for most. Vanegas and #53 Justin Amendola would swap wins with Vanegas winning last time out. Amendola would finish in 4th place proving how deep yet again section 11 is every year. Both combatants have the ability to get over the hump in 2019 as they both are chasing defending county champion and junior #18 Jake Eckerle of Commack. Another third place finisher is heavyweight Dylan Gianikos of Patchogue-Medford. This mammoth of a beast has definitely made himself a force to be wrecking with in 2019. Dylan moves up to 285 and aims to take down state runner-up Joey Slackman of Commack. Regardless of that outcome, both grapplers will be supporting the navy and white in Albany this season. The last Suffolk County star in this group is Eastport South Manor’s Joseph Gannone. The third ESM Shark on our senior’s list was a 3rd place finisher last season in S11. Gannone has made great strides in becoming a legit contender for a county title. He has split with returning champ Corey Connolly of Rocky Point with Connolly winning last time out at the county tournament. 

Sandwiched between Vanegas and Amendola is section 9 champion Tyler Serafini of Newburgh. Serafini would have a solid junior season finishing with 45 wins. His two defeats at states would be to eventual champion Jacori Teemer and 6th place finisher Michael Marcy in sudden victory. Tyler seems to have his pick of the litter in section 9 when it comes to the middleweights. He is the only returning champion that was an underclassman between 132-170. 

Williams (Purple) defeats Demspey Carroll (Green) in the Section 3 Finals

Back up in section 3, Hannibal’s Zach Williams became the school’s first sectional champion in their history. The #54 ranked senior could easily be higher on this list. For those who may not know, Williams did defeat Copenhagen’s Dempsey Carroll in the section 3 finals. Carroll, a NYS wildcard, would end up winning the 152lb class in Albany. Taking nothing away from Zach’s win over Dempsey, a 6th place finish in that same weight can’t go unnoticed. Williams would make the semi-finals before losing to runner-up Jack Chesman 5-3. The semi-slide was in full effect with Williams as he would drop his remaining two bouts 11-5 and 6-5 UTB. 

At #55 and #58 were teammates on the section 1 squad in 2018. Pleasantville’s Victor Perlleshi and Edgemont’s Nicholas Meglino are two studs that provide the Westchester County region with some much needed depth and representation in the Winter Classic in February. Both grapplers failed to reach their respective goals in 2018 but have built solid foundations heading into their senior seasons. 

Back out to western NY we go with our final two wrestlers in this bunch, #56 Rob Penhollow and #60 Pat Walsh. 

Penhollow (Left) taking down Jacob Sarow (Right) - 2018 Section 6 Finals

Penhollow played a huge role in Falconer’s 2018 success. The 4 headed monster of Dylan Ingrao, Dan Torres, Penhollow and Corey Keefe put the Golden Falcons on the map and propelled them to a section 6 division 2 dual meet title. Robbie is the only one of the four returning and has his sights set high. His 2018 season ended in disappointing fashion. A number 2 seed heading into states and a legit contender for a state title, Penhollow seemed to have trouble right out of the gate and only defeated Locust Valley’s Bailey O’Brien 2-1 in overtime. An 8-5 loss to #47 Lajess Sawyer of Center Moriches sent Robbie to the wrestlebacks. His 55 win season would end in the blood round to Central Valley’s Trent Ingraham 4-2 in sudden victory. 

Olean’s Pat Walsh made the most of his 2018 season ending with a 6th place finish in NYS at 182lbs. Walsh would place third in section 6 and was stuck behind Newfane’s Julian Nixon in regards to receiving a wildcard berth because Nixon defeated Walsh at their sectional tournament. Luckily, Nixon had enough points thus allowing Walsh to fall next in line. Three wins later over three quality opponents, Walsh rightfully earned his spot on the podium. His 42 wins and state place finish has Walsh leading the huskies into 2019 with high expectations. 

