Johnson City (16-1) is currently the top-ranked large school team in the Empire State as they won the Union-Endicott Duals. The Widcats defeated defending champion, Islip-11, 25-24, in a thrilling final. The JC squad edged Section Five power Wayne HS, 28-26, in the semifinals and Islip advanced to the championship, by virtue of their 30-23 victory over Long Island rival MacArthur. Finishing in third place was five-time Nassau County team champion, MacArthur who defeated Wayne, 31-25, and in a battle of Section Five mat squads, Spencerport nipped Brockport, 28-26, for fifth place. Many wrestling observers felt this was the strongest field ever assembled for the duals, as eight of the ten schools entered are amongst the top ten in the state. The Wildcats were led by state placewinner Peter Capone (125), Leigh Tobias (130), Mike Tesar (135) Ben Whitbeck (140) and state-ranked Ryan McCormick at 145 pounds. At the Section 4 Dual Meet Championships,Tioga, the number-one ranked small schools squad, upset JCity, 31-24. The Tioga Tigers recorded four key  pins by; Andy Canale (112), Nate Robinson (119), Miles Keene (130) and tough Corey Waite at 189 pounds. Earlier in the year, the two teams wrestled to a 33-33 stalemate, with JC winning on criteria. The difference in this meet was Canale's fall over JC's Kevin Matyas, Matyas had edged Canale 12-7 overtime, in the first dual. Fulton won the Section 3 Dual Tournament, over South Jefferson, 32-27. The Red Raiders were led by Eric Smith (103), Paul Slaver (112), Matt Draper (119), Matt Bogardus (140), Dillon Shue (145) and highly-touted Josh Richardson at 189 pounds. The Islip Bucs won the prestigious Eastern States Classic, as they amassed 189 points and finished ahead of Tioga Central (168.5), Shenendehowa (152), Minisink Valley (150) and Wayne (147). The Islip Bucs were led by champions, Lance Wade (152) and reigning state king, unbeaten Ryan Patrovich, he edged two-time Division II titlist, Eric Decker (BGAfton), 2-1 double overtime, for the 160-pound crown. Defending team champion, Valley Central, finished in sixth place with 144.5 points and crowned one champion, 8th-grader Cody Ruggirello at 96 pounds. Two-time state champion Lou Ruggirello was upset in the semifinals by two-time state medallist, junior Corey Jantzen (SWRiver), 7-4, at 125 pounds. Jantzen defeated state placewinner David Marble (Harpursville), 16-4, in the finals and was voted the tournament's outstanding wrestler. Also entered in the 125-pound class was returning state champion Austin Meys (Shenendehowa) who finished in sixth place. Three-time state winner, JP O'Connor (24-0, 221-12 career) of Oxford cruised to the 145-pound title. O'Connor has been selected to represent the U.S. All-Stars at the 32nd annual Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic, to be held in March at Pittsburgh, PA. He has also committed to Harvard University and will hone his wrestling skills as a Crimson grappler next season. Returning state medallists, Josh Patterson (171) and Ryan Lamagra (189) of Wayne won their respective weight classes, they are cousins and both are solid contenders for state gold this season. East Islip won the Ross Cordell Tournament at Oneonta for the second consecutive year, as they tallied 259 points and outpointed runner-up BGAfton (224) and Chenango Forks (209.5). The Redmen crowned six champions; including state placewinner Dave Ingram (135), along with Jake Benedetto (103), Lamar Washington (152), Kevin Vavricka (171), Barry Gibson (189) and junior Ian MacIneirghe at 215 pounds. Co-MVPs of the tournament were unbeaten Casey Lanave (96) of Chenango Forks and two-time Division II state king Eric Decker of BGAfton at 160 pounds. At the annual Bayport-Blue Point Duals, Walt Whitman (11-0) defeated West Islip, 36-25. The Whitman Wildcats are led by 8th-grader Adam Troy (18-1) at 103, his brother Rob (17-2) at 119, Jim Kaden (140) and junior Nick Thode (16-2) at 215 pounds. The West Islip Lions top matmen are Peter Gonzales (96), his brother Mike at 130, Devon Acosta (135), unbeaten Kyle Keane (17-0) at 140 and Paul Butcher (16-2) at 152. Host Bayport, a Division II contender, has a solid squad which includes the Edward brothers, Kevin (13-3) at 130, state medallist Kyle (15-2) at 145, along with Glen Donatelli (15-1) at 103, junior Pat Dooley (9-3) at 140 and Kiel Hock at 171 pounds. Five Long Island wrestlers joined the Century Club this past month; all-county Mike Pagano (101 wins) of Calhoun, Andre Harrison (114 wins) of Freeport and Chris Iorio (118-16 career mark) of Sachem, that trio all compete in the 130-pound class, Harrison and Iorio are defending county champions. Four-year varsity starter, unbeaten Pat Doherty (30-0, 109 wins) of Chaminade at 145 is among the top middlewieghts in the state and will led the Flyers at the CHSAA Championships. Also, in that group is two-time county placewinner, Patrick Daddino (102 wins) of Sewanhaka District, at 189 pounds. Patrick joins his three brothers, Matt and Tommy, both with 139 career victories and Danny (125 wins) who competes in the 160-pound class. In the latest
Amateur Wrestling News individual prep rankings, seven New York State grapplers are listed amongst the best in the nation. Ian Paddock (12th at 103) of Warsaw, Lou Ruggirello (5th at 119) of VCentral, Corey Jantzen (12th at 125) of SWRiver, JP O'Connor (3rd at 145) of Oxford, Ryan Patrovich (4th at 160) of Islip, Eric Decker (12th at 160) of BGAfton and Bryant Deinhardt (12th at 275) of Deposit. In the NCAA Division I rankings, eight NY prepped matmen are ranked amongst the best collegians in the country. True freshman Troy Nickerson (21-1) of Cornell is ranked 5th at 125, Jon Masa (4th at 149) of Hofstra, freshman Gregor Gillespie (9th at 149) of Edinboro, Mike Patrovich (5th at 174) of Hofstra, Matt Herrington (12th at 174) of Penn, Joe Mazzurco (4th at 184) of Cornell, sophomore Josh Glenn (5th at 184) of American and Kyle Cerminara (3rd at 197) of Buffalo. The 76th annual NCAA Wrestling Championships will be held on March 16th-18th at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, OK.
Pat Daddino (Sewanhaka)