Xavier Pommels


Dan Mauriello (Hauppauge)




Zach Redding

​(Eastport South Manor)

Chase Liardi


By Jim & Tony Nordland

Joey Slackman (Commack)

Long Island wrestling returns only two state champions along with three state finalists and a group of talented state place-winners that are ready to challenge for state crowns. LI will be led by the four-time state champion Adam Busiello (241-8 career mark) of Eastport-South Manor, now a senior at either 132/138 pounds. His teammate and the other returning LI state king is senior Zach Redding (140-18) at 126. Busiello, a blue-chip recruit will take his mat skills west next season and compete for Arizona State and join former five-time winner Jacori Teemer (Long Beach) as another Sun Devil standout. 

Three state finalists return to seek redemption, sophomore Chase Liardi (86-10) at 106  of Massapequa, two-time silver medalist Jordan Titus (86-6) at 113 of Center Moriches and Penn-bound Joey Slackman (92-14) of Commack in the 285-pound class. A parade of 16 state place-winners are also in the field as they embark on the 2018-19 campaign. State bronze medalists to watch are Luke Smith (113) of Hauppauge and Logan Sciotto (132) of Suffolk power Rocky Point, both are juniors and will vie for state crowns.

Another tier of All-State matmen include the Wantagh tandem of Josiah Encarnacion (113) and rugged Matt Rogers (170/182), both are juniors, and provide a strong nucleus for defending Nassau team champion Warriors. Suffolk's MOW Sean Carter is back for North Babylon and will compete at 120 pounds. Other state placers are Thomas Diresta (113) of Kings Park, Jordan Soriano (120) of Clarke, Port Wash sophomore Dan Gibson (132), CSH's Ray Costa (124 career wins, 74 pins) at 145 and Farmingdale's Joe Simons at 152.

Three-time state medalist Columbia-bound Kyle Mosher (208-35 career) of South Side will attempt to capture the elusive state crown this season. He recently earned the bronze medal at the prestigious Walsh Jesuit Ironman (Ohio)  Tournament  in  the 160-pound class. Pat-Med's Ryan Burgbacher will be a solid contender in either the 152/160 bracket. Rounding out the state's best upperweights are Corey Connolly (160) of Rocky Point, junior JD Moore (Levittown Division) at 170, Lajess Sawyer (182) of Center Moriches and gridiron star Liam McIntyre at 182 pounds. Two former NYS medalists from 2017 also return: Joe Contrastano (120) of Carle Place/Wheatley and Mt. Sinai's Matt Campo at 138 pounds.

Defending county champions from Long Island that will be in the mix are Div. II MOW Joe Sparacio (106) of Bayport-Blue Point, Jake Eckerle (70-16) of Commack at 113, sophomore Connor Pearce (SWR) at 120, Nassau's MOW Xavier Pommels (126) of Uniondale, Danny Mauriello (152) of Hauppauge, Mt. Sinai teammates: Mike O'Brien (132) and Mike Sabella (182), along with upperweights Khrystian Magee (220) of Center Moriches and Roosevelt's Deaquan Stuart (101 wins) in the 220-pound class. Nassau's Division II returning champs include Jake Murphy (113/120) of Seaford, Karl Bouyer (220) of Clarke and junior Sam Khondaparast of Oyster Bay at 285 pounds.

Ten Division I county finalists will seek titles at the 2019 Championships. Leading the way in Nassau include Massapequa teammates Anthony Conetta (99) and Marco Musso (195), along with Jake Schneider (113) of MacArthur, Aidan Araoz (120) of Wantagh, Tyler DeSena (145/152) of Garden City, Stephen Grabher (160) of North Shore, Matt Majoy (170) of Syosset and Uniondale's Dorceus O'Brien at 285 pounds. Suffolk's silver medalists are tough Paul Illicete (170) of Copiague and Newfield's Paul Toscano at 195. Look for  these contenders to challenge for county crowns and berths in the NYS Championships.

