2018 Mayor’s Cup Preview
EDITOR’S NOTE: Previews are written on opinion. Seeding and official entries will be released Tuesday evening, and at that time a formal prediction and official entry list will be released. Below is our best guess.
At First Glance:
99 lbs. features a weight class that has been held down by two very impressive NYC wrestlers the past two seasons. These two happen to be some of New York City’s finest: Brandon Nunez (John Bowne) and Terry Adams (Monsignor Farrell). Both have impressive resumes and both were state finalists a year ago. Without either of these two wrestlers at 99 lbs., will any of the newcomers be ready to step up to the plate? New York City’s dominance at the 99 lbs. weight class is on the line.
Ryan Gaynor (Tottenville)- Gaynor, the #1 ranked wrestler at the weight class, looks to give the Tottenville Pirates a Mayor’s Cup champion to lead things off. The Pirate is a returning medalist from last year’s tournament- taking 7th at 99 lbs. Gaynor currently holds a win over #2 Shawn Muratov (James Madison). If everything goes as planned, he will be winning his first Mayor’s Cup gold.
#2 Shukhrat Muratov (James Madison)
#3 Frank Gioia (Monsignor Farrell)
#4 Tyler Rivera (Tottenville)
Terry Adams (Monsignor Farrell)- After a strong performance at last year’s Mayor’s Cup, the returning 2017 champion looks poised to repeat. Adams looks to show the same dominance he showed last year, which included three pins, and a technical fall in the finals (15-0 over Kai Yudelson of Brooklyn Tech). Adams, as mentioned before, is a returning New York state finalist, as well as a 2017 Eastern States Classic runner-up. Additionally, he is a two-time Catholic State Champion. The Farrell Lion boasts many accomplishments, and until proven otherwise, he is the clear favorite at this year’s Mayors Cup Championships.
Mohamed Hassan (FDR)- Currently ranked #2 at 106 lbs. and #26 in the Fab 50, Mohamed is a returning 4th place finisher at last year’s Mayors Cup (106 lbs). Hassan has shown big win potential. Last year’s quarterfinal “upset” over experienced Anthony Ferrara (Brooklyn Tech) in a 10-6 decision proves just that. In order for him to win this year’s Mayor’s Cup, Mohamed will need to wrestle a near flawless tournament.
Abdul Almareh (New Utrecht)- Ranked #3 at 106 lbs., Abdul is a returning 6th place finisher at last year’s Mayor’s Cup. During Abdul’s consolation semifinals match at last year’s Mayor’s Cup, he posted a 7-1 decision over current #1 ranked 113 lbs. wrestler David Correa (Tottenville). Like Mohamed, Abdul has shown the potential to win against talented opponents, and will need to wrestle lights out to win this weight class.
Frank Kost (Monsignor Farrell)- Ranked #5 at 106 lbs. and depending on seeding, Kost can make a deep run to the finals. My sleeper for the 106 lbs. weight class, Kost is a returning 3rd place finisher from a year ago. Frank is coming off of a strong showing at the 2018 Dave Ironman Invitational where he wrestled back for a 3rd place finish. When wrestling at his best, Frank has shown that he has the ability to compete with the best. If Frank Kost is wrestling at his best, don’t be surprised by a high finish.
David Correa (Tottenville)- David is currently ranked #1 at 113 lbs. and #39 in the Fab 50. David is also a returning medalist at last year’s Mayor’s Cup (8th at 106 lbs.). After an 0-2 start to begin the season, at a very difficult MacArthur Holliday tournament, David is currently on an eighteen match winning streak!* This season, David boasts wins over #5 at 106 lbs. Frank Kost (Monsignor Farrell) by fall and #2 ranked at 113 lbs. Dan Alexander (Fordham Prep) by a 13-5 major decision. David’s weight features a buffet of difficult wrestlers, but if he can maintain this level of wrestling and winning he will be on his way to his first Mayor’s Cup championship.
