The Section 1 Dual Meet Championships tournament is set to begin today with a few outbracket matches, before the action really picks up on Tuesday. For the second year in a row, they’ve separated it into two tourneys – one for Division 1, and one for Division 2. I’ll be out covering one or the other on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, so be sure to follow me on Twitter @vzmercogliano to stay up to the minute on all of the action.
To get you prepared for the biggest event of the early portion of the year, here is the full schedule with all of my predictions for the opening rounds:
Monday, Dec. 3
Lakeland at Beacon, 4:30 p.m.
Yonkers at Rye, 4:30 p.m.
Mount Vernon at White Plains, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 4
Quad Meets (all scheduled for 4:30 p.m.)
At Mahopac: Yorktown, Brewster, Mahopac, Beacon/Lakeland-Panas winner
PREDICTED WINNER – Yorktown: This is the deepest quad meet of the bunch, and I wouldn’t be shocked if Yorktown was to get tripped up. As talented as the Huskers are, they’re better suited for an individual tournament than a dual meet format. The reigning Section 1 Dual Meet champs from Brewster should give them a good run for their money in the lighter weights, but I expect Yorktown to pull away once it gets into the strength of its lineup. Mahopac could also pose some problems.
At John Jay-East Fishkill: John Jay-EF, Ossining, Carmel, Arlington
PREDICTED WINNER – Arlington: An Arlington vs. John Jay-EF dual meet has the potential to be a very even matchup that comes down to one or two swing matches. It will be interesting to see how coaches shift guys around because putting together the right lineup will be the key here. While I think JJEF may end up being a slightly stronger tourney team come sectionals, I’m giving Arlington the edge in a dual meet format by a narrow margin.
At Hen Hud: Tappan Zee, Byram Hills, Sleepy Hollow, Hen Hud
PREDICTED WINNER – Hen Hud: I could really see any of these four teams walking out of this one on top, but I ultimately think it will come down to Hen Hud and TZ. The Dutchmen seem to have an advantage in the upper weights, but I think the Sailors will win enough in the light-to-middle weights to get it done. They’re deeper than most would think.
At Horace Greeley: John Jay, Greeley, Somers, Fox Lane
PREDICTED WINNER – Fox Lane: While the Foxes may not be considered as much of a threat to win the whole thing as they have been in recent years, I still like their chances to get out of this group. They placed higher than any other Section 1 team at the Carlucci duals over the weekend, proving that they are still a strong dual meet team. With all of that said, Fox Lane should be very worried about John Jay. The Indians are coming in with a ton of confidence after taking a title at the Rye duals. After going over the lineups that each team used over the weekend, I’m taking the Foxes.
At Pearl River: North Rockland, Eastchester, Pearl River, Port Chester
PREDICTED WINNER – North Rockland: This is probably the easiest call of the bunch. The Red Raiders should run away here and will be the favorite to win the whole thing. They already beat Pearl River over the weekend at the Kingston duals, and even though Port Chester looked very solid at its own tourney, North Rockland will just be too much.
At New Rochelle: Clarkstown North, New Ro, East Ramapo, Rye/Yonkers winner
PREDICTED WINNER – Clarkstown North: New Ro has made a habit of reaching the final four in recent years, and if the Huguenots had their full lineup intact, I might consider them here. But after what I saw this weekend at the Carlucci duals with New Ro forfeiting in five weight classes, North has to be my choice. The Rams have great depth this year and are expected to fill all weight classes, which makes them a pretty clear favorite here.
At Scarsdale: Clarkstown South, Scarsdale, Suffern, Mount Vernon/White Plains winner
PREDICTED WINNER – Clarkstown South: This is another tough call, but I think Clarkstown South will win on the strength of its numbers. The Vikings have developed depth in the program and bring back nearly their entire lineup from last season, which should be enough to get them out of this bracket. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Suffern or Scarsdale emerge, but I’ll take South. The Vikings will really pull away when they get to their heavier weights.
At Mamaroneck: Nyack, Mamaroneck, Harrison, Ketcham
PREDICTED WINNER – Ketcham: The Indians look like a pretty heavy favorite heading in, but Harrison and Mamaroneck proved over the weekend that neither should be taken lightly. I expect many matches to be close, with both the Huskies and Tigers making Ketcham sweat a bit. With that being said, I expect the Indians to make it out of this group.
Thursday, Dec. 6
Quarterfinals (locations TBD)
Wednesday, Dec. 12
Final four at North Rockland, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 4
Outbracket round (all scheduled for 4:30 p.m.)
At Pleasantville (group A): Dobbs Ferry, Westlake, Pleasantville, Lourdes
PREDICTED WINNER – Westlake: With the Wildcats filling their entire lineup this season, I really like their chances to get out of this group. Pleasantville and Lourdes should challenge them, but I think Westlake has the most quality depth.
At Irvington (group B): Pawling, Woodlands, Hastings, Irvington
PREDICTED WINNER – Irvington: The hosts have some of the strongest individual wrestlers in the group, but the key will be getting contributions from some of their lesser known guys. Even if the Bulldogs don’t win the group outright, they’ll still have a good chance of advancing. The two teams from this group will move on, so I’ll also take Pawling.
Wednesday, Dec. 5
Quad meets (all scheduled for 4:30 p.m.)
At Nanuet: Nanuet, A winner (Westlake), B winner (Irvington), Ardsley
PREDICTED WINNER – Nanuet: The defending champs will get to test some of their top wrestlers against a handful of strong individuals in this group, but I can’t see any of these teams really pushing the Golden Knights from a team standpoint. There’s only one team that I think could possibly do that…
At Croton-Harmon: Putnam Valley, Croton-Harmon, B runner-up (Pawling), Edgemont
PREDICTED WINNER – Edgemont: The Panthers will be heavily favored to make it out of this group, especially after beating Croton 60-18 over the weekend at the Carlucci duals. I will say this – don’t be surprised if Put Valley makes things interesting. If any team in this group is deep enough to challenge Edgemont, it’s the Tigers, especially when you consider that the Panthers are giving up forfeits at 106, 220 and 285. Still, I think that Edgemont has enough to advance.
Thursday, Dec. 6
Finals (location TBD)