Long Island wrestling returns six state champions and a group of talented state finalists as the season embarks on post season tournaments. The Long Island contingent has garnered 34 sectional team titles - Suffolk has won 24 and Nassau has 10, the 55th NYSPHSAA Championships should no exception. Nassau has a very formidable squad and is led by LI's blue-chipper and the nation's top rated 138-pounder Vito Arujau (29-0), boasts a spectacular career mark of 208-1and now has an 166-match win streak. The Syosset senior is on pace for a fourth state crown and will take his mat skills to Cornell next year with future teammate Yianni Diakomihalis (243-3 career) of upstate Hilton who has sustained a season ending injury, both will make their mark on the NCAA scene in the 2017-18 campaign. Three-time state king junior Jacori Teemer (20-1,170-5) of Long Beach at 132 and two-time winner sophomore Adam Busiello (25-1, 166-8) of Eastport-South Manor at 120 pounds will be tough to beat. LI's other reigning champion is Terron Robinson (29-1,116-24) of Walt Whitman at 220, along with former state titlists, the Locust Valley duo of Jonathan Gomez (126) and Hunter Dusold now in the 132-pound class, all will be seeking their second state titles.

     Finalists that will vie for gold medals are Dylan Ryder (26-1) of Hills West at 106, two-time runner-up unbeaten and Edinboro-bound Peter Pappas (28-0) of Plainview JFK at 152. along with Shawn Mosca (Carle Place/Wheatley). That trio will face strong opposition in the 2017 state meet, as Ryder will battle  nemesis Zach Redding (ESM), Pappas might square off with Fox Lane's state finalist Matt Grippi or Penfield's two-time champion Frankie Gissendanner (212-11) and Mosca could be lodged in the tough Division II 170-pound bracket. 

     State bronze medalist Anthony Cirillo (17-3) at 120 and Anthony Sciotto (39-2) at 113, along with teammates; Justin Amendola (99), Dylan Zabarra (160), Anthony Lucia (170) and Leo Burke at 285 bolster a strong Rocky Point squad. Defending two-time Suffolk team champion Hauppauge has state placers Ben Tepperman (32-0) at 126 and Jake Silverstein (33-1) at138, along with standouts, Luke Smith (30-5), at 99, Dan Mauriello (30-6) at 126, Rich Dailey (182) and potential finalist John Munro (32-2) at 285 pounds. Look for both Eagle teams to battle for the Suffolk title. Reigning Nassau champion Long Beach has the aforementioned Teemer, state place-winners, Matt Maquet (35-6) and Tyreek Bromley (33-4) at 182, along with John Coletti (32-5) at 145, county champion Tyrese Byron (33-5) at 152 and unbeaten Elijah Rodriguez (36-0) in the 195-pound class. Head coach Ray Adams (now in his 21st year) and the Marines also point to three county finalists; Pablo Martinez (25-6), at 99, Charlie Spada (36-6) at 160 and tough Joe Giorlando (30-6) at 170 pounds. Wantagh looks to All-State Justin Vines (38-2) and returning All-County matmen; Michael Killard (32-2), both at 126, Robert Marshall (152), James Langan and Jonathan Loew (46-1, 172-35) both at 160, along with Nick Coppola (182), Gavin Casey and Pat Smith, both at 285 pounds.

     Other top prospects to watch are Nassau champions Jared Altan (113) of Plainedge, Farmingdale's Joseph Simons (33-6) at 120 and Lucus Pincus (145) of Hewlett. The Dalers also have runner-up Kevin DePalma (38-3) at 120 and Darrin Simons Jr. (34-2) at 170. Also in the medal mix are two-time state placer Kyle Mosher (138) of Southside, the Gibbons brothers from Massapequa, Shane (145) and Garrett (152) both now have over 100 career victories, along with other Chief standouts Hunter Scutellaro (120) and Kevin Smithwick at 285. Lynbrook has a talented trio with Joe Becker (106), Matt Swanson (132) and Zach Kornberg (195), both Swanson and Kornberg were 2016 Nassau finalists.

