At the beginning of this decade, the battles between Glenn's Blue Wave kid wrestling club and Hauppauge's Elite squad were fierce. The fight still rages.
"After all these years, it's the same group of kids," Hauppauge coach Chris Messina said. "We knew it would eventually come to a head."
Last year, in its first season back on the Division I level, Glenn won its first Suffolk title, over second-place Hauppauge. The Knights, however, are far from satisfied.
"Even the guy who took second in the state didn't reach his pinnacle," Glenn coach T.J. Brocking said.
Brocking was referring to 140-pound county and state runner-up Nick Terdick, who leads a senior class that includes defending county champ Nick Meinsen and all-county wrestlers Mike Bosco and Matt Gannon. Junior Joe Giaramita was a county runner-up for the Knights, who have won a Long Island-high 38 dual meets in a row.
Hauppauge returns Ken Collado, a state champion two years ago and the most outstanding wrestler of last year's Section XI tournament, along with county place-winners Jesse Marro (third), Nick Mauriello and Anthony Piscitello (both fifth).
Longwood, behind state runner-up Corey Rasheed and older brother Malik (fifth in the state) will be in the Suffolk mix, along with Rocky Point and its three state place-winners Stephen Dutton (champion), Anthony Volpe (third) and Billy Coggins (fifth).
In Nassau, it'll again come down to Wantagh, the defending state champ, and MacArthur, the Section VIII champion seven of the last nine years. Wantagh returns state place-winners Matt Loew (runner-up) and Joe Barbato (sixth), and defending county champs Nick Fitzmaurice and Joe Kavanagh.
MacArthur, which defeated Wantagh, 28-26, on Dec. 19, added to its deep lineup with Adam Troy, who placed third in Suffolk last year at Whitman. Juniors Thomas Manning and Chris Perez were both Nassau runner-ups for MacArthur.
In the CHSAA, St. Anthony's looks to be the team to beat with its trio of lightweights: defending state champ Grant Greene, Jimmy Morris (third in the state) and Chris Brienza (fourth). Returning seniors Troy Sampson and Brandon Fowler were both CHSAA state champs for Chaminade.
There are no returning state place-winners on the Division II level. However, defending Suffolk champs Eric DeAngelis and Sal Spitaleri return for Center Moriches, as do defending Nassau champs Joe Casalino and Rob Alfano for Locust Valley.