You guys know the drill by now. I’ve ranked the top five wrestlers in each weight class from Division 1, and the top three from each class in Division 2. With the postseason beginning on Friday, this will be my final set of rankings for the season. These were especially tough with a lot of parity in many of the weight classes, but I’ve done my best to identify the top wrestlers and give you my reasoning. All of the records listed come straight from nwcaonline.com.
Let me know where you think I got it wrong (as I’m sure you will), and even where you think I got it right if you’re feeling jolly. And don’t forget, I’ll be taking all of your questions during tomorrow night’s live chat beginning at 7:30!
1. Alfredo Olmedo, Sr., Arlington (39-2, 19 pins) Previous rank: 1
2. Anthony Sulla, Soph., North Rockland (34-4, 14 pins) PR: 2
3. Sean McGarvey, Fr., Pearl River (26-8, 9 pins) PR: 3
4. Jake Shore, Soph., New Rochelle (24-6, 13 pins) PR: 5
5. Justin Lopez, Soph., Yonkers (31-5, 11 pins) PR: Not ranked
NOTES: Also look out for Clarkstown South’s Michael Alvarado and East Ramapo’s Trey Wardlaw… Olmedo took fourth at Eastern States, making him the guy to beat here. He’s beaten Sulla (2-1) and pinned Lopez… Sulla and McGarvey split, with Sulla winning their most recent meeting in the Rockland county final (10-6)… Sulla beat Alvarado twice and beat Wardlaw (3-0)… McGarvey beat Wardlaw twice and majored Alvarado… Shore pinned Lopez… Alvarado beat Wardlaw twice in three bouts.
1. Brandon Fay, Sr., Fox Lane (23-3, 7 pins) PR: 1
2. Alex D’Angelo, Jr., North Rockland (29-4, 15 pins) PR: NR
3. Peter Oliveto, Fr., Suffern (26-6, 8 pins) PR: 5
4. Frankie Barchella, Jr., Harrison (29-3, 10 pins) PR: 2
5. Randy Earl, Fr., John Jay-EF (25-8, 12 pins) PR: 4
NOTES: Also look out for Suffern’s Brice Artrip and New Rochelle’s Jordan Wallace… Fay stays at No. 1 thanks to wins over D’Angelo (2-1), Barchella (OT), Earl (7-4) and Wallace (5-4)… D’Angelo jumps up after beating former No. 2 Barchella (5-1). He split with Oliveto this season, but won their most recent meeting in the Rockland county final (9-4)… Barchella beat Earl (3-2)… Artrip pinned Wallace.
1. Jay Albis, Jr., John Jay-EF (30-3, 13 pins) PR: 1
2. James Kelly, Jr., Pearl River (26-5, 11 pins) PR: 2
3. Brady Robin, Soph., Arlington (38-5, 17 pins) PR: 3
4. Kevin Knox, Soph., Carmel (30-3, 23 pins) PR: 4
5. Tyler Gonska, Jr., Brewster (30-7, 12 pins) PR: 5
NOTES: Also look out for Clarkstown North’s Maxim Kutsepau and New Rochelle’s Moises Tera… The order here stays the same, with Albis looking like the favorite after beating Robin twice… You could make the argument for Robin to move past Kelly, but they have yet to wrestle each other and have had similar results against common opponents. Both majored Kutsepau, and both lost to Pine Bush’s John Stramiello by at least seven points. Ultimately, I think that’s a semifinal at sectionals, so they should decide it on the mat soon enough… Robin beat Knox twice and Gonska (6-2)… Knox majored Gonska and beat Kutsepau (9-6).
1. Matt Grippi, 8th, Fox Lane (28-5, 9 pins) PR: 1
2. Jon Errico, Jr., Byram Hills (32-3, 17 pins) PR: 2
3. Derek DiMarsico, Jr., North Rockland (27-9, 11 pins) PR: 3
4. Lamont Wallace, Sr., New Rochelle (23-8, 13 pins) PR: 4
5. Grant Cuomo, 8th, Brewster (32-5, 21 pins) PR: 5
NOTES: Also look out for Clarkstown North’s Brian Hong, Pearl River’s Jake Kurzhals, East Ramapo’s Luke Francois and Yonkers’ Fredy Guevara… This weight class is looking very deep, but Grippi and Errico are still the most likely section finalists. They split this season, but Grippi won the most recent meeting in the Shoreline final (4-2)… Grippi also beat DiMarsico (5-0), Wallace (4-3) and Cuomo (4-2)… Errico beat Wallace (2-0), but the New Ro senior has wrestled the top guys very tough… DiMarsico beat Hong twice and Kurzhals (3-1)… Hong beat Kurzhals twice… Kurzhals and Francois split… Kurzhals majored Guevara.