     Suffolk's best include the Sims twins out of Lindenhurst, Billy (152) and Max (160), along with county finalists Preston Maucere (106) of Deer Park, Sam Schuyler (195) of Kings Park and grid iron star junior Deonte Wilson (29-2) of Amityville at 285 pounds. John Glenn points to state-ranked matmen Zach Ancewicz (23-0) at 170 and Eastern States champion Damien Caffrey (34-0) at 220, along with junior Joe Franzese at 182. Connetquot returns county winner and All-State Jeffrey Browne (122 career wins) at 182, along with league champions and All-County performers Danny Colondona (39-2) at 120 and Paul North (40-3) at 126, both have reached the century mark in career victories. Hills East has the Spadafora brothers, state placer Phil (145) and Jonathan at 113. Other highly-touted grapplers are Christian Gannone (ESM), Jordan Titus (33-3) of Center Moriches, both at 99, Chris Gomez (132) of Pat-Medford, David Miele-Estrada (152) of North Babylon, Joseph Bartolotto (38-2) of Miller Place, Commack's Nick Munsch, Bayport's Dylan McCarthy (25-9), all at 160, along with Joe Eiden (33-3) at 170 of Sachem East and Islip's Greg Hodulick (37-2) at 195 pounds, both Eiden and Hodulick are second-seeded and possible county finalists.

Mat Notes:                        
     The Empire State's top squad Long Beach (16-0), narrowly defeated rival Wantagh (23-2) at Nassau County Dual Meet Championships and claimed their third consecutive dual title before an overflow crowd at Clarke HS. Both Long Beach and Wantagh had 11 tournament qualifying champions and should prove a close team race at the Nassau County Tournament Championships.
Suffolk powers are Rocky Point (21-1) who edged  Hauppauge (16-2) , 37-31, for their second consecutive dual meet title. The Eagles have made the dual meet final in all three years, dropping a close match at the inaugural event to John Glenn. Head coach Darren Goldstein (at the helm for 12 years) on the success of the program stated: "We have a strong parent base and a solid kid wrestling program along with committed coaches like able assistant Anthony Ciolino who work with the kids year round." He added: "Over the years it has become a cycle of a winning tradition."  Hauppauge edged Rocky Point for the League V tournament title, 221 to 215.5 points, both squads should battle once again for the county team title. Hauppauge crowned five champions and have 13 county qualifiers, Rocky Point had three league winners and pushed 15 qualifiers to the county meet. Those four teams are amongst the elite squads in the state along with defending Suffolk Division II team champion Mattituck (25-4). The Tuckers point to the Bokina twins, Luke (39-5) at 120, Jack (41-3) at 126, James Hoeg (43-2) at 195 and Tanner Zagarino (34-4) at 220. At the third annual Suffolk Duals, Connetquot (13-3) emerged with an exciting 31-30 victory (criteria, most wins) over Sachem East. Head coach Bill Santoro, now in his 39th season, stated: "Winning matches like that help to rejuvenate you." In Nassau Division II Locust Valley has the aforementioned state titlists; Gomez and Dusold, along with Jack Ward (138) and Bailey O'Brien at 160, the Falcons should cruise to the county title. Both Mattituck and Locust Valley should be near the top  in the Division II individual team standings at the 2017 state meet. In the NSCHSAA Tournament the frontrunner is league champion St. Anthony's who look to Jordan Wellington (99), Tommy Lotitio (106), Brian Kelly (138) and Maguire Horl ( injury might sidelined come tournament time) at 220. The Friars also point to Tyler Podolsky (126) and Colson Meadows at 170. Chaminade has a balanced squad and are paced by John Boccardo (106), tough Ted Flaherty (20-9) at 160, league and possible CHSAA champion TJ Toles (14-3) at 182, along with David Mellon at 220. Other league standouts are Frankie Hug (132) of Kellenberg, St. John the Baptist's Joe Lanciotti in the 138-pound class and Michael Marcy (145) of Holy Trinity. All action will take place this weekend, with the CHSAA sectional competing in Buffalo.