LONG ISLAND TEAM PREVIEW
By Jim & Tony Nordland
Defending Nassau champion Wantagh HS appears to be the top team on Long Island and return four all-county matmen including finalist and HS All-American Dan McDevitt (25-4, 101 career wins) at 138 pounds, along with unbeaten freshman Jose Rodriguez (24-0) at 99, Chris Araoz (24-3) at 120 and Vinny Turano (126). The tandem of legendary coaches Paul Gillespie & Reggie Jones, Jr., could propel the Warriors to both the Nassau dual and tournament titles. Other top prospects are upperweights James Corbett (160), Chris Loew (26-3, 16 pins) at 170, Alex Wedell (182), Sean Tomlinson (195) and Steven English at 285 pounds. Also to watch are top Nassau squads Massapequa and Long Beach, both will pose strong challenges at the county meet. Massapequa HS has potential champion with Justin Paradiso (132) and county medalist Joe Doria (106). The Chiefs also point to Jake Spero (132), Chris Broccoli (138) Andrew Hoffman (152) and Andrew Chicoine in the 170-pound class. Long Beach HS returns a trio of NYS place-winners including state runner-up Mark Raghunandan (25-0, 122-23 career) at 113, Krishna Sewkumar (22-3, 101-25) at 106 and two-time Nassau champion unbeaten Dylan Palacio (24-0, 188-25) at 152 pounds. The Marines coach Ray Adams, now enters his 15th season at the helm, and also junior standout Steven Sewkumar (21-2, 82-18) at 96 and county placers; Matt Gray (113) and Oral Allen (120), along with Qualifying champion Josh Lopez at 170 pounds.
The team race at the Suffolk Championships should be among Connetquot, Hauppauge, defending champion Longwood,Sachem East and League I power Brentwood. Connetquot HS landed in fourth place at the county meet and this year they have a balanced squad that could garner a team title. Veteran coach Bill Santoro, now in his 34th season, has state bronze medalist Sean McCabe (24-1, 172-12 career mark) at 120, along with all-county matmen Steve Bulzomi (113) and Joey Gates at 132-pounds. The T'Birds also point to Eddie Hart (106), highly-touted Shaun Gillen (22-2) at 160 and Kenny Drew at 220. Hauppauge HS returns 2010 state king junior Mark West (21-4, 101 wins) in the loaded 120-pound class. Coach Chris Messina also has the Mauriello brothers; all-county Chris (23-3) an 8th-grader at 113 and Nick with a 25-2 mark and 107 career victories at 132 pounds. Other top Eagles are Austin Munro (16-4) at 113, Sam Schwartzapfel (21-1, 93 wins) at 138 and Mike Rutigliano (16-5) at 285.
Defending team champion Longwood HS has All-State matmen Malik (138) and Corey Rasheed (145) and Nick Hall, a junior at 152 pounds. Coach Mike Picozzi and the Lions also point to a trio of county place-winners; Anthony Donofrio (106), Eddie Jennings (160) and Dylan Seybolt at 170. Sachem East HS has 2010 Suffolk finalist Conor O'Hara (126), county placer Anthony Pistone (22-4) at 145, Longwood transfer Jacob Restrepo (23-0) at 120, along with Billy Merone (152), and junior Zach Nobre (170) and junior Christian Numez (22-1) at 195 pounds. Brentwood HS returns two county medalists, both are seniors and possible county champions; Alex Orellanna (30-2, 108-21) and two-time League I champion Alexis Blanco (34-0, 106-25) at 138 pounds. Coach Ralph Napolitano has been at the helm for ten years (20 years at the school) and also looks to Danny Murray (99), along with all-league placers Marc Gonzalez (126), Diego Ramirez (132) and Carlos Toribio at 160.
