DIVISION I NYS TOURNAMENT PREVIEW
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Section III

The worst possible draw for Cody Sullivan as he gets #1 state-ranked Bobby Dierna. That will throw him down to the wrestle-backs where he should get CHSAA champion Chris Brienza first off. The consolation bracket sets up nicely for Sullivan. I like him to place 5th or 6th here.

 

NYS

Sean McCormick and Bobby Dierna have been ranked #2 and #1 all year and are a cut above the rest of the field. Dierna is just too good this year and should win handily.


Section III

Anthony Finocchiaro should be able to get by PHSAA champion Rafael Ruiz in the first round. That should run him right into Shenendehowa’s Luke Popolizio, who took second last year. He’ll probably be wrestling back at that point, but if he can get past Pittsford’s CJ Howard in the first wrestle-back, he could be on a collision course for a rematch with David Hall. Speaking of the section 3 champion, he gets U-E’s Kevin Pembridge – who spent the first part of the year wrestling for Skaneateles. Pembridge was pinned by Finocchiaro back in December, so I like Hall to advance past him. That sets him up with a match against last years third-place finisher Jose Vazquez. While not impossible, he probably won’t get past there and drop down to the consolation bracket. It looks to me like our sectional finalists will meet in the consolation final. I picked Finocchiaro in the sectionals, may as well stick with that prediction. Finocchiaro 3rd, Hall 4th.

 

NYS

Jose Vazquez has lost only to Mike Vespa this year. I like him to avenge that loss and take the NYS Championship.


Section III

Matt Gray has a very winnable match to open things up against Juliano Pabon from Section II. That will next put him up against defending NYS Champion Steven Keith from Section XI. I’d love to say he’ll get by that one, but probably not. Zeke Thompson will beat Section XI’s Brandon Escobar and advance to the semi-finals by avenging a four point loss to Aaron Brown back on the first weekend of the season. Unfortunately, his ride will end there when he runs into Jake Benedetto of Islip. I think Thompson has a shot at 3rd, but will probably take 4th. I don’t think Gray will place.

 

NYS

Steven Keith to repeat as champion with a win over Jake Benedetto in the finals.


Section III

By FAR, the deepest weight class at the NYS Tournament, this one is absolutely stacked with talent.  Winky Shepard draws Casey LaNave in the first round and Shaun Bohn doesn’t fare much better getting Zach Ellis.  Should Shepard get by LaNave, he should advance to the semi-final round where he’ll more than likely see tournament favorite Steve Bonnano.  He’ll be coming off a grueling quarter-final match with TJ Popolizio (or even Alex Marianetti), so he’ll be ripe for the picking.  I didn’t think the Winkster had a chance against Tyler Mashkow in the first round last year, and he proved me completely wrong.  So, I’m picking him to pull the monster upset over Bonnano and advance to the final to wrestle Cody Ruggirello from Valley Central.  Yes, I like Ruggirello to advance out of the lower bracket to the finals.  I do think Bohn will beat Zach Ellis, but I think he’ll then lose to Ruggirello in the quarter-finals.  However, he should be able to advance far in the wrestle-backs, which is saying a lot in this weight class.  I think he’ll take 4th, maybe 3rd.

 

NYS

NYS Career wins record-holder Winky Shepard steps up big in his senior season and beats Cody Ruggirello in the final.


Section III

James Looms should win the opener over Jesse Sgaglione, but then runs into Jamie Franco from Monroe Woodbury.  Franco is ranked third in the state, and he’s not even the favorite in this weight class.  That tells you a lot.  The consolation bracket sets up favorable for Loomis and I like him to place here – probably 5th or 6th.

 

NYS

Returning NYS Champions Paul Ligouri and Devon Brown are on a collision course to meet in the finals.  Ligouri will get tested by Corey Borshoff and Derak Heyman, but will advance to the final.  Devon Brown should see Jamie Franco in what figures to be a super semi-final.  I like Ligouri over Brown.


Section III

Bad draw for Ryan Blauvelt, as he gets #3 ranked Steve Dutton in the first round.  This is not impossible, but it’s a bad draw nonetheless – Blauvelt is certainly the underdog in this one.  Should he get past Dutton, he should cruise to a semi-final matchup with Dom Oddo, but that’s a big if.  Likely, he’ll be wrestling back in what figures to be a favorable consolation bracket.  The Oswego senior will place 4th.

 

NYS

Dutton should roll past a semi-final matchup with Dom Oddo in to the finals to face Massapequa’s Mike Doria.  Dutton will beat him for the title.


Section III

Luke Bohn gets a real tough opener having to face Mark Lewandowski, but I think he beats the 6th ranked champion from section VI.  Section XI’s Mike Castellano is a tough out in the second round too, but I like Bohn to advance to the finals where he’ll almost certainly see Shane Strumwasser out of Massapequa.  Strumwasser took 6th last year, but is the tournament favorite this year.

 

NYS

Luke Bohn beats the odds and beats Strumwasser in the final to take a NYS title with him to college.


Section III

Dustin Shawcross draws Section XI champion Christian Lapersonerie – who is ranked eighth in the state - in the opener. Shawcross closed the year on an absolute tear, but I’m not so sure he has enough to get by Lapersonerie, although I hope he proves me wrong. Should he lose, the consolation bracket doesn’t set up too well for him either, as he could see a whole host of top-10 wrestlers to advance. A great, great season, but I think it’s unlikely that he’ll place here.

