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RD, you and I have gone down this path before, but I still take issue with the idea that the 88 SWR team was in the "right place at the right time." Suffolk did very well in the states in 88, 3 champs and a 2nd or 3rd place overall finish. Sachem and Longwood were only one year removed from going 1-2 for 4 or 5 consecutive years. Huntington still came in second place. I don't get how when Huntington wins it's a credit to the 2nd place team, but when you beat Huntington and make THEM come in 2nd, somehow you were in the right place at the right time. Regardless, to me the way you judge the strength of the county is how the section did upstate, and they did very well in 1988.
And when you look at the major point scorers for SWR, you had 3 county champs: K Matsui, Y Matsui, Strovink. Ko had already won the counties and taken 4th in the state and would lose a tight match to Lou Roselli in the state finals that season, Strovink was a returning county finalist who went on to take 3rd in the state, and Y Matsui beat a state champ and would go on to take 3rd or 4th in the state. All 3 of those guys are beyond reproach, and are "county champ" material in most years.
In addition, you had Dave Henriquez who took 3rd in the county behind only Adam Mariano and Nick Hall, nobody's ideas of cupcakes. (He lost a 1 point match to Hall in the semifinals, and I believe he was undefeated at the time.) Dean Hough, who was a 3x county semifinalist and lost a 4-3 match to our friend Sepp Dobler in the semi's that year. Again, those 2 are both county semi-finalist material ANY year. I would wager that at least half of teams that win the counties don't have more than 5 semifinalists, and none of these 5 SWR guys can be chalked up to a "weak year in the county."
So you're talking 3 champs and 5 county semifinalists that are beyond reproach. Plus guys like Christiansen, Dollard, Powers, Julian, Canzonario, Von Bernawitz, who were All-County either that year or at some point in their career. That is a legit team, and a team that had already put together county champs before that season (Matsui, Coulter, Reffelt, etc)
To me, it's exactly the same as 1996 Mt Sinai. Would those teams have beaten a 1991 Longwood? No. Should they be in the discussion for "best ever?" No. But they are at least above the median for a county champ team. I could be wrong, but I believe that Sinai team only had one county champ, Bernholtz. But like that SWR team, that had a series of All County type guys, guys that were good enough for All County in ANY season: Giallanza, Ottomanelli, Morbillo, Broglie, Fakrho, etc.
I'm not getting into your and Turkey's overall Armstrong/Davey issue. Both were/are great coaches. But I remember the 88 counties vividly, as I'm sure you do, and the SWR performance was legit.
Alittle wrong on the names. It definitely was Ko who beat Keith.
Yo beat Jeff Hasie who was the defending 1987 State champ in the 1988 county finals.
Ko took 6th in the states in 1987. Keith Ketcham was rated 1st in the state all year and would of won the states had he not lost to Ko, but that's what happens sometimes, the best guy doesn't always go.
Yo Matsui Took 4th in the states in 1988.
As JTTS stated Ko took 2nd in 1988 losing a close one to Lou Roselli.
I believe that 1988 SWR team could give any team a run for there money. They where solid from top to bottom, wouldn't have given up 6 at many weights.
Nick Hall had a few people in his career, not many that gave him problems. One was the SWR kid stated, the other three, Mariano, Steve Thompson, and Dean Morrison.
Nick Hall was only a 9th grader when he wrestled the senior from Shoreham.
Haise! I forgot about that county finals match, as good as Ko/Yo(for goodness sake I get confused on who was who, just someone try to follow my drift) was that was a major upset at the time. That was one of the first times(besides McNeil a few years prior) where the returning state champ doesn't even make the trip back upstate. Yo also had a returning finalist in the qtrs of the state tourney who I was thinking of, I believe his name was Walters.Kech, as good as your brother was and I even showed him respect by considering him one of the greatest lightweights in Section XI, I find it really hard to believe that he would've won the states if he had beaten Ko. I thought Ko took 3rd upstate that year, but guess I was wrong. If Ko would have took a 1st, 2nd, maybe even 3rd I wouldn't disagree. People choke, it happens. But for Ko to take a 6th upstate, it's very hard for me to believe that your bro would have won the states.
