Although logic tells me that it’s way too early to do this, I guess I just can’t help myself. It’s always fun to figure out what the section title picture looks like in each weight class, and the best way to do that is to rank ‘em. I received the official weight class certifications from section coordinator Eric Romanino last night and decided to take a crack at it.
There are a couple of key points to note — most importantly that these weight classes are NOT set in stone. The way that the certification document looks, each wrestler is listed with their current weight AND their minimum weight class. Often times it’s quite obvious that a wrestler will never be able to make it down the minimum, but we also see plenty of guys will go heavier for the first half of the season before dropping after the holidays. For the purpose of these rankings — since I’ll be coming out with new rankings in a few weeks, anyway — I listed each wrestler where it looks like they’ll start the season. For the key guys who look like they may drop down later, I tried to point it out in the notes. If there is a wrestler who you know will be competing in a different class, either post in the comments section or hit me on Twitter.
Aside from that, this should look pretty familiar. I usually list each wrestler’s record next to their name, but since the vast majority of these guys are yet to get a match under their belts, I included where they placed last season (provided that they placed, obviously). As you’ll see, that’s how I ranked them. If a guy took second last year, I ranked him ahead of someone who took third, fourth or fifth. As the season goes on and I update the rankings, I’ll factor in quality of competition and head-to-head matches, but this is the fairest way to do it for now. In the event that there weren’t enough guys who placed to fill out the rankings, I looked at other returning sectional qualifiers. The only way to get ranked if you didn’t qualify last season — for now — is if you missed sectionals due to injury. There were a couple who came to mind that I included.
One final point: I think the team that Section 1 sends to states this year in Division 1 could be the best that I’ve seen in my four years covering the sport. As you’ll see, the No. 1 guys in all but two classes are seniors, and most are very accomplished wrestlers. I could see three, four or even five state champs in D1 alone.
With all of that being said, here are the first LoHud Weight Class Rankings of 2013-14…
1. Alfredo Olmedo, Sr., Arlington (4th at 99)
2. Anthony Sulla, Soph., North Rockland (5th at 99)
3. Sean McGarvey, Fr., Pearl River
4. Michael Alvarado, Jr., Clarkstown South
5. Trey Wardlaw, Soph., East Ramapo
NOTES: In a bit of a surprise, a handful of the top contenders from last year remain here in the 99-pound class. Olmedo’s listed weight makes it seem very reasonable that he will remain here all season, in which case the two-time All-Section senior will be the favorite.
1. Brandon Fay, Sr., Fox Lane (2nd at 99)
2. Alex D’Angelo, Jr., North Rockland
3. Brice Artrip, Fr., Suffern
4. Randy Earl, Fr., John Jay-East Fishkill
5. Frankie Barchella, Jr., Harrison
NOTES: Fay’s minimum weight is listed at 99, but he’s a few pounds heavier than the others that I listed in that weight class and will certainly start the season at 106. He may be tempted to try and get down for the end of the season, but with the way it looks like it will shake out, he’s probably just as likely – if not more likely – to capture his first title if he stays at 106.
1. Nick Barbaria, Sr., New Rochelle (champ at 106; 5th in NYS)
2. James Kelly, Jr., Pearl River (champ at 99)
3. Jay Albis, Jr., John Jay-East Fishkill (3rd at 113)
4. Brady Robin, Soph., Arlington (3rd at 99)
5. Kevin Knox, Soph., Carmel (5th at 106)
NOTES: Also watch out for Brewster’s Tyler Gonska… After being one of the weaker weights in the section last season, the 113-pound class looks like it will be very formidable in 2013-14. In total, there are six wrestlers who placed last season that are lined up to wrestle here. With Barbaria being a possible state title contender, you have to wonder if any of the others will be tempted to try and bump up to 120.
