| SECTION XI LEADS NYS TOURNAMENT, SECTION VIII SECOND
By Jim & Tony Nordland
Long Island wrestlers showed their dominance at the 51st annual NYSPHSAA
Wrestling Championships at the Times Union Center in Albany. Suffolk County tallied 118.5 points to lead Nassau County with 100 points followed by Section I with 62.5.
The blue-clad contingent advanced 15 wrestlers into the semifinals including defending state champion Nick Piccininni (41-0) of Ward Melville who defeated Joe Calderone (Walt Whitman), 9-5, at 113, state finalists Corey Rasheed (32-0) of Longwood, who cradled his opponent for a 32 second pin at 152 and Tyler Grimaldi (160) who posted a 7-2 decision over Jake Weber (Clarence-6). Four top-seeded matmen pushed into the semis; Alex Tanzman (106) of Westhampton Beach, TJ Fabian (126) of SWR, Sayville's Matt Leshinger (132) scored with his single leg takedowns to edge Sachem East's Conor O'Hara, 7-5 and Nick Lupi (Huntington) escaped in double overtime for a 3-2 victory over Josh Bonneau (Minisink Valley-9) in the 220-pound class. In one of the more exciting quarterfinal bouts, Nick Weber (Kings Park) rallied with a roll reversal and slipped through his opponents legs with five seconds remaining to defeat Colton Kells (Fairport-5) in his 195-pound bout.
Other quarterfinal winners were; Jesse Dellavecchia (EI) who has recorded two falls at 99, John Busiello (ESM), also at 99, Travis Passaro (ESM) who needed a tilt with 14 seconds remaining in his bout to defeat Blaise Benderoth (NRockland-1), 4-2, at 120, Brentwood's Carlos Toribio (170) who used a tight overhead cradle for a fall, the Sachem North tandem of Gio Santiago (182) and Steven Mills (220), along with Mike Hughes (40-0, 30 pins) of Smithtown West at 285 pounds.
Nassau has 11 semifinalists and were paced by Syosset's Nick Arujau (46-0) who blanked top-rated John Arceri (Huntington), 3-0, at 99, Louis Hernandez (49-1) of Mepham who defeated Jackson Mordente (Sachem East). 6-2, at 145, MacArthur's Steven Schneider (160) and a trio of Wantagh Warrior grapplers; Kyle Quinn (106), tough Vinny Turano, who recorded a second period fall at 132 and James Corbett at 182 pounds.
Other standouts have been Steven Sewkumar (LB) at 113, unbeaten Chris Koo (40-0) of GNS at 152, Syosset's Dan Choi who dominated number #1 seed - Reggie Williams (Johnson City-4), 14-4, at 195 Jenard Rosemound (220) of Calhoun and Seaford's James O'Hagan at 285.
The CHSAA section had a nice showing as two St. Anthony's grapplers advanced to the semifinals, Freddie Dunau (126) and John Vrasidas (170). Dunau escaped with five seconds remaining to win 1-0 and Vrasidas upset top-ranked Dan McDevitt of Wantagh, 8-2.
In the Division II Tournament, the sectional leader was Section V (104), followed by Section IV (96.5) and Section VI with 82.5 points. Long Islanders that advanced to the semifinal round were Matteo Devincenzo (99) of Port Jefferson and Locust Valley teammates Nick Casella (113) and Sam Ward at 132 pounds.