Rank Wrestler School-Section Division Last year's weight
61 Dequan Stuart Roosevelt-8 1 285
62 Shane Hoover BGAH-4 2 152
63 Raymond Costa Cold Spring Harbor-8 2 132
64 Keagan Carmenatty South Seneca-5 2 220
65 Dominik Thomas St. Francis-C 1 170
66 Thomas Bachmeier Bethpage-8 1 220
67 Jake Stangle Ballston Spa-2 1 285
68 Xavier Pommells Uniondale-8 1 113
69 Giovanni Russo Fredonia-6 2 138
70 James Ryan Monsignor Farrell-C 1 120

Section 8 Division 1 MOW - Xavier Pommells of Uniondale

Four of the next ten seniors hail from Nassau County. The section 8 contingent is hoping to contend with section 11 at the 2019 state tournament. Three of the four are reigning Nassau County champions, Dequan Stuart of Roosevelt is at #61, Ray Costa of Cold Spring Harbor is at #63 and 2018 Section 8 MOW Xavier Pommels of Uniondale is at #68. Thomas Bachmeier of Bethpage is at #66. Bachmeier would completely tank in the state qualifier and not place. His 6th place finish at Eastern States can’t go unnoticed however. 

BGAH’s Shane Hoover sits comfortably at #62. The 2018 Section 4 champion blasted his way through the regular season and entered states with a 34-0 record. A 2-2 debut was an underperformance to Shane’s standards. The BGAH Bear is favored to repeat in section 4 and looks to be the first state champion for BGAH since Eric Decker in 2006.

Carmenatty (Purple) taking down Dylan Dunham (Red) @ 2018 NYS Tournament

The next competitor is #64 Keagan Carmenatty of South Seneca. Carmenatty was a true underdog story in 2018. Coming off line 4 at supers, Keagan would obliterate top seed Robert Williams of Waterloo 10-3. A loss in the ultimate tie breaker to Tylor Barnhart left Carmenatty anxiously waiting to see if he had enough wildcard points for a spot in the 220lb bracket. Rightfully so, Carmenatty did and would make some noise in round one as he would knock off number 5 seed Dylan Dunham 8-2. A loss to stud freshman (now sophomore) #14 Tyler Rice of Norwich sent Keagan to the backside. Two straight wins gave him all-state status and some well-earned credentials heading into 2019. Carmenatty is looking to be South Seneca’s first state finalist since Adam Wagner in 2017.

The next two gentlemen are from the Catholic league. Both # 65 Dominik Thomas of St. Francis and #70 James Ryan of Monsignor Farrell are 2x CHSAA champions. They both bring stability and experience to the Catholic squad in 2019. Thomas’s 44 wins in 2018 has the Red Raider rolling into his senior campaign. Thirteen of the sixteen wrestlers in his 2018 bracket were seniors. A podium finish to cap off his career is definitely within the realm of possibilities. Ryan on the other hand is still climbing his uphill battle as the lightweights in division 1 are just so deep. We fully expect Ryan to claim his third CHSAA title in 2019. With nerves set aside, a final push for the Lion to end his career on a high note.

Another 2x sectional champion is from Ballston Spa in the Capital Region. At #67, Jake Stangle was one of three champions for the Scotties in 2018. Stangle’s 28 win season would end at the hands of #61 Dequan Stuart 5-3 in overtime. Jake shouldn’t have much resistance from the heavyweights in section 2 as a third state berth is in order.

The final wrestler in this portion is a section 6 runner-up and didn’t have enough points for a wildcard either. An injury to champion Johnny Putney gave Fredonia’s Giovanni Russo a berth into the 138lb bracket. The Hillbilly did get one win over Oyster Bay’s Jack Wieboldt 9-2 before ending his 38 win season with a loss to Pawling’s Jack Wrobel.