1. Alex Delacruz, Sr., Ossining (26-2, 8 pins) PR: 1
2. Daiton Powell, Jr., Suffern (31-4, 18 pins) PR: 2
3. Marlon Borge, Jr., North Rockland (28-8, 12 pins) PR: NR
4. Prakash Thakur, Jr., Nyack (24-9, 12 pins) PR: 3
5. Brian Gardner, Sr., Rye (25-7, 8 pins) PR: NR
NOTES: Also look out for Brewster’s Tom Kozal, East Ramapo’s Jonathan Ortiz and Somers’ Anthony DiMauro… Delacruz is the man here, with his only losses coming at Eastern States. His presence is one of the main reasons that the 120-pound class is deep. He pinned Thakur at the Shoreline… Powell is the clear-cut No. 2 after pinning Thakur twice, plus Borge and DiMauro once apiece… After wrestling at 126 at the RCCs, it’s looking more likely that Borge will compete at 126. He beat Ortiz (5-0)… Thakur beat Ortiz twice… Gardner (4-3) and Ortiz (10-3) beat DiMauro.
1. John Muldoon, Sr., Pearl River (35-1, 13 pins) PR: 1
2. Conor Melbourne, Fr., John Jay (28-8, 15 pins) PR: 5
3. Chris Cornell, Jr., Mahopac (26-7, 9 pins) PR: 3
4. John DiDomenico, Sr., Lakeland/Panas (26-4, 16 pins) PR: 4
5. Max Lukaswitz, Sr., Harrison (26-8, 15 pins) PR: NR
NOTES: Also look out for Mamaroneck’s Max Valera and East Ramapo’s Romello Bradley… Muldoon took third at Eastern States and is a state contender. With Arlington’s Nick Tolli suffering season-ending wrist injury, it’s unlikely that Muldoon will be seriously challenged at sectionals. He’s pinned Bradley twice… Melbourne has come on strong late in the season to earn the No. 2 ranking. He beat Cornell twice, while beating Lukaswitz (9-7) and splitting with DiDomenico… Cornell beat DiDomenico (8-6) and Lukaswitz (4-0), which is why he checks in at No. 3… Valera beat Bradley (5-3).
1. Matt Caputo, Sr., North Rockland (37-3, 20 pins) PR: 1
2. Liam Erickson, Sr., Brewster (35-3, 16 pins) PR: 2
3. Scott Rodrigues, Soph., Fox Lane (24-6, 9 pins) PR: 3
4. Daniel Baruch, Jr., Scarsdale (10-2, 5 pins) PR: NR
5. Grant Frederick, Jr., John Jay-EF (26-5, 14 pins) PR: NR
NOTES: Also look out for Brewster’s Nick McGill, Lakeland/Panas’ Jonathan Pla and Byram Hills’ Benjamin Ratner… There’s about five others that I could name, as this weight class is shaping up to be very deep. But with that being said, Caputo is the guy to beat after taking fourth at Eastern States. He teched Rodrigues… Erickson is the clear-cut No. 2 after majoring Rodrigues and pinning Frederick… Rodrigues beat Ratner (4-3)… Baruch was ranked in the preseason, but missed all of December. He returned and had a strong showing at Eastern States, and also has a head-to-head win over Frederick (9-4)… Frederick beat McGill (4-3) and Pla (6-2)… McGill beat Ratner (3-2) and pinned Pla.
