Now let’s check out a weight-by-weight breakdown of the small schools! The 2019 NYSPHSAA Championships will take place on Friday 2/22 and Saturday 2/23 at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY. Best of luck to all of the competitors!
With a nice blend of youth and experience, the lightweights will be fun to watch in the D2 tournament. Top seeded Jace Schafer from Section 5 finished 5th in Albany last season but is looking to win it all this year. The Pal-Mac sophomore is 51-3 this year and all of his losses have been close decisions to D1 studs McNeil (2X) and Conetta. Schafer also has a few wins over wrestlers in his bracket including the kid he beat out for 5th/6th in Albany last year, Andy Lucinski from Section 6 Newfane. Lucinski is 38-2 this year and would love to wrestle Schafer again – this time for the title! Second seed Sixx Cook from Central Valley Academy is having a great season and will definitely be competitive here as will Matt Gatto from PSAL Petrides who is sporting a 36-4 record. Long Island has two tough wrestlers entered here in Max Gallagher from Section 11 and Jackson Polo from Section 8. Trevor Tufano from Port Jervis is making his first trip to Albany and will definitely gain some valuable experience.
Dante Geislinger from Section 4 Norwich was the 99 pound Division 2 state champ last year. He is the top seed and favorite to bring home title #2 on Saturday. Geislinger is 36-3 this year and was a finalist at the Eastern States Classic where he was defeated by nationally ranked Stevo Poulin. However we shouldn’t expect Geislinger to run away with the title this year! On the bottom half of the bracket lurk a few wrestlers looking to pick off the top seed namely Muskan Monger and Caleb Svingala. Monger, a senior from Warsaw, is having a great season including a strong showing at ESC where he lost a narrow 5-4 decision to Geislinger. Monger also majored the #2 seed Joe Sparacio from Section 11 by a score of 10-1 at the ESC. Svingala is making his 2nd trip to the state tournament and is primed to step onto the podium this season. The junior from Section 2 Maple Hill is 40-1 on the season with his lone loss coming to Avery Leonard who is also in this bracket. Leonard, a sophomore from Section 3 Cooperstown, is 44-4 and suffered 3 of his 4 losses at the Eastern States Classic – Geislinger, Ryder, and Camillaci. We can’t forget about David Ball from Section 6 Gowanga who is a perfect 33-0 thus far this season. Section 9 entry Peter Bender from Highland has an outbracket match against one of the other wrestlers to watch here, Nicholas Noto from Honeoye Falls – Lima. Noto received a wildcard to the state tournament after narrowly losing a 1-0 decision to Monger in the Section 5 finals!
The 113 pound weight class has no shortage of talented wrestlers but the clear favorite here is 2X NYS champ Anthony Noto from Section 5. Noto, a junior from Honeoye Falls – Lima, is having another incredible season! His record this year is 35-1 and his only loss was a 5-2 decision in the finals of the Eastern States Classic to nationally ranked Greg Diakomihalis. There are a few wrestlers in this bracket who will definitely push Noto! Micah Roes from Section 3 Lowville, who placed 4th in NYS last year, gave Noto all he could handle losing a close 10-8 decision to him in the ESC quarterfinals. In the same tournament, Roes defeated 2018 D1 state champ Terry Adams but also dropped a decision to Mason Bush from Central Valley, the 3rd seed in this bracket! Bush placed 3rd in NYS last season at 99 pounds. A few other who we definitely need to keep an eye on here are Joey Scheeren from Galway who is 33-1, Rick Delia from Port Jefferson who is 34-2, Jake Murphy from Seaford who is 31-3, and Cody Merwin from Walton who is 38-3. Section 9 champ Matt Morris is making his second trip to the state tournament and definitely has his sights set on the podium!
This is without question going to be one of the best weight classes to follow in the entire tournament! 120 is loaded with talent – exactly the way one can describe the top seed here, Jordan Titus from Section 11. The sophomore from Center Moriches HS has been runner up to Anthony Noto at the last two state tournaments but this year is looking to ascent to the top step. He is 36-1 with his only loss coming at the ESC semifinals to Noto at 113. Titus has also notched a great win this season over Division 1 stud Sean Carter. As mentioned however, there is plenty of talent here to push Titus. Caleb Robinson from Section 4 Walton is the #2 seed and he’s as tough as they come. He finished 4th at ESC and posted a win over Matt Garland from Section 3 who is also in this bracket. Garland finished 3rd in NYS last season. One of the wrestlers who defeated Robinson at ESC was Carter Schubert from Section 5. Schubert, who finished 4th in NYS last year, is 38-5 this year and is seeded 4th. Garland defeated Schubert 1-0 at Eastern States. A few others to watch here are Len Balducci from Section 1 who finished 3rd in NYS last year and Joe Costantano from Section 8 who is no stranger to Albany! Liam Bullock from Section 9 has had a great year and could surprise some people this weekend as could Jack Bosco from Hackley!
