Featured Story

Wrestling: SWR repeats as dual-meet champions, defeating John Glenn in D-II finals

Sometimes in wrestling, a loss can be a win.

Of course, it depends on what kind of loss you’re talking about. Not all losses are equal in terms of points.

And so, believe it or not, it was a bout Shoreham-Wading River lost that assured the Wildcats of at least a tie in the Suffolk County Division II dual-meet final against Elwood/John Glenn on Saturday. The next match brought another loss that, strange as it sounds, clinched top-seeded SWR a second straight county championship.

Sometimes how a wrestler loses can make all the difference when it comes to winning.

An awful lot of credit should go to the so-called Murderers’ Row of middleweights in SWR’s lineup. Tristan Petretti, Will Miller, Joe Steimel and Craig Jablonski reeled off four consecutive pins, turning a four-point deficit into a 32-12 lead. It held up for a 32-29 victory in the Division II final at Bay Shore High School’s Ralph Elliott Gymnasium. The championship was a nice follow-up to SWR’s first county dual-meet title last year when the teams weren’t divided by division.

“This feels amazing,” Petretti told reporters. “But I think last year was something special because being one of the smallest schools on Long Island in D-II and coming through and beating everyone in D-II and beating everyone in D-I. I mean, that was an amazing feeling, but I’m really happy right now, and this is one of the best feelings in the world.”

League VII champion SWR (12-4), competing in its third straight county dual-meet final, was a 34-27 winner over Glenn (11-5) Jan. 6. The rematch was as tight as expected.

Petretti (132 pounds) gave SWR a 14-12 lead, stopping Chris Boccard in 55 seconds.

Asked what his mindset was upon taking the mat, Petretti said, “The same mindset as I always have: Go out there, pin the kid as quick as possible, put on a show.”

Then Miller (138) did his thing, pinning Jack Jappell at 3:09. Steimel and Jablonski each followed that up with first-period pins at 145 and 152 pounds, respectively. Steimel won in 1:40 against Anthony Bell and, in the shortest bout of the day, Jablonski needed only 37 seconds to down Kevin Vides.

Tristan Petretti, wrestling at 132 pounds for Shoreham-Wading River, pinned Elwood/John Glenn’s Chris Boccard in 55 seconds. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

“I knew it had to be a pin, nothing else or else I’d be disappointed in my match,” said Jablonski.

Petretti said the strength of SWR’s lineup is in the middle. “It was like pin, pin, pin,” he said.

Steimel had one thought: “Just win.”

Four bouts worth six points each for 24 points and a 20-point lead. “It’s a good feeling,” SWR coach Joe Condon said. “It makes it a little less stressful, but you never know.”

That was enough of a cushion to allow SWR to withstand Glenn taking the final four bouts: Joe Lacorte’s pin of Matt Greco in 1:58 at 160 pounds, Colin Presti’s 5-3 defeat of Anthony Giordano at 172, Alon Alkeali’s 1-0 decision over Jack LaValle at 189 and Angu Luc’s pin of Zack Wilson in 1:24 at 215.

After Presti’s win, Glenn would have needed pins from the final two bouts to earn a tie, but LaValle spoiled that. Condon said he warned his wrestlers to be careful to prevent that from happening.

SWR’s energetic Chris Colon turned in an impressive performance. He went ahead, 24-9, in his 118-pound match against Mike Sangiragi when it was stopped for a technical fall at 4:44.

Gavin Mangano (102) brought SWR its first points with his 10-6 win over Tommy Aiello.

Glenn received a pin from Karahn King (110), who put Ricky Sicoli to the mat at 1:50. Also winning for the Knights were Dylan Bolger (7-2 over Tommy Palumbo at 126) and Melkin Chavez (2-0 over Aidan Franks at 285).

“We sort of figured it would go similar to the way it did, but you never know, everything doesn’t go upward and John Glenn’s always a really tough team,” Condon said. “So, you know, a couple kids did their job, everyone did their job. And that’s [what] we want as a team. You know, that’s the only way to do it. Every kid gave everything they had and I’m really happy for that.”

That’s how the Wildcats turned up winners.