LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
NEW YORK STATE DREAM TEAM OF NCAA DIVISION I CHAMPIONS
AROUND THE STATE
Greg Diakomihlais (217-2 career) and a five-time New York State champion was recently announced as the recipient of The DaveSchultz High School Excellence Awardthroughout the United States.
Diakomihalis is the top-ranked 120-pounder in the nation and projects to compete in the 125-pound weight class next season for the Big Red of Cornell,, and become teammates with his older brother Yianni, a two-time NCAA titlist.
In the 25th annual presentation, Diakomihlais is only the second New Yorker to win the prestigious award. In 2005, Troy Nickerson (Chenango Forks HS) won the award and later an NCAA Championship while competing for Cornell University.
SOME OF THE TOP MATCHES OF ALL TIME IN THE NEW YORK STATE TOURNAMENT FINALS
Massapequa (30-0) tops Hilton (31-1), 41-29, to capture the 2nd annual New York State Dual Meet Championship
Section Eight power Massapequa defeated four quality opponents en route to the Empire State's dual meet title. The Chiefs have a balanced line-up and are paced by state finalist Chase Liardi (38-1) at 106 pounds. According to The Mat Slap's individual state rankings - other ranked grapplers are Anthony Conetta (38-1) 2nd at 99, and tough Angelo Petrakis (42-2), 3rd rated in the 182-pound class. That aforementioned trio are all potential state finalists.
Head coach Ron Serrano also points to versatile Mike Blando (42-2) at 132, multiple county placer senior Garrett Gibbons (33-10) at 152 and John Casamassina (33-5) at 170. Other highly-regarded upper weights include: Thomas Greenblatt (37-8) at 182 and county finalist Marco Musso at 195 pounds.
The Chiefs should roll through the Nassau Qualifier and with their depth are a solid favorite at the Section Eight Championships in February. The Chiefs should have a myriad of state meet qualifiers and should battle with upstate power Hilton for the individual team championship.
Hilton is led by three-time state king Greg Diakomihalis (47-0) at 113 and state bronze medalist Sammy DePrez (44-0) in the 195-pound class. Both Diakomihalis and DePrez are top-ranked in the state. The Cadets also have state placer Rocco Camillaci (44-2) at 106 and Eastern States Classic runner-up Gregor McNeil (38-2) at 99 pounds. Other stalwarts are Ryan Burgos (40-3) at 126 and Collin Burns in the 285-pound class.
Hilton has won the state individual team title in 2014-15-16-17, last year Wantagh HS-8, claimed that prestigious accolade. Again look for both Massapequa and Hilton to be in the mix to capture the team award. In the sectional team scoring the favorite is reigning titlist Section XI (Suffolk County), look for Section VIII (Nassau County) and Section V (Rochester) to have formidable squads at the 57th edition of the NYSPHSAA Intersectional Championships in Albany on February 22nd-23rd.