By Jano Tantongco
Walt Whitman High School senior Terron Robinson avenged his only loss during the regular season to claim the 220-pound weight class Suffolk Division I championship on Sunday.
Robinson said he was “nervous” to start his championship matches, but “snapped out of it after the first two matches”
When it came time for day two, Robinson said to himself, “Alright, I think I can do it. I know I can do this.”
The event, also called the Dr. L Robert “Doc” Fallot Memorial Suffolk County Wrestling Championship, took place over the weekend at the Brentwood campus of Suffolk County Community College.
Robinson beat Damien Caffrey, of Elwood-John Glenn High School, 8-5, to take the individual Suffolk title. Whitman as a team finished in 25th place with 35 points.
Robinson’s only loss of the season came around a month ago when Caffrey bested him, he said. Since that time, Robinson vowed to be prepared for the next time he would face off against the Knight, often training twice a day to sharpen his ability.
Going into the semifinals on the first day of the counties, Robinson felt some apprehension moving forward. He believed if he fell to Caffrey once more, he “wouldn’t be the same.” But, his confidence swiftly returned.
Going into the finals, the senior was “amped up.” His mindset was: “You have to win. You have to win. You have to win.”
“And, that’s what happened,” he added.
Robinson, a defending New York State wrestling champion, recounted that as a child, he admired the greats of World Wrestling Entertainment and started wrestling as a freshman at Whitman.
“When I got onto the mats...it was something way different,” Robinson said. “But, I still liked it because it was still a physical sport that I liked. It just changed me.”
But as much as he enjoyed the sport, it was not yet his passion.
“I took everything seriously after 9th grade year. I wrestled… but I was one point away from being All-County. After that, I took everything seriously in wrestling.”
With this year’s Suffolk title under his belt, Robinson now aims to bring home another state championship. The state finals are slated for Feb. 24-25 at the Times Union Center in Albany.
Robinson said he’ll continue his twice-a-day practice until that time to continue his ascent. He’ll be training with his private coach, Vougar Oroudjov, of Vougar’s Honors Wrestling Club in Syosset, who is a two-time Russian Olympian and bronze medalist in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.