Rank Wrestler School-Section Division Last year's weight
71 Christian Encarnacion Wantagh-8 1 120
72 Nolan McNeil Warrensburg-2 2 182
73 Kyle Althenn Mepham-8 1 132
74 Connor Kenney Grand Island-6 1 182
75 Zachary Bonner Ossining-1 1 138
76 Ryan Damboise Livonia-Way/Coh-5 2 182
77 Kris Ketchum Rocky Point-11 1 132
78 Zacc Romero Brooklyn Tech-P 1 132
79 Mike Babbcort Wingate-P 1 220
80 Charlie Grygas Duanesburg-2 2 160

Encarnacion (Black) wrestling Nick Karamoshes (Blue) - 2018 Nassau County Dual Meet Finals

Kicking off the next ten wrestlers is Wantagh’s Christian Encarnacion. Christian is just another stud that came up through the warriors program and is in the hunt for his first county title. He was a county runner-up at 113lbs in 2017 to Plainedge’s Jared Altan. A fourth place finish last season wasn’t what he had envisioned. Beyond the 2018 team state title, Christian is looking to gain a little bit of individual hardware. He can hang with the best of them and we fully expect Encarnacion to battle all season long.  A County title and a chance to wear the Green and White would be an excellent send off to a stellar career with the warriors.

Warrensburg’s Nolan McNeil played a huge role for a team that lost in the semi-finals in the inaugural NYSPHSAA Division 2 Dual Meet Tournament. McNeil’s 40 wins got him to the blood round of states. Senior #60 Pat Walsh of Olean would halt Nolan bid for all-state honors. With Warrensburg on top of the pyramid in section 2, McNeil and company are looking for a repeat appearance at the state duals and multiple reps individually at states. 

Sounding like a broken record over here but section 8 has another worthy grappler in our senior rankings. Mepham’s Kyle Althenn may have fallen behind the shadows at 132lbs. Wantagh’s Justin Vines and Freeport’s Lee Mauras were on a collision course with one another leaving Althenn fighting for third in Nassau County. Cruising to a third place finish with ease, Kyle joined both Vines and Mauras on the 132lb bracket in Albany. A deep bracket proved too much for Althenn and he would finish with a 1-2 record and 33 wins on the season. With Vines now graduated, going through Mauras for his first county title will be a daunting task. 

The next three were all sectional champions in 2018. Grand Island’s Connor Kenney at #74 ended his 2018 season with 44 wins. An absolute depth ridden 182lb weight class didn’t give Kenney much room for error. His lone win would come against Kevin Barry of Stepinac 20-7. Another 182lber is #76 Ryan Damboise of Livonia. Competing in division 2, Damboise was one of three section 5 grapplers to qualify in that weight proving how tough the Rochester area is in division 2. A discouraging 1-2 showing left the section 5 champion’s season unfulfilled. Starting off 2019 strong will be crucial for Ryan as he aims for his second straight section 5 championship.

Bonner after defeating Scarsdale's Seth Schulman in the 2018 Section 1 Finals

Sandwiched between Kenney and Damboise is Ossining’s Zachary Bonner. At #75, Bonner's path through section 1 came with ease however went the distance in all 4 matches. Scoring points is what Bonner does. In the 4 matches at sectionals, Zach would score 36 points and only giving up 9, 5 of which came in the finale against Seth Schulman. At states, he would score 15 and 6 to advance to the dreaded blood round. The loss to Ty Raines of Churchville-Chili was gut-wrenching, a match that could have gone either way. That loss should be pushing Zach each and every day throughout his entire senior campaign. 


Rocky Point’s Kris Ketchum and Brooklyn Tech’s Zacc Romero are at #77 and #78. These two competitors met at Eastern States with Ketchum coming away with a 3-1 decision. Kris battled through a mine field of a weight class at counties finishing in 3rd place. Romero is PSAL’s highest ranked senior. Already a 2x PSAL champion, Romero will surely win his third in 2019. Romero has some upside and made some huge strides in 2018. He would defeat his round 1 opponent Ryan Stern of Clarkstown North 10-1 before losing to eventual State Champion and Junior #4 Willie McDougald 5-2. 

