Vin’s picks: Division 1 predictions



These are never easy to do, but it’s always fun. These are my predictions for this weekend’s Division 1 sectional championships, and in terms of champs, there aren’t many huge surprises. There’s only four or five weight classes that really look to be up for grabs, but there will be tons of exciting matches leading up to the finals. I picked some upsets along the way to keep things interesting, and I encourage you to submit your picks in the comments section. In three days, it’ll all be settled on the mat…

No. 1 Alfredo Olmedo (Arlington) dec. No. 4 Trey Wardlaw (East Ramapo)
No. 2 Anthony Sulla (North Rockland) dec. No. 3 Sean McGarvey (Pearl River)
Final – Olmedo dec. Sulla
WHY: Sulla battled Olmedo in a tight 2-1 loss at Eastern States, so this wasn’t exactly an easy pick. But in the end, I’m taking the senior who has been knocking on the door for a few years… Two matches to look out for in the quarters would be Wardlaw vs. Yonkers’ Justin Lopez and Sulla vs. New Ro’s Jake Shore. Wardlaw beat Lopez with a 5-4 decision last week, so I’m taking him.

No. 1 Brandon Fay (Fox Lane) dec. No. 4 Frankie Barchella (Harrison)
No. 2 Alex D’Angelo (North Rockland) dec. No. 6 Jordan Wallace (New Rochelle)
Final – Fay dec. D’Angelo
WHY: Once again, I’m taking the senior who’s been on the big stage to get it done. Fay was a section finalist last year, and he’s already beaten most of his top competition — albeit in very close matches… I’m taking a slight upset in the quarters by picking Wallace over Suffern’s Peter Oliveto, but I think Wallace has the momentum coming in. He just beat Barchella and Scarsdale’s Michael DaBramo during the sectional qualifiers, and also wrestled Fay tough in a recent 5-4 loss. Either way, it’s a must-see match.

No. 1 Jay Albis (John Jay-EF) maj. dec. No. 4 Kevin Knox (Carmel)
No. 2 Brady Robin (Arlington) dec. No. 3 James Kelly (Pearl River)
Final – Albis dec. Robin
WHY: Albis has established himself with two wins apiece over Robin and Knox this season, so the toughest pick here was Robin vs. Kelly in the semis. In the end, Robin has been a bit more consistent, so he’s the pick.

No. 1 Jon Errico (Byram Hills) dec. No. 5 Lamont Wallace (New Rochelle)
No. 2 Matt Grippi (Fox Lane) dec. No. 3 Derek DiMarsico (North Rockland
Final – Errico dec. Grippi
WHY: If you asked me a week ago, I probably would have taken Grippi. He beat Errico at the Shoreline and is only getting better. But after Errico’s major in their match this past weekend, I can’t pick against the Bobcats’ junior. Grippi’s time will come, but he may still be a year away… Don’t sleep on Wallace. I’m taking him to knock off fourth-seeded Luke Francois of East Ramapo in the quarters, and he wrestled Errico tight in a one-point loss at the Shoreline.

No. 1 Alex Delacruz (Ossining) pin No. 4 Marlon Borge (North Rockland)
No. 2 Daiton Powell (Suffern) pin No. 3 Fredy Guevara (Yonkers)
Final – Delacruz maj. dec. Powell
WHY: The top two here have been obvious all season, and there’s no way I’m picking against a defending state champ.

No. 1 John Muldoon (Pearl River) pin No. 5 Romello Bradley (East Ramapo)
No. 3 Conor Melbourne (John Jay) dec. No. 2 John DiDomenico (Lakeland/Panas)
Final – Muldoon pin Melbourne
WHY: Muldoon has to be the pick here, but the race for second is very interesting… DiDomenico and Melbourne had split coming into the sectional qualifiers, but DiDomenico beat the John Jay freshman with a 3-2 decision in the Mahopac final to earn the second seed. Call it a hunch, but Melbourne has been wrestling extremely well in the second half of the season, and with a week for coach Bill Swertfager and his staff to figure out a way to make up the one-point difference, I think Mebourne can get it done.

No. 1 Matt Caputo (North Rockland) pin No. 4 Jonathan Pla (Lakeland/Panas)
No. 2 Liam Erickson (Brewster) maj. dec. No. 6 Daniel Baruch (Scarsdale)
Final – Caputo maj. dec. Erickson
WHY: It’s rare that you have two defending section champs in the same class, which we have here in Caputo and Erickson. They’re heavy favorites to reach the final, and I’d have to take Caputo in a head-to-head matchup. Erickson has been a great wrestler in Section 1, but Caputo is a two-time All-State wrestler who has placed at Eastern States. As a state title contender, he’s my pick… Baruch will likely get JJEF’s Grant Frederick in the quarters, whom he recently beat with a 9-4 decision.

