By Jim & Tony Nordland

      The team race at the 2008 Nassau County Wrestling Championships should be among
MacArthur, Wantagh, Plainedge, Uniondale and Massapequa. All teams boast quality wrestlers and have a strong contingent of place-winners that are entered in the tournament. MacArthur crowned seven champions and has 21 county qualifiers, their depth might be enough to retain the county team title. The Generals are led by Ariel Guerrero (119), potential finalists; John Cataldo (130) and Brian Herold (135), along with Anthony Macaluso (171) and Anthony Daly at 189 pounds. Also to watch are lightweights, Alex Grant (96) and Sean Kempf at 112. Wantagh has defending state champion Paul Liguori (29-0, 160-12 career) at 125 and state medalist undefeated Steven Bonanno (37-0) at 119, along with tough John Greisheimer (31-1, 110 career wins) at 145 and sophomore Matt Loew (34-4) at 171 pounds.The Warriors also have John Friscia (112), Quimes Delacruz (130) and Dan Henig (215), along with 14 county qualifiers. Plainedge has Nassau runner-up Rocky Cervini (38-1) at 140 and top rated John Makastchian (35-3) at 171. Potential finalist Matt Rich (34-5) at 119, along with county bronze medalist Jesse Sgaglione (35-4) at 125 and Steve Speranza at 215 pounds. Uniondale emerged with eight Qualifying champions and will send 17 wrestlers to the county meet. The Knights are led by top ranked junior Lesean Mack (31-1) at 160, along with Marvin Amazon (96), Donnell East (130), Andre Berry (140). talented Troy Sterling (145) and Steve Francois at 189 pounds. Massapequa dominated their Qualifying Tournament, as they  garnered seven individual winners and added ten other medalists.The Chiefs are paced by returning county champions Mike Doria (26-2, 108 career wins) at 130 and state medalist Shane Strumwasser (34-1, 128 wins) at 135 pounds. Other potential place-winners are Rudy Lanzillotta (96), Eric Kaufman (119), Anthony Evangelista (125), Josh Maddock (140) and junior Nick Isnardi at 171 pounds. Other fringe teams that could finish among the top ten are defending team champion East Meadow, Baldwin, Farmingdale, Syosset, Garden City, Seaford, Island Trees and Calhoun.
     A look at the top wrestlers at their respective weight classes:

96 pounds-The top seed is Joe Barbuto (Garden City), he could face either Marvin Amazon (Uniondale) or Alex Grant (MacArthur) in a semifinal bout. Bottom tier contenders are #2 Will Montgomery (Seaford) and John Khoury (Long Beach). Also to watch are Dylan Cohen (Bald), Mike LoFresse (GC) and Rudy Lanzillotta (Mass).
103 pounds-The favorite here is top ranked Vin Pecora( Baldwin) and will have to contend with fourth-seeded Nick Falco (East Meadow). In the talented lower bracket are second seed freshman Mike Leonard (Clarke), along with third rated Anthony Facchini (Seaford) and John Froccaro (Port Wash). Others to watch are Luke Alber (Farmingdale), Matt Schlezinger (Clarke), and John Doria (Massapequa).

112 pounds-Returning state finalist Nick Arajau (Syosset) heads a talented field of 112-pounders and is a strong favorite to repeat as county champion. A top bracket match-up could be John Friscia (Wantagh), Jimmy Pannullo (East Meadow) or MacArthur's Sean Kempf. In the loaded lower bracket are second-seeded Justin Esposito (Farmingdale), who could meet Dan LoFrese (GCity) in a quarterfinal and third-seeded Cory Krimmer (East Meadow), who could face Oren Raffi (GNNorth).

119 pounds-State placer and unbeaten Steven Bonanno of Wantagh is the strong favorite here and is currently top-ranked in the state. Possible semifinal battle could be highly-touted Matt Rich (Plainedge). Potential finalists are second-rated Zach Cogen (BJFK) or Ariel Guerrero (MacArthur). Others to watch are Ryan Chimon (Syosset) and Massapequa's Eric Kaufman.

125 pounds-Two-time state king junior Paul Liguori (Wantagh) is seeking is third county and state title and will be tough to beat. In the top bracket is Anthony Romeo (East Meadow). Bottom bracket challengers are second seeded Jesse Sgaglione (Plainedge) and #3 Anthony Evangelista (Massapequa). Other all-county prospects are Bryan Farrell (Clarke), Ryan Glassberg (Syosset) and Brian Maldarelli (Calhoun).

