The most outstanding high school athletes on the mats in 2010-11, as selected by Newsday's Evan Korn and MSG Varsity's Gregg Sarra.
Long Island Wrestler of the Year
Huntington, 119, Sr.
After winning the state title at 112 last year, he moved up to 119 and won another state title this year, furthering his reputation as one of New York’s top pound-for-pound wrestlers. He went 40-0 with 19 pins, three forfeit wins, eight major decisions and four technical falls. During the state championships in Albany, McNeil went 4-0, winning each match by at least five points.
He ended his career on an 80-match win steak over the course of more than two seasons.
Nassau Wrestler of the Year
After a second place finish at the state championships in 2010 (171 lbs), Kavanagh jumped to 189 this season and dominated. At 38-0, he stormed through the Nassau and state championships unscathed. Pinning Mt. Sinai's Frank Abbondanza in the state finals, he became the only Nassau wrestler to win a 2011 state championship. He also registered nine pins in less than a minute, all the while excelling in tournaments against elite wrestlers. Kavanagh will wrestle at Hofstra in the fall.
Hills East, 125, Sr.
Abidin’s only loss this season was to fellow All-Long Island selection Alex Gomez, whom he later defeated in both the Suffolk semis and state final. He won the League III title via pin and the Suffolk championship with a 10-0 decision. Abidin won his state semis and final matches by a combined four points, keeping his composure and emerging victorious.
Hauppauge, 140, Sr.
Up one point in the waning seconds of the state final against LaSalle's Connor Sutton, a controversial two-point reversal call cost Lepkowsky a chance at the crown. State disappointment aside, Lepkowsky won both the Suffolk and League V titles. His 46-3 senior campaign and near-win in Albany catapulted him to elite status.
Hauppauge, 171, Sr.
At 42-5, Menendez kept an active schedule against top-flight competition that culminated in a state title. In the state final, he methodically broke down Queensbury's Matt Lashaway en route to a 9-3 decision. After the bad luck that befell teammate Lepkowsky, Menendez ensured that the Eagles returned home with one state champion.
St. Anthony's, 285, Sr.
Of the nine Friars to qualify for states, Desir was the only one to make the final. The NSCHSAA champion lost a nip-and-tuck 6-4 decision to New Rochelle's Malcolm Allen but handled himself well on the big stage. In the state semis, Desir defeated then-undefeated David Ng of Plainedge in a battle of the Island's best big men. An agile heavyweight, the multi-talented athlete will play football at Towson.
Mt. Sinai, 189, Sr.
Abbondanza had the misfortune of running into Wantagh's seemingly unbeatable Joe Kavanagh in the state finals. And while pinned by Kavanagh, the UNC-bound Abbondanza was also the Suffolk runner-up, posting a 43-3 record while competing in one of the state's deeper weight classes. Both of his losses prior to states were to Long Island wrestlers who would go on to place in Albany. Against elite competition, Abbondanza won far more than he lost.
Kings Park, 215, Sr.
Bosch ended his season in as grand a fashion as possible: winning a state title by pin, and doing it in rapid fashion. Bosch capped his senior season with a pin at 1:51 over Niagara Wheatfield's Adam Donner to win the shortest final match of the evening. Coming off an 8-2 semifinal win, Bosch established his superiority against New York’s very best. With Suffolk and League V titles in addition to state hardware, Bosch proved to be a master at upping his game at the most opportune times.
Islip, 152, Sr.
Undefeated at 41-0, Wade followed up last year's state runner-up finish with an unscathed season that featured League V, Suffolk and state championships. At one point during the season, he won 14 straight matches via pin. Expected to win states prior to the season, Wade fulfilled each and every expectation.
Brentwood, 125, Sr.
A six-year varsity wrestler who began as a 96-pound seventh-grader, Gomez qualified for his first state final 29 pounds removed from where he started his career. And despite the state final loss to Abidin, his runner-up finish and 42-3 season record was only part of his remarkably consistent career: four League I titles at three different weights, a two-time Suffolk runner-up and 181 career wins.
Wrestling Coach of the Year
Picozzi led a Longwood team that won League I and Suffolk titles in addition to having four All-State wrestlers. The Lion have a dual meet win streak that now stands at 58 and won every tournament they competed in this season.
James DeKrone, Glenn, Jr., 130 lbs.
Joe Giaramita, Glenn, Sr., 189 lbs.
Nicky Hall, Longwood, So., 145 lbs.
Pat Jennings, Longwood,Sr., 160 lbs.
Ken Meinsen, Glenn, Sr., 135 lbs.
Will Montgomery, Seaford, Sr., 119 lbs.
Jimmy Morris, St. Anthony's, Sr., 125 lbs.
David Ng, Plainedge, Sr., 285 lbs.
Mark Raghunandan, Long Beach., Jr., 103 lbs.
Matt Ross, Rocky Point, Sr., 145 lbs.
Dylan Palacio, Long Beach, Jr., 145 lbs.
Chris Perez, MacArthur., Sr. 130 lbs.