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Wrestling: Taddeo, Meloni earn wild cards to state tournament


The high school careers for Shoreham-Wading River seniors Jack Taddeo and Kevin Meloni will extend one more weekend. 

Both wrestlers received a wild card spot to the New York State Wrestling Championships scheduled for Feb. 26-27 at Times Union Center in Albany. Taddeo and Meloni were second-place finishers at Sunday’s county championships.

The wild card system, which was implemented in 2008, allows four wrestlers in each weight class from across the state to join the state tournament. The selections are determined based on a formula that takes into account the wrestlers’ record, past placings at state tournaments, and the section’s history. The top six wrestlers are ranked and the top four earn a spot while the next two are listed as alternates.

Taddeo, who was fifth in the state last year as a wild card, was the first wild card selection at 145 pounds. Meloni was the second selection at 106 pounds.

Taddeo is a four-time league champion and three-time all-county wrestler. He lost a 3-0 decision in the finals Sunday to John Busiello of Eastport-South Manor.

Meloni is a three-time league champion and two-time all-county wrestler. He was pinned in the second period of his county finals match against Adam Busiello of Eastport, a defending state champion.

The Wildcats have had plenty of success in recent years with their wrestlers as wild cards. In 2013, T.J. Fabian won the 126-pound state title as a wild card. Since 2012, the Wildcats have had six all-state wrestlers, including Fabian’s state title, all as wild cards.

Photo Caption: Shoreham-Wading River senior Kevin Meloni wrestles Adam Busiello in the 106-pound county finals Sunday at Hofstra University (Credit: Bill Landon).