By Jim & Tony Nordland
Defending two-time Nassau County Tournament champion and dual meet winners for the past three years give Wantagh (12-3 in duals) the inside track of capturing another county team title. The Warriors are led by returning state king Kyle Quinn (37-2, 124-13 career), a junior at 113 pounds, and four Qualifier champions amongst their 14 county matmen. County bronze medalist Nick Vines (33-3) at 152 and 8th-grader Jonathan Loew (33-5) at 99, both are the #2 seeds and are potential finalists. Other champions are OSW winner Blaise Kavanagh (132), Steve Pambianchi (36-4) at 138 and top-seeded Matt Langan (145), along with runner-up Joe Hill at 120.
MacArthur (23-6) has two state finalists; unbeaten Steven Schneider (41-1, 152-20) at 170 and 2012 runner-up Justin Cooksey (40-4), the MOW winner at 138, along with his younger brother Travis at 112. Other Generals that won titles were Jake Thompson (106), Michael Brown (126), John Dougherty, the # 2 seed at 182, and Jeremy Hughes (195), along with potential placer Sal Randazzo at 160 pounds.
Plainedge (23-4) has county finalist Robert Ng (39-1) at 182 and Robert Oliver (35-4) at 195, both are rated # 1 and are favorites in their weight classes. The Red Devils also have OSW Award winner and fourth- seeded Hector Guerrero (31-5), an all-county performer at 113, along with titlists Jake Schozer (160), Anthony Bowles (170) and qualifying runner-up Jake Lerner (29-8) at 126.
Other top teams are Long Beach, Massapequa, Garden City, Farmingdale, Uniondale, Levittown Division and Island Trees. Long Beach has a nice lightweight tandem of top-seeded Jacori Teemer (99) and Matt Maquet (25-3) at 106, along with tourney winners; Keith Wildstein (28-7) at 160 and Tyreek Bromley at 170. Massapequa has 21 county qualifiers and are led by county bronze medalist Tim Gungor (30-3), the #3 seed at 285, along with four champions, including the Brachfeld brothers; Paul (170) and Josh (182). Other Chiefs that won titles were Shane Gibbons (99) and Most Pins winner George O'Mahony (31-9) at 220 pounds. Garden City crowned six champions at their qualifier including the Reina twins; Tom (22-3) at 126 and Jack (23-5) at 132, along with Dylan Hughes (99), Tim Schmelzinger (138), Tom Lane (170) and Lucas Hildreth at 195. Farmingdale looks to their four winners, Tim Cullen (120), Dave Brown (35-4) at 145 and Javier Hernandez (285). Other Dalers that will be in contention are county placers Bryan Tenny (36-6) a finalist at 220 and Naquan Warren (126). Uniondale points to county bronze medalist Adrian Berry (31-6) the MOW at the qualifier and top-seeded at 132, county placer William Jacobs (32-3) at 152 and Chris Davidson at 182. Levittown Division hopes to finish near the top in the team standings and have five titlists, including unbeaten Chris Ponce (29-0) at 106 and Ricky Stamm (30-1) at 126. Also to watch are Nick Carreras (120), Vinny Perricone (195) and Renato Gamboa at 220. Island Trees has county runner-up Chris Donnelly (30-8), a junior at 113, qualifying champs, Matt Gund (120), John Nicollino (145), and county placer Vinny Manna (33-4), the # 2 seed in the 285-pound class.
Nassau County has reigning state champion, Louis Hernandez (37-1, 142-11) of Mepham at 152. Defending county champions include freshman Vito Arujau (36-0, 83-1 career) of Syosset at 113, sophomore Owen Bachelder ( 27-7) of Hewlett at 132 and Seaford's James O'Hagan (32-1) at 285 pounds. In the 113-pound finals look for Kyle Quinn to square off with state finalist Vito Arujau in an intriguing championship bout. At 126 pounds- top-seeded Ricky Stamm (LDiv) could face the winner of the Jake Lerner-Naquan Warren bout in the quarterfinals. In the bottom bracket is #2 seed Tom Reina (GC) and #3 rated Adam Smith (33-2) of East Meadow, who is a returning county finalist. The 160-pound class could have a collision course to the finals with a pair of unbeatens, top-seeded Jaison White (30-0) of Jericho and #2 Julius Diaz (36-0) of Freeport, both are returning county bronze medalists.
Returning state champion Kyle Quinn (113 lbs.) will try to help the Wantagh Warriors three-peat as Nassau County champions.