Put Valley’s Carano, Earns Most Outstanding, Leads 4 Tigers to States
By Tony Pinciaro
Wrestling is a Carano family tradition so it was not a surprise when seventh-grader, Will Carano, joined the PUTNAM VALLEY varsity wrestling team, coached by his father, Will Sr.
Coach Carano was a Section 1 champion during his Mahopac scholastic days (1986) and later became the founder/architect of the Putnam Valley wrestling juggernaut.
Will Carano joined his father on the mat, immediately earned a starting spot and showed quickly he would be among Section 1’s elite.
Carano finished fourth in the Section 1 Division II Championships his first year, then followed it up with consecutive sectional runner-up finishes. This year, Carano achieved a major goal. The sophomore won the Section 1 Division II 145-pound title with a 14-5 decision over Pearl River’s Emmett McCann, joining his father as a sectional champion. It was also Carano’s 100th varsity win.
“My son would wreck me, wipe up the mats with me,” the father said of the son. “He is ten times the grappler I was. He is surrounded by a cadre of first-rate grappling men: Chris Bruno, Joe Mahoney, John Degl, Danny Turner, Anthony Tortora, Alex Dela Cruz, Steve Rodriquez… and he has the most beautiful, unselfish, loving wrestling mom he could possibly have.
“I tell all my athletes, ‘show me who you surround yourself with and I will show you your future’,” Coach Carano added. “For my second-generation grappling son, those words could not hold more value.”
Dean Appell (152 pounds), Dustin Koskinen-Falls (195) and Rolando Lopez (220) joined Carano on the podium as sectional champions and led the Tigers to a third-place finish behind defending champion Pearl River and runner-up Pleasantville.
The Putnam Valley four qualified for the New York State Division II Wrestling Championships, Friday-Saturday, Feb. 22-23, at the Times-Union Center in Albany.
Along with winning his first title, Carano, now 27-6 this season, was selected by the coaches as the most outstanding lightweight wrestler.
“It means a lot to me to join my dad as a champ,” Carano said. “It also meant a lot to be named most outstanding lightweight wrestler. I wasn’t excepting it, so it was very exciting.”
Carano came out against McCann, registered the first takedown, early, and dictated the match.
“My approach going in was the same for every other match, keep the pace high, and wear them out,” Carano said. “I felt I was in control after the first takedown and that he was going to have to wrestle my match from there on.”
Even though Putnam Valley lost a pair of impact wrestlers in Kyle Sams and Mikey Bruno to graduation, the Tigers showed why they are among Section 1’s elite.
“I thought our team’s performance was great,” said Carano, who also earned a wild card to the 2017 state championships. “I knew we could have five guys in the finals like we did, but I wasn’t expecting Rolando and Dustin to be as dominant, with pins, as they were. I think it’s awesome that Rolando won. He worked hard in season at the Putnam Valley practices, and he worked hard during the summer at John Degl’s Empire Wrestling Academy with me.”
Coach Will Carano was a proud father and coach following sectionals.
“The schedule we put together is designed to help them the team hold up and compete when it matters most,” Carano said. “That’s the plan and the hope, anyway, because the season is one heck of a grind, and that is a process that you need wrestlers to buy into and for us, this year, this group of young men did. They showed up and competed when it mattered.
“As far as Will goes, McCann is a tough kid and a class act, as well, and Will needed to ne composed and hold up and compete for six minutes and I think he had a great night, in that regard.”
Dennis DiSanto concluded an illustrious and decorated 35-year coaching career, guiding MAHOPAC to a fourth-place finish at the Section 1 Division I Wrestling Championships.
DiSanto, who is retiring from teaching and his guidance counselor position at Mahopac High School in June, witnessed his Indians place eight wrestlers among the top six, highlighted by 99-pound finalist Angelo Centrone.
This season, DiSanto joined legendary former Fox Lane Coach Joe Amuso in the 400-win club. DiSanto walks away with a Section 1-record 429 wins.
Along the way this season, Mahopac wrestled for the Section 1 Division I Dual-Meet Championship, won a league title and also won the annual Eric D’Agnese (Somers) Tournament, where DiSanto coached the majority of his career. DiSanto was honored for his time at Somers by Somers’ Coach and nephew Ron DiSanto, Jr. DiSanto said the ceremony “made us all tearful.”
“It was a very emotional season for me, starting with my 400th win, then we made it to the final four then to the final two with two dramatic wins,” said DiSanto of the Section 1 Dual-Meet Championship. “Then two days after the Somers tournament, I broke the Section 1 record. Once we clinched the match for the record I was overcome with emotion as several wrestlers I coached at Somers were there, which added to my emotions.
“That was followed up by senior night in which the Mahopac district honored me, which also added to the emotions and, on top of all that, we won our league.”
DiSanto will add another accomplishment to his lengthy, impressive coaching career when he is inducted into the Section 1 Wrestling Hall of Fame in March. However, DiSanto chose to focus on his team.
“I have a very close team in that we are together all day in school and everyone supports each other,” DiSanto said. “It was one of the best seasons I have ever had and I can’t say enough about the support I have received from the Mahopac district, parents and wrestlers on my team. It was a great experience.
“I’m sad to leave, but excited to spend time with my new-born grandson and I felt the program in great shape. It was a great run.”
Centrone, in his first varsity season, finished with a 42-4 record. Frankie Scauzillo (113 pounds) and Tyler Roa (145) both finished third.
Yorktown, Ossining and Carmel each had a sectional runner-up.
YORKTOWN’s Ben Robinson, who was seeded sixth, defeated second-seeded Paul Lee of Tappan Zee in double overtime of a semifinal to earn a final’s berth. OSINNING’s Joe Nolan wrestled for the 285-pound title and CARMEL’s Ben Rivera reached the 170-pound final.
Ossining’s Josh Manning (160) registered his 100th varsity win and placed third and teammate Izaiah Steen (220) also finished third.
Yorktown’s Andrew Finateri (120) finished fifth as dis Carmel’s Jaydon Boscia (138) and Leo Venables (106).
HEN HUD seniors Beckett Herman (132) and Michael Tosi (182) both finished fourth and Herman won his 100th varsity match.
LAKELAND/PANAS’ Ryan Ocasio (120) and BREWSTER’s Greg Salavec (160) both finished sixth.
- Ray Gallagher contributed to this story