Just as I did with the Division 2 championship, I’ve gone through each lineup for tomorrow’s Division 1 final four to give some predictions on how things might turn out. These lineups could be subject to change, but these are what each team has been going with early in the season.
What was really striking to me was how close each of the semifinals look like they might be. As you’ll see, the scores I came up with are a swing match or two away from being flopped. Of all of the teams in the section, I believe that North Rockland has a better chance than anyone to upset Fox Lane. It’s a tough draw for the Foxes. New Rochelle and Brewster are also very closely matched.
I’ll be at North Rockland HS for tomorrow’s 4:30 p.m. start. I’ll update the blog when I can, but the best place to find out results will be if you follow me on Twitter @vzmercogliano.
Here’s a look at how things might shake out tomorrow:
No. 1 Fox Lane vs. No. 4 North Rockland
99 – Derek DiMarsico (NRk) dec. Brandon Fay
Notes: This is a swing match that could be a huge pickup for Fox Lane, but DiMarsico has been impressive early in the season. A very tough call.
106 – Blaise Benderoth (NRk) pin Nick Engert
Notes: Benderoth should pick up six for the Red Raiders here.
113 – Troy Feniger (NRk) maj. dec. Warren Gabrillo
Notes: Gabrillo has been stepping up for the Foxes, but Feniger placed fourth in the section last season at 103.
120 – Ben Ettlinger (FL) dec. Dan O’Connor
Notes: Ettlinger has been working his way up in the weight class rankings. This is the beginning of the lethal patch of Fox Lane’s lineup.
126 – Frank Surace (FL) maj. dec. Jake DiMarsico
Notes: DiMarsico has been impressive, but Surace looks like he might be one of the next big names for the Foxes.
132 — Danny Ventura (FL) maj. dec. Matt Caputo
Notes: This is a big match to watch featuring two state qualifiers. Ventura is probably a notch above Caputo at this point after placing second in the state at 119 last season.
138 — Sam Speno (FL) pin Dan D’Agostino
Notes: Speno may be the best wrestler pound-for-pound present at the final four.
145 — Mike Caputo (NRk) dec. Tom Grippi
Notes: There’s a chance that Fox Lane shuffles everyone down a spot, which would leave Grippi at 138. But so far this season he’s been wrestling here. He won a tough match over Mahopac’s Jake Srednicki on Saturday, but noted that he had trouble with Srednicki’s strength. Well, Caputo is even stronger. He could easily go 152, so he’ll definitely have the size advantage. This is another potentially huge swing match.
152 — Giancarlo Morreale (FL) dec. Nick Didio
Notes: Didio is a wrestler who is regarded as having substantial upside, but Morreale is more experienced and accomplished at this point.
160 — Dan Mackey (NRk) dec. Andrew Caico
Notes: Tough call here. Neither has really distinguished themselves.
170 — Matt Pasqualini (FL) pin Elliot Figueroa
Notes: Pasqualini placed second in the section at 145 last season.
182 — Ryan Boyle (NRk) pin AJ D’Ambrosa
Notes: D’Ambrosa had a nice win against MacArthur on Saturday, but has otherwise struggled.
195 — Colton Charles (NRk) pin Alex Karaqi
Notes: Fox Lane has forfeited this spot several times this season.
220 — Dan Clune (FL) maj. dec. Frank Lezamiz
Notes: Other than a loss to Somers’ Dom DeVita, Clune has been impressive.
285 — Andriy Lypchuk (FL) pin Conner Reigotti
Notes: Lypchuk has come on strong to solidify this spot for the Foxes.
PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Fox Lane 36, North Rockland 31
No. 2 Brewster vs. No. 3 New Rochelle
99 — Tyler Gonska (Br) pin Jordan Wallace
Notes: Gonska went undefeated at Mahopac on Saturday, and is emerging as a top contender in this weight class. If New Ro bumps Nick Barbaria down, this could be a must-watch.
106 — Nick Barbaria (NR) pin Brian Turnyanski
Notes: Barbaria placed third in the section at 96 last season.
113 — Mike Parise (Br) tech. fall Brian Ferrandi
Notes: Ferrandi has been tough, but Parise is a multiple state-qualifier.
