Written by Hyram Landers Friday, 13 January 2012 00:00
Although the Herricks District cancelled the 21st Annual Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Second-Man Wrestling Festival, the team was able to host a last-minute replacement event on December 30th (perhaps the birth of an annual Auld Lang Syne Festival). Action was more limited, but grapplers from Wantagh, Chaminade, and Locust Valley joined our lads for a fine morning of spirited mat action in farewell to 2011.
Overall the Highlanders were 11-8 coming out ahead of Wantagh (20-5) and Chaminade (18-15), but bowing to Locust Valley (15-21). Sophomore Chris Woska was 3-0 with two pins and an overtime 12-10 decision. Fellow sophomore Jason Liarikos also had three wins, a pin, an 18-1 technical fall and a decision. Freshman John Vouzonis had two pins and a decision win for three victories of his own. Sophomores Brandon Temperino and Matt Grandelli added victories to the team’s totals.
Back from the holidays, the Highlanders traveled to Great Neck South to take on the Rebels in a league dual match. Despite the fact that the lads in blue and gray had nobody to fill four weight classes (99, 160, 170, 182) they came out strong.
Grandelli got down to fill the 106 class and won by a major decision. Andrew Farrell (junior) picked up a pin at 120, and was followed by senior Will Rodriguez who won by pin at 126. Mike Vespe (junior) won by decision at 145. John Temperino won by a major decision at 152. Seniors Anthony Rosa and Bill Rynne both won by pins at 195 and 220 respectively, and, before the mats could be rolled up and put away, the Highlanders had come away with a 47-26 victory.
This is a challenging year for the Herricks matmen. Freshman and sophomores are thrust into the starting varsity line up. Sometimes they win, and sometimes, like this day, they fight and hold the score down to keep it in range of their more experienced teammates, whose challenge is to get “big point” wins to try to overcome the forfeit deficits. At this point the varsity is 6-2 with a tough road ahead, but they are scrappy, and are fighting to meet the challenge.