No. 1 Ben Ettlinger (Fox Lane) maj. dec. No. 4 James Giraldez (Nyack)
No. 2 Larry Courtien (Somers) dec. No. 3 Danny Murphy (Ketcham)
Final – Ettlinger dec. Courtien
WHY: This is a tough choice, but I’m picking another top seed. Ettlinger has really raised his level this season, and it just feels like his time. Courtien is very capable of winning, but he’s also been dealing with a nagging knee injury. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Murphy get it done, as this is certainly a wide open class — particular among the top three.

No. 1 Blaise Benderoth (North Rockland) pin No. 4 Chris Carlucci (Lakeland/Panas)
No. 2 Frank Surace (Fox Lane) dec. No. 3 Liam Hiene (Somers)
Final – Benderoth maj. dec. Surace
WHY: Hard to pick against Benderoth based on his strong season and overall track record. He’s already been to two section finals, and the third time may be the charm… Surace just beat Hiene with a 3-2 decision during sectional qualifiers, so I’m sticking with him to reach the finals.

No. 1 Nick Didio (North Rockland) maj. dec. No. 4 Mike Peterson (Arlington)
No. 2 Mitch Klein (Horace Greeley) dec. No. 3 Dom Celli (Somers)
Final – Klein dec. Didio
WHY: This had to be the toughest pick of them all for me. I’ve gone back and forth, and back again, all year. I’ve had Klein ranked behind Didio and Celli for most of the season, but he just continues to win. After beating Celli — who placed fourth at Eastern States — with a 3-1 decision this past weekend, I think that Klein has proven himself enough. With that being said, he has still yet to wrestle Didio, so this is definitely a shot in the dark.

No. 1 Gino Gioielli (Brewster) pin No. 4 Justin Karas (Port Chester)
No. 7 Demetrius Rodriguez (New Rochelle) dec. No. 3 Adam Hofling (Sleepy Hollow)
Final – Gioielli pin Rodriguez
WHY: This is another one where the toughest decision was who will finish second… Rodriguez would have to pull off upsets over Hofling and JJEF’s Brandon White to reach the finals, but he may have it in him. Rodriguez’s only loss in Section 1 this season was a 5-4 decision against Hofling last weekend, but he’s shown significant improvement as the season has worn on, and that early look might benefit him if he gets another crack at Hofling this weekend. This is the type of class where an underdog could make a run to the final, but I don’t see anyone beating Gioielli.

No. 1 Brett Perry (John Jay-EF) pin No. 4 Jon Silveri (Arlington)
No. 2 Peter Pjetri (Suffern) dec. No. 3 Justin Ayala (Mount Vernon)
Final – Perry pin Pjetri
WHY: Perry is another guy who should place at states, and maybe even compete for a title. He’s an easy pick… Ayala and Pjetri is a toss-up match considering they haven’t wrestled this season. Ayala is a strong, explosive dude, so Pjetri has to be careful of being put to his back. But he’s shown some great defense against the likes of Clarkstown South’s Hassan Auwarter in recent weeks, and the longer the match goes, the more I think it plays into Pjetri’s hands.

No. 1 Andrew Grella (Beacon) pin No. 5 Tyrick Jackson (Suffern)
No. 3 Austin Maurer (Clarkstown South) dec. No. 2 Brock Cvijanovich (Horace Greeley)
Final – Grella maj. dec. Maurer
WHY: This is becoming a common theme in the upper weights — the favorite is pretty obvious here. Grella has established himself as the guy to beat with three wins over Cvijanovich, but a match between him and Maurer would be more of an unknown. Maurer finished strong last season and has come on in recent weeks, but I still have to lean heavily towards Grella.

No. 1 John Hartnett (Tappan Zee) maj. dec. No. 13 Youssif Hemida (Mamaroneck)
No. 2 Ryan Delahanty (Mahopac) pin No. 3 Murphy Wilson (Ketcham)
Final – Hartnett maj. dec. Delahanty
WHY: The guy who I think may shake things up here is Hemida. His seed doesn’t reflect where he actually belongs, but after missing the vast majority of the season, he’s a definite threat. I have him upsetting fourth-seeded Andrew Anthony of JJEF and fifth-seeded Billy Marino of Greeley to get to the semis, but I couldn’t pick him to beat a defending champ in Hartnett… I still think that Delahanty is Hartnett’s biggest competition, but Hartnett has reached a new level since his Eastern States finals appearance.