1. Ben Ettlinger, Sr., Fox Lane (30-4, 16 pins) PR: 1
2. Larry Courtien, Sr., Somers (24-3, 15 pins) PR: 2
3. Danny Murphy, Jr., Ketcham (32-5, 11 pins) PR: 3
4. James Giraldez, Sr., Nyack (27-3, 15 pins) PR: 4
5. Blake Cohen, Sr., Lakeland/Panas (28-4, 17 pins) PR: NR
NOTES: Also look out for Tappan Zee’s Noah Hovde… The top three is still very tight, but I’m sticking with Ettlinger at No. 1 for a few reasons. He went further than any of the three at Eastern States, and his only losses outside of the ESC came when he bumped up (Greeley’s Mitch Klein and North Rockland’s Blaise Benderoth)… Courtien and Murphy is a toss-up for No. 2, but I’ll keep it as is for now… Courtien majored Hovde… Murphy beat Cohen (9-3)… Giraldez beat Hovde three times (twice in OT)… Cohen beat Hovde (4-2).
1. Blaise Benderoth, Jr., North Rockland (34-3, 19 pins) PR: 1
2. Frank Surace, Jr., Fox Lane (24-3, 14 pins) PR: 2
3. Liam Hiene, Sr., Somers (24-6, 15 pins) PR: 3
4. Mike DiNardo, Soph., Mahopac (20-8, 14 pins) PR: 4
5. Elieser Maldonado, Jr., Yonkers (28-8, 13 pins) PR: NR
NOTES: Also look out for Arlington’s Mario Zeppetelli, Hen Hud’s Jordan Artope and Lakeland/Panas’ Chris Carlucci… Benderoth was an Eastern States finalist and is the clear favorite here. He beat Ettlinger (5-0)… Surace has the option of going 145, but I think he’ll stay here to avoid his teammate (Ettlinger). He pinned Maldonado… Hiene beat DiNardo twice… DiNardo pinned Carlucci and beat Zeppetelli (7-1)… Maldonado beat Artope in OT in the Super 16 final… Artope beat Carlucci in OT.
1. Dom Celli, Sr., Somers (30-2, 17 pins) PR: 4
2. Nick Didio, Sr., North Rockland (33-5, 11 pins) PR: 2
3. Mitch Klein, Sr., Horace Greeley (29-5, 17 pins) PR: 3
4. Mike Peterson, Sr., Arlington (34-6, 15 pins) PR: NR
5. Dave Crispino, Sr., Clarkstown North (26-6, 17 pins) PR: NR
NOTES: A season-ending LCL injury to Ketcham’s Brad Marvin makes this class significantly less deep, but it’s still pretty top heavy… This may have been the most difficult call that I had to make in any weight class at the No. 1 spot. You could make a case for Celli, Didio or Klein, but the toughest tourney of the year so far was the Eastern States Classic, and it was Celli who had the strongest showing there. He took fourth place, and hasn’t lost anywhere else this season. He also pinned Peterson and is the only guy in this class who is ranked in the state… Didio had top-seeded Dan DeCarlo of Port Jervis on the ropes at Eastern States, but ultimately lost on a late pin. He has the option of going up to 170, but with Marvin’s injury, it seems like he’s going to stay at 160. He pinned Crispino in the 160-pound Rockland county final this past weekend… Klein deserves to be ranked better than No. 3, but someone had to fall there. He hasn’t wrestled any of the guys in the top five here, but he did beat ranked 170-pounders Adam Hofling of Sleepy Hollow and Rob Gullo of Pearl River… Peterson pinned Crispino.
1. Gino Gioielli, Sr., Brewster (36-2, 16 pins) PR: 1
2. Adam Hofling, Sr., Sleepy Hollow (29-1, 15 pins) PR: 5 at 160
3. Nunzio Crowley, Soph., Eastchester (30-1, 17 pins) PR: 4
4. Rob Gullo, Sr., Pearl River (29-7, 16 pins) PR: NR
5. Brandon Badger, Sr., Arlington (32-9, 21 pins) PR: 2
NOTES: Also look out for New Rochelle’s Demetrius Rodriguez, John Jay-EF’s Brandon White, Ketcham’s Dave Emory and Somers’ Luke Roediger… With Hofling and Gullo coming up from 160, this class just got a whole lot deeper… Gioielli made a name for himself around the state with a fourth place finish at Eastern States. He’s pinned Roediger and Emory, and teched White. He also beat Klein (6-4)… Hofling’s 7-0 loss to Klein seemed to prompt his decision to bump up, and he was a finalist at this weight last season. He beat Emory (13-6) in the Super 16 final… Crowley beat Gullo (4-2)… Badger beat White twice and pinned Roediger… White pinned Roediger and beat Emory (5-3)… Emory beat Badger in two out of three bouts.
