Long Island wrestlers enter the season with another talent-laden group that features six defending state champions and three former winners, along with a plethora of All-State matmen. The Nassau and Suffolk teams have garnered a total of thirty-three state sectional titles: Suffolk with 23 and Nassau with 10 championships. One of those elite squads is figured to claim another state crown in Albany at the 54th edition of the NYS Championships on February 26-27th, 2016.
LI will be led by two-time champion Vito Arujau (31-0,158-1 career mark) of Syosset, now a junior at 132 pounds. Three-time placer Arujau (2-1-1) and 2015 Cadet national champion has been basically untouchable the past two years and his lone loss is to heralded Yianni Diakomihalis (216-3) of Hilton HS with an overtime ride-out in the 2013 state finals. Both have made a verbal commitment to the Big Red of Cornell. Nassau’s other two-time winner is sophomore Jacori Teemer (33-0,130-4) of Long Beach will compete in the 126-pound class. Nassau’s other reigning state king is Locust Valley junior Jon Gomez (104-8) a Cadet All-American at 120. Suffolk boasts three returning champions: freshman Adam Busiello (30-0,112-7) of Eastport-South Manor at 106, Huntington’s John Arceri (32-0, 156-22) at 126 and Princeton-bound Christian Araneo (29-0,158-29) of Ward Melville at 195 pounds.
Former state winners from 2014 include three-time placer Matteo DeVincenzo (2-1-3) of Port Jefferson. DeVincenzo (26-0,128-4), Hunter Dusold of Locust Valley a junior, both will be at 126, and Chris Mauriello (33-1,228 career wins) of Hauppauge at 152 pounds. Two-time medalist Mauriello has state placings of 1-6, along with a NHSCA junior championship, he will take his mat skills to Old Dominion next season.
Three state finalists return to seek redemption, including two-time silver medalist Peter Pappas (132-7) of Plainview at 132, Hauppauge sophomore Jake Silverstein (32-3,134 career victories) at 120, and gridiron star Edwin Rubio (144-11) of John Glenn. Rubio (285) also has two NHSCA runner-up finishes and will wrestle on the collegiate level at Virginia next year.
Nine other state placers are in the field for the upcoming campaign including state bronze medalist and national junior champion Tommy Cox of Deer Park a senior now at 113 pounds. Other outstanding lightweights include freshman Kyle Mosher of South Side, sophomore Jack Bokina (31-3 of Mattituck), junior Anthony Cirillo (34-1) of Rocky Point at 113, and North Babylon senior standout Anthony Sparacio in the 120-pound class. Also returning and seeking higher state finishes in 2016 are Phil Spadafora of Hills East, a junior at 126, Jack Taddeo (145) of Shoreham-Wading River, junior Ricky Stamm of Levittown Division and Huntington’s Joseph Puca, (32-0) both will compete at 160 pounds.
Nassau also has county champions Alexander Vargas (126) of Syosset and Owen Bachelder (145) of Hewlett, along with finalists Justin Vines a freshman at 106 from Wantagh and junior Quinn O’Rourke (113) of Oceanside. Other county runners-up are Long Beach junior Tyrese Byron (152), MacArthur’s Jeremy Hughes (170) and Mike Curiel of Hewlett in the 285-pound class. Also to watch on the Nassau mats are Michael Killard (120) of Wantagh, Jesse Bran-Umana (145) of Massapequa, LB’s Matt Maquet (120), Chris Ponce (145) of Division, middleweight Charlie Spada, Elijah Rodriguez (182), both from Long Beach, Paul Brachfeld of Massapequa and Liam Miller (Bethpage), both in the at 195 pounds.
Suffolk’s four returning finalists are sophomore Tony Negron (99) of North Babylon, Hauppauge teammates, junior Ben Tepperman (32-4,118 career wins) at 126 and star fullback Marcus Bisono (32-3) at 170. Also in the mix will be Kevin Meloni (106) of SWR, Longwood’s Brett Brice (138), Tom Repalone (138) of Connetquot and Lindenhurst’s Jonathan Solorzano (37-1) at 285 pounds.
Other Nassau stalwarts include lightweight standout Justin Vines, Jon Loew (138) both from Wantagh, the Gibbon brothers from Massapequa; Shane and Garrett, Matt Schwartz (152) of BJFK, along with TyreekBromley (182) of Long Beach, sophomore Gavin Casey (Wantagh) at 195 and Farmingdale's JavierHernandez in the 285-pound class.
Suffolk's other top prospects include Eastern States champion Dylan Ryder (99) of Hills West, Jesse Telles (26-4 at 106) of Brentwood, Pat-Med teammates: Chris Gomez (120) and Bobby Pease (160), JamesTrezza (132) of Smithtown East, along with the Rocky Point tandem of Jack Gold (132) and CJ Archer (27-0) at 138. Also vying for county titles will be John Glenn's Zach Ancewicz at 152, Joe Bartolotto (160) of Miller Place and Joe Eiden (13-3 at 170) of Sachem East.
The CHSAA points to St. Anthony's finalist Justin Crawford (120), Brian Kelly (126) and Russell Kohler at 195. The Chaminade Flyers return Zach Wagner (106) and Sean Watson (126), along with football standout and finalist Alex Cappellino at 220 pounds.
In the Nassau team race look for defending county champion Wantagh (22-4) coaches Paul Gillespie and Reggie Jones Jr. to field a balanced squad. Top challengers will be a young, tough and unbeaten Long Beach (17-0) squad. The Marines won the UE Duals and recently won their second consecutive Nassau County Duals championship, they are coached by Ray Adams (19 years at the helm), along with a talented Massapequa (20-2)group, who finished as dual meet runners-up. In Division II Locust Valley is loaded and should claim another county crown. Suffolk reigning team champion Hauppauge (14-2) and 34-year veteran coach Chris Messina have a formidable line-up, bolstering the team will be Dan Mauriello (106), Rich Dailey (182) and John Munro at 285. Other top teams are Suffolk Duals champion Rocky Point, (21-2), the Eagles captured their first Suffolk dual meet title, along with Lindenhurst, North Babylon, and perennial power Huntington. Division II winner Mattituck (26-2) is the clear favorite to garner another team title.
2015-2016 LONG ISLAND
HIGH SCHOOL PREVIEW