With a NYS champ, a NYS 2nd, a NYS 3rd , and a NYS 5th in the bracket, the 126 pound weight class will definitely be one to watch closely! Marek Bush was the Division 2 113 pound state champ last season and he is having another very strong year – however he is the #4 seed here! Why? Well at the Eastern States Classic Bush actually has lost to two of the wrestlers in this bracket this season! One of those losses came to to the wrestler he defeated in the state finals last year, Chandler Merwin from Walton. Merwin is the top seed here and is sporting a 39-5 record. Bush also lost twice at ESC to Bradley Cheek from Section 5 Canisteo Greenwood who is 45-3 on the season and placed 5th in NYS last year. Peru senior Logan Dubuque is the #3 seed at this weight. The Section 7 champ is 30-4 this season and he placed 3rd in NYS last season. The depth in this bracket doesn’t stop there. Aiden Cullen from Section 2 and Dean Shambo from Section 3 will definitely be in the medal hunt here as will Section 9 champ Eric Tigue who was a win away from placing in Albany last season.
Trent Svingala from Section 2 Maple Hill is a 2X NYS champion. He is the top seed and is the favorite to win title #3 this weekend. Svingala, who is heading to Columbia in the fall, is 42-0 this season with 41 of his decisions coming via pin or tech fall. (His other win was a 14-point major decision.) However Svingala will not go untested! The #2 seed here is Victor Perlleshi from Section 1 Pleasantville. Perlleshi is 40-1 with his lone loss coming in the finals of the ESC – a 5-2 decision to Justin McDougald who is the top seed at 132 in Division 1. At ESC Perlleshi also defeated one of the other contenders here in Greg DeNatale from Section 8 Locust Valley. DeNatale is 34-2 and his only other loss came to Lincoln Heck from Wyoming Seminary. Another Long Island wrestler, Mike O’Brien from Section 11 will definitely be in the hunt here! O’Brien 38-5 this season but his only loss to a wrestler in this field was a 7-3 decision to Perlleshi. A few others to keep an eye on here are Ethan Ferro from Pal Mac who is 50-3 and Section 9 champ Mat Malherio who is making his third trip to Albany!
This weight class is wide open! Top seeded Zach Bradell from Section 6 Tonawanda finished 3rd in NYS at 126 last season and is definitely one of the pre-tournament favorites. He is 36-4 this season and all of his losses are to D1 studs. Braddell was pushed to the limit in his Section 6 final where he edged out Dalton Gardner by a score of 2-1. Gardner received a wildcard and will definitely contend here as will John Worthing from Section 4 Tioga. Worthing is 35-3 this year and he’s the 2nd seed in this bracket. One of his losses however was in the Section 4 final to Brody Oleksak from BGAH. Oleksak has a 38-2 record this year and both of his losses are to….you guessed it, John Worthing! One of the other wrestlers to watch here is Kadin Peryea from Beekmantown in Section 7. Peryea is a perfect 38-0 this season! Section 2 has two seeded wrestlers in this bracket in Alec Richards from Corinth and Greg Hotaling from Colbeskill. Section 9 champ Nick Ross has a 43-3 record this year and has been to Albany before; he could definitely contend here. We should also keep an eye on Joe O’Brein from Section 11 and Michael Leandrou from Section 8.
