By Connor Beach
Wrestlers from high schools around the Town of Huntington found success on the mat last weekend during the Suffolk County Section XI Championship.
The smaller schools in the county competed in the Division 2 tournament last Friday night. Elwood-John Glenn was the only school from the Huntington area to qualify for this division.
The Knights had an impressive showing as a team; they racked up a total of 227.5 points. The total was good enough for second place out of ten.
Four individual wrestlers made it into the final match in their respective weight classes, and three Knights earned gold medals.
In the 99-pound weight class, Glenn’s Anthony Mirando fell just short. He lost in the championship match to Blue Point’s Max Gallagher after an impressive run of victories to reach the finals.
At 145-pounds, Thomas Giaramita was the first Knight to secure a Suffolk County title. He pinned Ryan Shanian from Mt. Sini high school after five minutes and 29 seconds.
Justin Vega also managed to pin his opponent in the championship match. Vega ended Port Jefferson’s Harry Cona’s run at the title after just 1:14 in the 182-pound division.
For Glenn’s Patrick Ancewicz the championship match proved more difficult. He was locked in a close battle with Aldar Molina of Center Moriches for the entire contest. The two heavyweights fought hard for the 285-pound title. Ancewicz prevailed by a score of 3-2.
There were eight schools from the Town of Huntington competing in Suffolk’s Division 1 tournament on Feb. 9-10. Commack finished top of the pack, and in fourth place overall, with a score of 104. They were followed by Huntington, 45.5, Northport, 45, Half Hollow Hills East, 37. 5, Half Hollow Hills West, 21, Harborfields, 20, and Walt Whitman, 12.
The Cougars had several stand out individual wrestlers who helped the team reach a top five finish.
Junior Jack Echerle finished in second place for the Cougars in the 113-pound division. He suffered an 8-2 defeat in the championship match to Hauppauge’s Luke Smith.
At 126-pounds, another Cougar fell just short of the county title. Junior Gavin Damasco lost to Zach Redding of Eastport-South Manor by a score of 11-1 in the final match.
Commack’s top wrester, and one of the best performers of the tournament, was heavyweight Joey Slackman. The senior showed his experience, dominating the 285-pound division. He capped of his championship run with an impressive pin against London Castillo of Brentwood in just 36 seconds.
In addition to his Suffolk title, Slackman earned the honor of most pins in the least amount of time. He managed to pin four opponents in just 3:22.
The Thunderbirds of Half Hollow Hills High School East also can claim a county champion among their ranks. Senior Jonathan Spadafora won the 145-pound weight class in style with a 10-1 major decision over Newfield’s Hunter Hughes.
Northport’s Peter Magliocco has plenty to be proud of after a good run in the 195-pound division. Magliocco, a junior, lost in the finals by a score of 6-3 to Liam McIntyre from Westhampton Beach.
Rounding out the medal winners from the Town of Huntington was Blue Devils junior Tazadon Smith. He pinned Centereach’s Christopher Powell in 1:20 to claim third place in the 220-pound weight class.
The county champions will wrestle for the state title in Albany beginning on Feb. 22.