qualifier Ruff leads Bearcats into 2003-04 season
Josh is the hardest worker on the team, and leads by example, Fusilli said. His work ethic, attitude and enthusiasm make him a true team leader, and the success hes had so early in his collegiate career should serve as a model for his young teammates that anyone can come in and have immediate success if they put in the effort.
The strength of Fusillis lineup still lies in the middle weights, with Ruff and veterans at 149 and 157 pounds. Those three weights accounted for the majority of the teams dual match wins last season, and despite the departure of four-year standout Joe Privitere at 157, Fusilli remains confident.
We have a really sound group of guys at 141, 149 and 157, he said. They are experienced guys, and will all be very competitive in duals this season.
Here is a capsule look at each weight class.
Were looking for Josh to repeat the kind of season he had last year, only with a little better record, Fusilli said. He has set a goal to win a conference championship and get back to the NCAAs. Josh hates to lose, and can score points on top
Sophomore John Gartiser (Tuxedo, N.Y.), who was 7-5 as a starter at 133 last season, moves up a weight class this year though he might red-shirt. Gartiser, 13-11 overall in 2002-03, is very athletic with good mat sense.
Beau had a good individual season last year, Fusilli said. He is quick, and chances are, if he gets into a flurry, he will win the battle.
Junior Joe Gartiser (Tuxedo, N.Y.), who won 14 matches as the starter last season, will back-up.
Rob is pretty good in all three areas, Fusilli said. He can be dangerous on his feet, and has a lot of confidence coming into this season. He beat a couple of national qualifiers last season. Were looking for really good things from him this year.
Senior Justin Hoch (Canandaigua, N.Y.) and freshman Andrew Scolaro (Cooper Plains, N.Y.) are also available. Hoch is a three-year veteran and one of Fusillis four team leaders this season. He has 23 career match victories and state placewinner status to his credit, while Scolaro begins a promising collegiate career.
Ryan improved tremendously toward the end of last season, Fusilli said. He has become more of a smart wrestler. He reacts well, and has put a lot of muscle weight on this year.
Junior Jarrett Wolvington (Winona, Minn.) and freshman Kevin Bush (Brockport, N.Y.) also provide depth.
Ron is a very strong and powerful wrestler, and is extremely tough on top Fusilli said. He now has a stronger commitment to the sport.
Freshman Tom Vail (Johnson City, N.Y.) is another in a long line of rugged scholastic athletes from nearby Johnson City High School, and Fusilli believes his best wrestling is still to come. Vail was a two-time sectional placewinner, and was one match away from placing at the prestigious Beast of the East tournament up a weight at 189.
Tom didnt ever reach his potential in high school, Fusilli said. He is a tough, hard-nosed kid who doesnt back down. I believe hell develop into a good collegiate wrestler.
Jerome has all the tools to do extremely well this year, Fusilli said. He is explosive and hard working. I think he will be very tough come February.
Joe, a reigning NWCA scholar-athlete, went 16-6 in 2002-03. He missed a portion of first-semester competition, and that may have affected his performance down the stretch, when he came up a bit short at the conference meet. As the fifth seed, he knocked off the fourth seed in the quarterfinals before losing on riding time to the top seed and eventual champion. The very competitive 184 weight class sent three wrestlers to the NCAA Championship. Back in January, Joe was runner-up at the New York State Championship. He finished the year with an 11-3 dual match record second only to Ruff in victories.
Backing up Joe is freshman Declan Josephson (Rye Brook, N.Y.), an accomplished scholastic athlete who won 143 matches for Port Chester High School. A two-time state qualifier, Declan went 44-2 as a senior and earned All-America honors. Fusilli believes he will benefit from his new workout partners.
Declan is a tremendous athlete who is dominating on top, Fusilli said. He knows he can compete at this level, and with his work ethic and our practice environment, his skills on his feet will blossom.
Junior Mark Tse (Albany, N.Y.), a two-year hard-working veteran and state placewinner, will also see time.
Derman got a lot bigger over the summer, Fusilli said. He gained almost 20 pounds. If he stays with the strategy and what hes good at, he will continue to succeed like he did at the end of last season.
Freshman Michael Patterson (Rochester, N.Y.), one of Fusillis top recruits, should see a lot of time as well. He was a two-time state runner-up and three-time qualifier for Wayne High School. Patterson went 46-1 and was nationally ranked as a senior. He was 162-35 overall in high school.
Mike has great physical attributes for a big guy he is quick, aggressive, keeps good position, and is well conditioned, Fusilli said.
Freshman Michael Sanacore (Greenfield Center, N.Y.), a state runner-up for Corinth High School, also begins a promising collegiate career. Sanacore is a brawler-type who can bench press more than 400 pounds most of any Bearcat.
Jeff is probably the hardest working heavyweight Ive ever had, he said. He wont have an easy transition to heavyweight this year, but Jeff will certainly win a good number of matches for us.
The CAA Championship, hosted by Rider, will again serve as the NCAA qualifier. Fusilli will then be looking to send at least one wrestler to the NCAA Championship for the third straight year. The national meet takes place March 18-20 in St. Louis.
Weve raised the level of our schedule this year, Fusilli said. We have some matches we have potential to win, but we will have to work very hard. Im excited about the Body Bar and the Beast of East tournaments, which will expose our guys to some outstanding competition. Hopefully, we can take Josh and one other guy to the Midlands.
Our goal is to crown our first conference champion this year, he said. Wed like to have at least two NCAA qualifiers, and I think we could even get three. Jerome (Joe) and Beau (Bruno) each have a good shot.
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