The 2022 college wrestling national championships are over … but the great...
Eastern States Classic highlights Rob Sherrill’s Jan 17 High School Notebook
Wantagh overpowers Shen at Eastern States
The top two teams in New York state, Wantagh and Clifton Park Shenendehowa, headlined the Eastern States Classic, held at Sullivan County Community College in Sheldrake, N.Y., Jan. 11-12. Top-ranked Wantagh outscored Shen, 138.5-111.5, to win the title, with Westfield (N.J.) scoring 102.5 points to finish third. Wrestlers from 109 schools competed in the two-day tournament.
Wantagh placed five in the top four, led by senior 170-pound champion Danny McDevitt, voted the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler for the upper weights. The Warriors also got a second-place finish from Kyle Quinn (106), third-place finishes from Chris Araoz (126) and James Corbett (182) and a fourth-place finish from Vinny Turano (132).
Senior 138-pound champion Nick Kelley paced four Shenendehowa place-winners. The Binghamton University recruit also claimed an Outstanding Wrestler award, for the middle weights. Senior T.J. Fabian (126) of Shoreham-Wading River earned the lower-weight OW. The third seed, Fabian toppled second-seeded William Koll of Lansing, 5-1 in the semifinals and top-seeded Dylan Realbuto of Somers, 3-2 in the final. The performance also earned Fabian Champion of Champions honors.
Wantagh and Shen met head-to-head only once in the tournament — in the third-place match at 182, where Corbett beat Levi Ashley, 3-2 in the overtime tie-breaker.
There were plenty of other performances worthy of OW consideration, however. Sophomore Nick Piccinini (113) of Setauket Ward-Melville allowed just one point in five matches, racking up two technical falls, a pin, an 8-0 major decision and a 5-0 finals win. Junior Corey Rasheed (152) of Middle Island Longwood had three pins and two major decisions. And in the final at 160 pounds, junior Burke Paddock of Warsaw beat Harvard University-recruit Tyler Grimaldi of Dix Hills Half Hollow Hills West, 8-4.
Junior Kevin Jack (120) of Danbury (Conn.), which finished fourth in the team race, was the only non-New York wrestler to win a title.
Wantagh won the Union-Endicott Duals earlier in the month and has now won 34 consecutive dual meets, the longest current streak by a New York school.
Penalty point costs Montini dual against St. Edward
There were plenty of great matches in the Detroit Catholic Central Super Duals at Novi, Mich. Saturday, Jan. 12. For sheer drama, though, the match between a pair of Top-10 teams — Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward and Lombard (Ill.) Montini — was the highlight of the day.
Montini actually outscored the Eagles on the mat, 23-22. The two teams won seven matches each, with the Broncos scoring two major decisions to one for St. Edward. But a team point for unsportsmanlike conduct against Montini coach Israel Martinez — one that, in retrospect, might have been better not assessed — resulted in a 22-22 tie and a win for St. Edward on criteria.
Montini got back-to-back majors from Vince Turk (119) and Princeton University-recruit Jordan Laster (125), erasing a 19-7 deficit with wins in five of the final six matches. St. Edward’s major came from University of Pittsburgh-recruit Edgar Bright (145). The Eagles also scored a huge win to start the dual at 112, when L.J. Bentley, wrestling up a weight, edged Stanford University-recruit Tommy Pawelski, 3-2.
St. Edward also beat Davison, 43-15, St. Johns, 38-26 and Detroit Catholic Central, 35-17. St. Johns, wrestling without three-time state champion Ben Whitford, also scored a 32-24 victory over Montini in the opening round. Scoring key wins for St. Johns: Zac Hall (125), who beat Laster, 9-4; Logan Massa (135), who shut out Chris Garcia in a 9-0 major decision and University of Michigan-signee Payne Hayden (189), a 3-1 winner over Jake Turk.
Montini went 2-2, beating Detroit Catholic Central, 36-21 and Davison, 40-22.
Oklahoma State University-recruit Dean Heil (135) had two big wins for St. Edward, pinning Massa and beating DCC state champion Ken Bade, who went up a weight to face him, 11-3. Bade, the Division 1 state champion a year ago, lost 9-3 to the defending Division 4 titlist, Cadet National champion Cole Weaver of Hudson, at 130. In another match between defending champions, two-time Ohio champion Brandon Thompson of Solon scored an 8-2 victory over Michigan State University-signee Mitch Rogaliner of Temperance Bedford at 119.