CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – North Rockland dominated at the Division 3 sectional qualifiers at Horace Greeley on Saturday afternoon. The Red Raiders qualified 13 grapplers for sectionals, had 10 wrestlers in the finals and came away with five champions.
Picking up first-place hardware for North Rockland was Blaise Benderoth (106 pounds), Jake DiMarsico (120), Matt Caputo (126), Mike Caputo (145) and Nick Didio (152).
“We had a good day and I definitely feel that we’re peaking at the right time,” North Rockland coach Andy Guccione said. “Our goal of course is sending 17 (wrestlers to sectionals), but we’ve never had that before and I don’t think anybody has. We’ve got 13 guys that are focused and are ready to wrestle next week.”
Mike Caputo, a senior, was named Most Outstanding Wrestler. He pinned New Rochelle’s James Laurent at 4:33 in the 145-pound final.
“I just kept getting better and more comfortable as the match went on,” Mike said. “I just kept working for the fall and eventually got it. [As a team], our goal was to pretty much have everyone advance to sectionals. We didn’t get there, but a lot of guys wrestled tough.”
Heading into sectionals, Caputo said his confidence is high and he hopes to win a Section 1 title in a tough weight class with the likes of Yorktown’s Joe Mastro and John Jay-East Fishkill’s Dale White.
“I’ve been wrestling well in the second half of the season when it really matters,” he said. “I’ve been feeling good about my performance and I’m going to just keep getting better.”
New Rochelle also had a strong showing by qualifying 14 wrestlers. They had seven in the finals and ended up with three champions in Nick Barbaria (99 pounds), Aaron Butler (170) and Tyler Lilly (220).
Butler defeated Scarsdale’s Jack Braun, 1-0, in the finals. The defending Section 1 champion has been dealing with a nagging shoulder injury all season and said he feels about 85 percent heading into sectionals.
“Honestly, for the past two weeks I’ve been feeling pretty good,” Butler said. “Hopefully it will carry over into next weekend.”
The senior knows that repeating as a Section 1 champion won’t be easy.
“It’s going to be tough, but I’m pretty confident,” Butler said. “I know there are a lot of good guys like Harry Erickson from Brewster, Braun from Scarsdale and the kid from Arlington (Brenden Nunziata). But I think I can do it.”
Scarsdale qualified 10 grapplers for sectionals and had two champions. John Tambunting earned a 5-0 win over New Rochelle’s Max Gomez at 132 pounds. Tambunting also recorded a pin in just five seconds in the quarterfinals. Defending Section 1 champion Jacob Berkowitz earned a 21-6 technical fall win over North Rockland’s Ryan Boyle in the 182-pound final.
Ossining had two champions in Alex Delacruz (113 pounds) and DeVante Harrell (160). Harrell picked up a 14-0 major decision over New Rochelle’s Jacob Lynch, while Delacruz edged North Rockland’s Troy Feniger, 4-2. He defeated Feniger at divisionals and sectionals last season and felt he was much tougher this time around.
“He proved a lot and it was a lot more difficult this match (than last time),” Delacruz said. “I stayed patient and looked for his flaws. He has a hard right step. I waited and tied up with him and as soon as I saw that right foot step, I shot in and took him down. In third period I reversed him and then he reversed me, but after that I stayed down and waited for time to run out.”
Delacruz has his eyes set on a Section 1 title, but will have to go through Somers’ Dylan Realbuto. Realbuto is a defending Section 1 champion and was second in the state last year at 96 pounds. Delacruz has never defeated Realbuto.
“I feel like this is a really good time for me to peak,” Delacruz said. “I feel like I can definitely go for a section title this year. Me and Realbuto have a lot of history together, but this time I think I can really go for him. He likes to tie up a lot. Basically every shot I take I have to just go through him.”
Beacon had two champions in Christian Wassweiler (138 pounds) and Deondre Pierce (195). Wassweiler pinned Scarsdale’s Joe Koshakow at 1:54 and Pierce won by injury default.
Horace Greeley had eight athletes qualify for sectionals and had one champion in Brent Lobien at 285 pounds. Scott Wymbs, the top seed at 195 pounds, took second after losing by injury default in the finals. Wymbs was injured in his semifinal match and had to be taken to the hospital, but still pulled out a 3-2 win over North Rockland’s Ekpenede Imasuen.