Another tier of top teams in Suffolk are Sachem North, Islip, John Glenn, Shoreham-Wading River, Eastport South Manor, and Sayville. Sachem North HS has all-county grapplers Sean O'Hagan (120) and junior Gio Santiago (182). Coach Ray Pickersgill, now in his 7th season, also looks to three-time league place-winner Frank Napoli (22-4, 91-26 career) at 126, league finalists Matt Marino (132) and Anthony Confessore (29-3, 84-27) at 195, along with Franky Blais (138), James Schreck (160) and Anthony Marino at 170. Islip HS has the return of legendary coach Joe Patrovich along with Rob Cuffie, they have a solid dual meet squad. The Buccaneers are paced by all-county Zach Connor (24-0) at 195, freshman Brad Wade (24-1)), Vin Provenzano (20-3) at 152, gridiron star Joe Sabbatino (17-0) at 170 and sophomore Pat Sheppard (21-0) at 285 pounds. John Glenn HS returns state finalist James Dekrone (24-2) at 138, along with top-ranked Nick Bellanza (19-2) at 182. Coach TJ Brocking and the Knights also look to Tommy Sewell (18-5) at 132, Sam Rachman (20-2) at 145 and Nick Princiotta (16-6) at 152. SWR HS has Suffolk finalist John Keck (27-1) at 152 and potential finalist with junior TJ Fabian (26-2) at 120. Other top matmen are David Keith (126), Zac Mullen (160), along with a pair of talented 8th-graders; James Szymanski (99) and Jack Taddeo at 113. Eastport South Manor HS has the Passaro brothers; Travis (120) and top-ranked Maverick (24-3) at 126 pounds. Travis finished third at the 2011 county meet and Maverick was runner-up, both will seek redemption at the 2012 championships. Head coach Nick Garone and the Sharks also have lightweights John Busiello (99), Nick Garone (106), Jimmy Leach (113) and possible champion Fumnanya Agbimson in the newly created 195-pound class. Sayville HS has two-time county placer Matt Leshinger (25-3) at 120 and Lucas Ciancimino (21-5) at 138. Coach Gary Pesko and the Golden Flashes also has the Siracusa brothers; Justin (18-6) at 113 and Chris (23-5) at 126, along with Mike Farese (113), Nick Pesko (132) and Dan Caliendo at 145 pounds.
Other top teams are Long Island appear to be Hills West, Plainedge, Uniondale, MacArthur, Kings Park, Commack and Huntington. Plainedge HS has defending Nassau champion Andrew Jones (25-3) at 182 and county bronze medalist Dan Spurgeon (33-0) at 170, both are potential All-State matmen. The Red Devil's head coach Rob Shaver and able assistants Peter Marques and Matt Cellan also have Hector Guerrero (99) and senior Connor Sullivan at 126. Commack HS returns Suffolk champion CJ Labate (12-2) at 126 and third-place finisher freshman Mike D'Angelo (24-0) at 106. Head coach Mike Guercio also looks to Jimmy Spencer (16-2) at 120, Mark Milo (145) and junior standout Dan Fiorvanti (21-4) at 160 pounds. Hills West is the surprise team of Suffolk County as head coach Mike Patrovich has his squad ready to break into the Top Ten at the county meet. Standouts include a pair of juniors; Tyler Grimaldi (30-1) at 160 and Joe Piccolo (26-3) at 170, along with senior Zach Aal (26-2) at 113 and Jagger Rebozo (24-6) in the 182-pound class.
Defending two-time Division II champion Bayport-Blue Point HS recently dropped a close dual, 36-31, to rival Center Moriches, both teams will vie for the county team crown. Bayport HS has returning two-time titlist junior Ryan Hake (22-5) at 132 and finalist Harrison DeSousa (18-3) at 285 pounds. Coach Rich Reilly, now in his 9th season, and the Phantoms also have Justin Engel (113), Justin Underwood (120), Ralph Fabiani (16-6) at 138, and junior Anthony Lombardi (14-2) at 195 pounds. Center Moriches HS has tough Travis Baskerville at 152 along with Michael Menzer (106) and Jeremy Smith at 126. The Nassau Division II top team looks to be either Locust Valley or Oyster Bay.
The top teams in the CHSAA are St. Anthony's, Kellenberg and Chaminade. St. Anthony's HS returns two state placers; Freddy Dunau (106) and unbeaten Jamel Hudson (26-0) at 132. Other Friar's to watch are Ben Lamantia (106), Joey Russ (113) and CHSAA champion Andrew Auriemma at 220. Kellenberg HS has state medalist and the program's winningest wrestler in Pat Skinner (26-2, 124-26) at 113, other standouts are Chris Vono (22-6) at 120, Chris Federlein (21-8) and Matt Matuozzi (22-8) at 145. Chaminade HS and coach George Dlugolonski, now enters in his 39th season, and has potential state placer with undefeated junior Declan Gray (22-0) at 152. Other key prospects for the Flyers are Michael Maffucci (113) and Peter Rooney at 126 pounds.
Huntington HS is the state leader with 26 individual champions and this season they have a trio of outstanding state-ranked matmen. Junior Nick Lupi is top-ranked at 220 on Long Island and the tandem of sophomores Corey Jamison (113) along with Anthony Puca at 285, give the Blue Devils three chances at state titles.
LONG ISLAND TEAM PREVIEW
|Wantagh's Dan McDevitt|
|Brentwood's Alexis Blanco and Eric Orellana|