| By Jim & Tony Nordland
Islip HS should be the top team on Long Island and in New York State, as they return a defending state champion and three other NYS place-winners. After claiming their first Suffolk crown in 2004, last year the Bucs were upended by a strong East Islip squad at the tough Section Eleven Tournament. They also won the unofficial NYS Intersectional team title, as they outpointed Valley Central-9, 83 points to 62.5. Islip will be led by reigning state champion senior Tyler Mashkow (112-14, career mark), he will compete at 125 pounds. Coach Joe Patrovich, now in his eleventh season and veteran assistant Steve Arey should have the Bucs to challenge on the county, state and national level this season. They point to state finalist, Lance Wade (104-17) at 152, Paul Vaeth (130 wins) at either 140 or 145 pounds and East Islip transfer, junior Jake Benedetto (35-4) at 112 pounds. Both Benedetto and Vaeth were NYS medalists and this season could challenge for state crowns. Other top prospects for the Islip squad will be Ryan DiPaola (transfer fron EIslip) at 189 and Christian Wintons (275), both finished with all-county honors. Other standouts include freshman Dan Gregg (96), junior Troy Mashkow (103) and all-league matmen, John Lamonica (119) and Mike Grillo at 140 pounds. East Meadow HS finished fifth at the Section Eight Championships in 2006 and this year hope to dethrone six-time Nassau champion MacArthur HS. The Jets are led by two county finalists;Tom Rispoli (2nd in 2005) at 135 and Sal Hanna at 152 pounds, along with all-county grapplers, sophomore Corey Krimmer (112) and Jim Mustakis at 125. Coach Tom Reynolds, now in his twelfth season, also points to Jimmy Pannullo (96), Rob Mancino (119), Bob Abbate (135) and Dan O'Leary at 145 pounds. Brentwood HS finished fourth at the 2006 Suffolk Championships and returns state bronze medalist junior Ricardo Gomez (34-2) at 112, along with a strong lightweight contingent. Coach Ralph Napolitano has all-county Alex Gomez at 103, tough Jarrell Garcia at 96/103, highly-touted Warren Murray (119), Jesse Mendez (171) and Manny Matos at 275 pounds. Hauppauge HS, defending League IV champions, finished fifth at the county meet and will be led by 2005 state champion senior John Oschmann at 130 pounds. Coach Chris Messina and the Eagles have all-county junior Keith Collado (135) along with five all-league grapplers, outstanding freshman Stephen Dutton at 119, Jon Senese (140), Jon Sardelli (152), Austin Schneider (160) and junior Dave McGarry at 215 pounds. MacArthur HS has won six consecutive Nassau dual-meet titles and Section Eight Championships and will be in the hunt again this season. Veteran coach Howie Greenblatt, now in his 21st season, will have the Generals ready for the challenge and return all-county Bill Klein at 189 pounds. Other top prospects include the Cataldo brothers, John at 130 and Vito at 135, Mike Lazurus (96), Sean Kempf (103), Brian Herold (125), Anthony Daly (160) and tough Dan Mahoney (PA transfer) at 171 pounds. East Islip HS won their first Suffolk title last year and will put a solid team on the mat this season. The Redmen will be led by county finalist Cameron Gee (100 career wins) at 171 and two all-county grapplers, Bill Swezey (160) and Ian MacIneirghe at 215 pounds. Coach Guy Leggio now in his 19th season, also points to all-league matmen, Mike Perri (135) and Lamar Washington (189), along with Mike Henry at 275 pounds. Huntington HS should have a formidable team and will be led by Francisco Pereira (112), Stephan Riley (119) and Allan Hendrickson (PMedford transfer) at 189 pounds, that trio have earned all-county honors and will challenge in their respective weight classes. Legendary coach Lou Giani, enters his 39th season and should have the Blue Devils amongst the top five teams at the Suffolk Championships this season. During his tenure at Huntington, he has crowned 23 NYS champions, accumulated 418 lifetime dual meet victories and was recently honored when school officials dedicated the Louis D. Giani Gymnasium in his honor. Other standouts for resurging Huntington squad are Damon McQueen (96), junior Jose Vasquez (96/103) and all-league senior Justin Giani at 135 pounds. Long Beach HS returns state king Eduardo Delgado (41-1) at 152 and three-time NYS placer, PJ Gillespie at 145 pounds. Gillespie (173-29) is the winningest wrestler in Nassau County history and has finished third at the state tournament the past three seasons. He finished seventh at the Junior Greco Championships this past summer and will vie for the coveted state title this season. Coach Ray Adams and the Marines also look to county bronze medalist junior Dane Davis (135), Jesse Moran (189) and Tim McCormack at either 215 or 275 pounds. Shoreham-Wading River HS landed in eighth place at the county meet and are led by defending state champion and OSW winner Corey Jantzen (148-7) at 135 pounds. The Wildcats and coach Don Jantzen also have two potential county champions, Steven Keith (96) and Ian Mucciolo at 275 pounds, Keith placed fourth and Mucciolo was county runner-up last season. Other standouts include two all-league place finishers, TJ Neidhardt (140) and Keith Butler at 171 pounds. Sayville HS will be led by two all-county grapplers, finalist Zach Gallo (275) and Mike Haas at 145 pounds. Coach Gary Pesko and the Golden Flashes have a veteran corps of middleweights and look to freshman Andy Rodriquez (125), Travis Pitre (130), AJ Maier (135), Scott Mellychuk (140) and junior Shawn Mazzarone (145/152) to keep them competitive amongst the League V teams this season. Massapequa HS finished as team runners-up at the 2006 Nassau Championship and will be led by returning county champion junior Shane Strumwasser (33-3) at 135 pounds. Legendary MHS coach Gary Mims has since retired after 27 years as the Chiefs head coach and now Joe Catalanotto takes over the reign, he hopes to continue the excellence that the storied program has provided the past fifty years.The Chiefs also have all-county Mike Doria at 130, along with John Kaloust (140) and Brendan Keys at 152 pounds. Half Hollow Hills East HS returns two county medalists, Mike Hromada (119) and Francois Guerrier (160), along with Dan Flynn (119) and Kervin Charles at 171 pounds. Walt Whitman HS will be led the Troy brothers, Adam (119) and Rob (130), along with Suffolk bronze medalist Jim Kaden at 152 and Nick Thode at 215 pounds. Commack HS returns county finalist Mike Fennell at 140 pounds and all-league Anthony Cavallaro at either 103 or 112 pounds. Coach Bill DeSario now in his seventh season with the Cougars also points to Brian Hersey (125) and Greg Fiorvanti at 152 pounds. Plainedge HS should field a well balanced lineup and will be led county runner-up Matt Rich at 103 pounds. Other top prospects for the Red Devils are all-county, Rocco Cervini (135), junior Jesse Sgaglione (119) and Evan O'Brien at 152 pounds. Wantagh HS and first-year coach, Jim Murphy return with state champion, sophomore Paul Ligouri (39-0) at 112 pounds, along with all- county John Greisheimer (125) and Steve Bonanno at 119 pounds.