Other returning All-County grapplers that captured bronze medals  in Nassau are Jeremiah Echeverria (106) of Long Beach, freshman George Oroudjov (120) of Syosset, the Massapequa trio of Mike Blando (132), Garrett Gibbons (160) and football star Angelo Petrakis (182), Kyle Althenn (138) of Mepham and Freeport junior Myles Norris at 285.  Suffolk's stalwarts  include; freshman Jared Weinhaus (99/106) of Sachem East, Marvin Canales (106/113) of Smithtown West, junior Anthony DiBartolo (126) of Hauppauge, Nick Calderone (132) of Newfield and Kris Ketchum of Rocky Point at 138. Other bronze award winners are Jonathan Spadafora (145/152) of Hills East, sophomore Jack Spahn (Islip) at 152 and Joseph Gannone (ESM) at 160/170, Malachi Lord-Kelly (182) of Central Islip and Pat Med's Dylan Gianikos in the 220-pound class.

Other top prospects that earned All-County honors last season are: 8th-grader Max Gallagher (99/106) of Bayport-Blue Point, Elijah Rivera (Bay Shore) and Justin Amendola (Rocky Point), both at 106, Brenden Goodrich (Mt. Sinai) at 113/120 and Francis Whitehouse (Islip), at 120/126, Wantagh teammates, Benny Rogers (99) and Christian Encarnacion (126), along with Dan Fishman (113) of Oceanside, Wenchard Pierre-Louis (Brentwood) and Steven Wilkinson (Connetquot), both at 120. Also in the county medal mix will be Gavin Damasco (102 career wins) of Commack and Eddie Troyano (SWR), both at 126, along with Ryan Meisner (138) of Lindenhurst. Others to watch are: Max Maquet (138) of Long Beach, Stefan Major (KP) at 145, potential finalists, junior Joe Lopresti (Sayville) and Jeff Tanscik (Centereach), both at 170, and Mepham's Matt Hegi at 195. Upperweights in Suffolk to keep an eye on include: Jack Winey (Lindenhurst) and Shakesse Byrd of Bellport, both at 195,  Angel Pineda (220) of Sachem East and Brentwood's Jean Jasmine at 285 pounds.


The top teams on Long Island appear to be Suffolk County defending dual and tournament champion Rocky Point, Massapequa,  Division I 2018 state dual meet champion unbeaten Wantagh (31-0), Eastport-South Manor and perennial power Hauppauge. An earlier season test and a possible NYS dual match-up pits Rocky Point against Massapequa on December 5th at 6:00 PM at Massapequa HS. Also watch ESM and Hauppauge battled it out at the King of the Mat Tournament at Hewlett HS, both squads should have multiple finalists.

Other top tier teams are Lindenhurst, Sachem East, Brentwood, Bay Shore, Westhampton Beach, Islip, Patchogue-Medford, Division II power Mt. Sinai, Long Beach, MacArthur,  Commack, Connetquot, Uniondale, Kings Park, Smithtown West, Central Islip, John Glenn, Farmingdale, Miller Place, Center Moriches, Hewlett, Shoreham-Wading River and Newfield. 

The CHSAA top teams are Chaminade and St. Anthony's. The Flyers point to league champion Michael Sanfilippo (120) and CHSAA bronze medalist Joey Nicotra at 145, along with top returnees Michael Semeraro (126), John Boccardo (132) and Ryan Bihasa at 170.  Coach Cole and his able staff once again have a large turnout and will challenge for the NSCHSAA league title. The Friars have two defending CHSAA champions: Sean Flick (106) and Christian Hansen (138), along with CHSAA finalist Jordan Wellington (113), junior Tommy Szilagyi (120) and  talented Preston Macere at 126. Both squads are slated for the rivalry dual on January 2nd, 2019 at Chaminade HS. Former St. Anthony's star Ben Lamantia (158-14 prep career) was a two-time NYS place-winner and is now competing at the University of Michigan. He recently defeated Lehigh's Kent Lane, 9-7, in the 157-pound class.