Dan Alexander (Fordham Prep)- Currently ranked #2 at the weight and #25 on the Fab 50, Dan is looking to avenge an earlier loss to David Correa. Alexander is a two time catholic state medalist (4th in 2016 and 3rd in 2017). The tough and talented Ram is also a returning 8th place finisher at last year’s Mayor’s Cup. Dan has shown glimpses of high-level wrestling, and if he looks to avenge his loss to Correa, he will need to be at that level.
Kai Yudelson (Brooklyn Tech)- Yudelson is currently ranked #3 at the weight and #42 on the Fab 50. Kai returns as a finalists from a year ago, though this time up two weight classes. The Brooklyn Tech Engineer is looking to give his #2 ranked team a lightweight champion. Yudelson has shown that he can beat many, and I am very interested to see how he matches up with the competition. Regardless of seeding and placement in the bracket, Yudelson is a very tough wrestler who should not be slept on.
Daniel Adams (Monsignor Farrell)- Ranked #4 at the weight, Daniel (the brother of #1 Terry Adams) is a returning 3rd place finisher at 106 lbs. from last year’s tournament. Although having a rollercoaster season, Daniel has shown he can compete with the best of them. At last years Dave Ironman Invitational, Daniel posted a victory over #15 Fab 50 ranked Max Ebanks (Edward Murrow). With the second half of the season upon us, Daniel has dropped from 120 lbs. to 113lbs. If at his best, do not sleep on him.
Dove Bonjean-Alpart (Poly Prep)- Dove, the returning 2017 Mayor’s Cup champion, is currently ranked #1 at the weight, and #6 in the Fab 50. The Poly Prep Blue Devil is a two time Mayor’s Cup champion, has many accomplishments and notable wins in his very short career. Although young, Dove wrestles with a high-level wrestling IQ. This makes him very difficult to beat. Falling just one match short of a medal at the 2017 Prep Nationals, Dove is fueled for an impressive season. In last year’s Mayor’s Cup finals, the Elite Wrestling Academy product completed a 7-5 decision over #2 David Traub (Tottenville). Dove is the favorite in this deep weight class, and until shown otherwise, he looks poised to win his 3rd straight Mayor’s Cup Championship.
David Traub (Tottenville)- David Traub is now a two-time Mayor’s Cup finalist, and two-time NYSPHSAA Division I qualifier. He is ranked #2 at the weight and #4 in the Fab 50. David dropped a heartbreaker at last year’s state tournament during a 3-1 bloodround bout. David looks poised to have a great season and finish on the podium up in Albany. After falling to Dove Bonjean-Alpart (Poly Prep) in last years finals, Traub will be looking to avenge this loss and win his first Mayor’s Cup. History shows Dove winning this matchup, but with the new calendar year the outcome could change. If anyone is to dethrone Dove Bonjean-Alpart, the Tottenville talent is the wrestler to do it.
James Ryan (Monsignor Farrell)- A 2017 Catholic State Champion (113 lbs.) and returning 3rd place finisher at this tournament, Jimmy Ryan will be looking to stand atop of the podium this year. James is currently ranked #3 at the weight and #20 in the Fab 50. Despite taking the two most recent loses to #2 David Traub, Ryan has shown he can also beat him. At last year’s Dave Ironman Invitational, Ryan scrapped his way to an overtime victory over Traub in the finals. James also posted a 8-7 victory over #5 Spencer Carter (Fordham Prep) at the Catholic State semifinals a year ago. James is a gritty wrestler and will need to give his all in this very deep weight class.
Max Ebanks (Edward R Murrow)- Max Ebanks, up multiple weight classes and a returning Mayor’s Cup finalist at 106 lbs., he is looking to make a statement after a disappointing Eastern States performance. After transferring from Monsignor Farrell, Max will be looking to win just as his older brother, two-time Mayors Cup champion Dylan Ebanks did. Max will need to wrestle a top-notch performance to win this loaded weight class.
