While there are more wrestling teams in Westchester than any other county in Section 1, there has never been a tournament that crowns a county champion in each weight class.
Yonkers High will host the inaugural Westchester County Championships on Saturday, with Sunday set as a makeup date in the event of inclement weather.
“We’ve been talking about it for a few years now,” said Yonkers coach Pete Vulpone, who was instrumental in starting up the new tournament. “That’s all that the Rockland County coaches talk about is their county championships. … We looked at Eastern States and how they just invite the top kids, and we wanted to identify the top 16 in each weight class. It wasn’t easy, but we invited the top private school kids, as well, to have a true county championship.”
With interest in the now-folded Super 16 waning in recent years, Vulpone and several other coaches in Westchester came up with fresh concept.
Rather than invite an entire team to compete, they identified the top 16 wrestlers in each weight class from the county based on a points system. Any wrestler from Westchester is eligible — whether their team is Division 1 (large schools), Division 2 (small schools), private or Catholic.
“We started really pushing it at sectionals last year and talking to the coaches from the top teams. We wanted to get the best kids there,” Vulpone said. “You want to prove that you’re the best, you have to put it on the line.”
Several weight classes will feature some of the top-ranked wrestlers in the area, and the team title is considered to be up in the air. John Jay may be a slight favorite, with New Rochelle, Fox Lane, Mamaroneck, Horace Greeley, Pleasantville and host Yonkers also in the mix.
Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, with the finals scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
Westchester County Championships
Top four seeds
99 — 1. Justin Lopez, Yonkers; 2. James Bathon, Pleasantville; 3. Luca Errico, Byram Hills; 4. Brandon DiDomenico, Lakeland/Panas
106 — 1. Thomas Barsuch, Croton-Harmon; 2. Jay Martins, Harrison; 3. Matt Kramer, John Jay; 4. Christian Williams, Mount Vernon
113 — 1. Jake Shore, New Rochelle; 2. Michael DaBramo, Scarsdale; 3. Josh Rubin, John Jay; 4. Daniel Choe, Harrison
120 — 1. Rob Dinota, Westlake; 2. Louie Cree, John Jay; 3. Frank Barchella, Harrison; 4. Moises Tera, New Rochelle
126 — 1. David Ortiz, Yonkers; 2. Ray Cotto, John Jay; 3. Jordan Wallace, New Rochelle; 4. Antonio Espada, Woodlands
132 — 1. Matt Grippi, Fox Lane; 2. Fredy Guevara, Yonkers; 3. Steven Montes, Pleasantville; 4. Chris Varian, Yorktown
138 — 1. Conor Melbourne, John Jay; 2. Connor Thomas, Yorktown; 3. Dan Gottlieb, Pleasantville; 4. Ryan Duffy, Westlake
145 — 1. Lou Quintanilla, Pleasantville; 2. Christian Zaccaro, Yonkers; 3. Brian Kershner, John Jay; 4. Brian Evans, Edgemont
152 — 1. Thomas Marrone, Pleasantville; 2. Frank Surace, Fox Lane; 3. Brandon Castro, Pleasantville; 4. Daniel Baruch, Scarsdale
160 — 1. Ari Fay, John Jay; 2. Miles Gencarelli, Hastings; 3. Teddy Fleming, North Salem; 4. Daniel Kraemer, Woodlands
170 — 1. Nunzio Crowley, Eastchester; 2. Jim Longest, Kennedy; 3. Jackson Kligerman, Rye; 4. Peter Jones, Irvington
182 — 1. Alex Melikian, Kennedy; 2. Derek Estrella, Sleepy Hollow; 3. Dom Schepis, Harrison; 4. Oscar Cabrera, Port Chester
195 — 1. Jon Clune, Fox Lane; 2. Evan Shlom, Ardsley/Dobbs Ferry; 3. Daniel Mendoza, New Rochelle; 4. Joe Marji, Yonkers
220 — 1. Youssif Hemida, Mamaroneck; 2. Brock Cvijanovich, Horace Greeley; 3. Bim Gecaj, John Jay; 4. Andrew Borrero, Westlake
285 — 1. Adam Krieger, Irvington; 2. Khaled Dassan, Yonkers; 3. Stephen Kelley, Lakeland/Panas; 4. Alex Dago, Ossining