By Jim & Tony Nordland

     Long Island wrestlers enter the 2016-17 season with quality wrestlers throughout both counties. The elite group returns four defending state champions and two former winners amongst 15 returning All-State matmen. Three of the nation's best reside on Long Island, senior Vito Arujau (179-1 career) of Syosset will compete at 138 pounds this season and seeks his fourth state crown. Four-time state placer Arujau (2-1-1-1) is a blue-chip recruit and will take his mat skills to Cornell next fall. Long Beach junior Jacori Teemer (149-4) has been perfect at the state meet with three consecutive titles. Teemer (132) , a National Junior Fargo champion will lead a strong Long Beach squad, as the Marines are defending UE Dual champions and are the team to beat in the state. Sophomore standout Adam Busiello (138-7) from Eastport-South Manor has captured two state crowns and is on pace to become Suffolk's first five-time champion, he is the top-rated 113-pounder in the country. LI's other reigning state king is exciting Terron Robinson (87-23) from Walt Whitman in the 220-pound class. Former state titlists include the Locust Valley tandem of Jon Gomez (120/126) and Hunter Dusold at either 126 or 132 pounds.  

     State finalists that seek redemption are two-time silver medalist Peter Pappas (145) of Plainview, Dylan Ryder (106) of Hills West and Shawn Mosca (170) from Carle Place/Wheatley.

Returning state place-winners include Long Beach teammates, Matt Maquet (138) and gridiron star Tyreek Bromley at 182, along with the Rocky Point duo of Anthony Sciotto (113) and bronze medalist Antony Cirillo at 126. Others are Justin Vines (120) of Wantagh, two-time placer Kyle Mosher (126) of South Side, along with perennial Suffolk power Hauppauge's BenTepperman at 126. Also returning and seeking higher state finishes are Phil Spadafora (138) of Hills East, Jeffrey Browne (182) of Connetquot and the Mattituck trio of Jack Bokina (120), James Hoeg (170) and Tanner Zagarino at 195 pounds.

     Nassau also has county champions Jared Altan (106) of Plainedge, Joe Simons (113) from Farmingdale, Lucas Pincus (145) of Hewlett and Long Beach's Tyrese Byron at 152 or 160 pounds. Also to watch on the Nassau mats are county finalists, Marc Mansa (113) of Syosset, Kevin DePalma (120) of Farmingdale, Garrett Gibbons (132) of Massapequa, Lynbrook teammates, Matt Swanson (145) and Zach Kornberg (195), along with MacArthur's Ryan O'Shea in the 285-pound class. Long Beach has a trio of silver medalists, Pablo Martinez (106), Charlie Spada (152/160) and Joseph Giorlando at 170 pounds.

     Suffolk looks to finalists Preston Maucere (113) of Deer Park, Jake Silverstein (138) from Hauppauge and the Sims twins from Lindenhurst, Billy at 152 and Max in the 160-pound class. Also in the mix are runners-up Sam Schuyler (195) of Kings Park and Amityville junior Deonte Wilson now at 285 pounds.


    The top teams on Long Island include reigning Nassau champion and the Empire States # 1 mat squad Long Beach with talent once again in every weight class. Coach Ray Adams (now in his 20th year) and the Marines also point to All-County matmen, Dylan Martinsen 126), Brandon DeVivio (160/170), bronze medalist Elijah Rodriquez (182) and upperweights, Mark Rivera (220) and Jeffrey Alvarez at 285. The top challengers in Nassau will be Massapequa and Wantagh. The Chiefs' coaches Ron Serrano and Kevin Shippos have county place-winners Hunter Scutellaro (126), Shane Gibbons (138), Angelo Petrakis (152), along with Andrew Ashmawi (145), Christian Puleo (160) and Pat DeVito at 182. Perennial power Wantagh has The Encarnacion brothers, Josiah (99) and Christian (106), along with county placers, Charles Maier (120), Michael Killard (126), James Langan (138), Jonathan Loew (152) and Pat Smith at 285. Legendary coaches Paul Gillespie and Reggie Jones Jr. also have top prospects with Kyle Shairer (126) Joseph Conklin (160),  and Larry Baker in the 220-pound class.

       Two-time defending Suffolk champion Hauppauge has a well balanced dual team and will seek their third consecutive title. Head coach Chris Messina, now in his 35th year at the helm, has All-County award winners Dan Mauriello (120) and John Munro (285), along with Luke Smith (99) and league finalists Darren Brophy (145), Steven Holder (170) and Rich Dailey at either 182 or 195. The Eagles will be tested by Rocky Point, Lindenhurst, Connetquot, North Babylon and John Glenn. Rocky Point coaches Darin Goldstein and Anthony Ciolino (now in their 11th year) and the RP Eagles are Suffolk dual champions, they hope to claim the elusive Suffolk Championship team title this season. Standouts are the Sciotto brothers, Logan at 99 and  county bronze medalist Anthony, a junior at 113, along with Bobby Casazza (132) and highly-regarded Dylan Zabarra at 160. Others to watch are Matt Cappell (220) and junior Jake Pohl at 285. Lindenhurst finished third at the 2016 county meet and have another strong team with top prospects Ryan Meisner (106), James Fitzgibbon (126)  and Chris LaRusso at 145. Connetquot veteran coach Bill Santoro (39 years) will have the T'Birds ready for another successful season and have returning bronze medal winner Dan Colondona (120) and county placer Paul North at 132 pounds.

     Division II has Nassau power Locust Valley and Suffolk's best is Mattituck. Long Island has a rich history with a total thirty-four state sectional team titles. Nassau has won 10, with their first in 1963 and Suffolk boasts a state leading 24 top finishes. Suffolk has reeled off an unprecedented eight consecutive state titles. One of those squads is figured to claim yet another state crown in Albany at the 55th edition of the New York State Championships.

Terron Robinson

Shawn Mosca

Jacori Teemer

Peter Pappas

Dylan Ryder

Long Beach HS Wrestling Team  -  PHOTO BY RAY NELSON

Jon Gomez

Hunter Dusold

Eastport South Manor's sophomore Adam Busiello (138-7). 


Syosset's Vito Arujau has an impressive 179-1 career record.