You can read my story and see all of the results from the 50th annual Shoreline Invitational by clicking here, but here are some more notes and videos from the weekend…
• We’ll start with the weight class that everyone was talking about heading into the Shoreline—132 pounds. I’ve written about the four section champs that were competing in that bracket, and we also saw a potential CHSAA champ in Fordham Prep’s Adam Santoro prove that he belonged in the conversation with a third-place finish. Ultimately, it came down to the only two all-state wrestlers in the field—Pearl River’s John Muldoon and Commack’s Mike D’Angelo (pictured above). D’Angelo beat Muldoon in the Shoreline semis last season before losing to Ossining’s Alex Delacruz in the final, but Saturday was Muldoon’s day. The Pearl River senior prevailed with a 3-2 decision in what felt like a state-level match. Muldoon agreed. “That’s a state championship caliber match, I’d like to think,” he said. “Whether it will be the state finals, who knows? You’ve got guys like (Arlington’s Nick) Tolli and the kid from Hewlett (Owen Bachelder), and other pretty good kids. You keep that in the back of your mind, but that’s what it’s going to look like (at states). But tomorrow is a new day. Shoreline was great, but it’s not the end goal.”
• Muldoon’s teammate and fellow section champ James Kelly didn’t fare quite as well. The field at 113 was also very deep (imagine if New Rochelle’s Nick Barbaria was healthy?), and Kelly ran into a tough opponent in Pine Bush’s John Stramiello in the semis. He lost to Stramiello with a 12-4 major decision, proving that he still has work to do if he wants to be considered a guy who can make noise at states.
• In terms of the team standings, John Glenn took first, followed by a slew of out-of-area teams. The highest that a local team finished was Fox Lane in fifth place, and the only other Section 1 teams in the top 10 were New Rochelle and Pearl River. The Foxes had two champs in Matt Grippi (120) and Ben Ettlinger (145). Frank Surace (152) made it to the finals, but lost to defending Section 9 champ Thomas Wightman of Warwick. Brandon Fay was the top seed at 99 pounds, but apparently was unable to make weight and therefore had to drop out. My best guess is that Fay ends up staying at 106 for the rest of the season, but that is pure speculation.
• Grippi’s win was one of the most notable of the tournament because it came against an opponent who had beaten him in their previous two meetings. He was able to get some revenge against Byram Hills’ Jon Errico with a 4-2 decision, thanks in large part to a late reversal, and made his case that he may be the guy to beat at 120 in the section. “He’s really strong,” Grippi said of Errico. “He grabs wrists and controls them, and he has good head position. It’s hard to get shots off on him on our feet. And on top, he’s really tough. He has a good tight waist and good hand control, so it’s hard to escape.”
• For most of the season, Ettlinger (pictured to the right) has been wrestling at 152 with Surace at 145, but they flopped on Saturday. That’s probably where each of them will stay for the remainder of the season, and Ettlinger made his case as the guy to beat at 145 with a very impressive day. He cruised for the most part until the finals, where he controlled the match with a 4-1 decision over Warwick’s AJ Aeberli to claim a title.
• It was also a big day for a few of Horace Greeley’s top wrestlers, especially Mitch Klein. The 160-pound weight class had three returning All-Section wrestlers with Klein, Sleepy Hollow’s Adam Hofling and Pearl River’s Rob Gullo, but Klein left no doubt who the top dog was. He handled Hofling with a 7-0 decision in the final and certainly made his case for the No. 1 ranking. At this point, it would have to come down to him and Ketcham’s Brad Marvin. “It really is just an extension of the wrestling room because I know these guys from practice up at (Iowa Style Wrestling Club), so I’ve wrestled them from time to time,” Klein said of his opponents. “But it’s a completely different feel when you go out there and wrestle them when it counts. This was a great opportunity to do that.”
• While Greeley’s Brock Cvijanovich eventually lost to Fordham Prep’s Gabe Papadatos in the 195-final, he did make the best of an opportunity to wrestle a fellow Section 1 contender in the semis. Cvijanovich was trailing Fox Lane’s John Clune by a point late, but picked up a takedown in the final minute to secure a 5-4 decision.
