Nick Piccininni

(Ward Melville HS)

Alex Delacruz

(Ossining HS)


                                                 MID-SEASON REPORT: A LOOK AT THE EMPIRE STATE'S TOP WRESTLERS

                                                                                             By Jim & Tony Nordland

     In the recent Amateur Wrestling News  HS individual Rankings nine New York prepped grapplers have been rated amongst the elite in the nation. Defending state champion freshman Yianni Diakomihalis (29-0) of Hilton boasts a perfect 80-0 career record and is top-ranked at 106 pounds. Two-time champion junior Nick Piccininni (31-0, 172-3) of Ward Melville is 5th at 120, Renaldo-Rodriguez Spencer (28-0) of Cheektowaga is 6th, he will wrestle at Iowa State next season, and junior Tommy Dutton (29-3) of Rocky Point , rated 15th, are both in the 145- pound class. Mepham's Louis Hernandez (28-1, 133-11) is 6th at 152, four-time state placer Corey Rasheed (2-5-2-1 ) of Longwood  is 24-0 on the season and has an impressive 224-12 career mark, he is ranked 9th at 160. Other top prospects include Iowa-bound Burke Paddock (39-0) of Warsaw, rated 3rd at 170, two-time state finalist Reggie Williams (18-2) of Johnson City  is 7th at 195 and unbeaten Connor Calkins (42-0) of Alfred-Almond is ranked 11th at 285 pounds.

    Reigning Division I state champions include junior Kyle Quinn (25-2, 110-13) of Wantagh at 113, Alex Delacruz (126) of Ossining and Rich Sisti (26-0, 118-14) of Monsignor Farrell in the 220-pound class.

    Defending Division II state kings are Derek Spann (34-2, 90-8) of Adirondack at 113,  Luis Weierbach (120) of Hoosick Falls and two-time titlist William Koll (35-1, 99-6) of Lansing at 132 pounds. Koll will take his mat skills to Cornell next fall and hone his repetoire under the tutelage of his dad, Rob, the head coach for the Big Red.

    Two former state winners that will seek redemption at the 2014 state meet are 2010 champion Tristan Rifanburg (34-1, 119-6) of Norwich at 138 and 2012 gold medalist Sean Peacock (33-1) of Midlakes at 132 pounds.

    Division I state finalists to watch are unbeaten freshman Vito Arujau (32-0) of Syosset at 113, Brandon Lapi (34-1) of Amsterdam at 138, Vincent DePrez (29-0) of Hilton at 145, Steve Schneider (25-0) of MacArthur at 170 and Shenendehowa's Levi Ashley (29-0) at 195 pounds.

    Division II silver medalists include Matteo DeVincenzo (26-1) of Port Jefferson at 106,  Nick Casella (33-2) of Locust Valley at 120, Dakota Gardner (35-1) of Fredonia at 138, Frank Garcia (32-2, 102-13) of Norwich at 152 and Nick Gallo (25-2) of Schalmont at 182. A pair of unbeatens that are strong contenders for state gold are sophomore Christian Dietrich (30-0, 62-5) of Greene at 182 and tough Ryan Wolcott (26-0, 76-9) of Waverly at 220 pounds.

     Four Eastern States Classic champions will also be vying for state crowns; Kelan McKenna (30-1) of New Hartford at 99, Parker Kropman (29-1) of Penfield at 106, Travis Passaro (34-0) of Eastport South Manor at 126 and Jakob Restrepo (28-0) of Sachem East at 145 pounds.