Just like the 145 Division 1 bracket, the 145 Division 2 bracket is absolutely loaded! There are at least a half of a dozen wrestlers who have a legitimate chance of winning here. Let’s start with the top seed and multiple time state place winner Cahal Donovan from Section 3. The Marcellus senior is 31-2 this season and both of his losses were at the Eastern States Classic. One of those losses was a 6-2 loss to ESC champ Tyler Sung and the other was by medical forfeit to Brock Delsignore. One of Donovan’s closest victories was in the Section 3 final where he defeated former state champ Hunter Shaut from Central Valley Academy by a score of 3-1. Shaut received an at-large bid to the tournament and is the #2 seed here. Do not be surprised if we see a Donovan/Shaut rematch on Saturday night! In order for this to happen, however, both wrestlers will have to topple some very tough competition. Chase Runfola from Section 5 is a perfect 44-0 this season and let’s not forget about Austin Lamb from Section 4 Tioga who placed 5th in NYS last year and is 42-1 this season. Lamb’s only loss this season was a 3-1 decision up at 152 to D1 hammer Warren McDougald. Others who will be in the mix for a title here are Raymond Costa from Cold Spring Harbor and Jimmy Kramer from Falconer – neither have a “bad” loss on there ledger this season! Section 9 champ Nick Curreri is having a great season and should definitely not be over-looked!
There is definitely no shortage of talent at 152 but the favorite here is definitely Section 2 champion Zack Lawrence. The Duanesburg senior is a perfect 46-0 this season and won the Eastern States Classic by defeating Division 1 hammer Dan Mauriello. Lawrence finished 3rd in NYS at 152 last year and is anxious to finish his high school career as a state champ. To do so, Lawrence will have to navigate through some extremely tough wrestlers such as Mikey Squires from Section 4 Norwich. Squires is 39-4 but one of his losses was a 7-3 decision to Lawrence at the ESC. Squires finished 5th in NYS at 126 last year but is hoping to finish higher up here at 152. Matt Campo from Section 11 Mt. Sinai can not be overlooked! Campo is 41-4 this season and had a win over former NYS champ Hunter Shaut at the NYSPHSAA Dual Meet Championships. Two others to keep on your radar at this weight are Johnny Putney from Section 6 and the Section 9 champ Nate Ross from Onteora. Ross has been to the state tournament twice before and is a very dangerous match-up for anyone. Other to watch here include Austin Carmen from Section 8, Giovanni Schifano from Section 6, and Josh Mayden from Section 3.
This weight class has a returning state finalist, a returning state 4th place finisher, and a returning state 5th place finisher who is undefeated this season….and none of them are the top 2 seeds! The #1 seed at 160 is Jacob Null from Dolgeville. The Section 3 sophomore is 38-2 this season and has wins over a few absolute studs including Corey Connelly, Jacob Nolan, and the #2 seed here Charlie Grygas from Duanesburg. Both of Null’s losses came at the Eastern States Classic where he finished 4th. One of his losses was to Cole Rees from Wyoming Seminary and the other was in the semis to the aforementioned Grygas. Grygas, 44-2, went on to finish 2nd at the ESC losing to nationally ranked Kyle Mosher. The 3rd seed here is Jack Chesman from Pearl River. Chesman was a state finalist last year and is 32-2 this season with both of his losses coming at the ESC. One of those losses was a 3-0 decision to Grygas. Corey Day from Section 6 Iroquois was 4th in NYS last year and is 40-3 this year and Lajess Sawyer from Center Moriches took 5th in NYS last year and is a perfect 25-0 so far this year. Sawyer is not the only undefeated wrestler in the bracket – Section 4 champ Shane Hoover is 39-0! Another one to watch here is the #4 seed Gavin Bell from Cold Spring Harbor. The Section 8 sophomore is 38-3 and has not lost to any wrestler in the bracket. A few others to keep an eye on here are Brock Conaway from Section 5 and Matthew McManaman from Section 3. Section 9 champ Bryce Horner will gain some very valuable experience in Albany this weekend.
Dempsey Carroll from Section 3 Copenhagen was the NYS champion at 152 pounds last year – and he is the #3 seed here! The top seed at 170 goes to Saranac senior Jacob Nolan. The Section 7 champ came is 2nd at 160 last year and is 35-4 this season. Of his 4 losses, 2 were by medical forfeit at ESC after he lost in the semis to state champ Ross McFarland 3-0 and then forfeited to 6th place. The 2nd seed here is Section 5 champion Sam Wolf. The Warsaw senior is 49-2 this season and both of his losses are the aforementioned Ross McFarland who is at 182 for the post season. One of those losses was at the Eastern States Classic where Wolf placed 3rd and posted wins over Division 1 studs Rogers, Illicete, and Serafini. He also had a win at ESC over Section 3’s Zach Williams who is a wildcard entry here after losing in the Section 3 finals to state champ Carroll. A few others to keep an eye on here are Brendan O’Hagen from Section 8, Wyatt Smith from Section 5, and Rich Forbes from Section 2. Section 9 champ Cesar Santiago is 22-8; he’s a tough wrestler and could definitely pick up a win or two this weekend.