No. 1 Mike Manni (Tappan Zee) pin No. 4 Conner Reigottie (North Rockland)
No. 3 Nick Holahan (Clarkstown South) dec. No. 2 Matt St. Onge (Clarkstown South)
Final – Manni pin Holahan
WHY: Manni has already pinned everyone that I have in the semis, so call this a race for second… Between the practice room and actual matches, Holahan and St. Onge have probably wrestled 100 times in their careers. My understanding is that Holahan has the better head-to-head winning percentage over the years.

Photo by Tania Savayan/The Journal News


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  1. 99. Olmeyda dec. McGarvey
    106 D’Angelo dec Fay
    113 Albis maj Robin
    120 Errico dec Grippi
    126 Delacruz maj Powell
    132 Muldoon tech Lukaswitz
    138 Caputo maj Erickson
    145 Murphy dec Ettlinger
    152 benderoth maj Hiene
    160 Klein dec Diddio
    170 Karas dec White. Upset special!!
    182 Perry maj Pjetri
    195 Grella dec Brock
    220 Hartnett maj Delahanty
    285 manni pin St. Onge

  2. Sectionnonefan on

    Takedown – that’s not at all fair. It really is amazing that we have a resource like Vin attending the matches, posting videos, giving us information across a very large geographic area. This is high school wrestling – not major college football.

  3. saltydog I’m just saying that the 1 seeds don’t always win there is always upsets no1 expects i think 1 seeds that might not win are 99,106,113,120,145,160

  4. Takedown—-I don’t see your picks! I have seen Vin at all the major tourneys and he knows his stuff, probably better than you.

  5. Does any one have an idea of about what time they will be finished wrestling Saturday. If I knew how many mats they are using I could figure it out myself. But I don’t know that facter. Thank you

  6. Grippi will win, I think he was playing opossum last week.
    Hartnett all the way!!!! TRIVIA QUESTION; in what decade did someone from Mamaroneck last win a Section One Title?

    Hey Vince, you related to that female reporter on Ch 11 News, last name Mercogliano? Mercogliano is not exactly Smith, not even in Italian.

  7. To Old Coach, I’d imagine they’re going to be using the same set up as Mid-Hudson so 3 mats. Unless they use 2 gyms at Arlington, which might add another 2 mats, but I see it as the same set up as Mid-Hudson

    Can’t forget the weather too. Who knows if it will even happen

  8. Finals are scheduled for 12:30 on Sunday, with the parade of champions right before. All place matches will be wrestled simultaneously 1st on middle mat, 3rd and 5th on the other two mats. Good luck to everyone this weekend. Should be a great tournament as always.

  9. Before the season Vince asked me what my biggest concern was this season and I responded the weather. Well to those out there that ripped on me because of that answer what do you think now? I hope we can get Saturday wrestled so Sunday can be a great semis through finals. Good luck to all.

  10. ThePrideOfCarmelWrestling on

    Brian Hong beat Freddy Guevara in the divisional simi’s. Hong will beat him in the quarters.

  11. THE FINALS should be contested alone, on one mat!! They are THE FINALS. They are contested to determine THE CHAMPIONSHIP, NOT some consolation prize!!! THE WINNER IS THE CHAMPION!

  12. A top seed should be favored unless there is good reason to pick someone else. If you can’t find that reason, then I would go with the favorite. For some, hunches are fine. Having a bias towards someone is fine. tired of picking the top seeds is fine. The 3 examples are all fine reasons to pick against the top seed.

    Lets start a pick-em contest.

    99. Olmeyda
    106 Fay
    113 Albis
    120 Grippi
    126 Delacruz
    132 Muldoon
    138 Caputo
    145 Ettlinger
    152 benderoth
    160 Diddio
    170 Karas dec White. Upset special!!
    182 Perry
    195 Grella
    220 Hartnett
    285 Manni

    Pretty conservative. I picked Grippi as it’s his turn :)
    ( going against my own beliefs lol )


  13. D2 did it right at Beacon. Finals, championship match on the center mat, center off attention. The atmosphere was electric. Why would you run simultaneous with wrestle backs? Why? Time? Is there a cheerleading competition In the gym at 3?

  14. Even at pace finals werent on 1 mat, it was on 2 with d1 and d2 running simultaneously. So where’s the issue? In college The big 10 championship isn’t even held on one mat. Only the national championship is held on one mat.