Matthew Mina (Brooklyn Tech)- Mina is up one weight class from last season, and was a 3rd place finisher at the Mayor’s Cup a year ago. He also a boasts a 2017 City Championship before posting a 1-2 record at the state tournament. He is looking to win his first Mayor’s Cup championship and is currently ranked #1 at 126 and #10 in the Fab 50. Matthew currently holds a win over #2 Jayden Cardenas (Grand Street) by way of fall. Although a rematch between Mina and Cardenas looks immanent, Mina is a clear favorite.
Jayden Cardenas (Grand Street)- The Grand Street sophomore, 2017 City Champion at the weight last year, looks to impress in his first Mayor’s Cup. Although losing to Brooklyn Tech’s #1 Matthew Mina earlier this year, do not let it fool you. Jayden is a tough and gritty competitor. Currently this season, he holds an overtime victory over James Ryan and is currently ranked #2 at 126 lbs. A rematch with Mina in the finals would be very promising, and if adjustments are made, Jayden can will a new outcome.
#3 Abdullo Omonullaev (Midwood)
#4 Luke Reich (Poly Prep)
#5 Ibrahim Aburmileh (Petrides)
David Berkovich (Poly Prep)- The Elite Wrestling Academy product is a returning Mayor’s Cup champion where he knocked off Xavier’s Dylan Ebanks to claim gold. David is now up two weight classes and defines the term “battle tested.” He has wrestled back deep into two of the toughest high school tournaments in the country: Prep Nationals and Fargo. Although falling one short match at both the 2017 Prep Nationals and 2017 USAW Freestyle Championships, David has shown that he can compete with the nation’s best. David is currently ranked #1 at 132 lbs. and #3 in the Fab 50. Until shown otherwise, David is a clear favorite to repeat.
Zacc Romero (Brooklyn Tech)- Zacc, a 2017 City Champion at 126 lbs. looks to win his first Mayor’s Cup championship after not wrestling here last year. Zacc does not have a head-to-head win this season over #3 Adrian Rosario-Beato (Mott Haven) or #4 Craig Sampson (Tottenville), but has shown that he is very skilled and more than ready to wrestle either of them. Romero is battle-tested, and until shown otherwise, is poised to make a run.
Adrian Rosario-Beato (Mott Haven)- Rosario-Beato has been lights out this season, including a dominating performance over #6 ranked Hector Rodriguez. He is the leader of a young and talented Mott Haven Mavericks program. Last season, he finished as a city championships runner-up to make his first big splash with the big guns. The 2018 Mayor’s Cup will tell us a lot about where Adrian is at.
Craig Sampson (Tottenville)- Sampson, a Tottenville senior and multiple city medalist, is not only looking to win his first city championship, but is also looking to win his first Mayor’s Cup championship. Up two weight classes from last season, Craig is a returning Mayor’s Cup medalist (4th at 120 lbs.). Sampson is ranked #3 at 120 and #34 in the Fab 50.
Pedro Cruz (New Utrecht)- Pedro Cruz is a returning Mayor’s Cup placewinner (7th at 126) and is up one weight class this season. He is looking to follow up with a strong campaign this season. Like Sampson, he is an intriguing wrestler to watch. Watch out for Pedro as he tries to win his first Mayor’s Cup championship.
#6 Hector Rodriguez (Eagle Academy)
#8 Brendan Sowerby (Fordham Prep)
Quincy Howard (Benjamin Cardozo)- The returning city champion from a year ago is looking to finally win Mayor’s Cup gold. Cardozo is that battle-tested during the regular season, but they have proven they can compete at the highest level. Last year, Simon Chee took gold at the Mayor’s Cup and runner-up honors at the state tournament. Howard will be looking to match Simon’s Mayor’s Cup performance from a year ago.
#3 Mohammad Rehman (FDR)
#4 Ryan Siller (Monsignor Farrell)
#5 Aaron Jackson (Susan Wagner)
Jack Reusing (Brooklyn Tech)- For the first time in this preview, I am going to elect to go against the seeds and rankings. Jack is quite the wrestler, and although a sophomore, he wrestles with high wrestling IQ. Jack, a transfer from Monsignor Farrell, had a very impressive freshman campaign. At last year’s Mayor’s Cup, Jack drew John-Luke DeStefano in the quarterfinals, giving him his closest match of the day (losing 7-1). Due to Mayor’s Cup format, Jack could only wrestle back for 5th place, and he did just that. As a freshman, Reusing dropped a last second heart-breaker in the Catholic State finals. Jack is currently ranked #2 at 145lbs and #49 in the Fab 50. Although missing the beginning of this season due to injury, watch for Jack to go home with his first Mayor’s Cup championship.
