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Top teams and individuals showcased at Journeymen/ASICS Northeast Duals in Troy, N.Y., Nov. 24

TROY, N.Y. – For a decade, Frank Popolizio and local wrestling supporters in the Albany, N.Y. area have brought many of the nation’s top Div. I college wrestling teams to the Capitol region of New York for the Journeymen/ASICS Northeast Duals.

This year will be the 10th anniversary of this great event, with another field stocked with strong teams and individuals. It will be held at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, N.Y. on Saturday, November 24.

This year there will be 14 teams in the field, some who will compete in as many as four dual meets.

Among those with top 25 NWCA national rankings released today are No. 6 Illinois, No. 8 Cornell, No. 10 Oklahoma, No. 11 Central Michigan and No. 16 Maryland. Receiving votes in the NWCA poll was Hofstra.

The event will have some outstanding team matchups. Included are:
No. 6 Illinois vs. No. 16 Maryland
No. 8 Cornell vs. No. 10 Oklahoma
No. 8 Cornell vs. No. 11 Central Michigan
No. 10 Oklahoma vs. No. 11 Central Michigan

The event will feature two athletes who are currently ranked No. 1 in their weight classes in a variety of rankings, three-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake of Cornell at 165 pounds and All-American Kendric Maple of Oklahoma at 141 pounds.

There could be literally dozens of matchups between ranked wrestlers within the dual meet structure throughout the day based upon rankings released today.

A potential matchup at 174 pounds features No. 2 Josh Asper of Maryland against No. 5 Jordan Blanton of Illinois. These two wrestlers met at the NWCA All-Star Classic in a match that did not count on their records, with Asper winning 3-1 in overtime. This time, if they meet, the match will count in the records and for future seeding.

At 165 pounds, Dake goes up against No. 6 Bubby Graham of Oklahoma, and faces two others in the top 20 of Intermat’s rankings, Joe Booth of Drexel and Mike Ottinger of Central Michigan.

At 133, No. 3 Scotti Sentes of Central Michigan faces three ranked rivals: Nick Arujau of Cornell, Jamie Franco of Hofstra and Cody Brewer of Oklahoma.

Below is a list of ranked wrestlers in the field, as well as potential matchups based upon the dual meet schedule.

An important part of this year’s event is a special tribute to the late Olympic champion Jeff Blatnick, an Albany area legend who passed away a few weeks ago. Members of the Blatnick family will be in attendance, as the local wrestling community and the college wrestling community come together to recognize Blatnick for his amazing wrestling career and life. A special video about Blatnick has been developed and will be shown for the first time at the event.

The Journeymen Wrestling Club has also been raising funds to give to the Blatnick family, a project which will continue through this weekend. Those who would still like to support this effort should make out donations to: Journeymen Wrestling Club, LTD, (Memo line - Jeff Blatnick), 2220 Balltown Rd., Niskayuna NY 12309.

One of the reasons this event was created was the fact that, as the club website says, “the once fertile Albany, NY area is completely barren of collegiate wrestling. Because Division I, II, and III collegiate wrestling is non-existent within an 65-mile radius of Albany NY, a profound void exists.”

Event organizer Frank Popolizio went to an Iowa vs. Oklahoma State dual meet in 1998, an experience which led to a decision to bring major college wrestling dual meets to his home community in Albany, N.Y. It was three years later that the idea became reality.

“The goal was to recreate a charismatic atmosphere, inspire our youth and bring awareness to college wrestling here in Albany NY area. Essentially it was to recreate everything we experienced that day in 1998,” said Popolizio.

With a field of four teams who braved a Nor’easter storm, the tournament was launched 10 years ago. With five nationally ranked teams, and dozens of nationally ranked individuals in the field, this event has become a highlight of the college wrestling season each fall.

Posted below is a history of the creation of the Journeymen/ASICS Northeast Duals, written by Popolizio.

At Troy, N.Y., November 24

Participating teams (alphabetically):

Army, Binghamton, Bloomsburg, Columbia, Drexel, No. 11 Central Michigan, No. 8 Cornell, Hofstra, No. 6 Illinois, No. 16 Maryland, No. 10 Oklahoma, Princeton, Purdue, Rutgers

Round One (9:30 a.m.)
Hofstra vs. Bloomsburg
Cornell vs. Drexel
Purdue vs. Army
Illinois vs. Princeton
Maryland vs. Columbia
Youth Dual

Round Two (11:25 a.m.)
Hofstra vs. Oklahoma
Cornell vs. Central Michigan
Purdue vs. Maryland
Rutgers vs. Columbia
Princeton vs. Bloomsburg
Binghamton vs. Army

Round Three (1:40 p.m.)
Hofstra vs. Central Michigan
Cornell vs. Oklahoma
Illinois vs. Maryland
Purdue vs. Princeton
Columbia vs. Drexel
Binghamton vs. Rutgers

Round Four (3:30 p.m.)
Hofstra vs. Purdue
Central Michigan vs. Oklahoma
Rutgers vs. Army
Drexel vs Bloomsburg
Binghamton vs. Illinois
Youth Dual

Ranked individuals in the field from Amateur Wrestling News and InterMat, and possible matchups at Journeymen Northeast Duals

125 lbs.