The second annual NYS Dual Meet Championships are slated for January 26th, 2019 at the SRC- Arena on the campus of Onondaga CC in Syracuse. Look for one of those top LI squads to be in the finals.

Suffolk County has a state leading 192 NYS champions, followed by Section Four (Binghamton area) with 156 and Nassau County has 130 individual winners. The LI contingent has garnered 36 sectional team titles - Suffolk has won 26 and Nassau has 10, this years NYSPHSAA Championships should be no exception. Long Island wrestling has a rich history with the first title claimed by Section VIII in 1963 at Cornell University, Ithaca. Section XI has reeled off an unprecedented ten consecutive state titles. One of those elite squads is figured to claim another state crown at the 57th edition of the New York State Intersectional Championships scheduled for February 22nd-23rd, 2019, at the Times Union Center in Albany.

Interesting to note, the NYS Tournament shifted to the two-division format in 2004 and now only three states have a single classification: California, Indiana and New Jersey. The Golden State with over 900 high schools have a 40-man bracket and the CIF champion has to win six matches for the title ( the top 8 earn medals). Defending NCAA champ Zahid Valencia (79-2 collegiate career record) of Arizona State was a former three-time CA state champion (1-3-1-1) and jumped from winning the states at 132 in his junior year to his senior state title at 182 pounds. 

After consulting a panel of wrestling gurus, including Bob Preusse (HS Insider) of Amateur Wrestling News, a list was compiled of the Top Ten states for high school wrestling in the nation:

  1. Pennsylvania

  2. Ohio

  3. California

  4. New Jersey

  5. Illinois

  6. Iowa

  7. New York

  8. Oklahoma

  9. Minnesota

10. Michigan



   According to the upstate wrestling polls here is a Mid-Season look at the top teams:

  1. Hilton-5 (12-0)

  2. Massapequa-8 (10-0)

  3. Spencerport-5 (7-0)

  4. Eastport-South Manor-11 (7-0)

  5. Shenendehowa-2 (2-0)

  6. Fulton-3 (15-1)

  7. Niagara Falls-6 (14-0)

  8. Niagara Wheatfield-6 (5-1)

  9. Wantagh-8 (3-1)

10. Minisink Valley-9 (6-0)

 Missing from the top ten teams are Suffolk County  powers Hauppauge and Rocky Point...

Congratulations to Carl Adams as a 2019 inductee in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, OK. Adams (154 pounds) was the first state champion for Brentwood HS in 1968 for the late Joe Campo. He was also a three-time Section XI champion and was twice named the Most Valuable Wrestler in Suffolk County. He finished his high school career without ever losing a dual meet and was a member of the 1967 Junior Olympic Team.

Adams was the first true-freshman to earn All-America honors in 1969 ( the first year that the NCAA allowed freshmen to compete in the NCAA Championships) and was a two-time national champion for Iowa State University. Adams (5-1-1) was a three-time AA and helped lead the Cyclones to the NCAA team title in 1969, 1970 and 1972.

He later had an illustrious coaching career at Rhode Island and Boston University. Adams was named the NEWC College Coach of the Year five times and the EIWA Coach of the Year in 2014. Adams is also a member of the Brentwood, Midlands Championship and Iowa State University Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony will be held at the 43rd annual Honors Weekend on May 31 - June 1, 2019, in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Adam Busiello

(Eastport South Manor)



Paul Illicite


Luke Smith


Jordan Titus

​(Center Moriches)

Liam McIntyre (Westhampton)

Corey Connolly

​(Rocky Point)

Kyle Mosher

(South Side)

JD Moore

​(Levittown Division)

Matt Rogers


Garrett Gibbons


Sean Carter

​(North Babylon)

Malachi Lord-Kelly

​(Central Islip)