Wrestling: Five pins carry Riverhead to victory


Eight total pins and three forfeits didn’t generate much drama in Wednesday night’s League IV dual meet, but the Riverhead Blue Waves won’t complain when the result is a 55-26 victory.

The Blue Waves won 10 of 15 bouts against West Babylon, including all three forfeits, in a meet where the outcome was never much in doubt. The win improved Riverhead’s record to 3-1 in league while West Babylon dropped to 0-3.

“They wrestled pretty tough,” said Riverhead coach Wade ‘Rocky’ Davey.

The Blue Waves came into the meet without one of their top returning wrestlers from a year ago. After wrestling in the Blue Waves’ last league dual meet Jan. 6 against Half Hollow Hills West, junior Ethan Zaweski decided to leave the team, Davey said.

Zaweski’s unexpected departure left a big hole in the lineup at 120 pounds for Riverhead. Zaweski was a league champion as a sophomore last year at 103 pounds. He was the only returning league champion in the lineup this season. Davey said it was a big adjustment for Zaweski bumping up to 120.

“He took a couple losses to some real good kids and I think it got to him,” Davey said. “It’s a shame.”

Kyle Helgans replaced Zaweski at 120 at lost by technical fall, 15-0, to Brandon Rodriguez.

One of the few matches that came down to the end was at 106, the second match of the meet. Riverhead freshman Cody Weiss outlasted Chris Roberto in triple overtime to win 6-5.

Neither wrestler could score in the first 1-minute overtime period. In the second OT each wrestler had 30 seconds starting on bottom. Again, neither could escape to generate any points. So the match came down to the third overtime period, where Roberto started on bottom. He needed an escape to win, otherwise Weiss won based on riding time.

Weiss held strong for 30 seconds, not allowing Roberto to escape his grasp, to emerge victorious.

“That’s something we practice in the room — how to win at the end,” Davey said. “He made it a little too close, but he held on.”

Weiss led 2-0 early after a quick takedown and ended the first period leading 4-2. An escape point brought Robeto to within one and he grabbed the lead on a second-period reversal. He appeared to have the match in hand before getting nailed for a stalling point with about 15 seconds left in the third period.

It was enough to give Weiss some life and he made the most of it in overtime.

The quickest of Riverhead’s five pins came from Charles Bartlett at 160. He took down Jonathan Gonzalez in 35 seconds.

One of the highlight matches came at 220 where Riverhead senior Shawn Yarborough faced Alex Rodriguez, a second-place finisher in the league last year. Yarborough entered the meet ranked fourth in Suffolk County.

Yarborough fell behind 2-0 and got caught late in the period as Rodriguez got him to his back and secured a pin.

“It shouldn’t come to throw-to-throw,” Davey said. “We wanted him to wrestle to win, but you get caught there and that’s what happens.”

Davey said in all likelihood the two wrestlers will meet again in the league finals.

“It could be a completely different match,” he said. “Sometimes you build off a loss.”

Other winners for Riverhead included Ryan Gevinski at 113 (pin, 3:46), Joe Goetz at 138 (pin, 2:40), Raheen Brown at 152 (pin, 1:08), Tim Hynes at 170 (pin, 1:12) and Mike Von-Bommel at 195 (major decision, 13-2).

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