1. Jon Errico, Jr., Byram Hills (2nd at 106)
2. Matt Grippi, 8th, Fox Lane (3rd at 106)
3. Marlon Borge, Jr., North Rockland (6th at 106)
4. Grant Cuomo, 8th, Brewster (6th at 99)
5. Lamont Wallace, Sr., New Rochelle
NOTES: Also watch out for Clarkstown North’s Brian Hong… Errico is the guy to beat here after beating Grippi late in the season, but I wouldn’t count out the youngster from Fox Lane. I see some section titles coming in his future.
1. Alex Delacruz, Sr., Ossining (2nd at 120; NYS champ)
2. Derek DiMarsico, Jr., North Rockland (2nd at 113)
3. Daiton Powell, Jr., Suffern (4th at 120)
4. Jake Kurzhals, Soph, Pearl River
5. Tom Kozal, Jr., Brewster
NOTES: As expected, the depth here isn’t especially strong with many wrestlers likely trying to avoid the only returning state champ in Section 1. Delacruz confirmed with me that he’ll be at 126 all season. DiMarsico should start the season here, but his minimum weight is listed at 120, so it’s possible that he could try to cut and drop down later in the season to give himself a better shot at a title.
1. John Muldoon, Sr., Pearl River (champ at 120; 4th in NYS)
2. Nick Tolli, Sr., Arlington
3. Mike Seligson, Sr., Clarkstown North (4th at 126)
4. Nick McGill, Jr., Brewster
5. Anthony DiMauro, Sr., Somers
NOTES: Also watch out for Harrison’s Max Lukaswitz… While Muldoon will be a heavy favorite here, Tolli’s presence makes this weight class interesting. I ranked him second because he proved last year at Eastern States that he was among the best wrestlers in Section 1, but injury forced him to miss out on sectionals. Tolli could be tempted to jump up to 138 to avoid Muldoon, but if he stays, that could be a heck of a potential section final.
1. Liam Erickson, Sr., Brewster (champ at 132)
2. Larry Courtien, Sr., Somers (3rd at 138)
3. Scott Rodrigues, Soph., Fox Lane (6th at 120)
4. Jack Wagner, Sr., Hen Hud
5. Brian Kershner, Jr., John Jay
NOTES: If this weight class remains as is, Erickson is the clear favorite, but I wouldn’t sleep on Courtien. He’s made major improvements every year and is starting to knock on the door for a title. It will also be interesting to see if someone like Tolli or Caputo ends up here.
1. Matt Caputo, Sr., North Rockland (champ at 138; 5th in NYS)
2. Frank Surace, Jr., Fox Lane (4th at 138)
3. James Giraldez, Sr., Nyack (6th at 132)
4. Danny Murphy, Jr., Ketcham
5. Daniel Baruch, Jr., Scarsdale
NOTES: If he stays put, Caputo will be the man here. Based on his current weight, this is clearly where he’s going to start the season, but he left the possibility open to drop down by listing his minimum weight class at 138.
1. Blaise Benderoth, Jr., North Rockland (3rd at 120; 6th in NYS)
2. Ben Ettlinger, Sr., Fox Lane (3rd at 132)
3. Fritz Zahringer, Sr., Rye
4. Mike DiNardo, Soph., Mahopac
5. Liam Hiene, Sr., Somers
NOTES: Benderoth put on a ton of muscle in the offseason and will make a significant jump after wrestling at 120 last season. You could make the argument that Ettlinger should be ranked ahead of him because he’s not making as big of a jump, but Benderoth gets the nod after earning All-State honors last season. There is a chance that both could try to drop down to 145 later in the season.
