|Edgemont sophomore Chris Kim|
With the Section 1 Dual Meet tournament over and teams from around the section having had a solid month to show where they?re at, this seemed like the perfect time to release my first Power Rankings of the season. These rankings are based on how teams have performed in dual meets, which make up the majority of this portion of the season. I feel at this point it?s better to do it this way, which gives recognition to the top teams in the section. That?s why you?ll see certain teams ranked ahead of others who are more well-known for having a couple of studs. As we get closer to sectionals, I?ll revise the rankings as a way of predicting how teams will finish at the end of the year in a tournament setting.
1. Nanuet: The defending section champs put an early end to any talk of being surpassed by Edgemont this season with a win over the Panthers in the Section 1 Dual Meet final. Neither team was at full strength for that dual, so I can?t make it into too big of a deal, but the win had to be satisfying for Golden Knights. Anthony Calvano has been out with a virus for an extended period of time, but I?m told that he?ll be back next week, which makes Nanuet?s lineup that much stronger. The more pressing question will be the return of Matt Dillon, who is dealing with a foot injury. Joe Dillon and Dan Breit are virtual locks to at least make it to the section finals, while Vinny Skokos leads a very strong freshman class. It?s fair to call the Golden Knights the top dual meet team in D2, and it?s probably fair to also call them the favorite for a section title.
2. Edgemont:?I?m sure that the Panthers would love another shot at Nanuet with their full lineup intact. That dual could have played out much differently if they didn?t wrestle without four starters. Edgemont easily handled Irvington and Dobbs Ferry in the Section 1 Duals to get to Nanuet, which shows you just how far the gap is in D2 after the top two. The Panthers are well-balanced, with guys who are capable of big wins from 99-220 pounds (they don?t have anyone at 285).< 3. Irvington:?While Croton-Harmon has a more impressive overall resume at this point, I couldn?t leave the Tigers one spot in front of the Bulldogs because of Irvington?s head-to-head win in the Section 1 Dual Meet tournament. That?s why I swapped them. Croton is better suited to matchup against many other D2 teams, but the Bulldogs were able to squeak out a 42-39 win. Irvington should also be a solid tournament team, with Tyler Wexler, Brett Pastor, Kevin Degnan and Chris DiNardo leading the charge as wrestlers with section title hopes.
4. Croton-Harmon:?As I stated above, the Tigers have been very solid this season other than their loss to Irvington. Croton placed fourth at the Chase Holiday Duals (highest of any D2 team), coming up with an impressive 49-22 win over Putnam Valley along the way. Defending section champ David Occhipinti made a statement with a win over Dobbs Ferry?s Jimmy Kyreakedes, and looks like he should repeat as a section champ. The rest of the Tigers lineup is deep, but the question will be can anyone else make it to states?
5. Putnam Valley:?The Tigers came on strong at sectionals last season, which led many to believe that they would challenge for the third spot in D2 this season. So far, they?ve stumbled a bit. This is probably a stronger tournament team than it is a dual meet team, which should be reflected at the end of the year. Kyle Kelvas, Kelmend Muriqi and John Messinger are names to watch.
On the fringe: Dobbs Ferry, Pleasantville, Westlake.
Happy Holidays everyone!