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       LONG ISLAND WRESTLING RETURNS STRONG CONTINGENT
                                   Four NYS Champions lead the field
                                            
By Jim & Tony Nordland


     Long Island wrestling have won a combined total of thirty-one sectional team titles (Suffolk (21) and Nassau with 8 championships. The 2013-2014 squads are strong favorites to claim another sectional crown. The island returns four state champions; seniors
Corey Rasheed (Longwood) and Louis Hernandez (Mepham), along with juniors, Nick Piccininni (Ward Melville) and Kyle Quinn of the 2013 state's #1 team Wantagh. Four-time placer Rasheed (2-5-2-1) boasts a career mark of 200-12 and will compete at 160 pounds, two-time titlist Piccininni (141-3 career) at 120/126, Hernandez (105-10) at 152 and Quinn (37-2) in the 113-pound class.

     Division I state finalists include freshman
Vito Arujau (47-1) of Syosset at 106 and Steve Schneider (111-20 career) of MacArthur at 171 pounds. Division II runners-ups are sophomore  Matteo DeVincenzo (35-2) of Port Jefferson at 106/113 and two-time silver medalist Nick Cassella (80-20 ) a Locust Valley junior in the 120 weight class.

     Earning bronze medals at the 2013 state meet were Eastport-South Manor teammates sophomore
John Busiello (106) and senior Travis Passaro (126), along with James O'Hagan, a senior out of Seaford in the 285-pound class. Other returning state placers include junior Jesse Dellavecchia (106) of East Islip, juniors Mike D'Angelo (126) of Commack and Sam Ward (138) of Locust Valley, along with two-time state medalist senior Fred Dunau (132) of St. Anthony's, and highly touted Tommy Dutton, a junior from Rocky Point at either 145 or 152 pounds.

Mat Notes...
   At the 2013 NHSCA Junior Nationals
Corey Rasheed defeated Alabama's Brandon Womack, 9-6, to captured the 152-pound national junior title. James O'Hagan earned the silver medal, as he dropped a 6-1 decision to Harrison Phillips of Nebraska at 285 pounds. Both are blue-chip prospects for the 2014-15 collegiate season. Also eraning All-American status was Brentwood's Danny Murray who finished 7th in the 106-pound class. New York State finished in second place in the team standings with 220 points, California won the team title with 228.