There were several matches the Kohl Invitational at Suffern on Sunday which had major implications on individual section title races, and none more so than the 285-pound final between Yorktown’s David Varian and Hen Hud’s Sean Barry. Coming into the match, Barry had yet to lose this season, and was looking like a dominant force in the super heavyweight ranks. A few weeks ago, he pinned Varian in the first period, knocking off the wrestler who was widely considered to be his biggest challenger for a section title entering the season. But Varian showed resiliency and the ability to make adjustments based on his opponent’s tendencies at the Kohl tourney.
After Varian’s 3-2 overtime upset win (pictured to the right), both Varian and Yorktown coach John Tornambe talked about how much they focused on avoiding Barry’s headlock move. He’s notorious for aggressively grabbing his opponent’s head and throwing his hips into them for a takedown in one full motion. Varian called it, “probably the most dangerous move in the state,” among guys in their weight class. So for Varian, it was all about avoiding that move.
“We know when we wrestle him, his offense comes off of that headlock,” Tornambe said. “We knew if we could stay away from that, it would be close.”
Varian didn’t have many opportunities to shoot against Barry, but he did do an excellent job of staying low and using his hands to fend Barry off before he could get his arms around his head. The result was a slow-paced match in which neither wrestler could pick up points on anything other than an escape—an unfamiliar position for Barry. They traded escapes in the second and third periods, which sent the match to OT tied at 1-1.
“I have great confidence in my conditioning,” Varian said. “And it paid off big here.”
Again, they exchanged escape points in OT, but Varian eventually won it on a hand clasping call against Barry. It certainly wasn’t the prettiest win, but it was enough for Varian to prove to the rest of Section 1 that Barry doesn’t necessarily have a title locked up yet.
The ‘Huskers ended up with four individual champs, and all four are proving to be legitimate section title contenders.
Joe Mastro (145) put on a clinic in the final against Monroe-Woodbury’s AJ Voelker, who is the top-ranked wrestler in his weight class from Section 9. He had completely tired Voelker out by the third period, and was picking up takedowns at will on his way to an 18-2 technical fall. His weight class is extremely deep in Section 1 (John Jay-EF’s Dale White and North Rockland’s Mike Caputo come to mind), but he’s certainly near the top of the list.
Steven Sabella (170) earned a hard fought title with a 3-1 win over Suffern’s Bryant Quichiz, and Thomas Murray (182) picked up a huge 9-3 win over Somers’ Jason DiBenedetto in their final (pictured to the left), disposing of a guy who has been one of the stronger wrestlers in that weight class. Make no mistake about it, Yorktown has some names to watch come sectional time.
The one guy for the ‘Huskers who was probably a bit disappointed with his showing was Jimmy Kaishian at 120 pounds. That was a very deep weight class, and Kaishian ran into North Rockland’s Jake DiMarsico in the semis. DiMarsico made his case to move up in the rankings with a 6-2 win, but the day ultimately belonged to Nyack’s Adit Thakur. Thakur pinned DiMarsico in the third period of their final, establishing himself as the likely top seed at next weekend’s Rockland County Championship. That weight class is still pretty open when you talk about the section title picture, with Thakur, New Rochelle’s A.J. Barbaria and Brewster’s Liam Erickson looking like the leading contenders. Remember, Barbaria beat Thakur in the Shoreline finals.
Suffern placed second as a team, higher than any other Section 1 team. Alex Oliveto (106) and Bryan Burger (220) each took titles, while Dan DeStefano (2nd at 132), Bryant Quichiz (2nd at 170), James Desimone (3rd at 138), and Nick Giella (3rd at 160) also came up big.
Burger is an especially interesting case at 220, having not lost a match in Section 1 all season. He picked up a pin before you could even blink against Monroe-Woodbury’s Jorge Vasco in the final, and is kind of a great unknown heading into sectionals. Somers’ Dom DeVita is probably the top guy in that weight class right now, but DeVita sat out of the Kohl due to a strained elbow. Somers coach William Von Tobel told me that if this were a sectional tournament, DeVita would have been a go, but they wanted to play it safe and allow him the proper time to recover this late in the season.
Just like Yorktown, Somers came away with four individual champs. The Realbutos (Dylan at 113, and Brian at 160) each bounced back from second place finishes at Eastern States with titles at the Kohl, while Larry Courtien (138) and Nick Giancaspro (195) also earned titles. Courtien is a guy who has sort of come out of nowhere this season. He’s a natural athlete who seems to have fully committed to wrestling recently, and we’re seeing the results.
For those of you who are wondering about B-Real wrestling at 160, he confirmed with me after the finals that he will be at 152 for sectionals. The field was probably tougher at 160 in this tournament, so it made more sense for Realbuto to move up to test himself. He picked up a second period pin of Hen Hud’s Phil Siegel in the final.
Here are some videos that I took from the finals:
- Thakur pins DiMarsico in the 120-pound final.
