LEAGUE VI CHAMPIONSHIP
In his first three years on the varsity for Shoreham-Wading River, James Szymanski was a two-time all-league wrestler. Last year, he placed fifth at the county tournament.
For all he’s accomplished in his career, a league title still eluded him after two runner-up finishes the past two years.
On Saturday, Szymanski broke through — dominating the 120-pound bracket to clinch the League VI title in front of the home fans at Shoreham-Wading River High School.
Szymanski was one of four league champs for the Wildcats, who finished second as a team with 226 1/2 points in the League VI Championship. John Glenn was the runaway champion with 320 1/2 points. Westhampton Beach finished a distant third with 108 1/2.
The Wildcats finished the tournament with 12 all-league wrestlers. Nine Shoreham wrestlers advanced to the league finals.
Szymanski won 6-2 in the finals against Lucas Escobar of East Hampton. Before the finals, Szymanski, a junior, had spent just 1 minute and 40 seconds total on the mat. He had a first-round bye and then pinned his first opponent in 18 seconds. In the semifinals he recorded a pin in 1:22.
Szymanski improved to 43-2 this season and he’ll likely enter the county tournament next weekend as the No. 2 seed behind Ward Melville sensation Nick Piccininni.
At 182 pounds, senior Dom Pirraglia recorded the most pins in least time with four in 9:29. He pinned his first two opponents in the first period before taking down Dan Kohout of John Glenn in the semifinals in 2:33. In the finals, he methodically worked his way to a 5-0 lead against Matt Siebert of Sayville.
He battled his way to a pin with 39 seconds left in the third period.
Pirraglia won his second straight league title at 182 and improved his season record to 40-3. Pirraglia will be up against a stacked lineup at the county meet. Heading into the league tournaments, Pirraglia was ranked sixth in the county.
At 132 pounds, top-seeded Jack Taddeo won his second league title by winning 6-5 against John Glenn’s Tommy DiBenedetto.
Taddeo was tied at 4 in the third period before scoring a takedown with 32 seconds left. DiBenedetto got one point back, but couldn’t get any closer as Taddeo held on for an exhilarating victory.
At 96 pounds, Kevin Meloni won his first league title with a 7-6 overtime victory over Sean Wieck of John Glenn.
Meloni led 6-4 late in the third before giving up two points, one on a stall and another for unsportsmanlike conduct. That allowed the match to reach overtime, where Meloni prevailed on a technical violation. Wieck grabbed Meloni’s jersey as he attempted to bring him down.
Second-place finishers for Shoreham were: Chris Meloni (126), David Keith (152), Troy Miller (160), Mike Neidhart (170) and Max Goldfarb (195).
Jack Del Duca was third at 106 and Tyler Anderson (285) and John Carl Petretti (113) were fourth.
The Section XI county tournament will be held Friday and Sunday at Hofstra University.