December 2004
                                          By Jim & Tony Nordland

     Valley Central-9 still remains the number one-ranked team in the Empire State and are led by returning NYS champions; junior Lou Ruggirello (86-7 career mark) at 119 and senior Ricky Scott (154-29) at 171 pounds. They led their squad to the team title at the Bruin Cup held at Baldwin HS, as they amassed 441 points and crowned eleven champions to easily outdistanced runner-up Chaminade HS (CHSAA) who finished with 269 points. Also claiming titles for the Vikings were; Cody Ruggirello (96), Mike D'Amato (112), Sean Bauer (125), Dave Prutzman (130), Jack Ruggirello (135), Bobby Gringas(140), Shabazz Bailey(145), Joe Scott(160) and Ed Bordas at 215 pounds. Incidentally, Lou Ruggirello was voted the MOW and Shabazz Bailey defeated Section 8 champion and NYS place-winner, Spencer Cook(East Meadow), 3-1, in the finals. Section Five power Wayne HS, currently ranked third in the state, recently won the Tri-Valley Tournament as they tallied 250.5 points to edge Tioga-4 who finished with 203. Earning crowns for the Wayne Eagles were Steve Singley(103), tough Luke Baum(135) and Josh Patterson at 160 pounds. State medalist Nathan Patterson was defeated by 2003 state king, Gregor Gillespie(Webster-Schroeder), 3-0, in the 152-pound final. Wayne also nipped the seventh-ranked Canandaigua Braves, 28-26, in a dual meet amongst state powers. The pivotal bout of the meet was at 135 pounds, where Wayne's Luke Baum decisioned reigning state champion, Canandaigua sophomore Kyle Ingraham, 3-1.Those two squads, along with perennial power Spencerport, ranked fifth in NYS, give the Rochester area three teams in the states' top ten. Look for Section Five to be one of the contending sectional teams at the 2005 state meet. East Islip-11, currently ranked fourth in Section Eleven(Suffolk), won their first Huntington Tournament with 241.5 points to host Huntington's 216 pts and Northport with 208.5. The Redmen garnered five champions, earning titles were; freshman Jake Benedetto(96), Mike DiPaola(130), Dave Ingram(135), Sean Culver(145) and sophomore Cameron Gee at 152 pounds. MacArthur-8 won the Johnson City Dual Meet Tournament and defeated host Johnson City, 46-18, in the final. The Generals also won the Nassau Cup with 354 points and easily defeated Uniondale (233.5) and East Meadow (215). Winning championships for the Generals were; Steve DeLorenzo(125), Bruce Popko(130) and Ted Diamantis at 160 pounds. In the December issue of Amateur Wrestling News nine New York prepped wrestlers are ranked amongst the top grapplers in the nation. Four-time state champion Troy Nickerson(Chenango Forks-4) is ranked first at 125, both Alton Lucas(WBabylon-11) at 160 and Arthur Jones(Union-Endicott-4) at 275 are ranked second. Other ranked matmen are; Dan Bishop(Whitehall-2), 8th at 103, Tom Magnani(Islip-11), 10th at 125, J.P. O'Connor(Oxford-4), 12th at 130, Gregor Gillespie(Webster-Schroeder-5), 6th at 145, Eric Decker(BGAfton-4), 9th at 160 and Ricky Scott(Valley Central-9), 5th at 171 pounds. Islip-11, the top-ranked team on Long Island and second-ranked in the state has been dominating their opponents, as they opened up the League V dual meet schedule with a 75-4 victory. The Bucs recently won the North Babylon Holiday Tournament with 252 points over runner-up Smithtown who finished with 193 pts and have five individual winners.Titlists were; Tyler Mashkow(103), Tom Magnani(125), Paul Vaeth(130), Chris Wade(145) and Mike Rudden at 152 pounds.In a feature final bout, defending state champion, senior Alton Lucas(WBabylon) decisioned state runner-up, junior Ryan Patrovich(Islip), 5-2, to claimed the 160-pound championship. Also winning the NBabylon Tournament was reigning Division II champion, J.P. O'Connor(Oxford-4) who pinned tough Lance Wade(Islip) at the 1:30 mark and captured the 135-pound title. Islip (8-0) defeated MacArthur (8-1), 34-22, to capture the third annual Long Island Challenge Dual Meet Tournament. The Bucs won eight of the thirteen bouts and were paced by defending county champions and state runner-ups, senior Tom Magnani(119) and junior Ryan Patrovich(160). Minisink Valley-9 crowned two champions and amassed 239.5 points to edge host Massapequa-8 (222.5) and Monroe-Woodbury-9 (199.5) to capture the 41st annual Massapequa Christmas Tournament, which is the oldest Holiday Tournament on Long Island that began in 1963. The oldest tournament in NYS is the Windsor Tournament, dating back to 1962, which was won by Waverly-4 with 213 points over Canandaigua-5 (157) and Huntington-11 (122.5). Winning titles for MValley were Sean Taft(145) and Marcus Gardineer at 275. Earning crowns for the host Chiefs were county runner-up Shane Strumwasser(112), Zach Spero(130), Kevin Driscoll(135) and Adam Gottlieb at 140 pounds.