|AROUND THE STATE
by Jim and Tony Nordland
| Currently the top ranked team is Johnson City- 4 ( 16-0), as they finished seventh out of 61 teams in the prestigious Beast of the EastTournament. In recent weeks, they upended Section Five power Spencerport, 33-28, to win the Union-Endicott Tournament and defeated Bradley Central (Tenn), 34-30 to capture first place in the American Division at the Virginia Duals. Troy Nickerson of Chenango Forks-4 won the Beast of the East Classic and is the top 112-pounder in the country. Nickerson (21-1,112-6 career mark) suffered his first loss of the season in the finals of the Jeff Reese Memorial Tournament which featured 35 teams. He moved up to the 119-pound class and was defeated soundly by Mike Sees of Shikellamy, PA., by a 22-9 verdict. Sees, a senior, was the PA state runnerup last year. Nickerson, a sophomore, has already claimed two NYS titles. Canandaigua-5 won the Bradshaw Tournament and narrowly defeated Section 3 power Fulton, 204 to 201. They were led by state runnerup, junior Trevor Chinn (22-2, 168 career wins) who won the 140-pound title. Other titlists were Rocco Catalfano (103), Kyle Ingraham (112) and state title contender Tom Cuppernell (26-2) at 152 pounds. Other top prep wrestlers that are ranked amongst the best in the country are defending state champions Ryan Needle (6th at 135) of Newfane-6 and Chris Hand (12th at 140) of Whitney Point-4, along with Josh Glenn (6th at 152) of Johnson City-4 and Gian Villante (8th at 215) of MacArthur-8. MacArthur-8 won the inaugural Eastern Classic Tournament held at Orange CC, as they amassed 208 points and edged New Jersey power, Manalapan (189) and the top ranked Section Nine squad of Valley Central (172). The Generals crowned four champions and had seven place-winners. Claiming titles were the DeLorenzo brothers, Steve (96), and Matt (119), along with Adam Molano (152) and potential state champion, Gian Villante at 215 pounds.
Also winning titles at the Eastern Classic were number one ranked wrestlers, Steve Sutton (130) of LaSalle-2 and Sherwood Fendryk (160) of Greene-4. Darrell Ford (119) of Minisink Valley-9 won the Aggregate Pin Award with 5 pins in 7:51, he finished third in his weight class.
Other Long Islanders who fared well were Farmingdale's Steve Panarelli, who captured the 171 - pound crown and Massapequa's Mike La Bella who dropped a close 3-1 decision to unbeaten John Dacruz (Ludlow, Mass) in the 189 - pound final.
The Empire State's top teams are:
1.Johnson City-4 (16-0)
5.South Jefferson-3 (11-0-1)
6.Valley Central-9 (14-0)
7.Beaver River-3 (12-2-1)