1. Brett Perry, Sr., John Jay-EF (37-1, 20 pins) PR: 1
2. Justin Ayala, Sr., Mount Vernon (17-0, 15 pins) PR: NR
3. Jon Silveri, Sr., Arlington (22-4, 13 pins) PR: 2
4. Peter Pjetri, Jr., Suffern (27-5, 17 pins) PR: 4
5. Hassan Auwarter, Sr., Clarkstown South (26-7, 17 pins) PR: 3
NOTES: Also look out for Ketcham’s Austin Hassett and Mahopac’s Liridon Hasanramaj… Perry is the obvious No. 1 after taking third at Eastern States, but No. 2 is up for debate. The fact is, it’s difficult to ignore a wrestler that has yet to lose, which is the case with Ayala. He’s a finisher with a tremendous pinning percentage, including a pin of Hassett. He also beat defending D2 champ Chris Kim of Edgemont (5-3). Some might prefer Silveri or Pjetri, but for the sake of rankings, I think it’s only fair to put one of the few undefeated wrestlers remaining in Section 1 ahead of them… Perry pinned Silveri… Silveri beat Auwarter (4-2)… Pjetri beat Auwarter twice… Hassett beat Hasanramaj (5-3).
1. Andrew Grella, Sr., Beacon (36-2, 21 pins) PR: 1
2. Brock Cvijanovich, Jr., Horace Greeley (29-6, 17 pins) PR: 3
3. Austin Maurer, Sr., Clarkstown South (21-5, 14 pins) PR: 2
4. Dom Emory, Sr., Ketcham (25-9, 18 pins) PR: NR
5. Tyrick Jackson, Jr., Suffern (24-7, 19 pins) PR: NR
NOTES: Also look out for Fox Lane’s Jon Clune and Yonkers’ Joseph Marji… Grella remains No. 1 with two wins over Cvijanovich and a pin of Emory… Cvijanovich beat Clune twice and Emory (7-6)… Maurer split with Jackson, but won their most recent bout in the Rockland county final (7-3)… Emory beat Marji twice and pinned Jackson… Clune beat Marji (6-1).
1. John Hartnett, Sr., Tappan Zee (29-3, 17 pins) PR: 1
2. Ryan Delahanty, Jr., Mahopac (30-2, 14 pins) PR: 2
3. Billy Marino, Sr., Horace Greeley (28-6, 10 pins) PR: 3
4. Bryan Kondracki, Sr., Pearl River (24-6, 14 pins) PR: 5
5. Andrew Anthony, Soph., John Jay-EF (21-12, 17 pins) PR: NR
NOTES: Also look out for Ketcham’s Murphy Wilson, Clarkstown South’s Jason Fortugno, Yonkers’ Khaled Dassan and Mamaroneck’s Youssif Hemida… The top three are pretty clearly defined, but then it’s a bit jumbled… Hartnett was an Eastern States finalist and will enter sectionals as a heavy favorite. He beat Kondracki three times and pinned Marino… Delahanty majored Marino… Marino majored Dassan… Kondracki beat Fortugno (4-3)… Anthony beat Fortugno twice and split with Murphy… Murphy beat Dassan (2-1)… Hemida recently returned from injury and pinned Dassan in his first match. He’s a sleeper pick.
1. Mike Manni, Sr., Tappan Zee (32-2, 18 pins) PR: 1
2. Stephen Kelley, Jr., Lakeland/Panas (16-4, 9 pins) PR: 5
3. Nick Holahan, Sr., Clarkstown South (28-8, 19 pins) PR: 3
4. Matt St. Onge, Sr., Clarkstown South (22-6, 8 pins) PR: 4
5. Conner Reigottie, Sr., North Rockland (27-6, 14 pins) PR: 2
NOTES: Also look out for Ossining’s Alex Dago… Manni has dominated everyone in this weight class, pinning St. Onge twice, and Kelley, Holahan and Reigottie once apiece. He took third at Eastern States and will be a state title contender… Whoever meets Manni in the final will come down to who wrestles the best that particular day. Kelley and Holahan split, but Kelley won the more recent meeting (8-5). I’m giving him the slight edge at the moment… Holahan split with Reigottie, but won their more recent meeting at the RCCs. He also beat St. Onge in two out of three bouts… St. Onge beat Reigottie (2-1).
