LONG ISLAND WRESTLING PREVIEW
By Jim and Tony Nordland
Long Island wrestling returns three state champions and four finalists, along with a group of talented state place-winners. That group will vie for state titles as they embark on the upcoming season. State champions that return are: blue-chipper Zach Redding (188-23 career) of Eastport South Manor at 132 pounds. Redding, a 2018 winner, will take his mat skills to Iowa State next fall. Dan Mauriello (167-17) of Suffolk power Hauppauge leads the reigning Suffolk team champion with another well-balanced squad. Mauriello, a senior and gridiron star will compete at 170 pounds. Division II winner Jordan Titus (124-6) of Center Moriches is a junior and recently won the Walsh Jesuit Ironman title in the 120-pound class.
State finalists that return and seek redemption will be two-time medalist junior Chase Liardi (2-4) has a career mark of 115-12 and will compete at 120 pounds for Nassau defending champion Massapequa HS, MacArthur sophomore Killian Foy ( 113), senior Josiah Encarnacion (126) of perennial power Wantagh HS and Freeport senior Myles Norris (85-10) a football standout and LIC champion, in the 285-pound class.
Long Island also boasts a myriad of state place-winners that will be in the hunt for state titles this season. Bronze medalists to watch are: sophomore Anthony Conetta (106) of Massapequa, freshman Max Gallagher (113) of Bayport-Blue Point, veteran and two-time placer Luke Smith (Hauppauge) at 126, along with Joe Costantano ((Wheatley) in either the 126 or 132-pound class. That elite group are state-ranked and potential NYS champions. Other returning state medalists to watch include: sophomores Joe Sparacio of Bayport-Blue Point and Jared Weinhaus (Sachem East), both at 120, The Locust Vallley tandem of Vincent Marchand (132/138) andGage Natale (138/145), along with Lee Mauras of Freeport at 152. Other state placers are Matt Campo (160) of Division Two power Mt. Sinai, JD Moore (4th) of Levittown Division, Gaven Bell (CSH), both at 170, along with Hauppauge's Michael Tyrell (4th) and Wantagh's Matt Rogers (5th), both slated for the 182-pound class and Karl Osmono Bouyer (Clarke) in the 220-pound class.
Nassau County has three other reigning county champions, sophomore George Oroudjov (132) of Syosset, junior Jake Schneider (138) of MacArthur and football star Matt Hegi of Mepham at 195.
Suffolk's other returning titlists are Logan Sciotto of Rocky Point at 138 and junior Jackson Hulse (170/182) of Westhampton Beach.
Long Island also has 17 returning county finalists that will seek redemption. Senior Elijah Rivera (Bay Shore) is top-ranked at 106, sophomore Christian Lievano (106/113) of Ward Melville, Jeremiah Echeverria (LB) at 113, along with Jake Eckerle (Commack) and Ben Rogers (Wantagh) both at 120 pounds. Other silver medalists include: Guillermo Reyes (Hicksville) at 126, Sean Peterson (132) of Islip, a pair of tough 145-pounders, Max Maquet (LB) and Gavin Demasco (Commack), Jeremy Scutellaro (Massapequa) at 152, along with Hunter Hughes (160) of Newfield and Sayville's Joe Lopresti at 182. Rounding out the upperweights are: Nicholas Franco (Farmingdale) and Peter Magliocco (Northport), both slated at 195, a pair of 220-pounders Jeremiah Funchess (Westbury) and Jeff Perez (Lindenhurst), along with highly touted London Castillo of League I power Brentwood in the 285-pound class.
Other top prospects that will be in the county medal mix are Mikey Manta (99) of Hauppauge, junior Kevin Lopez (LB) at 106, Thomas DiResta (KP) at 120, a group of talented 126-pounders: Evan Matias (RPoint), Steven Wilkinson (Connetquot) and Antonio George of North Shore. Also to watch are Anthony DiBartolo (Hauppauge) at 132 and a pair of 138-pounders: Amir Hodge (LB) and Joseph Foxen (Garden City), along with Islip teammates Francis Whitehouse. (138) and Jack Spahn at 145. Also to watch are Kyle Klein (Miller Place) and Dan Gibson (Port Washington), both at 145, Sal Guastella (Glen Cove) at 170, along with Tazadon Smith (Huntington), Matt Kmiotek (Sachem East), both at 220 and Massapequa's Matt Smithwick in the 285-pound class.
The top teams on Long Island appear to be Hauppauge, Massapequa, Wantagh, Rocky Point, Miller Place, Commack, Uniondale, Long Beach, Connetquot, Freeport, Kings Park, Islip, Brentwood, Sachem East and MacArthur. The CHSAA points to rivals - Chaminade and St. Anthony's, as the teams to beat. Suffolk County has won 26 sectional team titles and Nassau County has 10. Suffolk has crowned 196 state champions followed by Section Four (Binghamton area) with 161 and Nassau County with 131 individual winners. Those three sections will add to their totals for the 58th edition of the NYSPHSAA Championships on February 28th-29th, 2020, at the Times Union Center in Albany.
Returning Suffolk County champion Luke Smith is a two-time state bronze medalist of Hauppauge.
Returning Suffolk County Division II champion Max Gallagher of Bayport-Blue Point.
New York State Champion, Zach Redding (182-23 career) of Eastport South Manor at 132 pounds. Redding, a 2018 winner, will take his mat skills to Iowa State next fall..
Returning Nassau County champion Chase Liardi of Massapequa.
Returning Nassau County champion Anthony Conetta of Massapequa.
Returning Nassau County champion Josiah Encarnacion of Wantagh.
Returning New York State Division II Champion, Jordan Titus from Center Moriches. Titus is nationally ranked at 120 pounds this year.
LONG ISLAND HIGH SCHOOL PREVIEW
Returning New York State Champion, Dan Mauriello from Hauppauge.