Mike Picozzi flanked to his right by Olympians Kerry McCoy and Lou Giani.

Jacori Teemer of Long Beach-8 won his third NYS title.

     Defending sectional team champion Section XI (Suffolk County) won the 54th NYSPHSAA Wrestling Championships before 5,834 fans at the Times Union Center in Albany. The navy blue-clad contingent won an unprecedented eighth consecutive team title and amassed 260 points to easily outdistance runner-up Section V (Rochester area) who finished with 201. The Suffolk squad crowned seven champions and had a total of 26 wrestlers earn All-State honors.

     Suffolk was paced in Division I by  a pair of two-time champions Adam Busiello (48-0, 138-7 career), a freshman from Eastport South Manor at 106 and Ward Melville's Christian Araneo (42-0, 175-29) at 195 pounds. Also claiming titles were Tommy Cox (44-1, 163-24) of Deer Dark at 113, Anthony Sparacio (36-0, 181-42) of North Babylon at 120, Walt Whitman junior Terron Robinson (44-1, 87-23) who electrified the crowd with his throws en route to the 220-pound gold medal and Virginia-bound Edwin Rubio (42-0, 170-11) of John Glenn. Rubio hit a lightning quick sit out and eked out an exciting 3-2 overtime victory for the elusive state title at 285 pounds. 


     Nassau was led by the tandem of three-time winners, sophomore Jacori Teemer (49-0, 149-4) of Long Beach who upended returning state champion John Arceri (41-1) of Huntington, 6-3, with some slick and quick takedowns, for the 126-pound crown and Syosset junior Vito Arujau (47-0) who rolled through four opponents with his relentless attack of takedowns and tilts en route to the 132-pound title, he now boasts a career mark of 179-1.

     Section Five claimed four state titles and were propelled by four-time champion junior and OSW winner Yianni Diakomihalis (54-0, 232-3) of Hilton who cruised to the 138-pound title. Diakomihalis' smooth-as-silk style and power wrestling has been perfect at the state meet and posted a 13-5 major decision in the finals and his younger brother Greg (49-2), used a second period overhead cradle and defeated highly-regarded Dylan Ryder (43-2) of Hills West, 7-4, in the 99-pound bracket. Hilton teammate, two-time state king junior Louie DePrez (50-0, 210-30) recorded a 9-1 major decision over tough Marcus Bisono (37-5) of Hauppauge in the 170-pound class. The other area champion was sophomore Frankie Gissendanner (49-0, 187-10) of Penfield, whose repertoire included power double leg takedowns, and coasted to the the 145 pound crown.

     Also earning state crowns were Warwick Valley's Ryan Ferro (30-3, 146-34) who flattened his opponent in the first period to earn the 152-pound title, AJ Aeberli (48-2, 148-19) of Minisink Valley who edged Levittown Division's Ricky Stamm (48-3), 3-2, at 160 and two-time champion Kevin Parker (47-1, 215-41) of Shenendehowa who overpowered four opponents for the 182-pound championship.

     In the Division Two Tournament Section III (Syracuse area) outpointed Section VI (Buffalo), 290 to 234.5. The gold-clad group claimed six titles including Holland Patent teammates, three-time champion Alex Herringshaw (45-2, 253-34), who recorded a fall at the 3:00 minute mark of his 170-pound bout and Hunter Richard (47-3, 218-26) at 145, along with Jack Buell (41-1, 200-38) of Sherburne-Earville at 195 and General Brown's Ricardo Dawkins (41-2, 147-33) at 220. Three other wrestlers won their second state titles, OSW winner Dane Heberlein (58-2, 196-13), a junior from Alexander in the loaded 120-pound class, Port Jefferson's Matteo DeVincenzo (36-0, 148-4) who edged 2014 champion Hunter Dusold (Locust Valley), 2-1, at 126 and Kellen Devlin (49-1, 259-16) of Amherst, who rolled to the 132-pound gold medal. Other champions included sophomore Orion Anderson (40-1, 103-6) of Schuylerville at 106, four-time placer Brad Bihler (3-4-6-1) of Maple Grove who captured the 138-pound crown and finished the season at 46-2, Maine-Endwell's unbeaten Kobe Garrehy (45-0, 208-31) who defeated five-time state placer Dakota Gardner (6-2-4-4-2) of Fredonia, 8-3, for the 152-pound title and fifth-seeded Cameron Swick (35-0) of Royalton-Hartland had a 4-1 verdict over Shawn Mosca (35-6) of Carle Place/Wheatley at 160 pounds.


     The state leader in sectional team titles is Section Eleven with 24. They now have 180 NYS champions followed by Section Four with 156 and Section Eight has 122 individual winners. LI showed their dominance at the 2016 state meet and garnered nine state titles amongst their 15 finalists. Three of the champions will be attending Princeton University next season; Matteo DeVincenzo, Kevin Parker and Christian Araneo. Parker is the younger brother of Greg, a 1996 state champion, and  a 2002 NCAA finalist. Juniors Vito Arujau and Yianni Diakomihalis have verbally committed to the Big Red of Cornell. Between them, they have won seven state titles and have an impressive combined mark of 411 victories and only 4 defeats. Arujau has won 136 consecutive matches and Diakomihalis has an unbelievable 199 match win streak. Both are nationally ranked; Arujau (2nd at 132) and Diakomihalis is the number-one ranked 138-pounder in the nation. The top team in the Empire State was Long Beach (17-0) and finished second in the tournament with 60 points. Coach Ray Adams and the Marines had three state place-winners, champion Teemer and added two other placers; Matt Maquet (6th at 120) and Tyreek Bromley (5th at 182). Hilton  won the individual team honors in Division I with 88 points and crowned three champions. The Division II team winner was Adirondack with 87points and had one champion, junior Andrew Tanner (49-4, 127-26) at 285 pounds. Congratulations to Longwood LI coach Mike Picozzi on his 2016 Hall-of-Fame induction. Picozzi wrestled for legendary Lou Giani and was a 1976 state finalist, he  coached eight New York State champions, including John Lange and Kerry McCoy. Twelve champions finished the season unscathed; Busiello, Sparacio, Teemer, DeVincenzo, Arujau, Diakomihalis, Gissendanner, Garrehy, Swick, DePrez, Araneo and Rubio. Anthony Sparacio became North Babylon's first state champion and will take his mat skills to CW Post next season. The combined record of the 15 Division I champions was an unbelievable 679 victories and 10 losses. The attendance for the two-day event was 12,986 spectators.




Matteo DeVincenzo of Port Jeff-11 won his second NYS title.

Christian Araneo of Ward Melville-11 won his second NYS title.

Photo courtesy of Ray Nelson.


(Top Row l. to r.): Christian Araneo (Ward Melville), Terron Robinson (Walt Whitman), Edwin Rubio (John Glenn).

(Bottom Row l. to r.): Adam Busiello (Eastport South Manor), Tommy Cox (Deer Park), Anthony Sparacio (North Babylon), Jacori Teemer (Long Beach), Matteo DeVincenzo (Port Jefferson), Vito Arujau (Syosset).



Yianni Diakomihalis of Hilton-5 won his 4th NYS title.

The Number #1 Team in New York State: Long Beach High School.

Vito Arujau of Syosset-8 won his third NYS title.

Adam Busiello of Eastport South Manor-11 won his second New York State title.