Nineteen wrestlers from New York City will be competing at the state tournament in Albany this weekend. While they are all capable of doing well, below are some of the wrestlers who enter the tournament with top credentials.
The Staten Island Senior is making his 4th trip to this tournament. He broke through last year and won his first match. As the 8th seed, if he wins his first round match, Santo will wrestle top seed Stev Michel is the quarters, a wrestler he placed ahead of at the Eastern States. Beyond the quarterfinals, it’s tough to predict who Santo will wrestle. This weight is loaded with tough competitors and none really stand above the rest based on results. Santo has wrestled a tough schedule this year - he owns wins over two D2 State Finalists - and he has already won multiple state titles in the international styles. He is capable of standing atop the podium in Albany and should be fun to watch.
A Senior making his second trip to Albany - he went 2-2 last year, and missed placing by one match - Keanu enters the tournament unseeded. He draws a familiar face in the first round, Jacob Green of Chenango Forks. Green beat Thompson 4-2 in the Grapple at the Garden Finals. Should he beat Green, Thompson will face returning state champ Dylan Realbuto in the quarterfinals. Keanu certainly has his work cut out for him, but he presents a tough matchup for anyone in this tournament. He is good in all three positions and wrestles hard for 6 minutes every time out. Like Santo, he is capable of beating anyone in the state if he brings his A-game.
Melikian is now a 3-time state qualifier, he went 2-2 last year. This year he enters the tournament as the 3rd seed. Melikian is 37-1 on the year with his lone loss coming in the Eastern States Finals to a D2 Wrestler. Sam’s quarterfinal match could be against Jake DiMarsioc of North Rockland, who he beat badly twice last season. In the semis, Melikian may wrestle 2nd seeded Brandon Lapi of Amsterdam and in the finals he may face Matt Leshinger of Sayville. Both Lapi and Leshinger placed below Melikian at Eastern States.
The Longtime CHSAA competitor finally broke through this season at the Eastern States, placing 4th. The 3rd seed here, if Psomas can get by his first two opponents he may face the same wrestler who beat him in the bronze medal match at Eastern States, Steve Scheider of MacAurthur. Should he get by him, top seeded Tyler Grimaldi likely awaits him in the finals.
This weight features two city wrestlers capable of making noise at this tournament. Roberts and Rose are both returning qualifiers. Roberts, like Keanu Thompson, presents a tough matchup for any opponent because he wrestles so hard. Rose is a talented sophomore who seems to get better each time he steps on the mat. Roberts is the 6th seed and Rose is the 7th, but both are capable of outplacing their seeds if they wrestle well, regardless of their opposition.
“Manchild” has drawn the 4th seed in his second trip to Albany. The Junior has been hurt for part of the year, but has earned a 25-0 record when healthy. Last year, he went 1-2 in his first appearance at the state tournament. If he makes the semis he will likely face Nick Lupi of Huntington, the top seed and returning 5th place finisher at this weight. The winner of that match will be the favorite for the state title.