Louie DePrez (Hilton) won his third state title and is the top ranked high schooler at 182 pounds.
2017 NYS WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Defending sectional team champion Section Eleven (Suffolk County) won the 55th NYSPHSAA Wrestling Championships before 5,964 fans at the Times Union Center in Albany. The navy blue-clad contingent won an unprecedented ninth consecutive team title and amassed 250 points to easily outdistance runner-up Section Five (Rochester area) who had 198.5 and Section Eight (Nassau County) who finished in third place with 188. The Suffolk squad crowned two champions amongst their seven finalists and had a total of 21 wrestlers earn All-State honors.
Suffolk was paced in Division I by three-time champion sophomore Adam Busiello (45-1, 184 -8 career) of ESM who posted three falls and a major decision en route to the 120-pound title. In the finals he pinned nemesis Anthony Cirillo (Rocky Point) in the second period with a tight half-nelson. Dylan Ryder (41-1, 84-3) became Hills West's second state champion (Tyler Grimaldi in 2013), he used a series of tilts and posted an impressive 15-0 tech fall in the 106-pound final. Defending state champion Terron Robinson (40-2) of Walt Whitman was embroiled in an exciting championship bout with Uniondale's Zach Knighton-Ward (42-0). Robinson scored with a snap-spin takedown and put Ward to his back for a 7-3 lead midway through the third period, but Knighton-Ward rallied with a lateral drop to knot the match at 9-9 as time expired. Unfortunately, in Robinson's attempt to counter the throw, he broke bones in his forearm and was forced to default before the overtime period and Ward was the 220-pound gold medalist.
Nassau was led by the tandem of four-time winners: junior Jacori Teemer (29-1, 178-5) of Long Beach at 132 and Syosset's Vito Arujau (37-0, 216-1) in the 138-pound class. Arujau rolled through four opponents in the bracket and finished his stellar career with a 174-match win streak and was voted the tournament's outstanding wrestler award. Arujau will join another four time state winner Yianni Diakomihalis (241-3), who was sidelined by a season-ending injury, as college teammates for the Big Red of Cornell. That duo should make an impact on the NCAA scene in the 2017-18 season. Also winning state crowns were Wantagh junior Justin Vines (42-3), who was relentless with his tight-waist ride, he recorded a solid 3-0 verdict in the 126-pound final, and Peter Pappas (39-0, 183-10) of PJFK. The Edinboro-bound Pappas used some slick ankle pick takedowns to defeat two-time finalist Matt Grippi (Fox Lane), 7-3, for the coveted gold medal at 152 pounds.
Section Five garnered four championships: Hilton's freshman Greg Diakomihalis (48-0, 96-2) scored with his fireman's and double leg takedowns for a solid 9-5 win at 113 and teammate, three-time state king Louie DePrez (50-0, 253-30) used a barrage of takedowns en route to a 13-4 major decision in the 182-pound final. The other area winners were: Penfield's Frankie Gissendanner (46-1, 233-11), a junior at 145 who earned his third state crown and William Bolia (47-0) of Fairport who needed a third period escape to edge Amityville's Deonte Wilson (37-3) in the 285-pound class.
Also earning state crowns were: buzz-saw Brandon Nunez (32-0) of John Browne who notched his 100th career victory in the 99-pound final, two-time titlist, tough Ryan Ferro (37-0) of Warwick at 160, Ballston Spa's Tyler Barnes (41-0) who scored with a third period double leg takedown to defeat JG's Zach Ancewicz, 5-2, at 170 and Kendall Elfstrum (19-0), of Monroe-Woodbury who scored on a wild scramble takedown in overtime for an exciting 9-7 victory at 195 pounds.