- B. Realbuto pins Siegel in the 160-pound final.
- I got video of Varian’s win over Barry, but because of all of the OT periods, YouTube is telling me that the video is too long. I’m going to have to try to figure out another way to post it.
Beacon tourney finals: Valley Central took first place at the Beacon tournament, with Arlington placing the highest among Section 1 teams at third. Tappan Zee placed fourth, and RC Ketcham placed fifth. Some strong individual statements were made, particularly from Clarkstown North’s Colby Kash (132), Beacon’s Deondre Pierce (195) and Tappan Zee’s Michael Manni (285).
99 – Alfredo Olmedo (Arlington) dec. John Errico (Byram Hills), 5-2. 106 – Nick Tolli (Arlington) dec. Gabe Campbell (Valley Central), 7-2. 113 – Alex Delacruz (Ossining) pin Hussain Hasan (Valley Central), 4:24. 120 –Mark Settembrino (RC Ketcham) dec. Derrick Feliciano (Arlington), 8-2. 126 – Danny Murphy (RC Ketcham) dec. Alec Lambiotte (John Jay), 7-4. 132 – Colby Kash (Clarkstown North) pin Mike Morabito (RC Ketcham), 1:31. 138 – Charlie Garcia (Tappan Zee) dec. Mark Milisci (Washingtonville), 3-0. 145 – Chris Pecora (Carmel) dec. Ryan Becker (Clarkstown North), 7-4. 152 – Brad Marvin (RC Ketcham) dec. Desmond Djekovic (Tappan Zee), 7-2. 160 –Devante Harrell (Ossining) dec. Alex Munoz (Saugerties), 11-6. 170 – Colin Casey (Washingtonville) dec. Brendan Nunziata (Arlington), 5-2. 182 – Bilal Hasan (Valley Central) pin Michael Amato (Beacon), 1:17. 195 – Deondre Pierce (Beacon) dec. Scott Wymbs (Horace Greeley), 4-3. 220 – Keoni Nakapaahu (Saugerties) pin Chris McGann (Tappan Zee), 1:24. 285 – Michael Manni (Tappan Zee) pin Tyler Vanderline (RC Ketcham), 4:19.
Nanuet wins Conklin Memorial: The Golden Knights took an overall team title at their own tournament on Sunday, placing first ahead of Pine Bush and Babylon. Matt Dillon (132), Cody Fitzgerald (152), Kevin Brundage (182) and Dan Breit (195) each won individual titles. Dillon was named the Champion of Champions.
Croton-Harmon wins 35th annual Croton Dual Meet tourney: The Tigers took the team title at their own tournament on Sunday, with Johnny Martin (138) being named the Most Outstanding Senior. Croton won the title with a nail-biting 38-37 win over Sleepy Hollow, also beating Pleasantville (48-29), Port Chester (62-12) and Irvington (51-36) along the way.
Croton-Harmon 38, Sleepy Hollow 37
99 – Andrew Barsuch (CH) pin Raymond Rodriguez, :58. 106 –Tom Schultz (CH) by forfeit. 113 – Edisson Quituisaca (SH) by forfeit. 120 – DJ Frederich (CH) pin Christopher Lazo, 2:50. 126 – David Occhipinti (CH) maj. dec. Juan Pablo Loja, 14-0. 132 – Edwin Jiminez (SH) maj. dec. Dan Guido, 12-4. 138 – Steven Bencosme (SH) dec. JP O’Malley, 5-0. 145 – Johnny Martin (CH) dec. Kevin Ortiz, 2-0. 152 – Andrew Horan (CH) dec. Jean-Paul Ospina, 5-2. 160 – Gabriel Palacios (SH) pin Eli Greenstein, 2:52. 170 – Sam Goldsmith (CH) dec. Gabriel Gonzalez, 6-4. 182 – Csaurel Clarke (SH) pin Matt Seputro, :10. 195 – Chris Kraft (CH) pin Chris Hutter, :30. 220 – Christian Nathaniel (SH) pin Alek Pavloff, 3:40. 285 – Frank Curnaj (SH) by forfeit.
Brewster places second at the Shenendehowa Invitational: The Bears placed second to Shenendehowa over the weekend, with John Jay-EF coming in fourth and Harrison placing tenth. Brewster sent four wrestlers; three of which won titles. Senior Mike Parise passed teammate Jimmy Duncan on the all-time Brewster wins list, as he is now sitting in first place with 159 career victories. Duncan has 157 wins. He sat out of the tournament with an illness.
106 — Mike Parise (Brewster) dec. Corey Ali (Shenendehowa), 5-2. 120 — Liam Erickson (Brewster) dec. Zach Joseph (Shenendehowa), 18-5. 126 — Gavin Menchel (Harrison) dec. Tommy Gonska (Brewster), 11-3. 152 — Kyle McAlpin (Brewster) inj. def. Aaron Johnson (John Jay-EF).
Photos by Ricky Flores/The Journal News