It will be remembered as one of the greatest comebacks in Riverhead wrestling history.
Wrestling in the county finals at 120 pounds in February, Riverhead’s Ed Matyka trailed 5-0 with half a minute remaining. Time was running out on his season.
Then in an instant, Matyka rallied back to force overtime in a match that ultimately went to triple overtime. Matyka emerged a 7-5 winner and later, the title of Most Outstanding Wrestler. It was a highlight moment in Matyka’s career, which saw him finish with a 45-6 record for his senior season.
Matyka went on to become Riverhead’s first all-state wrestler since 2005. At the state championships in Albany, Matyka finished fourth in his weight class.
Matyka was a two-time league champion for the Blue Waves.
Shoreham-Wading River had its own share of success during the wrestling season. While the Wildcats didn’t crown a county champion, they did send three wrestlers to Albany for the state meet. Two of them, senior James Szymanski and junior Jack Taddeo, reached the podium as all-state wrestlers.
Szymnaski entered the state meet as Shoreham’s third-winningest wrestler in school history. This year, however, marked his first trip to the state meet. In a brutally tough 132-pound bracket, Szymanski went 4-2 to finish in fourth place. He bumped his career record to 193-23.
Taddeo wrestled at 145 and finished in fifth place. He finished the year with the most wins for Shoreham after posting a 47-5 record.
Shoreham junior Kevin Meloni wrestled all 99 pounds and finished one win shy of all-state honors.
Photo Caption: Ed Matyka of Riverhead won the 120-pound county crown. (Credit: Daniel De Mato, file)
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