Jonathan Chong (Benjamin Cardozo)- Jonathan is currently ranked #1 at 145lbs.
#3 Arthur Mabaka (Fordham Prep)
#4 Charley Barry (Poly Prep) – (2017 Mayor’s Cup 4th place at 132 lbs.)
#5 Eric Kachan (Susan Wagner)
#6 Jahongir Davronov (Midwood)
#7 Mike DiForte (Petrides) – (2017 D2 City Champion, 2017 Mayor’s Cup 7th place at 138 lbs.)
Daniel Bogie (Eagle Academy)- Daniel, a 2017 D2 NYSPHSAA medalist, (6th at 145 lbs.) is also a returning Mayor’s Cup finalist. Daniel Bogie lost a close 5-4 final in last year’s championships and looks primed to win it all this season. Daniel is ranked #1 at 152 lbs. and #5 in the Fab 50. The Eagle Academy talent is known for his more than exceptional neutral game and upper body wrestling. He will be a very interesting wrestler to watch this tournament.
Abimael Luperon (Grand Street)- Although not a 2017 Mayor’s Cup competitor, he looks to dazzle in this year’s competition. Abimael is currently #2 ranked at 152 lbs and #14 in the Fab 50. Last season, Abimael was a 2017 City champion, and did not waste his opportunity at the state tournament. He went 2-2 before losing a bloodround match. If Abimael can make it to the finals, I am very intrigued to see his matchup with #1 Daniel Bogie. Both wrestle a very entertaining, and flashy style. The match will be sure to not disappoint.
Anthony Lanza (Monsignor Farrell)- Anthony Lanza, a highly skilled wrestler who has been battling many injuries, sees himself up two weight classes from last season. Anthony finished 5th at the 2017 Mayor’s Cup last season, as well as receiving his first ever All-Catholic honors by taking 4th place. Anthony is a very gritty wrestler, and his length will be very interesting to watch as he takes on this difficult field. If Anthony is at the top of his game, there is no reason why you won’t see him at the top of the podium.
Demitreus Henry (Grand Street)- Demitreus looks poised to win his first Mayor’s Cup championship after losing in the finals two years ago. Demitreus is a two-time city champion, going 2-2 at the state tournament last season. Henry is currently ranked #1 at 160 lbs. and #2 in the Fab 50. Last season, Demitreus shocked many at the Eastern States classic by defeating a line of highly touted wrestlers. Demitreus is considered one of New York’s best wrestlers at 160, and has all the tools to win his first Mayor’s Cup championship if his injuries are in check..
Vin Ndokaj (Monsignor Farrell)- Senior Vin Ndokaj, when healthy is known for his very consistent level of performance. After a great start to this season, the Farrell senior will be looking to end on a high note. Vin is currently ranked #2 at 160 lbs. and #18 in the Fab 50. For the first time last season, Vin received his first All-Catholic honors when he took 5th place at 152 lbs. If anyone is to dethrone Demitreus, it would be Ndokaj. Keep an eye out for this penitential finals match, because it could very well end up as one of the best matches of the tournament.
#3 Jose Rodriguez (Tottenville) – (2017 Mayor’s Cup 8th place @ 160)
#4 Dan Hughes (Fordham Prep)
#5 Justin Ebron (Eagle Academy) – (2017 Mayor’s Cup 7th place @ 152, 2017 D2 City Champion @ 152)
Gevorg Arakelov (Maspeth)- Ranked #1 at 170lbs and #31 in the Fab 50, Gevorg is the returning 4th place finisher at last year’s Mayors Cup. He looks to avenge last year’s finish and snag gold. After turning in an impressive finish at this year’s Eastern States Classic (falling one match short of placing), Gevorg has shown he belongs. The Maspeth senior seems ready to end his season on a high note.