Mike Babbcort after his 7th place finish at 2018 Eastern States Classic

At #79 is Wingate’s Mike Babbcort. Outside of the PSAL and perhaps the surrounding sections, Babbcort may not be known to many. He has yet to make an appearance at states but that should definitely change in 2019. His junior campaign ended with his loss to Leo Rabinovich of Tottenville. Babbcort’s 7th place finish at Eastern States can’t go unrecognized. The PSAL is getting better each and every season that passes and is producing quality wrestlers to represent the orange and blue at states. Don’t be surprise if Babbcort starts knocking off some big names in 2019. 

Charlie Grygas of Duanesburg rounds of this group at #80. Grygas is a 2x NYS qualifier and would make the blood round in both appearances. En route to his blood round loss in 2017, Grygas would defeat #81 Mason Compton of Attica 5-4. Isaiah Roes of Lowville would end Charlie’s season in 2018 with an 8-6 decision. Grygas is still aiming for his first section 2 title in 2019.

Rank Wrestler School-Section Division Last year's weight
81 Mason Compton Attica-5 2 152
82 William Harrison Port Jervis-9 2 152
83 Josh Thibeault Niagara Wheatfield-6 1 160
84 Matt Majoy Syosset-8 1 160
85 Nick Noel Fulton-3 1 160
86 Jacob Vergien Iroquois-6 2 132
87 Nick Serce Irondequoit-5 1 220
88 Marco Musso Massapequa-8 1 195
89 Joey Powers Port Byron-3 2 120
90 Carmine Pedoto Pawling-1 2 160

Compton wrestling Tevrett Covedill (Fillmore) - 2017 Section 5 finals

The aforementioned Compton has been a steady name at 152lbs his entire high school career. He has represented section 5 at states in each of those seasons; He is a 3x section 5 finalist, winning in 2017. Mason has yet to punch his ticket through until Saturday morning. His 43 wins last season was very impressive. The 152lb weight class proved too deep however as he would get squeaked out by against Saranac's Johnny Devins 5-4. both 2017 and 2016 would be a near repeat as Compton would lose in the same round as 2018 to Duanesburg's Charlie Grygas 5-4 and Ogdensburg's Brody Shepard 12-11. Can 2019 be the year that Compton pulls through with a podium finish? Joining Compton in leading the Blue Devils are Blake Pariso and Josh Barber. All three teammates should be in contention for a section 5 title in 2019.

A letdown to say the least for #82 William Harrison as a new format was in place in 2018. With the addition of private schools participating in division 2, a “play-in” match took place in nearly every weight thus causing 1 wrestler to be eliminated sooner than normal. The section 9 champion Harrison fell victim to the new format. An 8-3 loss to Ogdensburg Brody Sheppard in the play in match left Harrison fighting for his tournament life immediately. The number 3 seed Zach Brown of Newfane, who was upset in round 1, would end Harrison's season by a 6-4 decision.  

The next three grapplers were all in the same state bracket in 2018. Niagara Wheatfield’s Josh Thibeault and Syosset’s Matt Majoy squared off for a spot in the blood round. A back and forth battle that was very enjoyable to watch if I may add. The bout would end with an 8-7 score in favor of Thibeault. Both wrestlers had stellar 2018 seasons and will carry over into 2019. They will most likely not see each other again until states as they are on opposite sides of the state. The third wrestler in this bunch at 160 is section 3 champion Nick Noel of powerhouse Fulton. With an absolute awful draw, Noel would go 0-2 at states. On a positive note, Noel would go 3-0 at the state duals this year defeating wrestlers from Hilton, Shenendehowa and Wantagh.

Vergien (Bottom) trying to escape from Cahal Donovan (Top) - 2018 NYS Tournament

Jacob Vergien had quite the 2018 season. His 46 wins for the Chiefs was second best to Cory Day’s 48. The one-two punch of Vergien and Day has Iroquois sitting pretty in the middleweights. I feel as if both wrestlers benefitted from practicing with each other daily. Jacob would finish in 3rd place in section 6. Randolph’s Matt Evans seemed to be Vergien's kryptonite. A 7-4 semi-final loss to Evans at sectionals left Jacob waiting in the balance for a spot in Albany. After the always much anticipated wildcards were released, both grapplers were headed to Albany. Lone be hold, Vergien and Evans were set to meet on Saturday morning for a shot at the top 6. The Chief would close the gap yet still falter by a 3-2 decision. Let’s not take away the fact that Jacob pushed top seed and 3x NYS Placer Cahal Donovan to the brink in the quarterfinals. I felt that match alone proved that he can battle with the best. 

