LEAGUE VI TOURNAMENT
When the name of the most outstanding wrestler of the 2015 Suffolk County League VI Tournament was announced, Jack Taddeo was not to be seen. As it turned out, the Shoreham-Wading River High School junior was in a hallway outside the East Hampton High School gym at the time, posing for photos with teammates.
Taddeo’s selection, by a vote of the coaches, was the proverbial icing on the cake for the Wildcats. Shoreham sent five wrestlers into the league finals — no easy trick in itself — and all five emerged as champions.
That’s 5 for 5. Not bad at all.
It was a third straight league championship for Taddeo, who was impressive in the 145-pound final. With Shoreham fans cheering, “Let’s go Taddeo!”, Taddeo obliged. With a so-called “Dresser dump,” Taddeo executed a third-period takedown of Westhampton Beach senior Hunter Hulse for the final points in a 7-3 victory.
Both wrestlers have sparkling records. Taddeo is 40-2 this season and 135-17 for his career while Hulse, who was a league champion last year, is 38-2 and 152-17 for his career.
Also taking the top spot on the awards stand for Shoreham were James Szymanski at 132 pounds, Chris Meloni at 126, Jack DelDuca at 113 and Kevin Meloni at 99. Szymanski and Kevin Meloni both picked up their second league titles.
Szymanski, a senior who wrestled in his fourth league final, likes to keep one knee on the mat sometimes while wrestling. It doesn’t give his opponent much of a target to shoot for, and it worked for him. Szymanski (38-2) didn’t allow Elwood/John Glenn senior Andrew Friedman (31-7) to pick up what would have been his 100th career win, prevailing by a 6-3 decision. That brought Szymanski’s career record to 188-18.
Kevin Meloni (38-5), a junior wrestling in the first final on the card, took early leads of 4-0 and 8-2 before securing an 8-5 defeat of Westhampton Beach sophomore Dane Mendoza (30-6). The victory moved Meloni within eight wins of the 100 mark.
His brother, senior Chris Meloni (38-2), toppled a defending champion, Elwood/John Glenn sophomore Zack Ancewicz (30-10) by a 5-1 score. Chris Meloni’s career record is 123-16.
DelDuca (32-7), a junior, prevailed by 3-1 in a bout against Miller Place’s Seamus O’Connell (30-11). When the match ended, the jubilant DelDuca turned and pointed toward the section of Shoreham fans in the bleachers.
All five of Shoreham’s champions were top seeds.
Two Wildcats, John Carl Petretti (126 pounds) and James Wood (138), took third place.
Elwood/John Glenn finished first among the eight teams with 257 points. Shoreham was fourth with 146 1/2.