It was a perfect day for Mark Matyka.
The Riverhead junior posted a 5-0 record Saturday during the Blue Waves’ five dual meets at the Bay Shore William Maisel Duals. Matyka was the only Blue Wave to go unbeaten on the day as the Blue Waves posted a 3-2 team record.
Riverhead lost to Bay Shore, 49-27, and to Amityville in a match that came down to the very end, 37-35. The Blue Waves rolled off wins over Roosevelt, Garden City and West Babylon.
“That one came down to the wire,” Riverhead coach Tom Riccio said of the West Babylon match.
Adam Harnig, wrestling at 126 pounds for Riverhead, needed a win in the final bout of the meet. He only needed a decision, but delivered even more with a pin to lock up a 39-34 Blue Waves win.
Bay Shore wound up winning the team title.
“The kids are coming,” Riccio. “The more matches they have they’re getting better each match.”
The core of Riverhead’s lineup all had strong showings on Saturday. Kerry Thomas, the No. 5 ranked wrestler in the county at 120 pounds, went 4-1. His loss came against Dylan Hughes of Garden City, a senior who’s ranked second in Nassau County at 113 points.
Riccio said Thomas was leading the match by two points with about 10 seconds left when Hughes made a move to take down Thomas. He turned him to his back to lock up the points he needed for a surprising come-from-behind victory.
Danny Ortez, wrestling at 106, posted a 4-1 record Saturday as did Mitch Hobbs at 160 and Justin Hansel at 285. Hansel, who has one loss on the season, has been wrestling up a weight and Riccio said he should line up as a 220-pounder soon. Ralph Gray, wrestling at 138, went 3-2.
“He’s really starting to look good,” Riccio said. “He wrestled well.”
Matyka has only one loss so far this season, which came in the finals of the Sprig Gardener Tournament Dec. 12. He lost to Tyler Skala of Westhampton by technical fall.
The Blue Waves are still trying to sort out their lineup and fill in some holes because of injuries. The Blue Waves forfeited three weight classes during the dual meets Saturday: 113, 132 and 152.
Hobbs, for example, should slide down a weight class once the lineup fills out. One wrestler is expected back in January after recovering from a surgery and another wrestler has been out recently with a concussion, Riccio said.
“So we’ll get the kids back in a couple weeks and we’ll have a full lineup,” he said.
The Blue Waves’ forfeited two weight classes in their first dual meet of the season, a 44-28 loss to Central Islip. A questionable call of a pin in one match that went against Riverhead’s favor all added up to a tough loss.
The Blue Waves will have their hands full next week at the Sal Difazio Holiday Tournament at Half Hollow Hills East High School. Riccio said he expects the competition to be strong and definitely a step up from what they faced last weekend in Amityville.
“That’s going to be a good one,” he said. “Hopefully we can come away with some wins.”
Photo Caption: Mark Matyka pins his 99-pound opponent from Bay Shore, Ryan Skully, at Saturday’s dual meet in Amityville. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)