| LONG ISLAND RETURNING ALL-STATE GRAPPLERS
By Jim & Tony Nordland
There will be a plethora of high-caliber wrestlers on Long Island mats for the upcoming 2009-2010 season.There are a total of 19 returning All-State grapplers including six state champions. Winning state crowns last year were Mike Soria (103/112) of Kings Park, Grant Greene (119) of St.Anthony's, two-time king Nick Arujau (130) of Syosset, Stephen Dutton (140) of Rocky Point and Central Islip's Andy Rodriguez at 145 pounds. Hauppauge senior Ken Collado captured a state title in 2008 and finished in sixth place at the 2009 state meet, he will compete in the 119-pound weight class.
Four state finalists will also be in the hunt for coveted state crowns. Lightweights Cory Rasheed (103) of Longwood and Damon McQueen of Huntington at 112 will challenge in their respective weight classes. Tough Nick Terdick (145/152) of John Glenn and Wantagh senior Matt Loew at 189 pounds are solid contenders for state gold this season.
Returning bronze medalists include twin brother Max Soria (96/103) of Kings Park, Jimmy Morris (112) of St. Anthony's and Anthony Volpe (152) of Rocky Point. Other state placers are Chris Brienza (103) of St. Anthony's, Malik Rasheed (112) of Longwood, Walt Whitman's Adam Troy at 130/135, tough Billy Coggins (171) of Rocky Point, Joe Barbato (103/112) of Wantagh and John Daddino of Sewanhaka East at 171 pounds.
Long Island has three ranked wrestlers in the country by Amateur Wrestling News, both Nick Arujau (140-7 career) and Stephen Dutton (186-11) are currently ranked fourth in their respective weight classes, along with tenth-rated Matt Loew (119-33). Loew leads defending Nassau champion Wantagh with a formidable squad that includes the aforememtioned Barbato, along with county titlists Nick Fitzmaurice (135/140) and Joe Kavanaugh at 171 pounds. Suffolk champion John Glenn boasts a solid contingent which includes defending county champion Nick Meinsen (130/135) along with talented matmen, Matt Gannon, Matt Fusaro, Mike Bosco and Alex Rosenberg. The Knights open up against CHSAA power St. Anthony's on December 9th, and will put their 38-match win streak on the line. That early season dual could feature five state meet qualifiers. Defending state team champions Section Eleven (Suffolk) are the Empire State's leader with 17 sectional titles and Section Eight (Nassau) has won 10 state team crowns...