Jesse Delgado (Illinois) – No. 3 AWN; No. 3 Intermat;
Steve Bonano (Hofstra) – No. 9 AWN; No. 10 Intermat;
Joe Roth (Central Michigan) – No. 10 AWN; No. 12 Intermat
Shane Gentry (Maryland) – No. 13 AWN
Nahshon Garnett (Cornell) – No. 15 AWN; No. 9 Intermat
Camden Eppert (Purdue) – No. 19 Intermat

125 - Jesse Delgado (Illinois) vs. Shane Gentry (Maryland)
125 - Nahshon Garnett (Cornell) vs. Joe Roth (Central Michigan)
125 - Steve Bonano (Hofstra) vs. Joe Roth (Central Michigan)
125 - Steve Bonano (Hofstra) vs. Camden Eppert (Purdue)
133 - Shane Gentry (Maryland) vs. Camden Eppert (Purdue)

133 lbs.
Scotti Sentes (Central Michigan) – No. 3 AWN; No. 2 Intermat
Cashe Quiroga (Purdue) – No. 8 AWN: No. 8 Intermat
Cody Brewer (Oklahoma) – No. 10 AWN; No. 13 Intermat
Geoff Alexander (Maryland) – No. 12 AWN; No. 15 Intermat
Nick Arujau (Cornell) – No. 15 AWN; No. 12 Intermat
Jamie Franco (Hofstra) – No. 17 Intermat
Nick Wilcox (Bloomsburg) – No. 19 AWN

133 - Scotti Sentes (Central Michigan) vs. Nick Arujau (Cornell)
133 - Scotti Sentes (Central Michigan) vs Jamie Franco (Hofstra)
133 - Scotti Sentes (Central Michigan) vs.Cody Brewer (Oklahoma)
133 - Cashe Quiroga (Purdue) vs. Geoff Alexander (Maryland)
133- Cashe Quiroga (Purdue) vs. Jamie Franco (Hofstra)
133 - Nick Arujau (Cornell) vs. Cody Brewer (Oklahoma)
133 - Cody Brewer (Oklahoma) vs. Jamie Franco (Hofstra)
133 - Jamie Franco (Hofstra) vs. Nick Wilcox (Bloomsburg)

141 lbs.
Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) – No.1 AWN; No. 1 Intermat
B.J. Futrell (Illinois) – No. 3 AWN: No. 3 Intermat
Mike Nevinger (Cornell) – No. 7 AWN; No. 9 Intermat
Luke Vaith (Hofstra) – No. 8 AWN; No. 10 Intermat
Brandon Nelsen (Purdue) – No. 20 AWN

141 - Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) vs. Luke Vaith (Hofstra)
141 - Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) vs. Mike Nevinger (Cornell)
141 - Luke Vaith (Hofstra) vs. Brandon Nelsen (Purdue)

149 lbs.
Donnie Vinson (Binghamton) – No. 1 AWN; No. 4 Intermat
Nick Lester (Oklahoma) – No. 5 AWN; No. 8 Intermat
Justin Accordino (Hofstra) – No. 7 Intermat
Steve Santos (Columbia) – No. 10 AWN; No. 15 Intermat
Ivan Lopouchanski (Purdue) – No. 13 AWN; No. 14 Intermat
Daniel Young (Army) – No 18 AWN; No. 20 Intermat
Josh Roosa (Bloomsburg) – No. 20 AWN

149 - Donnie Vinson (Binghamton) vs. Daniel Young (Army)
149 - Justin Accordino (Hofstra) vs. Nick Lester (Oklahoma)
149 - Justin Accordino (Hofstra) vs. Ivan Lopouchanski (Purdue)
149 - Justin Accordino (Hofstra) vs. Josh Roosa (Bloomsburg)
149 - Ivan Lopouchanski (Purdue) vs. Daniel Young (Army)

157 lbs.
Frank Hickman (Bloomsburg) – No. 7 AWN; No. 8 Intermat
Matt Lester (Oklahoma) –No 10 AWN; No. 12 Intermat
Jake O’Hara (Columbia) – No. 11 AWN; No. 13 Intermat
Scott Winston (Rutgers) – No. 14 AWN; No. 9 Intermat
Craig Eifert (Cornell) – No. 17 Intermat

157 - Scott Winston (Rutgers) vs. Jake O’Hara (Columbia)
157 - Matt Lester (Oklahoma) vs. Craig Eifert (Cornell)

165 lbs.
Kyle Dake (Cornell) – No. AWN; No. 1 Intermat
Conrad Polz (Illinois) – No. 5 AWN; No. 6 Intermat
Bubby Graham (Oklahoma) – No. 6 AWN; No. 7 Intermat
Joe Booth (Drexel) – No. 12 Intermat
Mike Ottinger (Central Michigan) – No. 18 Intermat

