If there’s one thing Joe Condon is hoping for this holiday season, it’s a healthy team.
The Shoreham-Wading River wrestling team has seen its lineup depleted by illnesses in recent weeks, a bug that’s been circulating throughout the school, said Condon, the Wildcats’ head coach. Still, the matches must go on.
And on Saturday, the Wildcats traveled to Burnt Hills High School for the Lee Van Slyke Memorial Duals, a competitive round of dual meets that pitted the Wildcats against an array of unfamiliar opponents. Even with a shortened roster, the Wildcats emerged with a 3-2 record and fourth-place finish out of 10 teams.
“You just have to adapt and do the best you can,” Condon said. “The kids make no excuses. They work hard.”
The Wildcats lost a close match in the consolation finals for third place to Burnt Hills, falling 45-39. The Wildcats also lost to Noble, 57-28, a team from Maine that’s ranked No. 1 in the state, Condon said.
“It was good competition,” he said.
The Wildcats won against Red Hook (64-21), Schoharie (66-14) and Schenectady (48-33). Schoharie forfeited eight matches, making for a quick result.
The Wildcats got a typically dominant performance from their top wrestlers, starting at 145 with senior Jack Taddeo. The No. 1 ranked wrestler in the county for his weight, Taddeo cruised to a 5-0 record, winning every match by technical fall or pin (and one forfeit). Taddeo remains unbeaten on the season so far, Condon said.
“He dominated the field pretty well,” Condon said.
Senior Kevin Meloni also went 5-0 wrestling at 106, where he’s currently ranked second in the county. Meloni is undefeated so far this season as well.
Meloni pinned four opponents and won via forfeit in another match. His four pins came in a whopping total of just 2 minutes 34 seconds. His quickest pins came in only 14 seconds and 20 seconds.
While Taddeo and Meloni were the only unbeaten wrestlers for Shoreham Saturday, the Wildcats got wins sprinkled throughout the lineup.
Jack Del Duca at 120 was one of the few wrestlers to actually compete in five matches. He posted a 3-2 record; all three of his wins came via pin. He lost two decisions, 8-5 to Austin Lints of Schoharie and 6-0 to Austin Shorey of Noble.
Jordan Domino, wrestling at 132, had a big day with a 4-1 record. He had two pins, a major decision and a forfeit win. He lost to Danny Jada of Burnt Hills.
“It was a good mix of competition,” Condon said. “I think if we had a complete, healthy lineup, which we have not had since the beginning of the season, I think we could have fared a little better. But the kids really put a great effort into every match.”
The Wildcats were scheduled to wrestle Mount Sinai in a league dual meet Tuesday night and then a non-league dual meet against Comsewogue Wednesday.
Photo Caption: Jack Taddeo pictured earlier this season. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)