The 1988 Suffolk County, the kids who placed in states. Section 11 won with 220 points.
91- Bill Burrell (Bayport) 2nd in the states
98-Don Ross ( Sachem) DNP- Should of been my weight but coach had bigger idea's- beat Frank Fronhofer who won, Lenny Combs who took 2nd, and Jim Ogborn who took 3rd-
105- Yo Matsui (SWR)- took 4th in the states- Haise would of done better, but he couldn't get passed Yo in the county finals. Yo earned his trip up there. I recall Palcinno (W.F) having Matsui stuck with a head lock and the ref never called the pin, nor did he give 3 back point's, instead gave 2 back point's, Matsui won 7-6 in the Quaters.
112- Ko- Matsui (SWR)- Couldn't have asked for a better yr. Had to get through brawler Kyle Wagner in the County finals. Wrestled well at the states- Losing to Lou Roselli who was a very good wrestler who got over shawdowed by one of the best wrestlers NY has ever seen in Jeff Prescott.
119- Lacne Banfi (Sachem)- 1st in the state- A very under rated wrestler- In 1986 Lance won the county and took 3rd in the state. He lost to Troy Bouzakis- In 1987- Lance was in one of the hardest weights ever- He only took 5th in the counties. Then in this yr 1988- He wins states beating the almighty Troy Bouzakis.
126- Jack Sparico- (N.B.) 2nd in the states- He lost to Marcal Cooper in the state finals. Coop still wrestles and was and is one tough dude.
132- Sepp Dolber-5th in the state (HHHE) one of the worst wrestlers I've ever Seen, was lucky to make it out of the counties ......ONLY KIDDING. He was one of the toughest guys to wrestle at Hills East. He had 2 time state champ Tony Ferrara in his weight.
138- Jamie St John- State Champ- (P.J) Jamie was a beast- But he was another one like Yo, who was lucky to make it out of the Quaters- He was as flat as you could be against Pereza (Brentwood) not once but twice with a cradle, the ref didn't know what to do.
145- ? Need help forgot
155- Kurt Lassen (Conn)- 2nd in the state- Lost to 2x state champ Rick Sadwick in the fianls. Kurt had a very dominating yr this yr.
167-Chris McCarthy(BP)- 3rd in the states- Is this the curse?
177- Adam Mariano-(Com) 1st in the state- enough said-
215-Eric Strovick (SWR)- 3rd in the state- This guy never got tired, I coach his kid today and this guy is one of the nice guy's. He had a great season this yr.
250- Bill Fribuger (WF) - 2nd in the states- this is one he should of won- he proved it beating the guy who beat him this yr, the following year- Jeff Way
THIS WAS A VERY GOOD YR FOR SUFFOLK. SWR WON BECAUSE THEY WRESTLED WELL AS A TEAM. SAME THING AS THIS YEAR WITH EAST ISLIP OVER ISLIP. SOMETIMES THE BEST TEAMS OR PERSONS DON'T WIN, BUT THAT'S WHY WE STILL WRESTLE TO SEE WHO WIN'S. AND THIS YR 1988 SWR WRESTLED THE BEST WHEN IN COUNTED AND IN MY OPINION THEY HAD ONE OF THE BEST TEAMS EVER THIS YR.
From the stories I've heard, Jack Stanbro practices were no joke. He was one of the toughest wrestlers in his day and, if I remember correctly, he coached the Brodmerkel brothers and the Melchior brothers, all great wrestlers. Legend has it that Jack had his boys do a 1,000 squat thrusts at the end of practice. I tried it once...it wasn't fun.
Keith would of won that yr, he was 5-0 against Troy Bouzakis who won that yr. Sometimes people get scared at the states there first time- Keith took 5th his first yr, 3rd his second yr. That yr was suppose to be his, but like I said the best wrestler doesn't always win, sometimes styles make that happen.
Just like Nick Hall vs Steve Thompson (WM) Nick was by far 110x's better but for some reason couldn't beat him.
Chris Conway vs Don Ross(Sachem) Chris was better but couldn't beat him.