120 — Liam Erickson (Br) pin Santiago Fererro
Notes: Erickson has been red-hot to start the season. He also went undefeated at Mahopac on Saturday.
126 — A.J. Barbaria (NR) dec. Tommy Gonska
Notes: Interesting swing match here. Barbaria hasn’t hit his stride yet, but Gonska may not be at 100 percent after missing the Mahopac tourney.
132 — Jimmy Duncan (Br) pin Adam Burton
Notes: Duncan is much more experienced and accomplished in this spot.
138 — Max Gomez (NR) dec. Gino Gioelli
Notes: This is another difficult to pick swing match. Gioelli has been impressive, but he also missed the Mahopac tourney. Gomez has been solid for the Huguenots.
145 — James Laurent (NR) maj. dec. Joe Buonabona
Notes: New Ro will need Laurent to come up big here. He’s shown flashes.
152 — Andrew Sion (Br) dec. Demetris Rodriguez
Notes: Rodriguez is still pretty raw.
160 — Kyle McAlpin (Br) pin Daniel Poggoli
Notes: McAlpin is more experienced and accomplished in this spot.
170 — Aaron Butler (NR) maj. dec. Harry Erickson
Notes: Butler majored Erickson in the sectional quarterfinals last season.
182 — Bruno Albertassi (Br) dec. Jacob Lynch
Notes: Swing match.
195 — Jonathan Stokes (NR) pin Mike Larm
Notes: It might be tempting for New Ro coach Jim Guccione to bump Stokes down to wrestle Albertassi. It’s just a matter of if he could make weight there.
220 — Tyler Lilly (NR) maj. dec. Mike Liston
Notes: Nice matchup here, but I give Lilly the edge after placing third at 215 last season.
285 — Jordan Butler (NR) dec. Julio Rizzo
Notes: I give Aaron’s younger brother the slight edge here.
PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Brewster 35, New Rochelle 33
No. 1 Fox Lane v. No. 2 Brewster
99 — Tyler Gonska (Br) maj. dec. Brandon Fay
Notes: I like Gonska as the top 99er present.
106 — Matt Engert (FL) dec. Brian Turnyanski
Notes: Might see some lineup shuffling here, with this being a winable spot.
113 — Mike Parise (Br) pin Warren Gabrillo
Notes: We all know about Parise.
120 — Liam Erickson (Br) dec. Ben Ettlinger
Notes: This should be a fun one, but I give the edge to Erickson.
126 — Frank Surace (FL) dec. Tommy Gonska
Notes: This should be another tight one.
132 — Danny Ventura (FL) pin Jimmy Duncan
Notes: Tough day for Ventura if he has to get through Caputo then Duncan.
138 — Sam Speno (FL) pin Gino Gioelli
Notes: I think I’ve written about this Speno guy before…
145 — Tom Grippi (FL) pin Joe Buonabona
Notes: This should provide Grippi a chance to get back on the winning track in the event that he loses to Caputo.
152 — Giancarlo Morreale (FL) maj. dec. Andrew Sion
Notes: This looks like it could be a brutal stretch for the Bears.
160 — Kyle McAlpin (Br) pin Andrew Caico
Notes: This is a chance for Brewster to make a stand. Don’t be surprised if Morreale gets bumped up.
170 — Matt Pasqualini (FL) dec. Harry Erickson
Notes: This should be a must-watch. There is a chance that Pasqualini gets bumped down to go up against McAlpin.
182 — Bruno Albertassi (Br) pin AJ D’Ambrosa
Notes: The Bears are going to need pins in these spots.
195 — Alex Karaqi (FL) dec. Mike Larm
Notes: Neither team has had a consistent guy in this spot, so this is up for grabs.
220 — Dan Clune (FL) maj. dec. Mike Liston
Notes: Tough match for Clune, but he should take it if he’s ready to go.
285 — Andriy Lypchuk (FL) pin Julio Rizzo
Notes: Another chance to impress for Lypchuk.
PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Fox Lane 44, Brewster 25
For the record, I’ll take North Rockland over New Ro in the consolation…