130 pounds-Defending Nassau County champion senior Mike Doria (Massapequa) is top seeded and should repeat. A possible semifinal match up could be Wantagh's Quimes DelaCruz. Hoping to reach the county finals are Zack Carlin (Roslyn) and second seeded John Cataldo of MacArthur. Others that will vie for county medals are Jay Widman (Bethpage) and Gerard Quinn (Baldwin).

135 pounds-Massapequa's winningest wrestler Shane Strumwasser hopes to claim his second county crown and improve on his fourth place finish at the state meet. His upper bracket competition will be Mac Maldarelli (Calhoun) and Steve Spurgeon (Plainedge). Potential finalists are second-ranked Matt Eberlein (IslandTrees) and #3 Brian Herold (MacArthur). Other challengers are Tim White (Baldwin) and Mark Ortiz (Farmingdale).

140 pounds
- Returning county finalist and state medalist Rocky Cervini of Plainedge is top rated and prohibitive favorite here. Upper bracket challengers are fourth seeded Will Quinn (Baldwin) and Massapequa's Josh Maddock. Lodged in the bottom tier are Andre Berry (Uniondale) and third-rated Blake Fisher (Seaford). Others to watch are German Meza (Bethpage) and Hunter Spector (Calhoun).

145 pounds-Wantagh junior and top-seeded John Greisheimer is one of Nassau's top middleweights and should caprture the county championship. Herrick's Frank Perillo, Jason Schneider (Roslyn) and Brandon Mulholland (MacArthur) are possible semifinal opponents. Potenial finalists are second ranked Vinny Famularo (Baldwin) and third-seeded Matt Gaynor (Clarke).

152 pounds-Nassau County champion Kerron Williams (Baldwin) is seeded number one and should claim his second county title. Fourth-seeded Chris Martinez (Island Trees) or Charlie Reid (Farmingdale) could face him in a semifinal match. Lower bracket competitors will be #2 Joe Kavanaugh (LDivision) and third-rated Mike Debinski (Hicksville).

160 pounds-Uniondale junior Lesean Mack is top ranked but will face strong competition in a talented weight class. Top tier challengers are Curran Digney (Seaford) and Nick Camera (Plainedge). In the tough lower bracket is second-seeded Jordan Spirou (Clarke). Possible quarterfinal bout could pit third-seeded Greg Miller (Bethpage) against Dan Germann of East Meadow.

171 pounds-Number one ranked John Makastchian of Plainedge is the clear favorite and should reach the finals. His possible semifinal foe is Sebastian Randazzo (Syosset) or Nick Isnardi (Massapequa). Lower bracket challengers are second-seeded sophomore Matt Loew (Wantagh) & county place-winner Joe Anderson of Mepham.

189 pounds-Thomas Jackson (Farmingdale) drew the top seed and should meet the winner of the Ryan Hickey (Calhoun) and Matt Gill (Lynbrook) quarterfinal bout in a semifinal battle. In a bottom bracket quarterfinal clash, look for Mike Giampolo (South Side) to face MacArthur's Anthony Daly, and that winner should meet second ranked Wayland Roberts (Freeport) in the semifinals.

215 pounds-Returning county finalist undefeated Spencer DeSena (Garden City) is the top ranked heayweight in both Nassau County and on Long Island. Possible semifinal opponent is Jake Asquino of Seaford. Bottom bracket contenders are third seeded Dan Nicolino (29 wins & 23 pins) of Island Trees and number two ranked Steve Francois (Uniondale). Other possible medalists are Dan Henig (Wantagh), Matt Cho (Syosset) and Emanuel Agu (Freeport).

285 pounds-Valley Stream Central's Jeff St. Simon is the top seed and could see either #4 Nick Azcona (Baldwin) or Jomo McGlachen (Uniondale) in the semifinals. Calhoun's Bobby Tobia move up to this weight class and drew the number two seed. Others in contention are Ismael Cerezo (Uniondale) and Evan Russell (Plainview).

   The Nassau County Championships are scheduled to begin on Friday at 11:00 AM and the semifinals are slated for Saturday at 10:00 AM. The tournament is being held at the David S. Mack Sports Complex (Hofstra Arena). MacArthur had a stronghold of the team championships in the 2000s and the last time Wantagh won the county title was in 1968. Best of Luck to all the competitors...
Wantagh's top seeded and state ranked John Greisheimer is one of Nassau's top wrestlers heading into this weekend's Section 8 Tournament at Hofstra University.
Lesean Mack
Rocky Cervini
Shane Strumwasser
John Cataldo
Mike Doria