There’s no wrestling going on today, but I wanted to share some notes with you about our plans for the next couple of weeks, as well as some links to update you on what some Section 1 alums have been doing at a few collegiate holiday tournaments.
• There’s only one more wrestling event before the calendar turns to 2014, and that will come tomorrow when North Rockland hosts Suffern in the semifinals of the Section 1 Dual Meet Championships at 9 a.m. The Red Raiders are the heavy favorites, as you can see in my projections, but there should be some exciting individual matches. The winner will have to wait awhile for the finals, as Fox Lane and Arlington won’t have their semi until Jan. 22. For live updates and coverage from North Rockland, follow me on Twitter @vzmercogliano.
• The schedule is very light for the rest of the week, but one of our favorite tournaments of the season will be held on Saturday when New Rochelle hosts the 50th annual Shoreline Invitational. It will feature 24 teams, including many of the top wrestlers from Section 1, as well as some tough out-of-section competition. I’ll have more info on the Shoreline later in the week, but that’s where I’ll be on Saturday.
• Guess what’s coming the weekend after the Shoreline? The Eastern States Classic at Sullivan Community College. It seems like it crept up quicker than usual this year, and it’ll be here before you know it. I’ve exchanged emails with tournament director Jeff Cuilty, who says that he’ll be sending out more info — such as a list of teams, expected starting times for each round, etc. — very soon. And for the second year in a row, I’m happy to announce that I will be there to cover all of the local wrestlers who will be making to trip. It’s a tremendously run tournament, and it offers competition that you could argue is tougher than what you’ll find at states in many weight classes. Before Eastern States, I’ll be releasing updated weight class rankings.
• While the holiday break is usually a quiet time on the high school wrestling scene, many local collegiate wrestlers have been busy in the past few weeks. Yesterday, Fox Lane grad and current Illinois wrestler Steven Rodrigues punched his ticket to the semifinals of the 51st annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships with a 10-8 upset win over Princeton’s Adam Krop at 141 pounds. Ardsley grad and current Columbia wrestler Penn Gottfried and John Jay grad and current Brown wrestler Billy Watterson are each still alive in 125-pound wrestlebacks. CLICK HERE for a look at the full brackets from the Midlands tourney.
• A couple of weeks earlier, Somers grad and current Cornell wrestler Brian Realbuto took second at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite. The winningest wrestler in Section 1 history had an awesome tournament, winning every match decisively on his way to the 157-pound final. There, he lost by just one point to Nebraska’s James Green. I found this video from Flowrestling of Realbuto’s 11-3 major decision in the quarterfinals over Oklahoma’s Justin DeAngelis. We’re starting to see a lot of former Section 1 wrestlers making names for themselves at the next level.
Photo by Dave Gershgorn/The Journal News