#2 Sean Gillespie (Petrides)
#3 Andrew Grechko (Brooklyn Tech)- (2017 Mayor’s Cup 7th place @ 160)
#4 Joshua Khosayev (Poly Prep)- (2017 Mayor’s Cup 3rd place @160)
Victor Marzano (Poly Prep)- Although ranked second at the weight, Victor walks into this tournament down a weight and much more experienced. Last year, while wrestling at 195 lbs., Victor lost to champion and eventual NYSPHSAA finalist Simon Chee in a close 6-3 bout in the finals of the 2017 Mayor’s Cup. Again and again, Marzano has shown that he can compete with the best. The Poly Prep talent took 7th place at last year’s Eastern States and fell one match short of a Prep Nationals medal. Marzano is currently ranked #2 at 182 lbs. and #11 in the Fab 50. With Victor down a weight class, his physical style of wrestling solidifies him as a favorite at the weight. Odean Gray enters as the top ranked athlete in the weight, and marquee finals bout with Victor could very well be the match of the night.
Odean Gray (Grand Street)- Defending city champion Odean Gray is looking to add his first Mayor’s Cup title to a rapidly increasing list of accomplishments. Ranked #9 in the Fab 50, the Grand Street senior has shown he has all of the tools to win it all. Going 1-2 at his first state tournament appearance a year ago, Gray won a tight battle with 2017 Mayor’s Cup champion Michael Lanza of Monsignor Farrell 4-2. Odean has shown glimpses of greatness, and on any given day could walk out of Queens College with gold.
Jonathan Perez (Monsignor Farrell)- Jonathan Perez, senior from Monsignor Farrell, is my wild card at the weight. Although shown to be inconsistent, he is prone to big-time upsets.
Dylan Nerich (WC Bryant)- The #1 ranked wrestler at 195 lbs., Dylan looks to capture his first Mayor’s Cup championship. After a strong showing last season, Nerich fell one match short of placing at the state tournament. Dylan is entertaining to watch, so sit back, relax, and watch the athletic upperweight light up the scoreboard this weekend.
#2 Emre Mabocoglu (Midwood)
#3 George Grigalashvili (James Madison)
#4 Daniel Pavlov (Midwood) – (2017 Mayor’s Cup 3rd place @ 195)
Leo Rabonivich (Tottenville)- The two-time city champion, defending Mayor’s Cup champion, and Greco-Roman state champion from Tottenville is up two weight classes and looking to win another Mayor’s Cup championship. Leo has been dominant thus far- pinning many of his opponents this season. Ranked #1 at the weight and #8 in the Fab 50, Rabonivich looks like a clear favorite and bonus point machine at this weight class. Just last weekend, Leo showed his dominance by bumping up a weight class to wrestle #1 Jayson Gomez of Eagle Academy at 285 lbs. Gomez is a return city champion and former Fargo All-American. Rabonivich came away with a 7-5 statement victory.
#2 Micheal Babbcort (Wingate)- (2017 Mayor’s Cup 5th place @ 220, 7th place @ Eastern States 2018)
#3 Francis Tawiah (Petrides)- (2017 Mayor’s Cup 8th place @ 220)
#4 Frank Scafuri (Monsignor Farrell)
Jayson Gomez (Eagle Academy)- Fargo All-American and returning Mayor’s Cup finalist, Jayson Gomez is looking to win his first “best in the city” championship. Ranked #1 at 285 lbs. and #12 in the Fab 50, Jayson is the favorite at the weight class, barring Tottenville’s Leo Rabonivich remains at 220 lbs. Gomez is a very athletic wrestler for the weight, and is one of the more entertaining heavyweights you will watch wrestle.
#2 Tyrone Finney (WC Bryant)
#3 Mizrobek Yahyaev (Robert Wagner)
#4 Avantaye Solomon (George Washington)- (2017 Mayor’s Cup 4th place @ 285)