Sectionals: Breaking down the D1 championships


hofling4 I exchanged emails with section coordinator Eric Romanino this morning, who told me that they’ll be meeting this afternoon to decide on a plan in case the weather alters tomorrow’s schedule. The forecast is calling for 1-3 inches of snow, which shouldn’t be enough to postpone the entire tourney, but we may be looking at a delayed start. I’ll let you know as soon as I hear official word. For now, check out this preview for the Division 1 championships that I wrote for today’s paper:

99 pounds
– Alfredo Olmedo, Sr., Arlington
Top contender(s) – Anthony Sulla, Soph., North Rockland; Trey Wardlaw, Soph., East Ramapo; Jake Shore, Soph., New Rochelle; Sean McGarvey, Fr., Pearl River
Outlook – Olmedo is the guy to beat heading into the tourney, having already beaten two of his top contenders in Sulla (2-1) and Shore (5-0). Sulla is a Rockland county champ and kept it close with Olmedo, so he’s the most likely candidate to pull off the upset.

106 pounds
– Brandon Fay, Sr., Fox Lane
Top contender(s) – Alex D’Angelo, Jr., North Rockland; Frankie Barchella, Jr., Harrison; Peter Oliveto, Fr., Suffern; Jordan Wallace, Fr., New Rochelle
Outlook – Fay was a section finalist last season and has beaten D’Angelo (2-1), Barchella (5-3) and Wallace (5-4) this year. All of those matches were close, so expect some fireworks.

113 pounds
– Jay Albis, Jr., John Jay-EF
Top contender(s) – James Kelly, Jr., Pearl River; Brady Robin, Soph., Arlington
Outlook – Kelly is the defending section champ at 99 pounds, but Albis has distanced himself from the pack this season with two wins over Robin. Kelly and Robin are lined up to meet in a potential semifinal.

120 pounds
– Jon Errico, Jr., Byram Hills
Top contender(s) – Lamont Wallace, Sr., New Rochelle; Derek DiMarsico, Jr., North Rockland; Matt Grippi, 8th, Fox Lane
Outlook – Errico and Grippi had split in two matches heading into last weekend’s sectional qualifiers, but Errico staked his claim as the top seed with a surprising major decision over the Fox Lane middle-schooler.

126 pounds
– Alex Delacruz, Sr., Ossining
Top contender(s) – Daiton Powell, Jr., Suffern
Outlook – Delacruz is the only defending state champion from Section 1, which makes him a heavy favorite for a section title. Powell has emerged as the clear No. 2.

132 pounds
– John Muldoon, Sr., Pearl River
Top contender(s) – John DiDomenico, Sr., Lakeland/Panas; Chris Cornell, Jr., Mahopac; Romello Bradley, Soph., East Ramapo; Conor Melbourne, Fr., John Jay
Outlook – Muldoon is a state title contender, so the real question here is who finishes second.

138 pounds
– Matt Caputo, Sr., North Rockland
Top contender(s) – Liam Erickson, Sr., Brewster
Outlook – This may be the deepest weight class in the tournament, but Caputo and Erickson represent the cream of the crop as two defending section champions. Caputo is a two-time All-State wrestler and holds the Rockland county record for wins with 212.

145 pounds
– Toss-up
Top contenders – Ben Ettlinger, Sr., Fox Lane; Larry Courtien, Sr., Somers; James Giraldez, Sr., Nyack; Danny Murphy, Jr., Ketcham
Outlook – Ettlinger is the top seed, but none of the top four have wrestled so far this season, so it’s wide open.

152 pounds
– Blaise Benderoth, Jr., North Rockland
Top contender(s) – Frank Surace, Jr., Fox Lane; Liam Hiene, Sr., Somers
Outlook – Benderoth is the front-runner as a returning All-State wrestler and 2014 Eastern States finalist. Surace beat Hiene with a 3-2 decision last weekend.

160 pounds
– Toss-up
Top contender(s) – Nick Didio, Sr., North Rockland; Mitch Klein, Sr., Horace Greeley; Dom Celli, Sr., Somers
Outlook – Didio, Klein and Celli are each coming off of strong regular seasons, making for an interesting three-horse race. Klein beat Celli with a 3-1 decision during sectional qualifiers, and they’re lined up to meet in the semis.

170 pounds
– Gino Gioielli, Sr., Brewster
Top contender(s) – Adam Hofling, Sr., Sleepy Hollow; Justin Karas, Sr., Port Chester; Rob Gullo, Sr., Pearl River; Brandon White, Jr., John Jay-EF; Nunzio Crowley, Soph., Eastchester
Outlook – Gioielli distinguished himself from the pack with a fourth place finish at Eastern States, but after him, it’s wide open.

182 pounds
– Brett Perry, Sr., John Jay-EF
Top contender(s) – Justin Ayala, Sr., Mount Vernon; Jon Silveri, Sr., Arlington; Peter Pjetri, Jr., Suffern
Outlook – Perry is a heavy favorite after placing third at Eastern States. He also pinned Ayala and Silveri.

195 pounds
– Andrew Grella, Sr., Beacon
Top contender(s) – Austin Maurer, Sr., Clarkstown South; Brock Cvijanovich, Jr., Horace Greeley
Outlook – Grella was a section finalist and has been a pinning machine. He defeated Cvijanovich three times this season.

220 pounds
– John Hartnett, Sr., Tappan Zee
Top contender(s) – Ryan Delahanty, Jr., Mahopac
Outlook – As a defending section champ and an Eastern States finalist, Hartnett is clearly the man to beat. But Delahanty has emerged as his top competition.

285 pounds
– Mike Manni, Sr., Tappan Zee
Top contender(s) – Matt St. Onge, Sr., Clarkstown South; Nick Holahan, Sr., Clarkstown South; Conner Reigottie, Sr., North Rockland; Stephen Kelley, Jr., Lakeland/Panas
Outlook – Manni is an All-State wrestler who has pinned every wrestler seeded from 2-4, so call this a race for second.

Photo by Tania Savayan/The Journal News


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  1. Vincent Mercogliano on

    Shore pinned Lopez when they met. But don’t look too much into this. It was for the paper, meaning there was limited space, so I could only put so many names per class.

  2. Thank you Vince, the hardest thing to do in sports writing is to try and develope a story or rivalry that just is not there. You have succeeded in entertaining all of the wrestling fans in section one this year. You are fair, insightful, and honest. I get a sense that you know and care for the wrestlers and maybe even more important, for the sport of wrestling. Section one is lucky to have you. My senior stud is graduating, but I will be a loyal fan for years to come. Again, thank you

  3. Matt grippi will be a section champ!!!!! You watch. The grippis know how to wrestle on the big stage

  4. I am a big Grippi and FL fan but the BH Wrestler is very good as well. If they meet it should be much closer than last match.