By Jim & Tony Nordland

     Now in the fourth year with the two-division NYS Tournament format a total of thirteen defending champions and five former champions are eligible for the 45th annual New York State Intersectional Championships this season. The site for the 2007 state meet is the Pepsi Arena in Albany and a total of 480 grapplers will congregate for the two day competition scheduled for March 2nd and 3rd, 2007.
     Defending Division I champions include the OSW winner, blue chip senior Corey Jantzen (50-0, 148-7 career mark) of Shoreham-Wading River-11, who will compete at 135 pounds. Jantzen recently defeated two-time NCAA All-American, Chris Fleeger (Purdue), in the NYAC Tournament and will join his older brother Jesse (graduate assistant/coach) at Harvard University next fall. Other outstanding seniors are Jeremy Cuomo (181-12) of Schalmont-2 at 112,Tyler Mashkow (112-14) of state power Islip-11 at 125 and Michael Chaires (46-1) at 171 of CBA-2, who finished fourth in both styles at the Junior Nationals in Fargo, ND, this past summer. Other defending Division I state kings are unbeaten sophomore Paul Liguori (39-0) of Wantagh-8 at 112 and seniors Eduardo Delgado (41-1) of Long Beach-8 at 152 and Ryan Lamagra (47-1) of Wayne-5 at 189 pounds. Former state champions include senior John Oschmann (130) of Hauppauge-11 and junior Austin Meys of Shenendehowa-2 at 135 pounds. Both Oschmann and Meys were 2005 state winners, Oschman finished third in the tough Section Eleven Tournament and Meys, who won the bronze medal at the Cadet Freestyle Championships, placed fourth in the 2006 state meet.
     Six returning champions head the field in the Division II Tournament including two-time titlist senior Colin McDonald (46-3) of Section Four power Waverly at 160 pounds. Other top seniors are David Perrigo (33-2) of Gouverneur-10 at 135 and Mike Kampnich (30-1) of General Brown-3 at 145 pounds. Underclassmen that hope to successfully defend their titles are junior Chris Conti (38-4) of Fredonia-6 at 103, freshman Nick Wilcox (36-1) of Greene-4 at 112 and sophomore Alex Ekstrom (33-3) of Palmyra Macedon-5 at 119 pounds. Three former state winners will challenge for state gold this season, including the Paddock brothers out of Warsaw-5. Ian, a sophomore won in 2005 and was upset in the state semi-finals and finished the season with a 45-1 mark. He placed third in the Cadet Freestyle and seventh in Greco, he will most likely compete at 112 or 119 pounds. Paul is already a two-time state placer, he won in 2005 and lost in the state finals to three-time winner Eric Decker, 3-1, he will be at either 160 or 171 pounds. Also eligible to return is senior Nick Kubinski, a state champion in 2005 from South Lewis-3, at either 125 or 130 pounds.
     State finalists that could return in Division I include tough 8th grader Casey LaNave (103) of Chenango Forks-4, junior Zack Ellis (112) of Brighton-5 and sophomore Jamie Franco of Section Nine power Monroe Woodbury at 119/125. Seniors that will be seeking redemption are Lance Wade (100-17 career) of Islip-11 at 152 or 160, Manny Hickson of LaSalle-2 at either 160 or 171 pounds, Jake Koshinski (99-25) at 189 of Niagara-Wheatfield-6 and Cornell bound Maciej Jochym (92-9) of Herricks-8 at 215 pounds.
     Five Division II runners-up should make it back for the 2007 state meet, including highly-touted Jared Lemke (119) of Alden-6 and Rich Berkowitz (135) of Nanuet-9, both are seniors that will be favorites in their respective weight classes. Other finalists are junior Brian Stevens (103) of Holland Patent-5, and Immaculate Heart teammates, sophomore Ken Kampnich (112)  and junior Derek Brenon at 140 pounds, both could help Section Three defend their small schools title.
     Eight bronze medallists from Division I that will vie for state crowns include three-time state place-winner, senior PJ Gillespie (3-3-3) of Long Beach-8 at 145 pounds. Gillespie (35-1, 173-29) dropped his opening state bout to eventual champion, Corey Jantzen, 5-0, and stormed back with four consecutive victories for a third place finish. Gillespie finished seventh at the Junior Greco-Roman Championships  and will be tough to beat this season, he has committed to Hofstra next fall. Other highly regarded seniors are Dan Mandara (125/130) of Canandaigua-5, Matt DeMichiel (152) of Whitesboro-3 and Erik Schuth of Brockport-5 at 171 pounds. Underclassmen to watch will be freshman Cody Ruggirello (43-3) of Valley Central-9 at 103/112 and a trio of juniors, Ricardo Gomez (112) of Brentwood-11, Ron Majerus (145) of Mexico-3, along with Cadet Freestyle champion Bryan Bourne of perennial Section Five power Spencerport at 160 pounds.
     Division II boasts five top notch grapplers including sensational sophomore Kyle Dake (36-1) of Lansing-4 at 103 pounds. Dake was a double-placer at the Cadet Nationals this past summer, as he  finished third in both styles. Seniors Michael Gomez (119) of Locust Valley-8, Joe Widrick (135) of Beaver River-3 and Brandon Gould (145) of Windsor-4, along with junior Nate Schiedel (45-2) of Caledonia Mumford-5 at 189 pounds, will be in contention for titles at the 2007 state meet.
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2006 Division I New York State Champions