2011 NHSCA SENIOR NATIONALS PREVIEW
By Jim & Tony Nordland

     New York State, team runners-up at the 2010 NHSCA Senior Nationals, will be paced by seven New York State champions for the 2011 meet. The 22nd annual Senior Championships will  held at the Virginia Convention Center, Virginia Beach, on April 1st-April 3rd.

     The Empire State will be led by nationally ranked two-time titlist
Nick Gwiazdowski (50-0, 199-28 career) of Duanesburg at 215. Gwiazdowski pinned 43 opponents this season and is a potential national champion. Other state winners include Sean McCormick (40-2) of Johnson City at 112, two-125 pounders; Anthony Abidin (36-1, 141-18) of Hills East and Andy Lyman (53-1) of Ravena, along with Ryan Osleeb (24-4, 104-12) of North Salem at 130, Derak Heyman (41-1, 251-23) of Tioga at 140 and unbeaten Joe Kavanagh (40-0, 160-14) of Wantagh at 189 pounds.

     Long Island will send a strong contingent of All-State matmen that will challenge for HS All-American honors. State finalists
Joe Barbato (119) of Wantagh, Alex Gomez (42-3) of Brentwood at 125 and Matt Ross (43-4) of Rocky Point at 145 pounds are possible placers. State bronze medalist Chris Perez (31-4) of MacArthur at 125 will be in the mix along with Vin Punzone (119) of John Glenn and Longwood's Pat Jennings (36-4) at 160. Other talented grapplers are Zach Bass (145) of Westhampton Beach and 2010 state runner-up Lou Puca (34-1, 143- 32) of Huntington who will compete at 160 pounds. Puca finished third at the county meet and didn't participate at the state meet. He will seek redemption at the NHSCA Championships.

Mat Notes...
At last year's tournament there were 727 senior entries.The Empire State tallied 190 points for a second place finish behind team champion New Jersey (232). New York finished ahead of California (153.5), Michigan (148.5) and perennial power Pennsylvania who finished with 142.5 points. New York crowned two national champions Max Soria (103) of Kings Park HS and the first four-time National High School Champion Tyler Beckwith (171) of Greene HS. Soria along with his twin brother Mike are now at Buffalo and Beckwith is at Binghamton, they red-shirted this past year and will be back on the mats next season. The only time New York State won the team title at the NHSCA Championships was in 2005 behind high school and NCAA champion Troy Nickerson (Chenango Forks HS) and Cornell University...
Nationally ranked Nick Gwiazdowski from Duanesburg, New York.