1. James Bathon, Soph., Pleasantville (9-0, 3 pins) PR: 1
2. Mikey Bruno, Fr., Putnam Valley (19-16, 8 pins) PR: 2
3. Thomas Barsuch, Fr., Croton-Harmon (24-9, 13 pins) PR: 3
NOTES: Bathon has missed some time with nagging injuries, but he’s a defending champ and beat Barsuch (4-0)… Bruno’s record isn’t as sexy as Barsuch’s, but he’s wrestled a tougher schedule and has lost only two matches to Section 1 opponents – with none coming against a D2 opponent.
1. Kyle Aslanian, Soph., Edgemont (20-6, 16 pins) PR: 1
2. Robert Dinota, 8th, Westlake (22-5, 12 pins) PR: 2
3. Karl Burnich, Fr., Nanuet (16-13, 4 pins) PR: 3
NOTES: Aslanian is the man here, as he has still yet to lose to a Section 1 opponent… Dinota has a lot of potential, as we saw when he reached the Super 16 finals, and he looks like a good bet to reach the sectional final at the moment.
1. Tyler Aslanian, Sr., Edgemont (31-1, 10 pins) PR: 2 at 120
2. Dylan Mateo, Fr., Nanuet (17-7, 8 pins) PR: 1
3. Jared Eliopolous, Fr., Putnam Valley (19-7, 9 pins) PR: NR
NOTES: Also look out for Putnam Valley’s Satoshi Abe and Pawling’s Dan Fraad… Aslanian’s decision to drop down gives him a much better shot at getting to states, as he’ll be the clear favorite here. He beat Mateo (6-0) during the Section 1 Duals… Mateo pinned Eliopolous… Eliopolous and Abe each pinned Fraad.
1. Joe Dillon, Sr., Nanuet (31-4, 14 pins) PR: 1
2. Noah Kelvas, Soph., Putnam Valley (26-11, 13 pins) PR: 3
3. Andrew Barsuch, Sr., Croton-Harmon (26-6, 22 pins) PR: NR
NOTES: Also look out for Ardsley’s Adam Samolsky… As deep as this weight class is, it’s hard not to consider Dillon a pretty big favorite. He’s a Rockland county champ, and has already beaten his top competitors in Kelvas (3-0) and Barsuch (7-0)… It’s a toss-up for the No. 2 spot. It should be a great semifinal.
1. Stephen Paternostro, Sr., Pleasantville (31-0, 25 pins) PR: 1
2. Eric Boyle, Jr., Nanuet (24-9, 10 pins) PR: 2
3. Ryan Duffy, Soph., Westlake (15-9, 7 pins) PR: NR
NOTES: Also look out for Dobbs Ferry’s Nick Cipriano… Paternostro has been on fire this season and may be poised to make some noise at states. He’s pinned Cipriano, as well as ranked D1 wrestler Max Lukaswitz of Harrison… Duffy pinned Cipriano.
1. AJ Mirabal, Sr., Putnam Valley (31-7, 19 pins) PR: 1
2. Chris Lowery, Jr., Nanuet (23-12, 5 pins) PR: 3 at 138
3. Max Worobow, Soph., Edgemont (12-6, 7 pins) PR: 3
NOTES: Mirabal has really turned it up a notch this season. While he has yet to wrestle Lowery or Worobow, he pinned Santana (No. 1 at 138) and Lukaswitz.
1. Christopher Santana, Jr., Pawling (19-2, 9 pins) PR: 1
2. Cliffton Wang, Fr., Edgemont (21-6, 14 pins) PR: NR
3. Daniel Kraemer, Jr., Woodlands (19-7, 8 pins) PR: 2
NOTES: Santana holds down the top spot for now, but Wang is on his heels. The freshman has come on strong, recently majoring Kraemer.