As many wrestlers can contest, losing round 1 in any tournament can deflate any momentum before it evens starts. True character, grit and heart shows up on the backside. Irondequoit’s Nick Serce reminds me of “showing up” on the backside. A tough round 1 loss at states to junior #34 Nik Koch of Averill Park 7-5 left the 2018 section 5 champion fighting for his tournament life. 33 match winner Joe Confessore of Sachem North was his first opponent. Everyone statewide knows that when you look across the mat and see Suffolk County on that blue and white singlet you better be ready to battle. Nick would methodically defeat Confessore 3-2 and advance against a familiar foe Kyle Tillich of Rush Henrietta. Tillich had already defeated Serce twice in the season. Serce would return the favor in the finals at supers by pinning Kyle late in the 3rd period. As fate would have it, the two combatants would meet at states for a fourth and final battle. Serce would end Tillich’s season with a 5-3 decision. Kudos to Nick Serce, winning two hard fought battles against quality opponents tells a lot about a kid. The Serce/Tillich saga shall continue in 2019 and best of luck to both.

At #88 and #89, Marco Musso and Joey Powers were both silver medalists in their respective sections. Musso would lose to State Champion Jon Loew of Wantagh and Powers to Junior #48 Dean Shambo of Mexico. Musso’s premiere in Albany didn’t go as planned. He would surprise the entire Times Union Center by taking Johnny Santos into overtime. A loss to Zac Condello of Fairport on the backside ended his season with a respectable 36 wins. Powers took a similar route as the aforementioned Nick Serce. After a loss in round 1 to Junior #67 Mike O’Brien of Mt. Sinai, Powers went to work with solid wins over Brendon Ramsey of Chautauqua Lake 4-1 and sophomore #36 Ethan Palanca of New Paltz 5-2. Fellow ranked senior Logan Dubuque of Peru halted Powers in the blood round 5-0. Joey leads a very thin Panthers team competing in the always tough section 3 division 2 circuit.   

We end this section of our senior rankings with yet another 160lber. Section 1 champion Carmine Pedoto of Pawling had a quiet but decent year. With only 25 matches on record in 2018, Pedoto made the best of it. He would win one match in Albany over Section 11’s John O’Neill via fall. Fellow ranked senior Sam Wolf of Warsaw would put the nail in the coffin on Carmine’s junior season with an 8-2 decision. Pawling will hold their own this upcoming season with Pedoto and juniors Alex Santana and Jerome Scott leading the way. 

Rank Wrestler School-Section Division Last year's weight
91 Mike Sabella Mt. Sinai-11 2 182
92 Jacob DeWolf Niagara Wheatfield-6 1 138
93 Thomas Minahan Niskayuna-2 1 138
94 Preston Havison Monroe Woodbury-9 1 285
95 Sam Santander Monroe Woodbury-9 1 195
96 CJ Lee Webster Thomas-5 1 113
97 Jace Filion Northern Adirondack-7 2 170
98 Garrett Gibbons Massapequa-8 1 152
99 Austen Carmen Clarke-8 2 152
100 Kaeden Peryea Beekmantown-7 2 138

The Class of 2019 rankings concludes with ranks #91-#100.

At #91, Mike Sabella of Mt. Sinai is 2x section 11 champion and was a apart of the Mustang squad that won the first ever division 2 state dual meet championship. Although Sabella didn’t place at states in 2018, he did take eventual state champion Connor Fredericks of Chittenango into overtime in round 1. Sabella should return to Albany in February for a third time. 