Although it’s a daunting task, North Rockland is hopeful it can overcome defending champion Fox Lane at sectionals and take first place.
“Hopefully we get that section title,” Mike Caputo said. “Everyone has to wrestle hard. If we win, it’ll be in the wrestlebacks.”
Guccione knows that Fox Lane has a number of wrestlers capable of winning the section.
“They also have depth,” Guccione said of Fox Lane. “In order to beat them, a team is going to have to place literally eight or nine guys and have some finalists.”
The North Rockland coach is confident in his team and likes what he’s seeing heading into next weekend.
“We’ve had some really good practices the last week or two. I feel like our guys are focused and they have their eye on the prize,” Guccione said. “They know what we’re working towards and I think we’re going to just give ourselves the best chance next week to do well.”
1. North Rockland, 253.5; 2. New Rochelle, 222; 3. Scarsdale, 165.5; 4. Horace Greeley, 121; 5. Ossining, 103; 6. Beacon, 79; 7. Yonkers, 53.5; 8. Eastchester, 43.5; 9. Mount Vernon, 19
99 – Nick Barbaria (New Rochelle) tech. fall Derek DiMarsico (North Rockland), 19-3
106 – Blaise Benderoth (North Rockland) maj. dec. Bryan Ferrandi (New Rochelle), 13-0
113 – Alex Delacruz (Ossining) dec. Troy Feniger (North Rockland), 4-2
120 – Jake DiMarsico (North Rockland) by forfeit over Jose Rodriguez (North Rockland)
126 – Matt Caputo (North Rockland) dec. Jon Russo (Horace Greeley), 8-2
132 – John Tambunting (Scarsdale) dec. Max Gomez (New Rochelle), 5-0
138 – Christian Wassweiler (Beacon) pin Joe Koshakow (Scarsdale), 1:54
145 – Mike Caputo (North Rockland) pin James Laurent (New Rochelle), 4:33
152 – Nick Didio (North Rockland) maj. dec. Andy Balcomb (Ossining), 11-3
160 – DeVante Harrell (Ossining) maj. dec. Jacob Lynch (New Rochelle), 14-0
170 – Aaron Butler (New Rochelle) dec. Jack Braun (Scarsdale), 1-0
182 – Jacob Berkowitz (Scarsdale) tech. fall Ryan Boyle (North Rockland), 21-6
195 – Deondre Pierce (Beacon) inj. def. Scott Wymbs (Horace Greeley)
220 – Tyler Lilly (New Rochelle) pin A.J. Cesarini (Eastchester), 1:51
285 – Brent Lobien (Horace Greeley) maj. dec. Conner Reigotti (North Rockland), 12-4
99 – Jordan Wallace (New Rochelle) maj. dec. Michael Carnevalle (Ossining), 14-6
106 – Robert Keltz (Scarsdale), no opponent
113 – Mike Hodges (Scarsdale) maj. dec. Kirby Atlas (Horace Greeley), 8-0
120 – Rameek McKenzie (Yonkers) dec. Bing Bing Xie (Horace Greeley), 5-3
126 – Daniel Jureller (Scarsdale) dec. Santiago Forero (New Rochelle), 9-4
132 – Fred Saintil (Mount Vernon) dec. Mitchell Klein (Horace Greeley), 4-1
138 – Mike D’Agostino (North Rockland) maj. dec. Adam Meyer (Scarsdale), 8-0
145 – Ibrahim Simreen (Yonkers) pin Chen Shen (Scarsdale), 3:49
152 – Brian Hackel (Scarsdale) dec. Demetrius Rodrigues (New Rochelle), 10-4
160 – Daniel Poggoli (New Rochelle) inj. def. D.J. Dross (Beacon)
170 – Brock Cvijanovich (Horace Greeley) dec. Kurt Schwartz (New Rochelle), 3-2
182 – Michael Amato (Beacon) dec. Jonathan Stokes (New Rochelle), 2-1
195 – Ekpenede Imasuen (North Rockland) dec. Trent Lofaro (Ossining), 7-3
220 – Frank Lezamiz (North Rockland) pin Billy Marino (Horace Greeley), 3:40
285 – Justin Douglas (New Rochelle) pin Terry Hairston (Yonkers), 1:59
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