LoHud Wrestling Blog: Season preview 2011-12

Junior Jason Worobow will be looking for his first Sectional Title.

From the LoHudWrestling Blog

Posted by: Vincent Mercogliano on Friday, November 25th, 2011 at 2:33 pm.

Top Teams – Division 2

Edgemont: The Panthers did not lose a single wrestler from their team which placed second at sectionals and that makes them an early-season favorite. Coach Peter Jacobson is taking over for George DiChiara after 22 seasons.

Nanuet: The defending champs lost four state qualifiers, but have established themselves as one of the most consistent programs in D2. Nanuet has three returning wrestlers who placed second at sectionals last season, led by junior Anthony Calvano.

Putnam Valley: After finishing tied for fourth in the section last season, the Tigers will look to improve upon their strong finish, led by Ertis Muriqi.

Keep an eye on: Croton-Harmon, Irvington, Westlake.

Top 10 wrestlers to watch

Trey Aslanian, Edgemont: The junior lost a heartbreaker in last season?s 103-pound state final, getting pinned with a 4-2 lead. The two-time section champ will wrestle at 113 pounds this season.

Jacob Berkowitz, Scarsdale: The Binghamton-bound senior made it through an extremely deep field at 171 pounds last season to win a section title. He should wrestle at 182 pounds this season.

Aaron Butler, New Rochelle: The senior put his name on the map with a section title at 160 pounds last season. He?ll look to place at the state level this season while wrestling at 170 pounds.

Jimmy Kryreakedes, Dobbs Ferry: The two-time section champ placed fourth in the state at 119 pounds last season. He should wrestle at 126 this season.

Drew Longo, Ardsley: After placing fifth in the state at 112 pounds last season, Longo should wrestle at 120 pounds. He has developed a strong rivalry with Calvano.

Mike Parise, Brewster: After losing in the final seconds of the 103-pound section final to eventual state champ Jimmy Duckham last season, the senior will wrestle at 106 pounds this season. He is a two-time state qualifier.

Brian Realbuto, Somers: The Cornell-bound senior has won two state titles and already holds the Section 1 record for wins with 230. He is currently ranked 16th among recruits nationally, and should wrestle at 152 pounds this season.

Dylan Realbuto, Somers: After placing second in the state at 96 pounds last season, the junior is making the jump to 120 with an eye on a state title.

Sam Speno, Fox Lane: The Binghamton-bound senior is expected to wrestle at 126 pounds after placing second in the state at 112 last season. He is a two-time section champ.

Danny Ventura, Fox Lane: The senior came on strong as a wild card entry to states to finish second at 119 pounds, avenging a loss in the section final to Suffern?s Nick Oliveto along the way. He should wrestle at 132 pounds this season.

Three questions for the season

What to make of the weight class changes? The most significant weight class changes in high school wrestling in 23 years were implemented in the offseason. An upward shift increased just about every weight class by a few pounds, and there are now six weight classes above 160 pounds, as opposed to five in years past. This could hurt smaller schools which struggle to find heavyweights. The new weight classes are: 99, 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285.

Which heavyweights will emerge? Section 1 is loaded with well-accomplished wrestlers in the light-to-middle weights, but many of the top heavyweights from last season are gone. A few names to watch are Mahopac?s Mike Spinelli, New Rochelle?s Tyler Lilly, Hen Hud?s Sean Barry, Pleasantville?s Obum Anyichie and Irvington?s Chris DiNardo.

Who are the favorites? In Division 1, Fox Lane looks like the team to beat once again, with New Rochelle and Somers close behind. Division 2 should be a two-team race between Edgemont and defending champ Nanuet.