165 - Kyle Dake (Cornell) vs. Bubby Graham (Oklahoma)
165 - Kyle Dake (Cornell) vs. Joe Booth (Drexel)
165 - Kyle Dake (Cornell) vs. Mike Ottinger (Central Michigan)
165 - Bubby Graham (Oklahoma) vs. Mike Ottinger (Central Michigan)

174 lbs.
Josh Asper (Maryland) – No. 2 AWN; No. 3 Intermat
Jordan Blanton (Illinois) – No, 5 AWN; No. 6 Intermat
Greg Zannetti (Rutgers) – No 10 AWN; No. 11 Intermat
Stephen West (Columbia) – No 13 AWN: No. 18 Intermat
Cole Gracey (Army) – No 19 AWN; No. 14 Intermat

174 - Josh Asper (Maryland) vs. Jordan Blanton (Illinois)
174 - Josh Asper (Maryland) vs. Stephen West (Columbia)
174 - Greg Zannetti (Rutgers) vs. Stephen West (Columbia)
174 - Greg Zannetti (Rutgers) vs. Cole Gracey (Army)

184 lbs.
Ben Bennett (Central Michigan) – No. 4 AWN; No. 5 Intermat
Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland) – No 9 AWN; No. 10 Intermat
Tony Dallago (Illinois) – No 10 AWN; No. 11 Intermat
Dan Rinaldi (Rutgers) – No 13 AWN; No. 13 Intermat
Craig Scott (Cornell) – No. 20 AWN
Steve Bosak (Cornell) – No. 2 Intermat

184 - Ben Bennett (Central Michigan) vs. Craig Scott/Steve Bosak (Cornell)
184 - Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland) vs. Tony Dallago (Illinois)

197 lbs.
Mario Gonzalez (Illinois) – No 6 AWN; No. 6 Intermat
Nate Schiedel (Binghamton) – No 7 AWN; No. 7 Intermat
Christian Boley (Maryland) – No 10 AWN; No. 10 Intermat
Braden Atwood (Purdue) – No. 12 AWN; No. 18 Intermat
Brandon Palik (Drexel) – No. 16 AWN; No. 19 Intermat
Richard Perry (Bloomsburg) – No 18 AWN; No. 17 Intermat

197 - Mario Gonzalez (Illinois) vs. Christian Boley (Maryland)
197 - Mario Gonzalez (Illinois) vs. Nate Schiedel (Binghamton)
197 - Christian Boley (Maryland) vs. Braden Atwood (Purdue)
197 - Brandon Palik (Drexel) vs. Richard Perry (Bloomsburg)

Jarod Trice (Central Michigan) – No. 3 AWN; No. 4 Intermat
Pat Walker (Illinois) – No. 17 AWN
Justin Grant (Bloomsburg) – No 19 AWN; No. 17 Intermat
Billy Smith (Rutgers) – No. 20 AWN

History Behind The Journeymen/ASICS Northeast Collegiate Duals
By Frank Popolizio, Journeymen Wrestling Club

In February of 1998 I had the good fortune to witness my brother, Pat Popolizio, wrestle in one of the most historic dual meets of all time – #1 OSU vs. # 2 Iowa, at the Carver Hawkeye Arena. The dual attracted 14,000-plus spectators and it was clearly the most exciting sporting events I’ve ever seen to date. The battle came down to the very last HWT match of the dual. Oklahoma State’s HWT won in double overtime, giving the Cowboys a 22-18 victory.

By complete happenstance, I brought two high school wrestlers from New York with me to see my brother wrestle. Little did I know we were about to witness history and create a movement of sorts. As if it were a seed planted in my mind, an idea began to grow wildly in my head. Over a three-year period, I started to reminisce and become obsessed about that incredible atmosphere, ambiance and environment we experienced that day in the Carver Hawkeye Arena. The following year I started the planning for a “collegiate wrestling event.” Out of that February 1998 experience was born the Journeymen/ASICS Northeast Collegiate Duals.

The goal was to recreate a charismatic atmosphere, inspire our youth and bring awareness to college wrestling here in Albany NY area. Essentially recreate everything we experienced that day in 1998. American University, then headed by first-year coach Mark Cody, was the first team to sign on to the event. However, the university prevented the team from attending in the 11th hour due to a conflict in final exam scheduling. James Madison miraculously had an unexpected opening in their scheduling due to a storm that hit the East coast two weeks prior. They stepped in for American and filled a nearly unimaginable void. Sacred Heart University, James Madison University,East Stroudsburg University and University of Buffalo were the four programs that ultimately made up the field of the first Northeast College Duals. Mark Cody, who is now the head coach at the University of Oklahoma and is at this year’s Journeymen/ASICS Northeast Collegiate Duals, honored his word and personally drove to the event even though his team wasn’t permitted to compete in 2002.

In the end only 200 spectators showed for our inaugural event. A monster nor’easter the day of the tournament derailed our plan of setting an attendance record for college wrestling. However, the groundwork was laid for the future and the rest is essentially history. The Journeymen/ASICS Northeast Duals are officially celebrating our 10th anniversary.
Untitled Document
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