2011-12 All-WE/HV wrestling team
Meet the athletes who excelled during the 2011-12 wrestling season. The awards were selected by MSG Varsity's staff of reporters and editor.
MSG Varsity: Westchester/Hudson Valley wrestling awards
WRESTLER OF THE YEAR
Brian Realbuto, Somers, Sr., 152 pounds
The Cornell-bound grappler finished his illustrious career in style by winning his third NYS championship. He defeated Longwood’s Nick Hall by a 16-6 major decision in the final. Realbuto holds the all-time Section 1 wins record with 277 career wins and is the only five-time Section 1 champion in Division 1 history.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Joe Amuso, Fox Lane
The veteran coach guided the Foxes to their fourth Section 1 Division 1 team title in the last five seasons. They narrowly edged out North Rockland, 172-168.5. After 41 years on the Fox Lane sidelines, Amuso has decided to retire. He is also a member of the Section 1 Wrestling Hall of Fame.
TEAM OF THE YEAR
The Foxes rebounded from a loss to Brewster in the Section 1 Division 1 dual meet championship finals by dominating its way through the rest of the season. On top of winning the Section 1 title, the Foxes won the Shoreline Classic, Super 16 and the Carlucci Tournament. Four of their grapplers won Section 1 titles in Sam Speno (126), Danny Ventura (132), Tommy Grippi (138) and Matt Pasqualini (160). They also placed fourth in the state as a team.
All-Westchester/Hudson Valley: First team
Nick Barbaria, New Rochelle, So., 99 pounds: Barbaria earned his first Section 1 Division 1 title and placed sixth in the NYS tournament.
Mike Parise, Brewster, Sr., 106 pounds: The senior won his second Section 1 Division 1 title and placed third at the prestigious Eastern States Classic.
Dylan Realbuto, Somers, Jr., 113 pounds: Realbuto rebounded from a loss to Ossining’s Alex Delacruz in the Section 1 Division 1 semifinals by taking home the biggest prize of them all – a state title. He received a wild card bid to states and made the most of it by scoring a takedown just before time expired to top Hilton’s Vincent DePrez, 8-7, in the state final.
Justin Corradino, Warwick Valley, Sr., 120 pounds: The two-time Section 9 Division 1 champion netted a fifth-place finish at the NYS tournament.
Sam Speno, Fox Lane, Sr., 126 pounds: The Binghamton-bound Speno ended his career as a three-time Section 1 Division 1 champion and placed second in NYS for the second straight season.
Danny Ventura, Fox Lane, Sr., 132 pounds: Ventura earned his first Section 1 title with a pin of Scarsdale’s John Tambunting and took fifth in the NYS tournament.
Shane Connolly, Warwick Valley, Sr., 138 pounds: The senior ended his storied career as a five-time Section 9 Division 1 champion.
Mike Caputo, North Rockland, Sr., 145 pounds: In his last chance, Caputo earned his first Section 1 Division 1 title with a win over Yorktown’s Joe Mastro and placed fourth in the NYS tournament.
Brian Realbuto, Somers, Sr., 152 pounds: Realbuto ended his incredible career as a three-time NYS champion and five-time Section 1 champion.
Matt Pasqualini, Fox Lane, Sr., 160 pounds: After coming so close last year, Pasqualini got over the hump this season and won a Section 1 Division 1 title by besting Hendrick Hudson’s Phil Siegel, 7-4. He also placed fifth in the state tournament.
Steven Sabella, Yorktown, Jr., 170 pounds: Sabella came out on top in a very deep weight class by edging out Scarsdale’s Jack Braun, 4-2, in overtime in the Section 1 Division 1 final to earn his first section title.
Jacob Berkowitz, Scarsdale, Sr., 182 pounds: The Binghamton-bound Berkowitz won his second-straight Section 1 Division 1 title and finished second in the NYS tournament.
Mike Spinelli, Mahopac, Sr., 195 pounds: The senior was the clear favorite all season and proved it at sectionals by cruising to victory over Horace Greeley’s Scott Wymbs, 15-2, in the Section 1 Division 1 final to claim his first section title.
Dom DeVita, Somers, Sr., 220 pounds: DeVita won his first Section 1 Division 1 title, placed sixth at the NYS tournament and came in third at Eastern States.
David Varian, Yorktown, Jr., 285 pounds: The junior claimed his first Section 1 Division 1 title by defeating New Rochelle’s Justin Douglas, 3-2, in overtime.
Gerard Daly, Fr., Minisink Valley, 99 pounds
Blaise Benderoth, Fr., North Rockland, 106 pounds
Trey Aslanian, Jr., Edgemont, 113 pounds
Jake DiMarsico, Jr., North Rockland, 120 pounds
Justin Seim, Sr., Hackley, 126 pounds
David Occhipinti, Sr., Croton-Harmon, 132 pounds
Tommy Grippi, Jr., Fox Lane, 138 pounds
Dale White, Jr., John Jay-EF, 145 pounds
Ryan Bedross, Sr., Warwick Valley, 152 pounds
Phil Siegel, Sr., Hendrick Hudson, 160 pounds
Jack Braun, Sr., Scarsdale, 170 pounds
Thomas Murray, Jr., Yorktown, 182 pounds
Dan Breit, Jr., Nanuet, 195 pounds
Tyler Lilly, Sr., New Rochelle, 220 pounds
Sean Barry, Sr., Hendrick Hudson, 285 pounds
About the MSG Varsity All-Stars: The honorees were selected among public and private schools within the MSG Varsity coverage region, which includes Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess and parts of Orange County.