 

NYS

LaSalle’s Zach Clemente owns this one.  You can kind of toss a coin to see who will advance out of the lower bracket, but you can’t go wrong picking a Spencerport Ranger.  So, I’ll take Clemente over Chris Collura (although he might not get past Sean Floor in the opener!).


Section III

Mick Letcher gets a tough opener in #8 NYS ranked John Greisheimer from Wantaugh, but should advance.  That should be his toughest match in the upper bracket, so he should advance all the way to the final where he meets everyone’s pick to win it all Donnie Vinson.  Letcher is the last undefeated wrestler in D1 in section 3 – can he keep it that way?

 

NYS

I wish I could say that Mick was going to win this thing, but I’ll go with popular opinion and take Vinson – but not by as much as most seem to think.


Section III

Ron Majerus has been itching to get back at John Martin-Cannon since a 3-1 loss back in December.  Now, the table is set again.  Before that final can take place, they’ll both have to get there first.  Majerus gets the rugged Pete Capone right out of the gate – not a gimme by any stretch of the imagination.  Martin-Cannon has a much easier go of it in the lower bracket.  However, they should both advance and give the people what they’ve been waiting to see.

 

NYS

Teammates at Buffalo next year, but not next week.  Ron Majerus exacts his revenge and wins the first NYS Championship in Mexico history.


Section III

Another eagerly anticipated and hyped match as Matt Bogardus should get Bryan Bourne in the finals in what most feel will be the match of the tournament.  Again, they have to get there first.  Bogardus gets at-large section 3 entry Dan Foster, whom he’s beaten twice this year, to start things off.  Stiffest challenge in the lower bracket will probably come from Alex Steciuk of Ballston Spa, but look for Bogardus to advance to the finals.  Bourne might get a tussle from Amsterdam’s John Paris in the upper bracket, but will almost certainly advance to the final.  The consolation sets up extremely well for Foster, as he could advance all the way to a third place finish and set himself up as the favorite next year. But, that’s easier said than done.  There’s a lot of roadblocks in the way and as most people know, it’s harder to take third than it is to win the whole thing.  But, I sure like his chances and I’m predicting that third place finish.

 

NYS

Matt Bogardus keeps the Section III ball rolling by pulling the stunner on Bryan Bourne.


Section III

Collin Toney and Marc Giordano could square off for round 3 in their rivalry in the quarterfinals next week.  However, Giordano will have the much tougher task of getting there as he faces NYS #8 Ross Hansen in the first round.  A tough match, but one he should advance past.  The winner should get a semi-final match with Tom Voorhis of Chenango Forks.  That will be a tough one, for sure.  I still like Giordano to advance to face the pin-happy Austin Meys.  I like Toney to advance to the consolation final before bowing out in 4th.

 

NYS

Austin Meys won the 103 pound NYS Championship to conclude the 2004-05 season.  Now, nearly 70 pounds heavier and 3 years later, he’s back to take another shot at it.  He’s been a pinning machine this year.  If you can get him into the 3rd period, you have a shot.  But I don’t think anybody will.  Meys wins his second.


Section III

Section III took a big hit when Homer Dobransky’s season ended prematurely.  He was truly peaking at the right time really coming in on a roll.  He is ably replaced by Conan Ingham, who wrestled Dobransky to an 8-4 semi-final match before coming back to place 3rd.  Adams was handled by Dobransky in the sectional final, but had previously beaten him and Ingham in a 10 day span, so don’t count him out.  Sadly for Ingham, he draws tournament favorite and returning champion Hunter Meys.  Adams has a tough draw in Jared Myhrberg, but I like him to advance to the semi-finals before bowing out to Vestal’s Josh Peters.  I think Ingham is a longshot to place, but I like Adams to finish 5th.

 

NYS

Well, word has it that Hunter Meys spent quite a few minutes on his back in the sectional title match last weekend.  I’m guessing he didn’t like the view from there.  I know he’d really like to get Myhrberg to gain a little redemption, but he’ll have to settle for taking it out on Josh Peters.  He’ll win comfortably.


Section III

Josh Cox had the highlight moment last weekend with a second period pin of the muscular James Chaplin.  However, Chaplin’s season didn’t end because here he is again.  Cox got a terrible draw in Section VIII’s Spencer Desena – ranked 2nd in the state (and headed to Harvard).  It’s unlikely that he’ll make it past there, but if he does, he should then advance all the way to the semi-finals for a matchup with Spencerport’s Paul Glover.  But, I don’t think he will.  The consolation bracket on his half also looks daunting, but I wouldn’t count him out.  I look for him to be wrestling for 5th place, but probably taking 6th.  Chaplin certainly got the easier first round draw as he squares off against Section X’s Andrew Rust – which should be a win.  From there, he’ll run into Section V’s Rob Eskander, who’s riding high with a triple-ot win over Glover in the sectional final last week.  Chaplin will probably get CJ Floor in his first wrestle-back and I think his day will end there.

 

NYS

This will almost certainly be an all Section V final as Glover and Eskander should meet for the rubber match.  I like Glover to avenge last week’s loss and upset the defending champ.


Section III

Tyler Peter comes in with a #6 state ranking and a legit shot to win it all.  Unfortunately, he draws the #2 ranked Randy Colling in the first round.  For some reason, Peter just seems to find ways to win these matches.  I like him to spring the first round upset of the heavily favored Colling and cruise into the title match.  There he should see Kingston’s Corey James and be the heavy underdog again.  Is this his night?

 

NYS

Tyler Peter pulls the stunner knocking off Colling and James to win the NYS Championship.