AROUND THE STATE
                                                           January 2005

                                                        By Jim & Tony Nordland

   Islip-11 (10-0) is currently the top-ranked team in the Empire State as they won the Union-Endicott Duals. The Buccaneers defeated Johnson City-4, 42-21, Section Five power Spencerport-5, 33-23, and upended number-one ranked Valley Central-9, 33-25, to capture the unofficial New York State dual-meet title. In the championship dual, three-time state runner-up Tom Magnani upset defending state champion junior Lou Ruggirello, in the  marquee match of the dual, 8-6 overtime,  at 119 pounds. The Vikings never recovered from that bout, as Islip won six of the next seven bouts for an insurmountable  33-7 lead. Joe Patrovich, now in his ninth season as head coach and longtime assistant Steve Arey were thrilled with their team's performance and have a balanced line-up. Standouts for the Bucs were sophomore Tyler Mashkow(103), Paul Vaeth(130), the Wade brothers; Chris(135) and Lance(140), Mike Rudden(145), Dan Egan(152) and state finalist, junior Ryan Patrovich at 160 pounds. Finishing third was Wayne-5 who edged rival Spencerport-5, 28-20, and placing fifth was four-time Nassau champion, MacArthur-8 (13-2) who defeated Minisink Valley-9, 35-12... Section Five boasts two strong mat squads in Wayne and Spencerport. The Wayne Eagles are led by sophomore Steve Singley(103), Luke Baum(135), the Patterson brothers; Nate, a senior at 140 and Josh, a junior at 160, along with tough Ryan Lamagra at 171 pounds. The Spencerport Rangers, under the tutelage of veteran coach, Bill Jacoutot, now in his 24th year, point to Eric Piedmonte(112), DanTomasso(140), returning state place-winner, freshman Bryan Bourne(145) and sectional finalist Adam Snook at 160 pounds. Look for many of those aforementioned names at the 2005 state meet and for the Section Five contingent to be among the top sectional teams. MacArthur-8 appears to be the top dual squad in Nassau and coach Howie Greenblatt, now in his 19th season, has two returning Nassau champions, Steve DeLorenzo(119) and Bruce Popko at 125 pounds. Other top grapplers for the Generals are; junior Mike Daly(96), the Calvacca brothers, Dan at 140 and Bill at 145, along with sectional place finisher Brian Scher at 189 pounds...Four-time state champion Troy Nickerson (188-6 career) of Chenango Forks-4 will attend Cornell University next year. Nickerson recently announced his decision with his coach Rick Perkins in front of about 50 people at the Chenango Forks HS library. Cornell University coach Rob Koll was ecstatic, as Nickerson chose the Big Red over Harvard, West Virginia and national power Minnesota. Nickerson felt he wanted to stay closer to home and has had tremendous support from  his family and fans in the Binghamton area. Nickerson, who has also won five national titles at the Cadet/Junior Nationals in Fargo, N.D., including both the OSW Awards in freeestyle and Greco-Roman, is seeking an unprecendented fifth state crown and will compete at 125 pounds...Long Island's only returning state champion is Alton Lucas(21-0, 151-11 career) of West Babylon-11 at 160 pounds. He has defeated two state runners-up this season, Ryan Patrovich(5-2) of Islip-11 and John Barone(14-7) of William Floyd this past month...East Islip-11 recently won the Ross Cordell Tournament at Oneonta. The Redmen edged Saugerties-9, 180 to 178.5, and crowned three champions; Jake Benedetto(96), Cameron Gee(152) and Travis Addeo at 215 pounds. The prestigious Eastern States Classic featured 44 teams from seven states and was held at Sullivan CC in Liberty. Valley Central-9 won the tournament and edged Islip-11, 218.5 to 203.5 points. The Vikings' coach Paul Cummings had his squad ready to battle