Wrestling is a passion for Jake Benedetto. It has been ever since he took up the sport as a youngster. It was a focal point for him as high school wrestler for East Islip and Islip, and then at the collegiate level with SUNY/Oneonta.
Benedetto carried that passion over to coaching. He was an assistant coach for Unatego in upstate New York for one season, coached two seasons at Bayport-Blue Point (one year as the head coach) and then coached the Longwood and Riverhead junior varsity teams.
And now Benedetto finds himself as the successor to Tom Riccio, a National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee who became Riverhead’s varsity coach in 2015.
“This has been a long journey for me,” said Benedetto, 28. READ
Two Shoreham-Wading River wrestlers, senior John Carl Petretti and freshman Connor Pearce, didn’t get what they went to Albany for.
The two Wildcats, both competing in their first state tournament, suffered Division II quarterfinal losses Friday in the 56th annual NYSPHSAA Championships at the Times Union Center in Albany. READ
Connor Pearce was a fitting representative of a young Shoreham-Wading River High School wrestling team that consists mostly of freshmen and sophomores, with only three seniors. Yes, Pearce is young, but he has come such a long way. READ
That, in a word, summed up Riverhead wrestling coach Tom Riccio’s feelings about what his two newly crowned league champions had accomplished moments earlier. READ
So far, so good for Mark Matyka. Make that undefeated Mark Matyka.
The Riverhead High School senior has been enjoying a seamless wrestling season to date, with the exception of some occasional knee pain that he doesn’t consider serious. READ
Shawn Petretti straddled two worlds while sitting in the bleachers Thursday night. The Mattituck High School principal had more than a casual interest in the high school wrestling match between Shoreham-Wading River and Mattituck/Greenport/Southold. That’s because his sons, John Carl and Tristan, both wrestle for Shoreham.
It was an intriguing case of a principal watching his own flesh and blood wrestle against the team he himself once coached in the Mattituck building where he works. Talk about conflicted interests. READ
Even on a night in which his team endures a tough wrestling match, a coach still can find some solace. Take, for instance, Riverhead’s 57-18 loss at Smithtown West Friday night. READ
Not that one could tell, because there were no outward signs of it, but Mark Matyka wasn’t feeling his best before Tuesday’s Suffolk County League III wrestling match at Centereach High School.