The next two grapplers at #92 and #93 were both qualifiers at 138lbs in 2018. Niagara Wheatfield’s Jacob Dewolf and Niskayuna’s Thomas Minahan didn’t fare well in Albany as they both were eliminated on Friday. Dewolf would lose to #30 Joe Simons of Farmingdale on the backside. Jacob’s key win in 2018 came in early December as he defeated section 4 champion Ben Howe of Elmira. After losing to Simons in round 1, Minahan’s season would end at the hands of #78 Zachary Bonner of Ossining 15-7. Leading up to states, Thomas did have some solid wins over Section 2 Champion Billali Zamani of Schenectady, NYS Qualifier Danny Jada of Burnt Hills and section 2 place finisher Xavier Jones of Schuylerville.

Sam Santander holding on to defeat Anton Juncaj (Minisink Valley) 3-1 to win his first section 9 title

Two Monroe Woodbury grapplers hold the next spots at #94 and #95. Preston Havison and Sam Santander anchor the top end of the Crusaders lineup. Havison was a section 9 runner-up in 2018 to Minisink Valley’s Andrew Fenner. Santander shocked many in the section 9 tournament as he pinned top seed and favorite Maxx DeCapua of Newburgh in the semi-finals. Sam would complete his title run and upend Anton Juncaj on MV in the finale. A 0-2 performance at states doesn’t negate nor diminish the success for the future. These two heavyweights make Monroe Woodbury tough to beat if the dual ever concludes with one of them on the mat.

CJ Lee of Webster Thomas comes in at #96. Lee has put together respectable back to back seasons but still hasn’t reached his full potential. In 2017, CJ would earn a wildcard into states after finishing 2nd at supers. He would get one win in Albany over Nate Osborne of Cicero-North Syracuse. Last season’s loss to RJ Beh of Irondequoit in the semis at supers blocked Lee from qualifying for states for a second straight season. CJ leads a young but deep Titans squad into 2019.

Heading up north for #97, Section 7 champion Jace Filion of Northern Adirondack led the bobcats in 2018 culminating with a berth in the 170lb bracket at states. A 1-2 premiere in Albany wasn’t the outcome Jace had expected however he did defeat section 2 champion Rich Conte 8-0 in the first round of wrestlebacks. Filion is back in 2019 determined to close out his career with a podium finish. 

A couple of 152lbers from section 8 are next on the list. Garrett Gibbons of Massapequa is a 2x NYS qualifier but has yet to earn an automatic berth by winning Nassau County. Garrett’s freshman campaign nearly ended with a podium finish. He would lose in the blood round to Ben Tepperman of Hauppauge 5-0. His second stint dawning the green and white didn’t go very well as he went 0-2. Garrett’s junior campaign was definitely a disappointment as he would finish fourth at the county tournament and failing to be eligible for a wildcard. Before wrapping up a solid career for the chiefs, Gibbons has one final push left in him. Two time section 8 champion Austin Carmen enters at #99. Carmen’s junior season ended abruptly due to an injury. He was on pace to claim his third county title and potentially for his first podium finish. Carmen, along with freshman #7 Jordan Soriano, will lead the Rams into 2019. 

A list that started at 275 is now down to 100. Beekmantown’s Kaeden Peryea caps off our Class of 2019 rankings at #100. The final spot came down to Peryea and section 5 champion Chase Runfola of Letchworth. A 5-3 decision at states last year in favor of Kaeden gave him the nod. It was definitely a tough decision as Runfola would defeat Peryea 11-3 at states in 2017. Either competitor is worthy of the ranking, this is merely going on who won last time out. 



Class of 2019 rankings by the numbers:

11 – New York State Championships
13 – NYS Runner-Ups
46 – NYS Place Finishers
67 – Sectional Champions

Top 10 overall career record – 1786-227 (88.7 Win %)

Number of wrestlers ranked by section:

16 - Section 11

12 - Section 6

12 - Section 8

11 - Section 5

10 - Section 1

10 - Section 3

7 - Section 2

7 - Section 4

6 - Section 9

4 - Section 7


2 - PSAL


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