WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The 2011-12 high school wrestling opens, Friday, with day one of the annual Tony Carlucci Dual-Meet Tournament at SUNY-Purchase.
The tournament will conclude, Saturday.
Rye will host the annual Bernie Miller Dual-Meet, Saturday. This is the beginning of wrestling tournaments held every Saturday in Section 1 and throughout the state through sectionals and the state championships.
The Section 1 Wrestling Championships will be Friday-Saturday, Feb. 11-12, at the Goldstein Center on the Pace University-Pleasantville campus. The state championships will take place Friday-Saturday, Feb. 25-26, at the Times-Union Center in Albany.
The regular season will start Monday, Dec. 5 with a pair of out-bracket matches in the Section 1 Division I (large school) Dual-Meet Championship as Rye faces Mount Vernon and Eastchester meets East Ramapo. The winners advance to the first and second rounds, Tuesday, Dec. 6.
This is the first year the Section 1 Dual-Meet Championships are being held for large schools and small schools. Fox Lane beat New Rochelle in the 2010 Dual-Meet Championship final.
The Section 1 Division II (small school) Dual-Meet Championship will debut Monday with out-bracket matches. Pawlings will wrestle Hastings and Our Lady of Lourdes taking on Pleasantville, both at Pleasantville. The winners will meet immediately for the right to advance. Dobbs Ferry will host the other out-bracket matches. The Eagles will take on Ardsley with the winner going against Woodlands for the right to move on. The two winners from each site wrestle Wednesday, Dec. 7, in the first and second rounds.
The semifinals, final and consolation matches in the Division I Dual-Meet Championship will be held, Tuesday, Dec. 13, at a site and time to be determined. The Division II semifinals, final and consolation matches will be Monday, Dec. 12, also at a site and time to be determined.
Fox Lane is the defending Section 1 Division I champion and Nanuet (Rockland County) is the 2011 Section 1 Division II titlist. Below is a breakdown of the top Westchester County teams in Division I and Division II, along with the premier County wrestlers for each division:
Division I (large schools)
Fox Lane -- Since the two-division format was introduced to New York in 2004, the Foxes have won four of the seven titles. Fox Lane will be difficult to unseat this year. Even though Fox Lane graduated state champion Steven Rodrigues and sectional finalist Peter Grippi, the Foxes return a stable of high-caliber veterans, led by state-finalists Danny Ventura and Binghamton-bound Sam Speno. Classmates Matt Pasqualini, a sectional finalist, and sectional place-finisher Giancarlo Morreale are back, as is junior and setional finalist, Tommy Grippi. Another Rodrigues joins with the team with eighth-grader Scotty Rodrigues stepping into the 99-pound weight class.
New Rochelle -- The Huguenots had their most successful season last year, winning another league title and finishing second to Fox Lane in the Section 1 Dual-Meet Championship and Section 1 Division I Championships. Malcolm Allen also became New Rochelle’s first state champion, winning the 285-pound title. Veteran New Rochelle coach Jim Guccione, along with assistants Eddie Ortiz and Ryan Velez, always like to keep the Huguenots flying under the radar. That will not happen this year. Aaron Butler returns after a break-out 2010-11 season which included the Section 1 Division I 160-pound title. Classmate Tyler Lilly returns after posting 30-plus wins and finishing third in the 215-pound weight class. Nick Barbaria also broke through last year, finishing third at 96 pounds. Jonathan Stokes, a sectional place finisher at 189. Brian Ferrandi (sectional qualifier) and A.J. Barbaria also return. Barbaria missed the postseason last year because of a concussion.
John Jay-Cross River -- The 2010 Section 1 Division I team champions started the millennium as a new varsity program and have become one of Section 1’s elite. The Indians lost four impact seniors to graduation -- two-time Section 1 Division II champ Lucas Myer, state-qualifier Mark Swertfager, Wyatt Gilchrist and Jay Smith -- but return a veteran core. Seniors Declan Myer and Mike Rosenthal headline the group. Juniors Alex Lambiotte, Louis Talia and Ethan Smith complete the returning veterans.
Somers -- All talk with the Tuskers begins with Brian Realbuto. The four-time Section 1 champ and two-time state titlist leads a veteran team into the season, but with a new coach -- William Von Tobel. Long-time Somers’ coach Dennis DiSanto, a guidance counselor at Mahopac High School, stepped down in the offseason and became the new Mahopac head man. Von Tobel could not have asked for a better situation. A senior-laden team, 11, led by Section 1’s best wrestler as well as one of New York’s greatest. Along with Realbuto, returning starters include classmates Jason DiBenedetto, Nick Giancaspro, Dom DeVita, Anthony Campanelli, Angelo Revel, Kyle Turchick and Peter Johnson. Von Tobel also has junior Dylan Realbuto back. The younger Realbuto was the 96-pound sectional champ and state finalist.
