2014 NEW YORK STATE WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
By Jim & Tony Nordland
Defending sectional team champion Section Eleven (Suffolk County) won the 52nd NYSPHSAA Wrestling Championships before 4,638 fans at the Times Union Center in Albany. The navy blue-clad contingent amassed 247.5 points to finish ahead of runner-up Section Eight (Nassau County) who had 205. The Suffolk squad crown five champions among their ten finalists and had 21 wrestlers earn All-State honors.
Suffolk was paced by three-time champion Nick Piccininni (45-0, 188-3 career) of Ward Melville who blanked rival Jesse Dellavecchia (45-6) of EI, 3-0, at 120 and OSW Award winner Shakur Rasheed (19-0, 192-12) of Longwood who was unscored upon en route to the 160-pound crown. Five-time state placer Rasheed (2-5-2-1-1) will take his mat skills to Penn State next season. Other winners were Travis Passaro (50-0) of ESM who edged state champion Alex Delacruz, with a slick third period reversal, 3-2 at 126, Chris Mauriello (48-1, 162-17) of Hauppauge who scored with a double leg lift takedown with near fall points to post a solid 6-3 win at 132, and tough Mark Tracy (42-2, 117-24) of Sachem East who overpowered his opponent with a pair of double leg takedowns for an 8-2 verdict at 182 pounds.
Nassau was led by two-time winner Louis Hernandez (42-1, 147-11) of Mepham, a takedown specialist , who claimed the 152-pound class with a 8-4 decision over previously unbeaten Anthony DePrez and Syosset freshman Vito Arujau (44-0, 94-1) who defeated reigning state winner Kyle Quinn (43-4) of Wantagh, with an aggressive 4-1 win at 113. Other gold medalists were 8th-grader Jacori Teemer (47-2, 62-2) of Long Beach at 99, Steven Schneider (48-1, 168-20) of MacArthur at 160, and Seaford's James O'Hagan (40-1, 126-12). Both Teemer and O'Hagan registered falls, Teemer, who was embroiled in a high-paced bout, pulled his foe in bounds and slapped on a lightning quick cradle and O'Hagan applied a bar/arm half-nelson for a pin at the 2:33 mark in the 285-pound bout.
Also earning state crowns were Yianni Diakomihalis (43-0, 129-3) of Hilton, who posted an 11-2 major over Peter Pappas (40-1) at 106. Diakomihalis' smooth-as-silk style of wrestling has already claimed a pair of state titles and teammate Vincent DePrez (46-0, 220-11), converted a switch into an overhead cradle with 30 seconds remaining in his bout to nip Jakob Restrepo (46-1) of Sachem East at 145. Other state champions were Brandon Lapi (48-1, 264-41) of Amsterdam at 138, Reggie Williams (31-2, 102-12) of Johnson City at 195 and two-time winner Rich Sisti (39-0, 26 falls, 126-16 career) of Monsignor-Farrell, who bulldozed his way through the 220-pound bracket.
In the Division Two Tournament, Section Three (Syracuse area) outpointed Section Five (Rochester), 266 to 236. They were led by champions Alex Herringshaw (51-2) of Holland Patent at 145 and Trevor Allard (46-4) of Mexico at 160. Earning their second titles were William Koll (47-1, 111-6) of Lansing at 132, Tristan Rifanburg (49-1, 134-6) of Norwich at 138 and five-time state placer Burke Paddock (5-2-3-1-1) of Warsaw. Koll defeated state king Sean Peacock, 6-3, in the finals, and will wrestle for his dad, Rob, at Cornell next year. The Iowa-bound Paddock (55-0) cruised to the 170-pound crown and finished his stellar high school career with an unbelievable 300-21 overall record. Other champions included a trio of unbeatens, Christian Dietrich (41-0) of Greene at 182, Ryan Wolcott (36-0, 26 pins) of Waverly at 220 and Connor Calkins (55-0) of Alfred-Almond in the 285-pound class.
Long Island finally broke through to the winner's circle and emerged with two champions for the first time in the eleven year history of the tournament. Sophomore Matteo DeVincenzo (34-1) of Port Jefferson-XI and Hunter Dusold (35-7) of Locust Valley-VIII, claimed gold medals for their respective sections. DeVincenzo posted a solid 9-4 win at 106 and Dusold upset returning state winner Derek Spann, 3-1, in the 113-pound class.
The state leader in sectional team titles is Section Eleven with 22. They now have 164 NYS champions followed by Section Four (Binghamton) with 150 and Section Eight has 116 individual winners. Long Island showed their dominance at the 2014 state meet and garnered 12 state titles, along with a total of 46 All-State wrestlers. Islip's Joe Patrovich, a 2014 Hall-of-Fame inductee, had 309 dual meet victories and produced 8 state champions. The Empire State's leader in wins is six-time placer and four-time champion Quinton Murphy (302 wins) of Holley, he is now at Indiana University. The Paddock family have won a total of seven state titles, Ian was a three-time champ, Paul and Burke each won two titles.
Hilton HS won the Divison I individual team title with 88.5 points and were paced by the DePrez twins; Vincent (1st ) and Anthony (2nd), along with younger brother Louie (3rd), they finished with a combined mark of 129-6, their teammate, the aforementioned Diakomihalis, finished third in Section Five as a 7th-grader and is unbeaten in state tournament competition, he is the top-ranked 106-pounder in the nation. East Islip with 52.5 points were team runners-up and had three place-winners, including Dennis Ferro. Throughout the season, Ferro wrestled his nemesis Zach Lugo, five times, winning three, including a 6-2 decision in the 5th place bout at 152. Locust Valley HS claimed the Div. II team title with 77 points and had four All-State grapplers.
The combined record of the Division I champions was an unbelievable 632 victories and only 11 defeats. Only seven champions remained unbeaten, Diakomihalis, Arujau, Piccininni, Passaro, DePrez, Rasheed and Sisti.
12 LONG ISLAND NEW YORK STATE CHAMPIONS
Friends Tony Marra of Nassau County (left) and Dave Smith of Suffolk (right) have been the longtime state trainers for their respective counties for over a decade.
Islip HS coach Joe Patrovich and his family at his induction into the New York State Wrestling Hall of Fame. Coach Patrovich had amassed 309 dual meet wins in his career and coached 8 NYS champions and 24 All-State wrestlers. He will be the new head coach at LIU-Post next year.
Burke Paddock of Warsaw leg trips Ryan Marszal of Unatego in Division II action. Burke won this 170 pound final and picked up his 300th win and was voted the Outstanding Wrestler.
Longwood's Shakur Rasheed uses his high crotch to secure a takedown on Columbia's Angelo Kress. Rasheed won the 160 pound state title with a 14-0 decision and was voted the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler.
Bottom Row- Jacori Teemer (LB), Matt DeVincenzo (PJ), Hunter Dusold (LV), Vito Arujau (Syo), Nick Piccininni (WM), Travis Passaro (ESM).
Back Row- Chris Mauriello (Haup), Louis Hernandez (Mep), Shakur Rasheed (Long), Steven Schneider (Mac), Mark Tracy (SE), James O'Hagan (Seaf).
East Islip's Dennis Ferro (left) and Deer Park's Zach Lugo (right) were applauded by the crowd for their sportsmanship after wrestling each other for the fifth time this year.