Kerry McCoy vs Stephen Neal- I know I am going to get crap for this but Stephen Neal was the best Heavyweight in the world, he proved that by winning in it, the problem was he couldn't beat Kerry.
Sometimes the better wrestler doesn't win.
Keith would of been hard pressed to win but would have a t least made the finals against Troy- and Troy did lose the following yr to Banfi who Keith crushed 8-1 in the leauge finals.
Favorite coaches Ketcham...plus, didn't Hall beat Thompson in the county finals.
It doesn't matter, Nick still won. A win is a win.
Yes I understand that this is fav coach's thread but sometimes it turns into a whole different topic, lol.....that's why this site is great.......
Nothing but love brother Ketcham. By the way, I've been following the Cadet duals-freestyle, and I noticed NY beat Florida. I think both teams are seeded one and two (NY 1 , Florida 2) in the consolation bracket; the winner gets a 9th place plaque...see, how these threads come undone (lol).
I have two kids on the Fla. team ( one is injured but he'll compete at Fargo); looks like Escobar is a machine and their Pool was brutal.
i just asked my friend from HHHE and he said he wasnt leaving
how much you willing to bet?
boo- I have all the respect in the world for Nick, he's always on my short list of the best HS wrestlers I've ever seen. I certainly wasn't trying to equate Hall and Henriquez for their careers. You know better than I do that even as a freshman Nick was a stud, he was only a season away from a Cadet National Championship in freestyle. My point was only that if you are undefeated going into the counties and then take 3rd to Adam Mariano and Nick Hall, that's a pretty good season. I'm not saying that Henriquez was Nick Hall, he certainly was not. I was only saying that what that SWR team accomplished, and certainly what Ko, Yu, Strovink, Hough and Henriquez did, can't be attributed to a down year for the county, that simply wasn't the case. As Ketch pointed out, the Section XI wrestlers had a pretty good go of it at the states.
Ketch- Pretty sure the 145 pounder was the aforementioned Billy Maisel.
And just to clarify what you are saying about the Hall/Thompson issue, the year Steve beat Nick in the league finals wasn't the year they met in the county finals. Thompson beat Hall in the 89 league finals, which is how Nick got on Dean Morrison's side of the bracket at the counties. Both Nick and Steve lost in the county semi's that year, Morrison beat Joe Malchuski (who Nick nearly teched during the season) in the county finals. The following year Nick beat Thompson in both the league AND county finals. By the time Hall was a junior, he was clearly the superior wrestler to Thompson.
For the kids too young to remember, by the time he was a senior, Nick was among the best in the country and maybe the most dominant 215 pounder Long Island has ever seen.
good job of of picking it up for me. The only match I saw Nick man-handled was against a man named Adam Mariano, when Nick was an 8th grader- other then that nobody beat up on Nick and I am more then certain Senior Nick vs Senior Adam would have come out in Nick's favor.
Banfi couldn't make 98 and didn't bump up to 105, thats what the kid wrestled and he came in 5th. It was just a soild weight. Lance had a rough go with it. If your that good it shouldn't matter, but he did come back the next year and won 119. I felt he wouldn't have won at 112 that year because both Matsui and Wagner would have beaten him like they did the year before.
Jtts already stated that Bill Misel won the counties at 145.
i only saw one post about coach phelan and it was from a floyd person obviously im a floyd person to but all the coaches from floyd lake mecca and phelan are outstanding and go far and above what they have to do for us when i wrestled there i honestly felt like they were with out a doubt another set of parents they also have away about them ask anyone who knows them not just floyd wrestlers ask the kids that were at county practice at floyd the year we won the counties i also think torriero and dolson feel the same way
To me, it's exactly the same as 1996 Mt Sinai. Would those teams have beaten a 1991 Longwood? No. Should they be in the discussion for "best ever?" No. But they are at least above the median for a county champ team.
Of course 88'SWR was legit, as you pointed out they had unquestionable studs in their line-up. The thing for me is this...Small Schools, there is a reason it's only happened 3times. For a Mt Sinai or PJ or Amity to get a title, they have to get a little help. In 88', there happened to be wide spread parity in Suffolk. Bob Armstrong was quoted in Newsday heading into that season " It's an open tournement this year to a handful of teams that can get 3-4 finalists. It will be an interesting tournement". Mahoney said "it's a 4team race, Babylon, SWR, HUntington, are the favorites. This year we'll need the right athletes in the right weights at the right time."
