January 20, 2004
                By Jim & Tony Nordland

      Spencerport-5 (11-0) is currently the top-ranked team in the Empire State as they won the Union-Endicott Duals. The Rangers defeated Wayne-5 (9-1), 30-24, and were led by Derek Gray (112), tough Mike Terenzi (a 17-2 tech fall winner at 145), Matt Legas(160) and state-ranked Alex Baxter at 215 pounds. Wayne upset previously unbeaten Valley Central-9 (11-1), 34-27, in the semi-finals. In the other semi-final, Spencerport dominated Minisink Valley, 39-9. Finishing third was VC as they edged rival MValley, 34-24, and finishing fifth was Section Three power Fulton who trounced Gouverneur-10,51-18. All those mat squads are amongst the top ten teams in the state... Valley Central won the Jeff Reese Memorial Tournament as they tallied 163.5 points to edge Shikellamy(PA) who finished with 163. Other top squads included Gouverneur(142), Attica-5(134) and Minisink Valley(133). VC crowned one champion as returning state place-winner Lou Ruggirello breezed to the 103-pound
title and other top finishers were Steve Valastro(112) and Ricky Scott(171). Five defending state champions won titles, Tyler Mumbolo(112) of B-GA-4, J.P.O'Connor(119) of Oxford-4, heralded Troy Nickerson(125) of Chenango Forks-4, Chris Hand(160) of Whitney Point-4 and Arthur Jones(275) of Union-Endicott-4...Islip-11 won the Long Island Duals as they nipped Sachem-11 in the championship final, 32-30. The Bucs had key victories turned in by state runner-up Tom Magnani(119), Mike Rudden(130), Chris Wade(135) and highly-touted Ryan Patrovich at 140 pounds. The Bucs also faced St. Edwards (Ohio) and Camden Catholic (NJ) in a recent double-dual. St. Eds, the third-ranked team in the nation, handled Islip, 59-6, and Camden, one of the top teams in NJersey, defeated the Bucs, 40-23... Huntington-11, still one of the elite teams in the state, won the prestigious Windsor Tournament(oldest in the state, begun in 1962) and finished second at the Suffern Kohl Memorial Tournament, behind Section Nine power Monroe-Woodbury. MWoodbury had four winners, Andy Franco(119), Chris Flood(130), Soroush Zahedi(135) and Kyle Fried at 140 pounds. All four of them could be sectional champions.The Blue Devils point to returning bronze medallist Shawn Riley(18-0) at 130, Shaheim Bradshaw(22-0) at 145 and junior Jack Sullivan(21-1) at 189 pounds. Both Bradshaw and Sullivan are returning county runners-up and will be tough to beat. All three could be competing at the NYS Intersectionals in late February. Huntington head coach Lou Giani, now in his 36th year, recently won his 400th dual meet and his career record stands at 402-28-1. His squad hasn't lost a dual meet since 1995. Giani's record also boasts 102 tournament titles, 53 county winners and a state record 22 individual state champions. He was inducted to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003...East Islip-11 coach Guy Leggio recently won his 100th dual meet in his 15-year tenure at East Islip. His Redmen defeated cross-town rival WIslip, 42-13, for the milestone victory and has one of the top teams on Long Island...Six New York prepped wrestlers are ranked nationally by the Amateur Wrestling News including, three-time state king Troy Nickerson(142-6 career mark) of Chenango Forks, he is top-ranked at 119 pounds. Nickerson, only a junior, has a chance to become the first ever five-time state champion. Others include defending state champions, Trevor Chinn(208-23) of Canandaigua, ranked third at 145, Chris Hand(194-17) of Whitney Pt., ranked second at 160 and junior Arthur Jones(76-4) of UE, ranked fifth at 275 pounds. State runners-up junior Alton Lucas(106-9) of West Babylon-11, is ranked fourth at 152 and Justin Tougas(84-10) of Glen Falls-2 is ranked twelfth at 275 pounds. All six will be tough to beat at the 2004 state meet...

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Ron Lanzillotta (Massapequa)
Mat Slap File Photo