• After winning the Mid-Hudson tournament last weekend, Delacruz had another strong weekend by claiming his second consecutive Shoreline title. His field wasn’t as deep as it was last year, but Delacruz was impressive nonetheless. He pinned Nyack’s Prakash Thakur in the semis, handling one of his top Section 1 title contenders. And then he majored John Glenn’s Chris D’Amico in the finals. Afterwards, Delacruz was already looking ahead to Eastern States, where he hasn’t had great success. ”I’ve been going to that tournament since I was an eighth-grader, and I’ve never placed higher than seventh,” he said. “Every year I go in with the same mentality that I want to win it, and this year I feel like I can. I just want to go out there and show everyone that I can do it.”
• While there were some notable wins in the finals from local wrestlers, there were also notable defeats—perhaps none more so than both of TZ’s big boys going down. John Hartnett lost a tough 7-4 decision to Walt Whitman’s Vin Feola in the 220-final, but Mike Manni’s OT loss to John Glenn’s Edwin Rubio was even more shocking. Prior to that match, Manni had won every bout that he wrestled this season via pin and looked dominant. The way that he lost on Saturday was a bit controversial. If you watch the video, Manni starts the second period on bottom and appears to get out and then take Rubio down, but you don’t see the ref signal one point for an escape. Instead, they ruled it as a reversal and Manni only got two points, rather than three for an escape and a takedown. Late in the match, I thought he had a 3-2 lead, and apparently so did his coach, Peter Dene. Dene tried to get it straightened out with the refs, but they kept the score at 2-2 and he ended up losing in OT. “I’ll give a lot of credit to the kid that he wrestled,” Dene said. “He’s a savvy guy. I do think that Mike dominated the match, but he didn’t necessarily dominate the score. I do think that (the scoring controversy) was a little bit questionable, but I do not at all blame the refs. If you blame the refs, you’re just looking for an excuse. Mike has to open it up. He’s an all-state wrestler and you can’t leave it up to a call.”
• Harrison’s Frankie Barchella lost a close 1-0 decision to John Glenn’s Zach Ancewicz in the 106-final, but he’s really come on strong this season. As of right now, you could make a case for Barchella (pictured to the left) as the No. 1 wrestler in the section in his weight class after beating John Jay-EF’s Randy Earl. But of course, a lot of this will depend on where Fay ends up.
• Before we move onto action from other tourneys, I wanted to note that retired New Rochelle coach Jim Guccione was honored prior to the Shoreline finals yesterday. The Shoreline has been in former New Ro coach Ted Murphy’s name for many, many years, but they have officially renamed it the Murphy-Guccione Shoreline Invitational. On a personal note, Guccione was my former football coach and gym teacher when I attended NRHS and his presence has always loomed large in that building. He can be tough at times, but he’s been instrumental in the lives of many young people and his passion for wrestling is second to none. He’s also an all-time great chops-buster (if that’s even a word). When I first took on this beat, he was quick to take me under his wing and help me understand some of the ins and outs of Section 1 wrestling. A well-deserved honor for legendary local coaching figure. Enjoy that warm South Carolina weather, Gooch.
• I wrote the other day that North Rockland was going to face its toughest tests of the season at the Union-Endicott duals, and it turned into more of a humbling experience than a test. The Red Raiders went 1-4, losing to Minisink Valley (44-27), Rocky Point (49-23), Burnt Hills (44-34) and Union-Endicott (45-27). Their one win came against Brockport (35-33) on Sunday. Every North Rockland starter had at least one loss. A few of its top wrestlers dropped down for the first time this season, with Matt Caputo wrestling at 138 and Nick Didio at 160. It’s crazy to think that no team in Section 1 can stay within 20 points of the Red Raiders, yet they could go up there and drop four of five. That shows that Section 1 still has a lot of work to do.
• Mahopac placed third at the Ward tournament in Connecticut with Chris Cornell (138) and Ryan Delahanty (220) each taking first-place. Abby Bunyea (106) placed second, while Mike Tartaglia (145), Liridon Hasankamaj (182) and Valon Brahimi (285) each took third.