Yorktown -- The past two wrestling seasons, the Cornhuskers have won 22 matches and have qualified many wrestlers for sectionals. Yorktown is planning to continue this trend this season. Yorktown is led by a deep, talented junior class, highlighted by Joe Mastro, who placed in the Section 1 Championships last year. Mastro is joined by Kyle Santucci, Steven Sabella, Jimmy Kashian, Dave Varian and Tom Murray. Sophomore Nick Driscoll is looking to build on a fine freshman year,
The top wrestlers in Division I:
Brian Realbuto, Somers: The Cornell-senior is a two-time state champion, winning the 135-pound title last year and finishing with a 53-0 record. Realbuto is a four-time sectional winner and can become the first Section 1 wrestler to win five sectional titles and three state championships.
Sam Speno, Fox Lane -- The Binghamton-bound senior has won two sectional titles and placed twice in the state championships, including a runner-up finish last year.
Danny Ventura, Fox Lane -- The senior was a sectional finalist, at 119 pounds last year. After losing to Suffern’s Nick Oliveto, he earned a wild-card berth to the state championships where he beat Oliveto in the state semis to earn a finals’ berth.
Aaron Butler, New Rochelle -- The senior quietly went about having an excellent year, capping it by winning the 160-pound sectional title, and finishing with 34 wins.
Jacob Berkowitz, Scarsdale -- The senior defeated the second seed and top seed last year to win the Section 1 171-pound title, becoming Scarsdale’s first titlist since Shintaro Higashi in 2002. Berkowitz finished with 40 wins.
Dylan Realbuto, Somers -- The junior emerged from his older brother’s shadow to win the 96-pound sectional title and reach the state final.
Matt Pasqualini, Fox Lane: The senior registered more than 30 wins and was a sectional finalist at 145 pounds last year.
Phil Siegel, Hen Hud: The senior followed up a promising sophomore year with a solid junior campaign. Siegel went 30-2 and finished second in the section at 152 pounds.
Tyler Lilly, New Rochelle -- The senior advanced to the Section 1 championship semifinals. Lilly would bounce back and win his two consolation matches to finish third at 215 pounds.
Tommy Grippi, Fox Lane: The junior had an excellent year, advancing to the Section 1 135-pound final, only to face Brian Realbuto.
Alex De La Cruz, Ossining: The sophomore registered 33 wins and finished third in the section at 103 pounds last year.
Nick Barbaria, New Rochelle: The sophomore earned the starting 96-pound slot in preseason and went on to post 34 wins and take third in the section at 96 pounds last year.
Division II (small schools)
Edgemont -- The Panthers have finished second twice (2010, ‘08) and third (‘09) in the Section 1 Division II Championships the last three years. Edgemont did not lose any wrestlers to graduation which makes the Panthers the pre-season favorite. Edgemont has 12 returning sectional place finishers, highlighted by state finalist Trey Aslanian. And sectional runner-up Sky Korek. Seniors Max Abramsky, Danny Kornberg and Pete Berman placed in the section
Irvington -- The Bulldogs are an improving program under coach Steve Aufiero. The numbers are up from last year, giving the Bulldogs a full lineup. Irvington is led by seniors Chris DiNardo, the defending 285-pound sectional champion and Kevin Degnan, a sectional place finisher, and junior Brett Pastore, a sectional finalist.
Westlake -- The Wildcats took a hit with the graduation of sectional champion Tory Ferranti. However, coach Joe Bucello has Edgar Solis, the 145-pound sectional titlist returning, along with sectional place finishers Dean Rogener, Nick O’Halloran, Mike Manzo and Con Coffinus.
Croton -- The Tigers have struggled the last couple of years, but a revival is in the making this season. Veteran David Occhipinti, the 125-pound sectional champion last year, headlines a returning core of wrestlers who placed in sectionals. This group includes seniors D.J. Frederick, J.P. O’Malley, John Martin and Chris Kraft.
The top wrestlers in Division II:
Trey Aslanian, Edgemont: The junior is a two-time sectional champ and twice a state place-finisher, including the state runner-up at 103 last year. He led the Panthers with 41 wins.
Drew Longo, Ardsley: The junior was the 112-pound sectional titlist last year, Longo finished fifth in the state. He was a state finalist his freshman year after earning a wild card to the state championships.
Jimmy Kyreakedes, Dobbs Ferry: The senior is the third Kyreakedes brother to wrestle for the Eagles and has garnered the most success. Last year, Kyreakedes was the 119-pound sectional champ, finished fifth in the state and rang up 42 wins.
Chris DiNardo, Irvington: The senior put it all together to win the Section 1 285-pound title last year.
Edgar Solis, Westlake: The junior, who placed his freshman year, won his first sectional title (145 pounds) last year and had 25 victories.
Brett Pastore, Irvington: The junior recorded 30 wins and was a sectional finalist at 130 pounds.
Sky Korek, Edgemont: The junior finished with 28 wins and reached the 96-pound sectional final last year.
Obum Anyichie, Pleasantville: The senior posted 27 wins, which was second on the team, and wrestled in the 285-pound sectional final.
Rich Dosin, Hastings: The sophomore went unnoticed the majority of the season, then came on strong in sectionals, reaching the 103-pound final.