Losing is as much a part of wrestling as winning. For every match there’s a winner and a loser.
“Wrestling teaches you to overcome adversity and deal with pressure,” said Shoreham-Wading River coach Joe Condon.
Two of his wrestlers, who have done a good deal of winning this season, ultimately had to deal with defeat Friday night in the L. Robert “Doc” Fallot Section XI Division II Championships at Center Moriches High School.
Eddie Troyano and Tristan Petretti both reached finals, only to be disappointed by the outcomes.
Troyano, a senior, was in a battle with Hampton Bays junior Willy Kraus for the 126-pound title.
Then again, Troyano is no stranger to battles. He has been battling a torn labrum in his right shoulder all season, putting off surgery for fear that the recovery time would have cost him his final high school season.
Troyano, who heard chants of “Let’s go Eddie!” from his teammates when he stepped onto the mat, lost to Kraus, 3-1. After the match, Kraus (19-3) was mobbed by his happy teammates. Troyano (39-4), a two-time county runner-up, removed his headgear and raced out of the gym, into a hallway.
“He did everything he could do,” Condon said. “He wrestled the best kids in the state. It’s a tough way to lose and it’s a very emotional thing.”
Troyano said: “I felt confident. I thought I had the match. I think I could have wrestled better, a little more aggressive offensively.”
But Troyano said he felt “quick, sharp pains” whenever Kraus drove into his shoulder.
Injury time was called for Troyano with 39 seconds left in the third period before the match was completed.
Troyano’s path to the final was a first-round bye, followed by pins of Elwood/John Glenn’s Brendan Knott at 1 minute even and Port Jefferson’s Tyler Rogers at 1:27.
“He did exceptional,” Condon said. “He did what he had to do. He went through the season and had a lot of wins … He still leaves a champion in my mind. He did things most kids would never do.”
SWR’s first finalist of the night, Petretti, had a tough time in an all-freshmen 106-pound final. Bayport-Blue Point’s Joe Sparacio (31-4) had his way in the match and was leading, 11-0, when he pinned Petretti at 3:28.
“I think I could have done a little bit better, maybe not get pinned and keep it a little closer,” Petretti said. “Just tired throughout the whole day.”
Following a first-round bye, Petretti (28-11) pinned Babylon’s David Serota in 1:04 and scored a 9-3 semifinal decision against Glenn’s Alex Hopkins.
“Fantastic job,” Condon said of Petretti. “He made the finals. He was exhausted … but he was fearless.”
Petretti said he felt the adrenaline pumping when he walked out for the final. “You don’t see anything else,” he said. “You just see your opponent.”
Since Sparacio and Petretti are both freshmen, this could be a budding rivalry. Sparacio is now 2-0 against him. “That’s definitely not the last time I’ll ever see him,” said Petretti, whose older brother John Carl was a standout wrestler for SWR.
As for his own progress, Tristan Petretti can’t complain. Asked about his season, he replied: “It’s been up and down. I lost some matches I shouldn’t have lost. I won some matches that I’m surprised I won. I think I’m pretty impressed with myself. I never thought as a freshman I’d go this far.”
SWR received third-place showings from Craig Jablonski (99 pounds), Sean Miller (138) and Jake Ekert (195) and a fourth from Wes Pase (132).
SWR, missing three returning All-County wrestlers because of injury, finished fifth in the team standings with 155 1/2 points. Two-time state dual-meet champion Mount Sinai (272), Glenn (227 1/2), Mattituck/Greenport/Southold (164 1/2) and Center Moriches (157) were ahead of the Wildcats.
Notes. In addition to winning the team title, Mount Sinai took a couple of individual awards. Joe O’Brien (138) was selected the champion of champions and Matt Campo (152) turned in the most pins in the least time, four in 3:38. Center Moriches’ Jordan Titus (120) was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler.
Photo caption: Shoreham-Wading River senior Eddie Troyano tangling with Hampton Bays junior Willy Kraus in the 126-pound final. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)