In the Division Two Tournament Section Three (Syracuse area) outpointed Section Five, 275 to 220. The gold-clad group claimed four titles and were led by three-time champion Hunter Richard (47-0, 265-25) of Holland Patent at 152 and CVA's Tanner Cook (55-1) who scored with a late takedown to edge Adam Wagner (South Seneca), 10-8, at 145 pounds. Schuylerville's Orion Anderson (41-1) coasted through the loaded 120-pound class and earned the MOW Award and reigning champion Dane Heberlein (Alexander) set a state record for a single season victories at 61-1 en route to the 132-pound championship. Long Island claimed three titles, two-time titlist Jon Gomez (39-1, 129-12) of Locust Valley at 126 and a pair of Mattituck teammates earned their school's first-ever state titles: James Hoeg (51-2, 206-23) at 195 and Tanner Zagarino (41-4, 146-25) won gold medals for coach Cory Dolson. The east end squad finished second place in the individual team scoring behind Central Valley Academy's 110 to 99.5 points. Other state winners were Anthony Noto (99) of HFL, unbeaten Maple Hill sophomore Trent Svingala (42-0) at 106, South Jeff's Trey LaFlamme (45-1) at 113, Hunter Shaut (CVA) at 138, Warsaw's Noah Grover (47-1) at 160, Matthew Gaiser (55-1) of Alexander who stunned highly-regarded Jason Hoffman with a first period pin at 170, along with Clifton Wang (182) of Edgemont and Laith Alsous (Lew-Porter) who won the 285-pound class.
The state leader in sectional team titles is Section Eleven with 25. They now have 184 NYS champions followed by Section Four with 156 and Section Eight has 127 individual winners. LI showed its dominance at the 2017 state meet as they garnered ten state titles amongst their 18 finalists and the Island group had an impressive 42 wrestlers earn All-State honors. The Empire State's top dual squad Long Beach (16-0) has claimed that distinction for the second straight year, coach Ray Adams and the Marines had 9 state meet qualifiers. Hilton claimed the individual team title in Division I with 74 points. Congratulations to the 2017 NYS Wrestling Hall-of-Fame inductees: Steve Fischbein (Monroe-Woodbury) and Jack Mahoney (Sachem). Other awards were the Lou Pettinelli Memorial Award for officiating to: Tom Riccio and the late Mark Stephens, along with the NWCA Coach-of-the-Year to Brian Uvena (North Babylon). Twelve champions finished the season unscathed: Nunez, Svingala, Diakomihalis, Arujau, Pappas, Richard, Ferro, Barnes, DePrez, Ellefsen, Knighton-Ward and Bolia. Two of New York's state champions are also ranked number one in the nation by Amateur Wrestling News; Vito Arujau (138) and Binghamton-bound Louie DePrez (182), both have been selected to compete in the prestigious USA vs PA All-Star meet. Arujau and future teammate Yianni Diakomihalis had a combined mark of 457-4 and won eight state titles during their spectacular high school careers. The combined record of the 15 Division I champions was an unbelievable 594 victories and 7 losses. The attendance for the two-day event was 12,992 fans.
4X NYS Champion
Jacori Teemer (178-5)
SECTION XI (SUFFOLK COUNTY)WINS 2017 NYS TOURNAMENT
Jack Mahoney, longtime Sachem coach, addresses the crowd on his induction to the NYS Hall of Fame.
Adam Busiello of ESM battles Anthony Cirillo of Rocky Point in the 120 pound final. Busiello won his third NYS title with a second period fall.
4X NYS Champion
Vito Arujau (216-1)
Dylan Ryder of Half Hollow Hills West dominated this 106 pound final beating Brockport's Cody Anders 15-0. He was Suffolk's first champ of the evening and paced them to win their ninth straight sectional team title.
2017 LONG ISLAND STATE WRESTLING CHAMPIONS
James Hoeg (Mattituck) won the 195 pound Division II crown with a10-2 win.
Locust Valley's Jon Gomez controls Mattituck's Jack Bokina en route to a 5-1 win at 126 pounds. It was Gomez's second state title.
Zach Knighton-Ward (right) of Uniondale uses this lateral drop on Terron Robinson of Walt Whitman with 13 seconds left to tie the score and send the 220 pound final into overtime. Knighton-Ward won by injury default when Robinson could not continue.
Top Row: Peter Pappas (Plainview JFK), James Hoeg (Mattituck), Zach Knighton-Ward (Uniondale), Tanner Zagarino (Mattituck).
Bottom Row: Dylan Ryder (Hills West), Adam Busiello (Eastport-South Manor), Jon Gomez (Locust Valley), Justin Vines (Wantagh), Jacori Teemer (Long Beach), Vito Arujau (Syosset).