1. Brad Marvin, Sr., Ketcham (2nd at 145)
2. Mitch Klein, Sr., Horace Greeley (3rd at 145)
3. Michael Peterson, Sr., Arlington
4. Dom Celli, Sr., Somers
5. David Crispino, Sr., Clarkstown North
NOTES: The way it looks right now, this has the potential to be a great match between Marvin and Klein, but Marvin would be the favorite as a returning state qualifier. Celli is a guy I like to have a big season, but I also don’t expect this to be what this weight class looks like at the end of the season, which you’ll read about in a moment…
1. Adam Hofling, Sr., Sleepy Hollow (2nd at 170)
2. Nick Didio, Sr., North Rockland (3rd at 160)
3. Rob Gullo, Sr., Pearl River (4th at 152)
4. Gino Gioielli, Sr., Brewster (5th at 152)
5. Justin Karas, Sr., Port Chester
NOTES: Also look out for Ketcham’s Logan Mongelli… This is a very interesting weight class. Each of the top five weigh close to 170 currently, but each is listed with a lighter minimum class (most of them at 160). And for a lot of these guys, it’s only a matter of losing a couple pounds, so I fully expect at least one or two of them to drop down later in the season. It looks wide open, but Hofling and Didio have earned their top two rankings. A match between the two would really be a toss-up.
1. Brett Perry, Sr., John Jay-EF (champ at 170; 4th in NYS)
2. Peter Pjetri, Jr., Suffern (4th at 170)
3. Hassan Auwarter, Sr., Clarkstown South
4. Justin Ayala, Sr., Mount Vernon
5. Joseph Marji, Jr., Yonkers
NOTES: Perry is the clear favorite here, and a possible state title contender. Auwarter could be a sleeper after winning a Rockland County title last season.
1. Andrew Grella, Sr., Beacon (2nd at 182)
2. Austin Maurer, Sr., Clarkstown South (3rd at 195)
3. Brock Cvijanovich, Jr., Horace Greeley (5th at 182)
4. Nick Cerutti, Soph., Fox Lane
5. Eric Wakefield, Soph., John Jay-East Fishkill
NOTES: Both Grella and Maurer put themselves into the section title conversation with their performances last year, and will probably be on a collision course in the section final.
1. John Hartnett, Sr., Tappan Zee (champ at 220)
2. Ryan Delahanty, Jr., Mahopac (4th at 220)
3. Murphy Wilson, Jr., Ketcham
4. Billy Marino, Sr., Horace Greeley
5. Mike Larm, Soph., Brewster
NOTES: Hartnett is the clear favorite as a defending champ in a weight class that doesn’t have a ton of depth, but Delahanty certainly has the potential to make things interesting.
1. Mike Manni, Sr., Tappan Zee (champ at 285; 5th in NYS)
2. Conner Reigottie, Sr., North Rockland (4th at 285)
3. Matt St. Onge, Sr., Clarkstown South (6th at 285)
4. Stephen Kelley, Jr., Lakeland/Panas
5. Alex Dago, Jr., Ossining
NOTES: The same thing that I wrote for Hartnett applies for Manni. He’ll be a heavy favorite to repeat, and could even be a state title contender.
1. James Bathon, Soph., Pleasantville (champ at 99)
2. Mikey Bruno, Fr., Putnam Valley (3rd at 99)
3. Thomas Barsuch, Fr., Croton-Harmon (5th at 99)
NOTES: Three of the top five placers from last season will remain at 99 pounds – giving this weight class some depth – but Bathon is the guy to beat after winning his first title last year.
1. Kyle Aslanian, Soph., Edgemont (2nd at 99)
2. Karl Burnich, Fr., Nanuet
3. Miles Johnson, Fr., Pleasantville
NOTES: The way it’s laid out right now, Aslanian will be a heavy favorite. I scoured through the certifications to find somebody – anybody – who is certified at 106 in D2, and there aren’t many of them. But don’t be surprised if one of the 99-pounders decides to make the jump with an eye on the section final.
1. Tyler Aslanian, Sr., Edgemont (2nd at 106)
2. Jared Eliopolous, Fr., Putnam Valley (4th at 106)
3. Dan Fraad, Sr., Pawling (4th at 99)
NOTES: Aslanian may start the season at 120, but all indications are that he intends to drop down to 113, where he’ll be the favorite. If he ends up at 120, he’ll be looking at a rematch of last year’s section final loss to Kelvas.
1. Noah Kelvas, Soph., Putnam Valley (champ at 106)
2. Andrew Barsuch, Sr., Croton-Harmon (2nd at 113)
3. Dylan Mateo, Fr., Nanuet (3rd at 106)
NOTES: Also watch out for Pleasantville’s Steven Montes… This should be one of the deepest weight classes in D2. I could see any of the top three winning it.