1. Colin Hopkins, Sr., Edgemont (14-5, 3 pins) PR: 1
2. Nick Jolly, Sr., Lourdes (29-6, 13 pins) PR: 2
3. Brandon Castro, Pleasantville (19-4, 12 pins) PR: NR
NOTES: Also look out for Pawling’s Zachery Martin… Hopkins has no losses in Section 1, including wins over top D1 145-pounders James Giraldez of Nyack (5-0) and Noah Hovde of TZ (5-4)… Jolly beat Martin (9-3), but as a common opponent reference with Hopkins, he lost to Hovde.
1. Patrick Polintan, Sr., Ardsley (24-3, 9 pins) PR: 1
2. Elder Calim, Sr., Woodlands (18-4, 12 pins) PR: 2
3. Frank Paratore, Sr., Nanuet (23-9, 13 pins) PR: 3 at 160
NOTES: Also look out for Putnam Valley’s Sam Honors… Polintan continues to hold down the top spot after beating Calim twice… Paratore was at 160 in the last rankings, but he will be at 152 for sectionals. He’s a wild card, and could be in the mix for a title.
1. Angelo Zegarelli, Sr., Putnam Valley (29-3, 11 pins) PR: 1
2. Thomas Marrone, Sr., Pleasantville (29-2, 16 pins) PR: 2
3. Miles Gencarelli, Jr., Hastings (19-6, 14 pins) PR: NR
NOTES: Also look out for Edgemont’s Marc Ficuciello… Zegarelli stays at No. 1 by a narrow margin. This could be the most exciting final in D2… Marrone’s only losses came against Greeley’s Mitch Klein. He beat Gencarelli (5-3).
1. Peter Jones, Jr., Irvington (17-4, 9 pins) PR: 1
2. Tyler Estremera, Sr., Lourdes (21-9, 14 pins) PR: 2
3. Alex Slaybaugh, Sr., Nanuet (18-4, 5 pins) PR: 3
NOTES: Also look out for Putnam Valley’s Willie Messinger… Jones majored Estremera, which solidified his No. 1 ranking… Estremera beat Messinger (7-4)… Slaybaugh beat Messinger (2-1).
1. Chris Kim, Sr., Edgemont (16-4, 6 pins) PR: 1
2. Connor Breit, Fr., Nanuet (24-10, 7 pins) PR: 2
3. Zachary Silverhardt, Jr., Irvington (21-9, 16 pins) PR: 3
NOTES: Also look out for Woodlands’ Giovanni Betances… Kim majored Betances, and has also beaten the No. 1s at 170 (Jones) and 195 (Porter). As a defending champ, he’s the obvious favorite.
1. Houston Porter, Sr., Woodlands (18-5, 7 pins) PR: 1
2. Evan Shlom, Jr., Ardsley (22-9, 10 pins) PR: 2
3. Guy Backlund, Sr., Ardsley (18-9, 6 pins) PR: NR
NOTES: Also look out for Croton-Harmon’s Devin Lewis and Dobbs Ferry’s Michael Guashpa… The last time I did the rankings, I wasn’t so sure about this weight class, but Porter has made some headway for himself by beating Shlom (9-6) and Guashpa (8-6), and pinning Lewis… Shlom beat Backlund (8-4) and Guashpa (4-2)… The No. 3 spot is a toss-up, but Backlund gets the nod after beating Lewis (8-2)… Lewis beat Guashpa in OT… Guashpa beat Backlund (7-4).
1. Alek Pavloff, Sr., Croton-Harmon (25-6, 12 pins) PR: 1
2. Adam Krieger, Jr., Irvington (19-6, 10 pins) PR: 2
3. Cowan Jones, Sr., Woodlands (7-1, 2 pins) PR: 3
NOTES: Pavloff has no losses to a D2 opponent and is definitely the guy to beat here… Kreiger pinned Jones… Jones missed time from Dec. 19-Jan. 7, but no one stepped up to claim his spot.
1. Andreas Fell, Sr., Hastings (16-3, 4 pins) PR: 2
2. Anthony DiNardo, Sr., Irvington (22-3, 7 pins) PR: 1
3. Max Rabinowitz, Sr., Nanuet (14-19, 4 pins) PR: 3
NOTES: Fell shook things up in this weight class by beating DiNardo in their last two matches, forcing his way into the top spot… After the top two, there’s a bit of a drop-off, but Rabinowitz has probably wrestled the toughest schedule of any wrestler in the field.
Photo by Peter Carr/The Journal News