  15. 99 almedo
    106 Fay
    113 barbaria
    120 Errico
    126 de la
    132 tolli
    138 erickson
    145 ettinger
    152 benderoth
    160 Marvin
    170 hofling
    182 perry
    195 grella
    220 youseff
    285 manni

    :). You beat 1 pick already lortz

  16. My predictions top 6 each weight class

    2. Sulla
    3. Mcgarvy
    4. Lopez
    5. Wardlaw
    6. Bunyea

    1. D’Angelo
    2. Barchella
    3. Fay
    4. Oliveto
    5. Wallace
    6. Earl

    1. Albis
    2. Robin
    3. Kelly
    4. Knox
    5. Gonska
    6. Tera

    1. Errico
    2. Grippi
    3. Wallace
    4. Dimarsco
    5. Francois
    6. Cuomo

    1. DelaCruz
    2. Powell
    3. Borge
    4. Guevera
    5. Gardner
    6. Hong

    1. Muldoon
    2. DiDomenico
    3. Bradley
    4. Melbourne
    5. Lukaswitz
    6. Cornell

    1. Caputo
    2. erickson
    3. Frederick
    4. Baruch
    5. Simeti
    6. Wagner

    1. Ettlinger
    2. Courtein
    3. Murphy
    4. Giraldez
    5. Hovde
    6. Cohen

    1. Benderroth
    2. surace
    3. Heine
    4. Carlucci
    5. Petragallo
    6. Rein

    1. Klein
    2. Didio
    3. Celli
    4. Peterson
    5. Denergy
    6. Crispino

    1. Gioielli
    2. White
    3. Karas
    4. Hofling
    5. Gullo
    6. Roediger

    1. Perry
    2. Pjetri
    3. Auwater
    4. Aclime
    5. Silveri
    6. Ayala

    1. Grella
    2. Cvijanovich
    3. Emory
    4. Clune
    5. Maurer
    6. Jackson

    1. Hartnett
    2. delahanty
    3. Hemida
    4. Marino
    5. Wilson
    6. Larm

    1. Manni
    2. St. Onge
    3. Hollahan
    4. Dago
    5. Kelley
    6. Reigottie

  17. State finals are on two mats!!! You had to decide between watching quintin Murphy winning yet another state title or watching the D1 final, or bouncing back and forth…. Ughh my neck hurts just thinking about it.

  18. Yeah and semis are on 4, plus you have to look into the stand to watch quintin murphy getting in fights with fans before he wins another state title.

  19. 99
    Olmedo dec. McGarvey

    D’Angelo -v- Wallace… If D’Angelo wins he could beat Fay in the finals.
    Wallace is no joke.

    Albis maj. Knox at Divisions (only meeting of the season)…He will beat Knox in semis by 3 or 4 points. No major.
    Robin beats Kelly in semis and has a good shot at beating Albis in the finals. (it will be close)
    Knox beats Kelly for third.

    Erico will beat Grippi soundly in the finals.
    Grippi is amazing…Erico is a better wrestler.

    Peterson will step up and beat Didio in the semis.
    Klein dec. Peterson in the finals.

  20. Dutchess master on

    99 almedo
    106 Fay
    113 albis
    120 Errico
    126 de la
    132 Muldoon
    138 caputo
    145 ettinger
    152 benderoth
    160 Klein
    170 Karas
    182 perry
    195 grella
    220 hartnett
    285 manni

    Who know but on paper it’s tough to pick against the favorite. As a sec 1 fan I’m rooting for all the favorites to make the finals and have a few upsets so we can get a few Wildcards. 99, 106, 120 examples. If almedo, Fay, and Errico make the finals they will prob make states win or lose.

  21. @Dutchess master. The only real shot at a wildcard for those 3 you mentioned is Olmeyda. At 99 there isn’t too many kids with past points and While Olmeyda doesn’t have a lot of previous years points he may have just enough. Fay and Errico both have second place section finishes last season but that just might not be enough for a wildcard.

  22. What is the inclement weather plan for this weekend?
    Saturday: Periods of light snow. High in the low 30s. Chance of snow 60%. Snow accumulation 1 to 3 inches.

    Saturday Night: Clearing skies and much colder. Low 0º to 5º.

    Sunday: Clouds mixed with sunshine and quite cold. High in the mid 20s

  23. dutchess master on

    Errico was the alternate for the wildcard last year, you forgot to add that errico was 3rd the year before. So he would have a 2nd, 2nd, 3rd finish. Thats wildcard.

    Fay 6th, 2nd, 2nd. I dont think 6th from 3 years ago counts so you may be right, but remember hes at a light weight so i dont see many runner ups Last year at 106.

  24. Premature to think about wildcards. You never know who gets upset in other sections and gets those wildcards. Follow updates across the state and start thinking wildcards on Monday.