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 (38-0, 269-8 career mark) of Eastport-South Manor, now a senior at 138 pounds. His teammate and the other returning LI state king is senior Zach Redding (38-2, 156-19) 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 (118-10) at 106 of Massapequa, two-time silver medalist Jordan Titus (98-6) at 113 of Center Moriches and Penn-bound Joey Slackman (34-0, 116-14) 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 (20-1) at 113, of Hauppauge and Logan Sciotto (40-4) at 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), both are juniors, and provide a strong nucleus for defending Nassau team champion Warriors. Suffolk's MOW Sean Carter (25-2) is back for North Babylon and will compete at 120 pounds. Other state placers are Thomas DiResta (22-4) at 113 of Kings Park, Jordan Soriano (120) of Clarke, Port Wash sophomore Dan Gibson (138), CSH's Ray Costa (136 career wins) at 145, Lee Mauras (Freeport) also at 145 and Farmingdale's Joe Simons, at 152 pounds.
Three-time state medalist Columbia-bound Kyle Mosher (232-35 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 (33-3) will be a solid contender in the 145-pound bracket. Rounding out the states best upperweights are junior JD Moore (Levittown Division), Lajess Sawyer of Center Moriches, both at 160, and Corey Connolly (41-4) at 170, along with gridiron star Liam McIntyre (32-0, 162 career wins) of Westhamtpton Beach at 195 pounds. Two former NYS medalists from 2017 also return: Joe Contrastano (120) of Carle Place/Wheatley and Mt. Sinai's Matt Campo at 152 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 (82-18) of Commack at 113, sophomore Connor Pearce (SWR) at 120, Nassau's MOW Xavier Pommels (132) of Uniondale, Danny Mauriello (25-1) at 152 of Hauppauge, Mt. Sinai teammates: Mike O'Brien (132) and Mike Sabella (195), along with upperweights Khrystian Magee (220) of Center Moriches and Roosevelt's Deaquan Stuart (108 wins) in the 220-pound class. Nassau's Division II returning champs include Jake Murphy (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 (38-1) at 99 and Marco Musso (220), along with Jake Schneider (126) of MacArthur, Tyler DeSena (145) of Garden City, Stephen Grabher (160) of North Shore, Matt Majoy (182) of Syosset and Uniondale's Obrien Dorceus at 285 pounds. Suffolk's silver medalists are tough Paul Illicete (29-3) at 170 of Copiague and Newfield's Paul Toscano (27-3) at 182. 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, outstanding freshman George Oroudjov (120) of Syosset, the Massapequa trio of Mike Blando (42-2) at 132, Garrett Gibbons (33-10) at 160, and football star Angelo Petrakis (42-2) at 182, Kyle Althenn (138) of Mepham and Freeport junior Myles Norris at 285. Suffolk's stalwarts include; freshman Jared Weinhaus (34-4) of Sachem East, Marvin Canales (34-3) of Smithtown West, junior Anthony DiBartolo (126) of Hauppauge, unbeaten Nick Calderone (28-0) of Newfield and Kris Ketchum (36-4) of Rocky Point at 138. Other bronze award winners are Jonathan Spadafora (23-1) of Hills East at 145 sophomore Jack Spahn (38-5) of Islip at 152 and Joseph Gannone (ESM) at 170, Malachi Lord-Kelly (27-1) at 182 of Central Islip and Pat Med's Dylan Gianikos (29-2) in the 220-pound class.
Other top prospects that earned All-County honors last season are: 8th-grader Max Gallagher (99) of Bayport-Blue Point, unbeaten Elijah Rivera (32-0) of at 106, Justin Amendola (34-6) of Rocky Point, Brenden Goodrich (Mt. Sinai) at 120 and Francis Whitehouse (29-6) of Islip, at 126, Wantagh teammates, Benny Rogers (120) and Christian Encarnacion, (126), along with Dan Fishman (113) of Oceanside, Wenchard Pierre-Louis (26-3) of Brentwood and Steven Wilkinson (27-7) of Connetquot, both at 120 pounds.
Also in the county medal mix will be Kevin Lopez (Long Beach) and MacArthur's Killian Foy, both at 99, Antonio George (113) of North Shore, Alex Almonte (113) of Farmingdale, Ricky Delia (Port Jeff), all at 113, Evan Matias (24-5) of Rocky Point and Dalton Otto (29-4, 104 career wins) of Connetquot, botn at 120, Gavin Damasco (30-3, 122 career wins) of Commack, and Eddie Troyano (SWR), both at 126, along with Evan Matias (24-5) of Rocky Point atr 120, Sean Peterson (28-8) at 132, 132 of Islip and Ryan Meisner (33-0) at 138 of Lindenhurst. Others to watch are: Max Maquet of Long Beach, Stefan Major (KP), both at 145, Gaven Bell (CSH) at 152, Jeff Tanscik (20-1) of Centereach, Calhoun's Jake Marine, at 145, junior Joe Lopresti (32-1) at 182 of Sayville and potential champion Mepham's Matt Hegi at 195. Upperweights in Suffolk to keep an eye on include: Jack Winey (Lindenhurst) and Shakesse Byrd (21-7) of Bellport, both at 195, Angel Pineda (26-2) at 220, of Sachem East a parade of 285-pounders: Richard Aviles (22-4) of West Babylon, Mark Kmiotek (20-7) of Sachem East, Jorge Velasquez (CI) , along with pinner Sean Schaller (23-4) of Connetquot and Brentwood's London Castillo (29-1)
The top teams on Long Island appear to be Suffolk County defending dual and tournament champion Rocky Point, Massapequa, Division I 2018 state meet champion Wantagh, Eastport-South Manor, Sachem East and perennial power Hauppauge.
Other top tier teams are Connetquot, Lindenhurst, Sachem East, Brentwood, Bay Shore, Westhampton Beach, Islip, Patchogue-Medford, Division II power Mt. Sinai, Long Beach, MacArthur, Commack, 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 (over 80 wrestlers) and will challenge for the NSCHSAA league title. The Friars have two defending CHSAA champions: Sean Flick (106) and Christian Hansen (145), along with CHSAA finalist Jordan Wellington (99), junior Tommy Szilagyi (138) and and state-ranked Preston Maucere at 132 pounds.
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.
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:
4. New Jersey
7. New York
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.
LONG ISLAND HIGH SCHOOL PREVIEW
THE MAT SLAP'S
2018- 2019 LONG ISLAND WRESTLING PREVIEW
By Jim & Tony Nordland
Liam McIntyre (Westhampton)
(Eastport South Manor)
(Eastport South Manor)
Dan Mauriello (Hauppauge)