• Pleasantville won the Joe Radomsky Tournament at Ardsley, which featured many of the Division 2 teams from Section 1. Here are the results:
Team standings: 1. Pleasantville (Pl) 202; 2. Horace Mann (HM) 178; 3. Lakeland/Panas (LP) 157; 4. Irvington (Irv) 138; 5. Hackley (Hk) 130; 6. Beacon (Bea) 93.5; 7. Hastings (Hs) 85.5; 8. Ardsley (Ard) 79; 9. Croton-Harmon (CH) 72; 10. Dobbs Ferry (DF) 43; 11. Edgemont (Edg) 42; 12. Salesian (Sa) 40.
99 – James Bathon (Pl) dec. Humber Henriquez (HM), 13-8; Thomas Barsuch (CH) dec. Gabe Welch (Hk), 5-2. 106 – Chris Eppolito (Edg) by forfeit; Richard Shaw (LP) pin Kellen Sela (Bea), 2:52.113 – Ben Kaufman (HM) pin Trevor Hayden (Hs), 1:01; Sam Kimak (Irv) pin Tim Stelzl (Pl), 4:28. 120 – Andrew Barsuch (CH) pin Dennis Peckron (Bea), 3:21; Steven Montes (Pl) dec. Matt Bock (HM), 7-0. 126 – Stephen Paternostro (Pl) pin George Germanakos (Hk), 2:52; Nick Cipriano (DF) pin Michael Dinan (HM), 3:42. 132 – John DiDomenico (LP) pin Coleman DeAnda (Irv), 4:00; Nick Sestito (Hs) pin Zach Mohamed (Edg), 1:54. 138 – Champ Darabundit (HM) pin Joel Fuentes (Hs), 4:34; Malachai Maloney (Bea) pin Dan Gottlieb (Pl), 5:32. 145 – Brandon Castro (Pl) pin Brendan Smith (Ard), 0:27; Blake Cohen (LP) pin Bryan Chen (HM), 3:27. 152 – Chris Carlucci (LP) pin Kyle Lindsay (DF), 2:27; Patrick Polintan (Ard) dec. Lou Quinanilla (Pl), 7-2. 160 – Thomas Marrone (Pl) dec. Miles Gencarelli (Hs), 5-3; Elijah Ngbokoli (Hk) maj. dec. Cole Parzick (HM), 14-6. 170 – Rodrigo Mehjias (Hk) pin Andy Weiss (Ard), 3:01; Peter Jones (Irv) pin Dillon Swaine (LP), 2:42. 182 – Mike Lempert (Hk) pin Omeed Ansari (Pl), 2:32; Zach Silverhardt (Irv) pin Joey Ciccio (Irv), 5:17. 195 – Andrew Grella (Bea) pin Evan Shlom (Ard), 1:46; Xavier Carmona (Hk) pin Owen Elrifi (HM), 2:30. 220 – Alek Pavloff (CH) dec. Taj Dawkins (Sa), 1-0; Chris Chiriguayo (LP) pin Guy Backland (Ard), 3:03. 285 – Anthony DiNardo (Irv) pin Edi Berisha (Sa), 3:22; Andreas Fell (Hs) pin Adam Kreiger (Irv), 0:23.
99 – Bathon (Pl) dec. Barsuch (CH), 2-0. 106 – Shaw (LP) dec. Eppolito (Edg), 5-0. 113 – Kaufman (HM) pin Kimak (Irv), 2:25. 120 – Barsuch (CH) pin Montes (Pl), 1:17. 126 – Paternostro (Pl) pin Cipriano (DF), 1:14. 132 – DiDomenico (LP) pin Sestito (Hs), 2:48. 138 – Darabundit (HM) dec. Maloney (Bea), 8-1. 145 – Cohen (LP) maj. dec. Castro (Pl), 15-4. 152 – Polintan (Ard) dec. Carlucci (LP), 5-3. 160 – Marrone (Pl) dec. Ngbokoli (Hk), 3-1. 170 – Jones (Irv) dec. Mehjias (Hk), 6-2. 182 – Lempert (Hk) maj. dec. Silverhardt (Irv), 11-1. 195 – Grella (Bea) tech. fall Carmona (Hk), 22-6. 220 – Pavloff (CH) dec. Chiriguayo (LP), 7-2. 285 – DiNardo (Irv) dec. Fell (Hs), 2-1.
Photos by Carucha L. Meuse/Videos by Vincent Z. Mercogliano