Perhaps the heaviest favorite to win his weight class at this year’s Division 2 tournament is Ross McFarland from Section 3. The senior from Phoenix HS was a 2018 state champion at 170 pounds and has not lost a wrestled match this season. McFarland’s record is 40-1 with his lone blemish being a medical forfeit in the Section 3 finals to nurse an injury. McFarland won the Eastern States Classic at 170 in January but decided to go 182 for the post season. the wrestler he forfeited to at the Section 3 finals, Anthony Rasmussen, is the #2 seed here. Rasmussen has a 31-5 record and did lose to McFarland 6-1 at the S3 D2 Class B finals. Section 1 champ Nicolas Meglino, who is 32-3 and is the 3rd seed, will definitely he it the medal hunt here as will Section 2 champ Cody York who is a perfect 40-0 this season! A few others to keep an eye on at 182 are Justin Vega from John Glenn, Blake Ilges from Canisteo, and Mitchell Knapp from Susquehanna Valley. Section 9 senior Drew Bendy is 19-9 but has a winnable match in the opening round against Pat Quinn from Section 8.
With several wrestlers in contention for the title the 195 pound weight class will be great to watch unfold. Section 6 champion Robbie Penhollow is the top seed and definitely one of the favorites. The Falconer senior has a 45-1 record with his only loss coming to a wrestler from Ohio. From the other side of the bracket we could possibly see Nate DeGroff from Warsaw take on Penhollow in the finals. DeGroff placed 6th at 195 last year and is sporting a 47-3 record this year. One of his losses was to Penhollow, the other two were at the ESC. Section 2 has two high seeds in this bracket – Nolan McNeil from Warrenburg is the 3rd seed and Devon Shader from Coxsackie is the 4th seed. James DeAveiro from Section 9 is having a great season at 25-2 and could definitely be in the medal hunt as will Mike Sabella from S11 Mt. Sinai. We also shouldn’t overlook Jace Fillon from Northern Adirondack and Bryce Dare from Holland Patent.
Mike Rigerman from Section 6 Pioneer is a perfect 39-0 this season and is the top seed and favorite at 220 this year. Rigerman finished 4th in NYS last season at this same weight. He will definitely be challenged by a few wrestlers in this bracket namely Keagan Carmenatty from Section 5. Carmenatty is 39-1 and he is the #2 seed at 220. Port Jervis junior James Oosterom is the 3rd seed here. The Section 9 champ is 25-1 and has a win by pinfall over last year’s D1 finalist Jhordyn Innocent earlier this year. The wrestler who definitely can not be overlooked in this bracket is 4th seeded Karl Osmono Bouyer from Section 8 Clarke. Bouyer is 35-1 this season but his one loss is to another wrestler in the field – Richard Serafin from Section 4 Oneonta. A few other to keep an eye on here are Connor Sykora from Section 5, Josh Greenwood from Section 3, Jeff Crooks from Section 2, and Chris Wilson from Section 2.
The heavyweight division in Division 2 could prove to be one of the more exciting brackets in the tourney this year. The top seed and favorite is Trentyn Rupert from Section 4. The Newark Valley senior is 33-2 and finished 2nd at this year’s Eastern States Classic where he lost to nationally ranked Joey Slackman. His other loss was to the #2 seed in this bracket, Dylan Houseknetch from Section 4. Houseknetch pinned Ruppert in the Section 4 finals however the two have met 3 times this year and Ruppert pinned Houseknetch in the other two meetings. Section 2 champ Craig Sawyer is 35-1 this season and will definitely be in the hunt for the top step of the podium. Sawyer’s only loss this season was to an out-of-state wrestler and he has wins over Division 1 qualifiers Adam Fenner and Preston Havison. Sawyer may be tested in his opening match however when he takes on Patrick Ancewicz from Section 11 who is a perfect 30-0 this year. Others that we need to keep an eye on here are Jake DeWall from Section 5, Jake Rankin from Section 8, Dalton Criss from Section 7, and Mike Leibl from Section 3. Section 9 Champ Jason Lonstein from Ellenville has an out bracket match that he needs to win in order to pull him into the R16.