amongst the top high school in the Northeast and emerged with three individual champions. Winning titles were defending state kings, Lou Ruggirello(112) and Ricky Scott(171), along with unbeaten Ed Bordas at 215 pounds. That trio could all win state crowns this March at the Pepsi Arena in Albany. Islip-11 garnered one title, as three-time state finalist Tom Magnani, cruised to the 119-pound championship and pinned highly-regarded Josh Madison(LaSalle-2) in the final. Earning silver medals were, Mike Rudden(145) and Ryan Patrovich(152). Patrovich dropped an 8-6 decision to 2003 state champion, Gregor Gillespie(Webster-Schroeder-5), in one of the top bouts in the championship finals. Rounding out the top five teams were, Wayne-5 (198), MacArthur-8 (193) and Timberlane, NH (135.5). MacArthur  had two winners, Bruce Popko(125) and Brian Scher(189), along with finalist Dan Calvacca at 140 pounds. Other weight class winnners from New York were; Jamie Franco(96) of Monroe-Woodbury-9, Austin Meys(103) of Section Two power Shenendehowa, reigning state champion JP O'Connor(174-12 career mark) of Oxford-4 at 130, Caleb Remillard(135) of Peru-7, Nate Patterson(140) of Wayne-5, Michael Chaires(145) of CBA-2 and potential state finalist Dave McCarty of LaSalle-2 at 160 pounds. Two of Long Island premier lightweights met in the 103-pound consolation, and Islip's Tyler Mashkow edged freshman Shane Strumwasser of Massapequa-8, by a 5-4 verdict...
At the 4th annual Commack Duals, host Commack-11 (10-4) defeated previously unbeaten Chaminade-CHSAA (9-1), 31-30, in an epic battle of two of Long Island's top dual meet squads. Commack's coach is Bill DeSario, a 1964 state champion from Mepham HS. Other schools that competed at the duals were Bellport-11 and Port Jefferson-11. Port Jeff's coach is Bob Morgan, a 1972 Suffolk County champion from Babylon HS, who was coached in high school by Bill DeSario...At the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals held at Cleveland State University, fourteenth-ranked Northern Iowa defeated sixth-ranked Hofstra, 22-14, in the first round. Winning for the Pride(6-2) were  Charles Griffin(16-2), a 15-5 winner at 133, Ricky LaForge(17-3), with a 7-2 decision at 141, Joe Rovelli(13-4), a 10-2 winner at 184 and second-ranked Chris Stretkowicz(17-1) who posted a 7-0 decision at 197 pounds. Second round action saw Hofstra bounce back and defeat Cal Poly, 23-16. Pride winners included; Charles Griffin(133), Ricky LaForge(141), James Strouse(157), Mike Patrovich(165) and Chris Stretkowicz who secured a fall at the 1:01 mark in the 197-pound bout and clinched the meet for Hofstra(7-2). In the consolation bracket, Hofstra faced fourth-ranked Michigan and fell 19-18, as they surrendered a fall at heavyweight. In that bout, the Pride's Billy Simon, normally at 184 pounds, moved up to wrestle second-ranked Greg Wagner who weighed in at 272 pounds. Wagner matted the fall at 3:31 and secured the win for the Wolverines. Winning their individual bouts for the Pride were Charles Griffin at 133, Paul Siemon at 174, Joe Rovelli at 184 and Chris Stretkowicz who tallied a 9-3 decision at 197. Michigan's Josh Churella edged Ricky LaForge, 11-9 ot, in the 141-pound bout and NCAA runner-up Ryan Churella decisioned Mike Patrovich, 9-4, at 165 pounds. The loss eliminated Hofstra from the 16-team tournament which was won by top-ranked Oklahoma State(12-0) who defeated second-ranked Illinois(9-1), 22-15, in the championship final... Hofstra will host the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Sunday, February 13th at 10:00 am. In the NJCAA bracket, Nassau CC defeated William Rainey Harper College, 28-12, and edged Iowa Central CC, 22-15, to capture first place. Congratulations to coach Paul Schmidt and his program on that outstanding achievement...