Heading into the counties, the Top 12 was this-
It screams of parity and finished like this...
It was a year a great individuals spread through out the county, not a year of big-time teams. There was a crack in the window and they a had terrific team.
As for my HUntington 85' comparison, you know exactly what my point of contention was. PJ was unlucky enough to have their best team in a year when Giani put out an all-time squad. SWR was fortunate enough that none of the perenniel powers were sending any superteams out on the mat. 18 different schools put guys in the finals in 88'.
I definitely agree that the SWR team was above the median marker when it comes to County Champs. I'm not knocking them, just stating that the timing helped, as it often has to in any sport.
Maisel beat Lugo in the finals at 145 in 88'.
Also in 88'....
Mike Porcelli coach of EI also impressed by his teams work ethic & off-season weight program in Sal Ciampi's weight room. "Nothing's a lock, we have the ingrediants and we did our homework. We'll be in the thick of it. It's a new era here, We have new robes, new uniforms, and a kid program."
My list of coaches I wish I had wrestled for: Kelsky, Armstrong, Maisel, Desario, Porcelli, Giani, Picozzi, and Luksik may have been my fav.
I would argue that "parity" makes it more competitive, harder to win. There have been many times when a team was considered a foregone conclusion to win, not that they were a "superteam", but because there was nobody else. How about those Flynn era Huntington teams, like 2000/2001. They were considered near locks to win, but they weren't great teams from 96 to 275, they had a couple of studs and a county devoid of power teams. But put them against early 90s League I teams and they lose a dual meet by 20+ points. I don't think how strong of a "favorite" a team might be is as much a commentary on the team as it is on the competition.
Look, ostensibly we agree, the 88 SWR team was above the median for county champ teams. The same is true of the 96 Sinai team. They wouldn't beat the "superteams", but you can say the same of 90% of county champs.
To me, the reason that you don't see more of the small schools win isn't about their quality. The 88 SWR and the 96 Sinai teams were both good enough to win MANY years, not just the years they won. But what makes the small school different is that it's harder to get all of your ducks in a row, to have enough guys peak at the same time. You're not going to get a situation with a John Lange and a Duane Thompson on the bench like you had with 91 Longwood. The small schools aren't going to have that kind of depth over a long haul. If you look at those 5 key wrestlers on the 88 SWR team, they were all seniors. The Mt Sinai team won when Bernholtz and Gialanza were seniors and Otto and Morbillo were juniors. They all peaked together. A good small school program might have 5 or 6 great wrestlers, and that's all you need to win the counties. But the key is to have them all peak, all be upperclassmen at the same time, and that's why it's rare. You get the "superteams" when you have those 5 or 6 seniors, but you also have another 5 or 6 stud underclassmen floating around, and that is only happening at the big school.
But it can be done just like the SWR and Mt.Siani team's did. It all start's with the coaches, getting a good kid program and getting the kids to stick with it. So when those teams won it really all started years before when they where wrestling in the kiddie programs. You gotta build for the ground up. You are seeing more and more teams and schools building there kid programs stronger today.
Longwood does have a very good kid program- Coach Picozzi put Nick Hall in charge of his kid program and it's picked up big time-
Hauppauge has an Elite kid program- They where good for years but now are over the hump with Nick Moreillo in charge of the kid program. Coach Messina put Nick in charge and they are alot better.
BlueWave (Huntington and Elwood) Tom Garimita- Bill Faxon and Timmy Hawkrige form one of the best kid programs for many of years. You wonder why Huntington is always at the top look no further. And Elwood will be heard from in the future.
Rocky Point- Is getting alot better. Coach Goldstien has put me in charge of the kid program- along with Don Donnelly we are also up there.
Good Head Coaches get good Coaches at all levels. It's impossible for a H.C to do it all, that's why they have to put there ego's aside and say listen I can get coaches to help me. The Great Coaches always think ahead.
"If they knew who was gona win, why would they have the tournament?"
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