Written by Chris Ceruti Friday, 19 March 2010 00:00
(Editor’s Note: Chris Ceruti is Director of Athletics, Physical Education, Health and Family & Consumer Sciences for the Carle Place School District.)
Over the past decade, the Carle Place High School Wrestling program has struggled; getting enough student/athletes interested in the sport to put a respectful team on the mat was a challenge.
This year’s team had to change their focus from not only filling weight classes and increasing participation, but to also win team matches while doing so. It was very refreshing to see that 34 boys came out for the team this year and the majority of them finished the grueling season and managed to win their share of individual and team matches. As a team and individually, Carle Place turned some heads at tournaments and dual meets. The community and the spectators were interested in Carle Place wrestling once again.
The sport of wrestling is typically divided into three seasons: the regular dual meet team season, the team tournament season, and the individual county/state tournament season. It would be safe to say that we fared well in all three. The team wrestled very well and it was evident that this year’s wrestlers were willing to work hard and losing was not an option. Carle Place’s season opened against a very tough Westbury Dragon team.
Unfortunately, Carle Place had to forfeit one weight class due to injury, and it made the match very close. The team was losing going into the final 285 pounds match and Carle Place’s wrestler won. This was the start of a successful season.
Following the Westbury match, Carle Place continued its success with wins over Plainview, Oceanside, Manhasset, a forfeit win over Roosevelt, Wheatley, Southside and Oceanside again, finishing the dual meet season 8-4. This, combined with place winners Anthony Amalfitano, Stephen Fay, Rich Alfaro, Josh Callirgos, Anthony Suppa, Chris Barbosa, Donald Bruschi and Ricardo Salinas in the Hank Paris and Wheatley tournaments, enabled Carle Place to be ready to fare well in the “post season” team and individual tournaments. A marked improvement from years past.
During the NIT tournament season, our team was seeded second out of 16 teams. After two days of a grueling team tournament, Carle Place finished in our original starting position, second. The Frogs defeated Wheatley, Manhasset and Port Washington, but met their match against a very well-coached and tough Valley Stream North team.
Despite the loss, the team came together and each wrestler was equally invested in his team.
Finally, during the individual Division II County Tournament, eight Carle Place students-athletes placed in the top four spots, and five wrestlers wrestled to all-county honors. Both Stephen Fay, at 135 pounds, and Anthony Suppa, at 160 pounds, placed second; sophomores Donald Brushci, at 215 pounds, and Ricardo Salinas, at 285 pounds, placed third; juniors Rich Alfaro, Josh Callirgos and senior Joe Wengler placed fourth; and Chris Barbosa, at 171 pounds, was a runner-up.
Congratulations to all 21 student/athletes who entered the county tournament and finished a very tough wrestling season. These young men worked extremely hard and showed what passion and hard work can do for a team and individual student/athletes.