Panthers nab their own Tourney Title

Senior Danny Kornberg’s first tournament title helped the Panthers
to their first Team Title in Sunday’s 30th Annual Edgemont
Wrestling Invitational

I?m not sure when the last time Edgemont won the Edgemont Tournament, but I can tell you, if they did, it hasn?t been over 20 years. That all changed Sunday as the Edgemont Wrestling Invitational Tournament celebrated its 30th Anniversary and our Panthers celebrated a dominant performance on the mats ? undeterred by our one-day snow postponement.

We finished with 228 points ? very wide 49.5 point margin over 2nd place finishers Scarsdale. With a field of 17 teams and about 200 wrestlers, this says a lot. It also illustrates what a tremendous team effort we had from our entire line-up! Ten of our 15 wrestlers competing placed in the Top 6 of their respective weight classes. Nine of those ten were in the Top 4. We had five finalists and four champions ? a lot to be proud of. I figured I?d give you a quick synopsis of how we fared at each weight.


We double entered two of our Aslanian?s here. Eight-grader Kyle finished the day 2-1 and looked sharp as ever. He finished third with his only loss coming in the semi-finals to Pearl River?s James Kelly. He continues to improve and how he keeps winning while giving up anywhere from 10-20 pounds is impressive to say the least! Tyler took home our first title of the night, beating Kelly by 10-2 major decision and avenging his brother?s semi-final loss ? talk about brotherly love! Tyler is ranked first in the Section for a reason and he showed it all day on Sunday.


Sky Korek was our next tournament champion, and continued to turn heads as he stepped up big for us. With a first period pin over Scarsdale in the semi-finals and a strong 11-3 major decision in the finals over a scrappy Dylan Lynn of Section 9?s Tuxedo High School. Sky was in control from start to finish and was able to show off physical style on his feet and on top.


What can you say about Trey Aslanian that hasn?t been said before? We expect a lot of him and he delivered. His only match that lasted more than 30 seconds was his finals match ? that one took 34 (Come on, Trey!). What was most impressive for me was the way he wasted no time in the finals against Pearl River?s John Muldoon, one of the top-ranked large school wrestlers in the Section. Trey beat Muldoon two weeks earlier in the Shoreline Tournament finals, but it was not his best match and he actually gave up two takedowns. He was back with a vengeance this time and it showed. Trey ended up taking home Most Outstanding Wrestler honors as well.

Sophomore Riki Mistry also competed at 113 pounds. Riki has been wrestling better than he has in his whole career recently, coming off a tournament win at Herricks last weekend. He continues gain confidence on his feet and is great on bottom. Riki can still get caught with big moves or the occasional mistake on his part, however, despite some solid fundamentals. These mistakes, which he continues to reduce, were the only thing keeping him from medaling this weekend. We expect a podium performance at Sectionals.


Senior Max Abramsky also continues to improve and refine his tough offense and brutal top rides. He took 4th on the day, but showed improvement throughout. His third place match was against Troy Whittemore from Mamaroneck. Whittemore is strong, scrappy and solid in all positions ? the kind of wrestler Max has had trouble with in the past. Max?s biggest gains this year are in his resiliency and his ability to do what it takes to win the close ones. This was a match that Max was in from start to finish and was thisclose to winning. Last year that wouldn?t have been the case and this season he has won the vast majority of those matches. I can confidently say that if they met again, my money would be on Max.


Two entries here, as well. Sophomore Will Graybeal and freshman Dylan Huff. Will is just a tough son-of-gun and wins a lot of close matches on sheer will power and determination ? the fact that he is getting so slick on his feet and so tough on top, doesn?t hurt either. Will had some impressive wins including Trent Gardner of Yonkers and Zach Martin of Pawling. He lost a heart breaker in the 3rd place match to Zach Dinan of Horace Mann, but I know it made him better and he will keep improving.

Dylan?s draw didn?t help him any in his first-ever Edgemont Tournament but he didn?t back down at all. He was a little tentative in his first match against Villapiano from Tuxedo and I think that carried over a bit into his second match as well. When Dylan is able to open up his offense he is one of the best freshmen on our team. This experience was no doubt beneficial and we look forward to his future.


Colin Hopkins continues to make gains at this weight and took 2nd place in his first Tournament Finals appearance. Great for the team, but Colin is not satisfied with anything less than a title. Colin completely controlled his matches leading up the finals and what?s most impressive is his continual refinement of his fundamental skills ? he?s clearly been focusing on areas he needs to improve. In the finals he met up with Zach Rico of Salesian. Rico likes to scramble as much as Colin does and that was the difference in the match. Colin is laser-focused on winning his first-sectional title and All-State honors so I know each match is helping him shore things up.

Sophomore Marc Ficuciello also wrestled at 132. Marc is continuing to learn how to use his lanky frame to his advantage. He?s getting much better with his finishes on his leg attacks, but Sunday they just weren?t quite quick enough. The good news is Marc knows this and he?s been working on it. The even better news is Marc is a very hard-worker! He been developing by leaps and bounds this season and the trajectory he?s on will have him on the podium at Pace.


Pete Berman is one of the guy?s on our team who I can certainly say his record does not match up with his talent. I guarantee if you look at the competition schedule of every other 138 pounder in the section, none of them have had the caliber of competition Pete has seen this year. Sunday was no different as he met Justin Seim, defending Prep States champion early in the day. Pete wrestled ferociously on the back side of the bracket and came away with a 6th place finish that was hard-earned and well-deserved. He will be a force at 138 pounds at our Sectionals. We like him to win it, and so does he.

Sam Klein bumped up for us this weekend from his usual 132 spot to get the experience and that he did. Having missed a few weeks earlier in the season with an injury, we?ve been trying to throw Sam into the thick of things as much as we can to get him ready for Sectionals. Sam?s growth from last year is apparent. He still has a lot of work to do, but his attitude and desire to improve will get him there.


Junior Jack McCormack took 3rd after a difficult 5-4 semi-final loss to Russo from Horace Mann. Russo is very good and the slightest positional mistake on Jack?s part netted Russo a first period takedown that made the difference in the match. Jack came back on fire in the 3rd place match against Jeff Dempsey from Rye. Jack came away with two takedowns, two sets of back points and the 7-2 victory. He wrestler smart and very solid from all positions. Can?t wait to see him at Sectionals.


Junior Ross Kantor wrestled well although the caliber of competition he faced help us pin-point a few areas to really focus on as we prepare for the post-season. Ross?s aggressive and unorthodox style is his greatest asset and when our athletes? mistakes our aggression based I am not very concerned. That is clearly the case here. I wish we had more athletes as fierce as Ross Kantor. Ross fell just short of placing and I know how motivating that is for him. He?s another wrestler we fully expect to place in the Section.


Finally we get to ?Big Daddy K.? Danny Kornberg had a heck of a tournament and I?m proud to say won his first tournament title at home. He smashed his way through the bracket, winning each match by fall up until his finals bout against Collegiate?s Mark Brumback. Danny did what he had to do and won the match in Sudden Victory overtime to become our fourth and final tournament champion of the day. What?s most impressive with Danny is his growing confidence on forcing offense on his feet when he has to. There?s a reason he has 34 wins on the season and is ranked #1 in the section.

That?s it for now. We will be getting back to work this week focusing on winning a third-straight League Title in our match against Ardsley Tuesday; keeping the Bronx River Cup at home in Edgemont in our match with Scarsdale on Friday and focusing on preparations for Sectionals and States.