| The Suffolk County Championships look to be a two-team race between defending two-time team champion John Glenn and Longwood. Other top squads are Brentwood, League II champion Connetquot, Hauppauge, Sachem East, Kings Park, Sachem North, Huntington,Westhampton Beach, Rocky Point and East Islip.
John Glenn crowned four champions at the League VI Tournament and had three highly-regarded grapplers finish as runners-up. Winning titles for the Eagles were county placers James Dekrone (29-1) at 130 and Ken Massa (21-1) at 160, along with Luke Prohaske (171) and Mike Pinto (18-4) at 285. Suffolk finalist Joe Giaramita (27-3, 112-23) dropped a close decision at 189 and could face rival and top-seeded Frank Abbondanza (Mt. Sinai) in the finals. Coach TJ Brocking also has All-County selection Vin Punzone (27-3) at 119 and Ken Meinsen (25-3) at 135, both will be in the mix at the county meet.
Longwood will be paced by state place-winners Corey Rasheed (31-1) at 112 and brother Malik (28-4) at 130. The Lions garnered four League I champions including the aforementioned Rasheed along with Casey Brice (130), and the Jennings brothers Ed (140) and top-seeded Pat (30-1) at 160 pounds. Coach Mike Picozzi's other potential placers are county medalists Anthony Donofrio (96) and Nick Hall (145), along with Ricky Renck at 152.
Brentwood has state medalist Alex Gomez (32-0, 184-12), a five-time sectional place-winner and top-ranked at 125 pounds. Coach Ralph Napolitano and the Indians also point to tough Alexis Blanco (31-1) at 135 and county placer Eric Orellana (26-3) at 112. Other standouts are league champion Jared Hudson (22-4) at 189 and David Chaverra (26-4) at 130 pounds.
Connetquot has Suffolk bronze medalist Sean McCabe (128-9 career) at 112 and county placer Nick LoBue (160). Both won League II crowns and are potential finalists. Coach Bill Santoro and the T-Birds also have a trio of league titlists: Stephen Drew (125), Shaun Gillen (152) and John Zullo at 171 pounds.
Hauppauge has defending state champion Mark West (39-4) at 112 and county third-place finisher Chanse Menendez (34-3) at 171. Coach Chris Messina also has three League V champions that should propel the Eagles near the top in the team standings. That trio include OSW winner Chris Mauriello (32-7), a 7th-grader at 96, Mike Ehlinger (140) and second seeded Adam Lepkowsky (35-1) at 140 pounds.
Huntington will be led by reigning state champion Nigel McNeil (32-0, 155-15) at 119 and state finalist Lou Puca (30-0, 139-31) at 171 pounds. The Blue Devils also had four league finalists, including highly-touted Nick Lupi (215) and freshman Anthony Puca (24-5) at 285 pounds.
Sachem East has county finalist Conor O'Hara (27-3) at 112 and bronze medalist Sean O'Malley (28-2), the top seed at 145. They also have three league champions Tyler Monsees (119), Rob Seder (152) and fifth-seeded Frank Merante at 171. Westhampton Beach has the Bass brothers, Conner (over 150 career wins) who drew the top seed at 135 and Zach (145), along with Matt Mazarakis (152). East Islip won the League III title and had three individual winners: Dave Dellavecchia (31-5) at 119, Tyler Conway (25-4, 102 career wins) at 171 and Chris Chambers at 189. League V champion Kings Park has returning county runner-up Greg Martin (285) and Warren Bosch (215), both are top rated in their weight classes. Sachem North has league champions Sean O'Hagan (103) and Mike McCarthy (215). Also to watch is Frank Napoli (119) and Anthony Confessore (27-5) at 285. Rocky Point has county placer Thomas Dutton (28-8), an 8th-grader at 119 and NYS medalist Matt Ross (38-3, 204 wins), the second seed at 145.
In the Division II Tournament look for defending team champion Bayport-Blue Point (20-2) to have a strong showing. Coach Rich Reilly and the Phantoms have three returning county champions: Ryan Hake (22-5) at 125, Kyle Underwood (31-1, 102 wins) at 130 and Jeff Purdy (28-4) at 135, along with top-seeded Brandin Thomas (30-2) at 140 pounds.
The Suffolk Championships are scheduled to begin on Sunday, February 13th at 10:00 AM @ Stony Brook University.
Returning state finalist Kyle Wade (35-0) of Islip is the solid favorite at 152 pounds. Other top seeded wrestlers include Nick Piccininni (28-1) of Ward Melville at 96, Travis Passaro (36-1) of ESManor at 103 and Eric Kogel (140) of Mt. Sinai.The 112-pound class is loaded, possible semifinal match-up could be Mark West vs Corey Rasheed. In the bottom bracket are tough Sean McCabe, county placer Matt Leshinger (33-4) of Sayville and a possible first round bout could see third-seeded TJ Fabian (SWR) vs Conor O'Hara. Most likely the OSWAward will come from this class. Another strong weight is the 119-pound class. One of the elite wrestlers in the state Nigel McNeil is here and could face Vin Punzone in a quarterfinal bout. Possible finalists could be second seeded Giovanni Sanchez (32-3) of Central Islip, Thomas Dutton, or Sayville teammates Chris Siracusa (30-9) and Nick Pesko (31-5). Longwood finished the season with a perfect 11-0 mark and won all six tournaments. The Lions also hold a 58-match win streak and are number one-ranked in the Empire State. Best of Luck to all the competitors this weekend, enjoy your County Championships...