1. Joe Dillon, Sr., Nanuet (3rd at 126)
2. Sam Klein, Sr., Edgemont (5th at 126)
3. Adam Samolsky, Jr., Ardsley (5th at 113)
NOTES: After a disappointing loss in the semis last year, I expect Dillon to be a man on a mission. The former section champ will be the guy to beat here, but one of the wrestlers from that deep 120-pound could be tempted to bump up.
1. Stephen Paternostro, Sr., Pleasantville (champ at 126)
2. AJ Mirabal, Sr., Putnam Valley (2nd at 126)
3. Eric Boyle, Jr., Nanuet (4th at 120)
NOTES: Also watch out for Westlake’s Ryan Duffy… Paternostro and Mirabal met in last year’s section final and look like they’ll have a chance for a rematch. Remember, Paternostro pinned him in a matter of seconds, so you can be sure that Mirabal is hoping for another shot.
1. Christopher Santana, Jr., Pawling (3rd at 132)
2. Chris Lowery, Jr., Nanuet (4th at 126)
3. Richie Dosin, Sr., Hastings
NOTES: Some thought that Santana could challenge for a section title last season, so this may be the year that he gets it done. Lowery should be his top competition.
1. Zachery Martin, Sr., Pawling (4th at 138)
2. Nick Jolly, Sr., Lourdes (5th at 132)
3. Will Graybeal, Sr., Edgemont (6th at 138)
NOTES: This is one of the more wide open weight classes in D2, with three returners who placed last year, but none of whom finished higher than fourth.
1. Colin Hopkins, Sr., Edgemont
2. Daniel Kraemer, Jr., Woodlands (4th at 145)
3. Brandon Castro, Jr., Pleasantville (5th at 145)
NOTES: Hopkins missed sectionals last season due to injury, but he was considered a legitimate section title threat prior to that. Whether he ends up at 145 or 152, he’ll probably be the guy to beat.
1. Angelo Zegarelli, Sr., Putnam Valley (2nd at 160)
2. Thomas Marrone, Jr., Pleasantville (3rd at 152)
3. Frank Paratore, Sr., Nanuet (5th at 152)
NOTES: Zegarelli is the favorite after a section finals appearance last season, but Marrone came on strong late in the season and will certainly be a threat.
1. Peter Jones, Jr., Irvington (3rd at 160)
2. Tyler Estremera, Sr., Lourdes (4th at 170)
3. Willie Messinger, Jr., Putnam Valley (5th at 160)
NOTES: This is another class that looks wide open. Take your pick.
1. Chris Kim, Sr., Edgemont (champ at 182)
2. Dennis Kelly, Sr., Putnam Valley (5th at 182)
3. Zachary Silverhardt, Jr., Irvington (5th at 170)
NOTES: It’s difficult to imagine anyone upsetting the defending champ Kim, but that’s why they hit the mats.
1. Evan Shlom, Jr., Ardsley (4th at 195)
2. Matthew Zefi, Jr., Westlake (4th at 182)
3. Michael Guashpa, Sr., Dobbs Ferry (5th at 195)
NOTES: Another wide open field with no truly established presence.
1. Alek Pavloff, Sr., Croton-Harmon (2nd at 220)
2. Adam Krieger, Jr., Irvington (3rd at 220)
3. Paul Sacchetti, Soph., Westlake (5th at 220)
NOTES: This was the weight class that no one wanted apart of last season with Nanuet’s Dan Breit leading the way, but it should be much more competitive this year. Pavloff will be the guy to beat.
1. Anthony DiNardo, Sr., Irvington (4th at 285)
2. Andreas Fell, Sr., Hastings
3. Max Rabinowitz, Sr., Nanuet
NOTES: This weight class was hit incredibly hard by graduation, with only one placer returning in DiNardo. He’ll be the obvious favorite in a class that should only have a handful of guys to compete against at sectionals.