d3wrestle.com New England Wrestling Association Preview
Johnson & Wales started slow this year, missing some good wrestlers and dropping some matches while underperforming in some early events. However, they have come on very strong and have the pieces in place for another NEWA run to the top. Winning the first New England title in team history last season, they are ranked first in the last New England poll and have three top-ranked wrestlers in Bastante (125), Crespo (197), and DeDeyn (285).
Roger Williams and Rhode Island stand as the best challengers in the quest to dethrone JWU. Each has some firepower at the top and the depth to sustain a high point total. Rhode Island is having one of its best seasons ever, featuring national #1 141 lb. Michael Bonora, while RWU has less top level talent but a lot of depth. The top teams would also be wise to watch for Bridgewater State and Springfield College fresh off its 900th dual meet win.
Stephen Valastro (USM, 133), Bonora, Frank Cammisa (BSC, 149), Elliot Smith (Springfield, 184), and Crespo all return to attempt to win another New England championship. In the latest NWCA poll of February 12th, six New Englanders appear in the top ten along with two teams in JWU at 13 and Rhode Island at 22.
The Favorite: Mike Bastante, JWU
Top Challengers: Ethan Cohen, Williams; Dan Bloom, Wesleyan
With McDonough taking the year off for JWU, Bastante has stepped in and done very well, which was no surprise given his 2006 Ithaca title. This season, he beat Cohen at the NEWA duals and Labrecque at the NWCA Duals. He has a number of losses to the likes of Rush and Queiroz of Wilkes, but has been on a roll in New England. Cohen has a win over Farnham of Wilkes and pinned Cabrera of Cortland. Bloom has two wins over Redd of Centenary to go along with a loss and an early win over Cohen but a loss to the same two weeks ago.
The Favorite: Stephen Valastro, USM
Top Challenger: Corey Paulish, Williams; Brian Zane, Norwich
Valastro is tough on top and the returning champ at this weight. He is also ranked nationally and looking for his first All-America award. He majored Paulish and beat All-American Seifreid of Ithaca, but lost 8-6 to Sarinelli of TCNJ. Paulish won the Williams Invitational and defeating Pauling of Wilkes in the battle of suffixes, but also lost to Sarinelli.
The Favorite: Michael Bonora, Rhode Island
Top Challengers: Matt Ulrich, USM; Dylan Rittenburg, Williams
Bonora is unbeaten in Division 3 and has been the wire to wire #1 ranked wrestler after an All-American turn last season. He is the defending champ in New England with wins over Rittenburg and Ulrich along with Beshada of USMMA, Spitalieri of John Carroll, Ettleson of Northern Iowa, Baum of RIT, and Horwath of Ithaca. He will not have to deal with the likes of Gaeta again to defend his title.
The Favorite: Frank Cammisa, Bridgewater State.
Top Challengers: Chris DeBlock, Springfield; Nick Miragliuolo, Williams; Kevin Sutherland, Rhode Island
Cammisa is the defending champ, and he may be recovering from an injury as he has missed a lot of time, though he came back to beat Sutherland last weekend to go along with some earlier wins. He also topped Miragliuolo at Springfield and the NEWA Duals. Sutherland won his first matchup with Cammisa, and Miragliuolo has a win over Barnett of TCNJ and Shank of Gettysburg plus an 8-7 loss to LeBlanc of Cortland.
The Favorite: Mike Martini, Rhode Island
Top Challengers: Pete Reilly, USM; Carl Breitenstein, Williams; Kyle Rodgers, Roger Williams
Martini has been in the national rankings this year and is a big part of the Rhode Island resurgence. He does have two recent losses to Reilly and Rodgers, but he has also defeated each of the top contenders along with Moyer of USM. Reilly was first at Roger Williams, 4th at Ithaca, defeated Grothus of Coe, and won over Breitenstein. Rodgers is 19-7 with a 3rd place finish at Williams to go along with that win over Martini. Breitenstein was 6th at Springfield, 2nd at RIT, and 1st at Williams.
The Favorite: Mike Morin, USM
Top Challengers: Juan Vega, JWU; Jake Tyler, Springfield
Morin won at RWU, beat Ballard at Oneonta before falling to Bogardus of Cortland, and was 2nd at USM. Vega split with Tyler and beat Cruickshank of Olivet. He placed 3rd at RWU, 4th at Ithaca, and 1st at Williams. Tyler was 5th at Sunshine, 6th at Petrofes, and 3rd at Springfield, losing 2-1 to Renaut of USMMA.
The Favorite: Jerome Owens, JWU
Top Challenger: Jared Czarneski, RWU; Greg Hurd, Wesleyan
Owens has a big win over Vanderhyde of Olivet, majored Czarneski, and pinned Hurd. He was 3rd at Roger Williams and has a loss to Jentz of Coe. He is ranked in the NWCA poll at #7. Czarneski won at Williams, defeating Priest of Ithaca in the finals. He did lose to Hurd at Roger Williams, but won the OW at Plymouth State. Hurd lost to MacWhinnie in the Springfield final, won at RIT, and lost to Jones of Messiah at North/South.
The Favorite: Elliott Smith, Springfield
Top Challengers: Jim Quinlan, Bridgewater State
Smith is ranked in the country and won at Springfield and Petrofes, and was 6th at Sunshine. He has missed a lot of time, but came back to wrestle in Springfieldâ€™s last match. Quinlan was OW at RWU and won at Plymouth State. He also lost 7-2 to Coleman of NYU.
The Favorite: Diego Crespo, JWU
Top Challenger: Kyle Ayer, Williams; Dan Woods, RWU
Crespo just missed out on placing last year at the NCAA and this year he made a late start count to become the top wrestler in New England. He split with Kramer of Coe, beat Yurisich of Olivet, and won 6-3 over Williams in 2nd semester action.
The Favorite: Sean DeDeyn, JWU
Top Challenger: Glenn Geesman, MIT
DeDeyn has done well in New England this year and has a head to head win against Geesman. With some tough out of conference losses behind him, he has taken control in New England. Geesman has 16 falls and a win over NCAA falls leader Taylor of Oswego.