The 2017 NYC Mayor’s Cup Wrestling Championships took place this past Saturday, January 21 at York College. The Mayor’s Cup was a chance for 225 of New York City’s top high school wrestlers from the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL), the Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA), and the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) to compete for the title of “Best in the City.”
The day began at 8am with weigh-ins for all fifteen weight classes, with sixteen competitors per weight class. These sixteen wrestlers were deemed the best in NYC for their weight class, with nine competitors from PSAL, four from CHSAA, and three from NYSAIS. Additionally, the competitors weren’t all high school males-- one participant was an eighth grader and two participants were females. As the day continued with quarterfinals, semifinals, and consolation rounds, the numbers were whittled down until the championship rounds, which went from approximately 7pm to 10pm.
Brandon Nunez and Simon Chee both gave especially standout performances and impressively challenged themselves. Brandon Nunez, who wrestled and won in the 99 lbs weight class just last weekend at Eastern States, won when he bumped up to 106 at Mayor’s Cup. Similarly, Simon Chee, who previously wrestled at 182 lbs, wrestled and won in the 195 lbs weight class this past weekend at Mayor’s Cup. A special shoutout to them both!
Serjey Thomas and David Bogie, a senior and junior at Eagle Academy respectively, were both trying to improve from their first year at Mayor’s Cup. At the 2016 Mayor’s Cup, both Bogie and Thomas placed fifth in their weight classes, but were vying for gold this year. When asked how they’ve changed in the last year, they both attributed their improvement to Beat the Streets.
David Bogie described how "Beat the Streets has taken me to a lot of tournaments with Freestyle and Greco and that's improved my overall wrestling tremendously." He believed that the exposure to challenges beyond the city and the state had helped improve his wrestling."It's a different level of wrestling that helps me just improve."
Serjey Thomas said that "it's the fact that I've wrestled year round that's helped me jump another level. The places Beat the Streets has taken us, such as Columbus Day duals and Waterway duals-- all of these different tournaments allow us to observe wrestlers from other states. We get the perspective to understand what level we have to reach in order to become a lot better. If you just stay in the city, you're going to be best in the city. If, however, you want to be a state champion or a national champion, you have to wrestle at the state level and the national level. I think Beat the Streets has really helped with that."
Bogie and Thomas, who wrestled at 145 and 170 respectively, were grateful for the opportunity to wrestle at Mayor's Cup. Though neither made gold this year, both attained the silver.
Michael Babbcort, a Wingate Campus sophomore in the 220 weight class, said he was glad to make it to the tournament because “not a lot of kids qualified.” He noted that “maybe the really good [sophomores] make Mayor’s Cup. I see some friends who are also sophomores and they qualified.” Even though he qualified last year as a freshman, he didn’t win any matches -- this year he happily noted he was able to at least place.
Jacque Davis, BTS head girls coach, summarized her experience at the tournament with the following: “This was my fourth year attending Mayor's Cup and I have to say that it was the smoothest event I have been to thus far. We had over 100 student and adult volunteers -- this to me shows a huge investment by our wrestling community for our wrestling community. The wrestling itself, even in the early stages, was exciting and highly competitive. As a result, when I was sitting with the audience watching the finals, I couldn't help but get carried away in the the energy, excitement, and booming cheers.”
Jaime Gray, BTS program manager, added that “it was great to see the best in the city come together and compete. It was an energetic environment and I had a great time watching the kids.”
According to Ken Bigley, BTS Director of Program Development and PSAL Wrestling Supervisor, "The wrestling was great! The matches were very competitive and very hard fought. The kids scraped for every point and the entire day really embodied the 'Best In The City' spirit of the Mayor's Cup.” Bigley also pointed out that the Broadcast of the Championship Finals are archived online and can be viewed at http://player.nfhsnetwork.com/#/events/nfhs-network-special-events/6b1147b1f1".
The top three teams were as follows:
99 -- Terry Adams (Monsignor Farrell) won by technical fall over Kai Yudelson (Brooklyn Tech)
106** -- Brandon Nunez (John Bowne) won by technical fall over Max Ebanks (Monsignor Farrell)
113 -- Dove Bonjean-Alpart (Poly Prep) won his second Mayor’s Cup Championship in a tough match against David Traub (Tottenville)
120 -- David Berkovich (Poly Prep), claimed his first Mayor’s Cup championship of his career by defeating two-time defending champ, Dylan Ebanks (Xavier)
126 -- John Luke DeStefano (Poly Prep) defeated Akbar Haider (Brooklyn Tech), becoming a three-time defending champ of Mayor’s Cup
132 -- Rob Scopellitti (Monsignor Farrell) defeated Kevin McColgan (Petrides)
138 -- David Perullo (Brooklyn Tech) defeated Liam Harvey (Poly Prep) in the final 30 seconds after he reversed a 3-2 deficit.
145-- Steven Isaac (Monsignor Farrell) won against David Bogie (Eagle Academy)
152-- Murad Ramazanov (Brooklyn Tech) won the Battle of the Brooklyns against Akmal Suvonov (Brooklyn International)
160-- Mike Lanza (Monsignor Farrell) won against Joe DiForte (Petrides)
170-- David Flynn (Monsignor Farrell) won against Serjey Thomas (Eagle Academy)
182-- Leo Rabinovich (Tottenville) won against Steven Roberts (Monsignor Farrell)
195**-- Simon Chee (Cardozo) won against Victor Marzano (Poly Prep).
220 -- Dan Agarunov (Tottenville) won against Jacob Putter (Truman).
285 -- Nick Romanello (Monsignor Farrell) won against 2016 USAW Cadet FS All-American, Jayson Gomez (Eagle Academy)
Complete brackets can be found here: http://arena.flowrestling.org/event/669c3db2-6ef8-4077-a33b-a407728e593c