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Power Rankings

Posted Friday, February 10, 2012 by Vincent Mercogliano

Power Rankings: Sectional edition

Posted by: Vincent Mercogliano - Posted in Uncategorized on Feb 07, 2012

As a way of predicting how I see the team standings looking at this weekend’s sectional tournaments, I’m releasing my newest Power Rankings: Sectional edition. This is my best estimation of how each team will fare based on the amount of wrestlers that I see placing from each. The order might not be exact when it’s all said and done, but I think this is a pretty good indication of what the top 10 will look like in Division 1, and the top five in Division 2.

I’m in Manhattan covering the Giants parade for the day, but the D1 seeding meeting will take place tonight. Those will be up by early tomorrow at the latest, depending on when I receive them. Check back for those later.

Division 1

1. Fox Lane – I’m sure some will try to make the argument that the Foxes won’t win their fourth section title in five seasons, but I just don’t see how you can bet against them. By my count, Fox Lane has eight wrestlers who could very easily place, and three who are the front-runners for section titles (Sam Speno at 126, Danny Ventura at 132, and Matt Pasqualini at 160). The dynasty isn’t over yet.
2. Somers – The Tuskers will be relying heavily on a few big names, but if they take care of business, a second-place finish isn’t out of reach. The Realbutos (Dylan at 113, and Brian at 152) look like pretty sure bets for section titles, and Dom DeVita is in prime position for a title at 220 pounds. No team other than Fox Lane should be able to boast three champs, plus Somers has a likely finalist in Nick Giancaspro (195), and one or two others who could also place.
3. North Rockland – If one of Somers’ Big Three falters, the Red Raiders should jump up to the two-spot. They have at least five guys that look like good bets to place, plus a ton of a depth. They should do damage in wrestle backs. But the one question is whether or not any Red Raiders will breakthrough and win a title. Blaise Benderoth (106), Matt Caputo (126), and Mike Caputo (145) look like they should make the finals, but I have each ranked second in their respective weight classes. If one wins, North Rockland probably leapfrogs the Tuskers.
4. Mahopac – Behind North Rockland and Somers, the fourth spot is up for grabs among about four or five teams. I’m giving the Indians a slight edge because of their two likely champs (Jake Srednicki at 138, and Mike Spinelli at 195), plus a slew of other guys who should be in the mix for fifth or sixth place finishes. This team has been consistently improving all season, and I expect that trend to continue at sectionals.
5. Brewster – The Bears are a huge wild card in this whole thing. They have some quality depth and a strong chance for a section title from Mike Parise (106). Liam Erickson could also be considered a section title favorite now that New Rochelle’s A.J. Barbaria is out of the field at 120 pounds. There are quite a few others with the potential to place, and that will ultimately be the difference for Brewster. They’ll need those other guys to come up big if they want to jump into the top three.
6. Yorktown – This may seem a bit high for the ‘Huskers, but when you do the math, it all starts making sense. Yorktown only qualified six guys, but five of them are strong bets to place – Jimmy Kaishian (120), Joe Mastro (145), Steven Sabella (170), Thomas Murray (182), and David Varian (285). Mastro and Sabella will be in the mix for titles, while Murray and Varian look like they should each place second. That’s a lot of potential points.
7. New Rochelle – The loss of a section title favorite in A.J. Barbaria will really hurt the Huguenots. A.J.’s younger brother Nick is a heavy favorite at 99 pounds, but others will need to step up for New Ro to crack the top five. Tyler Lilly (220) lost to Somers’ Dom DeVita in OT at Eastern States, so he could provide a big boost if he avenges that loss to win a title. The other guy who could boost the Huguenots’ standing is Aaron Butler (170). If healthy, he’d a good bet for a title, but there’s no way of knowing how that shoulder will hold up.
8. Arlington – While the Admirals probably don’t have any section champs, they do have a bunch of guys who will be in the mix to place. Alfredo Olmedo (99), Nick Tolli (106), and Brendan Nunziata (170) are the first names who come to mind, but top-to-bottom this is one of the deepest teams in the section.
9. Scarsdale – You can call the Raiders, “The Best of the Rest.” I think the top eight is pretty clear, but Scarsdale is a team that figures to finish in the top 10. We all know about Jacob Berkowitz (182), who is a defending champ and should repeat, but others such as John Tambunting (132) and Jack Braun (170) are in strong position to place.
10. Hen Hud – The Sailors round out the top 10 in large part because of two likely finalists in Phil Siegel (160), and Sean Barry (285). Siegel lost to Pasqualini earlier in the season, so it wouldn’t be fair to call him a favorite, but Barry certainly is. Guys such as Kevin McDermott (132) and Josh Perlmutter (145) are also in the mix to place.

On the fringe: John Jay-EF, Suffern, Tappan Zee.

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