High school central

All sports, all schools, one blog.


Suffolk state wrestling preview

Ward Melville's Nick Piccininni, right, wrestles Floyd's Mat

Ward Melville's Nick Piccininni, right, wrestles Floyd's Mat Bradice at 113 pounds in the Suffolk Division I wrestling finals. (Feb. 13, 2013) (Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

34 Suffolk wrestlers will attempt to reach the pinnacle of high school wrestling in New York State this weekend as they grapple at the public school state championships in Albany.

Suffolk County is home to Long Island’s only two returning state champions in sophomore Nick Piccinnini of Ward Melville and senior Mark West of Hauppauge. The 113-pound Piccinnini was a state champion at 106 pounds last year and is looking to end his undefeated campaign with a championship. West won a state championship as a freshman in 2010 at 96 pounds and is competing in the 126-pound weight class this year.

Two more Suffolk wrestlers who reached the championship finals last year are looking to get over that final hump. Senior Tyler Grimaldi from Half Hollow Hills West (160) and junior Corey Rasheed of Longwood (152) will look to finally add a state championship to their resume.

The 2012 tournament saw a pair of consolation finals that featured two returning Suffolk wrestlers battling for third and fourth place. Matt Leshinger defeated TJ Fabian last year at 120 pounds but is at the top of the 132 pound bracket this season. Fabian is also back in the tournament and the top seed in the 126 pound bracket.

Similarly, Alex Tanzman (106) and Joe Calderone (113) won’t be able to have a rematch of their 99 pound consolation final as they will be wrestling in different weight classes.