BTS is proud to report that NYC wrestlers completed the Eastern States Classic with Brandon Nunez as a champion, Terry Adams as a runner-up, Demitreus Henry as a sixth-placer, and Victor Marzano as a seventh-placer! BTSNY funded the participation of 15 PSAL wrestlers in the tournament, which took place at SUNY Sullivan from January 13 through 14.
In an all-NYC final at 99 lbs, Brandon Nunez, a senior at John Bowne High School, won the weight class after defeating Terry Adams, a sophomore from Monsignor Farrell. According to BTS Training Center Coordinator Jaime Gray, Nunez progressively got better as the tournament went on and looked his best during the finals.
Nunez was glad that he “was able to win and continue to make history for PSAL and NYC wrestling.” Nunez additionally stated that “this week was great and it showed how much NYC wrestling is improving. We had a lot of guys make it to day two.”
Nunez’s win means that he has now joined the ranks of previous NYC champions who won individual titles at Eastern States. This makes it the fourth consecutive year that NYC wrestlers have represented and conquered at this tournament. Champions of prior years include: Rich Sisti, Monsignor Farrell alumnus (2014); Nate Rose, Eagle Academy alumnus (2015); Adam Santoro, Fordham Prep alumnus (2016).
Some of the best athletes from several northeastern states, including Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania, came to compete in the Eastern States Classic. The experience of being able to compete with some of the best wrestlers in the region gave BTS kids perspective on where they stood beyond their city and state rankings.
Demitreus Henry, a Grand Street Campus junior, described his experience: "Not an easy tournament, but now I know where I am as one of the best competitors throughout New York State. I have about a month to correct some of the mistakes I made and improve so I am ready for the city and state tournaments."
Henry took sixth place at 152 lbs. Despite this being his first trip to Eastern States, he defeated multiple ranked opponents throughout the weekend. One of Henry’s big wins of the tournament was against the wrestler who is ranked fifth in NYS at 160 lbs and was even the 2016 Nassau County Champion.
When Henry finally lost in the semifinals, it was to a former two-time NYS runner-up and current #4 in the state. As Gotham City Wrestling reported, “given the depth of this 152-pound bracket, this is an incredible accomplishment for a wrestler who entered under the radar.”
Gray summarized the experience for BTS wrestlers with the following: "We have a long ways to go, but for a few of the kids it was definitely a step in the right direction. Getting the athletes to focus on the things they can control, like effort and fight, takes a lot of the pressure and anxiety out of the equation. I felt like they started buying into that as the tournament went on, and it put them in a position to win a lot of close matches."
In addition to the place winners, Seven NYC wrestlers won matches that led them to the quarter finals:
⚫ Dove Bonjean-Alpart of Poly Prep defeated the 2016 Nassau County Champion.
⚫ David Berkovich of Poly Prep defeated the Maine State finalist and three-time MA State Bronze medalist.
⚫ John Luke DeStefano of Poly Prep won against the 2016 Nassau sixth place finisher as well as Section IX third place finisher.
⚫ Alfredo Luna of Xavier defeated the CT State fourth-ranked and the 2016 Section I runner-up.
⚫ Joseph DiForte of Petrides defeated 2016 Section XI qualifier and returning Section I fourth placer.
⚫ Feras Zedeia of William C. Bryant posted victories over the likes of the Section V third place finisher and Section VIII runner-up.
⚫ Victor Marzano of Poly Prep, who secured a seventh place win by the end of the tournament, had defeated the 2016 Section IV sixth place finisher prior to this event.
If you’d like a closer look at the brackets for the different weight classes, click here.