By Jim & Tony Nordland

     Defending sectional team champion Section XI (Suffolk County) leads the 49th annual NYS Wrestling Championships at the Times-Union Center in Albany. The Long Island matmen advanced 16 wrestlers into the semifinal round. The navy blue-clad contingent tallied 114.5 points to lead Section One (91), Section Eight (Nassau) with 77, host Section Two (74) and Section Six with 68.5 points.

     Suffolk was led by reigning state champion
Nigel McNeil (38-0) of Huntington in the 119-pound class and Islip's Kyle Wade (39-0) at 152, both posted two solid decisions. OSW winner Sean McCabe (37-2) of Connetquot edged Herrick's Ryan Singh (3-2 OT) and will face Sean McCormick (38-2) of Johnson City at 112 pounds. Another interesting semifinal bout will pit Ward Melville's Nick Piccininni (39-1) against top-seeded and unbeaten Kyle Kelly (36-0, 26 pins) of Chenango Forks at 96 pounds. Longwood pushed two wrestlers into the semifinals; Nicky Hall (34-2) at 145 and Pat Jennings (34-2) at 160. The Rasheed brothers; Corey (112) and Malik (130) are still in contnetion in the consolation rounds. Hauppauge's Adam Lepkowsky (45-2) upended top-ranked Joe Bonaldi (43-1) of Greece Olympia-5, 5-3, at 140 and teammate Chanse Menendez (40-5) pinned Sean Prell (Warwick Valley-9) in the third period at 171 pounds. John Glenn has three semifinalists; Vin Punzone (119), James DeKrone (42-1) at 130 and Ken Meinsen (135). Champion of Champions Anthony Abidin (34-1) of Hills East posted a tech fall and a first period pin at 125.

     Nassau was paced by finalist
Joe Kavanagh (36-0) of Wantagh at 189 and state placers; David Ng (45-0, 21 pins) of Plainedge at 285,Long Beach's Mark Raghunandan (31-4) at 103 and unbeaten Dylan Palacio (38-0) at 145. Other Marines that advanced were Krishna Sewkumar (35-3, 25 pins) also at 103 and Adan DeJesus (34-4) at 152 pounds. MacArthur's Chris Perez (29-3) upset third-seeded Vin Fischetti (10-7 OT) to move into the semis at 130 pounds.

     St. Anthony's has three semifinalists:
Freddy Dunau (27-1) at 96, state placer Jimmy Morris (38-4) at 125 and Jon Desir (28-1) at 285. Morris handed previously unbeaten John Pellegrino (56-1) of Levittown Division his first setback with a 6-4 verdict and will face Brentwood's Alex Gomez (41-2) in the semifinals. Desir will face Plainedge's top-seeded, the aforementioned David Ng.

     Former state champions
Brain Realbuto (51-0, 33 pins) of Somers-1 and Bob Dierna (40-1) of Wayne-5 both advanced in the 135-pound class. Dierna will face Ken Meinsen (JG-11). In the 2010 state meet Nick Meinsen upset Dierna, 8-6, in the semifinals en route to the state title. Returning champion Al Dierna (119) was defeated by Fox Lane's Dan Ventura, 5-2, and was pushed into the consolation rounds.

Division II, the team leader was Section Five (Rochester area) with 117.5 points, followed by Section Six (113.5), Section Three (109), Section Four (95.5) and Section Two with 87 points. The purple-clad squad were led by the Scott twins of Palmyra-Macedon; Owen (44-1, 237-23) at 160 and Craig (43-0, 236-17) at 171 pounds. Both are defending NYS champions. Other defending state kings that advanced were Arik Robinson (Peru-7), Abdulgawi Mohamed (Lackawanna-6) and Tristan Rifanburg (Norwich-4), all are at 112, and Mohamed will meet Rifanburg in the bottom bracket. Others include Quinton Murphy (135) of Holley-5, Derek Pfluger (42-0, 27 pins) of Sandy Creek-3, Chris Nevinger (50-0) of Letchworth-5 at 152 and Nick Gwiazdowski (40-0) of Duanesburg-2 at 215 pounds. Bayport-Blue Point sophomore  Ryan Hake won his first bout 12-0 and then dropped an 8-0 verdict to top-seeded Dan Gormley of BGA-4 at 125 pounds.

Mat Notes...
Kyle Dake's brother Corey (119) of Lansing-4 advanced to the semifinals along with teammate William Koll (103), he is the son of Cornell coach Rob Koll. Ian Paddock's brother Burke, a freshman advanced in the 160-pound class.

     The Semifinals are slated to begin at 10:00 AM. For complet
e Semifinal Pairings click on the Semifinal Page...