During the years that the East Hampton wrestling team has hosted the Sprig Gardner Tournament, it has been a more than a gracious host, often standing on the sidelines while it watches other teams compete for the top spots in the finals. But this year, the Bonackers had much more of a presence on their home mats, with eight wrestlers placing in the top six.
Bonacker junior Nick Jarboe, wrestling far above his certification at 215 pounds, finished second after getting pinned by Cody Ferraro of Ward Melville in 1:27 in the championship match.
Jarboe won his first match 13-9 before beating Mike Lombardi of Bayport/Blue Point 2-1 to advance to the final.
“He had a great tournament,” East Hampton head coach Jim Stewart said of Jarboe. “He’s lighter than 215, so he did well just to place in the tournament. He’s a competitor and he’s only a junior.”
The battle for third and fourth place at the 145-pound weight class was an all-East Hampton affair, with Steven Ward beating teammate Seth Barrows in a 16-6 decision. Also in that weight class, Kyle McGowin finished fifth after beating Dan Murray of St. John the Baptist, who had an injury default in that match.
Ward lost 11-3 in the semifinals to eventual champion Chris Gevinski of Riverhead.
East Hampton also fared well in the 160-pound weight class, with Chris Gamble finishing fourth after getting pinned by Dan Menna of Riverhead in 2:05 in the consolation final and Cory Pawlukojc finishing sixth after getting pinned in 40 seconds by Mike Krumholz of Bayport/Blue Point.
Senior Andrew Foglia (189) finished fourth after losing 7-6 to Andrew Sullivan of Ward Melville in the consolation final. He was 3-2 on the day and Stewart was happy with his effort, particularly since he is coming off an injury during the football season.
“He’s wrestling well,” Stewart said.
Pat Brophy was East Hampton’s other place winner, taking sixth at 152 pounds after losing 9-7 to Rich Carrera of Riverhead.
“He wrestled well but he ran into a couple of tough kids,” Stewart said.
Nico McMahon (125), Dane Riva (140), and Peter Johann (171) all won matches at the tournament but failed to place, although Stewart said he was happy to see them all get a victory on the day. McMahon won his first match by a pin in 1:24 before falling to eventual runner-up Cory Hubbard of Westhampton Beach. Riva also won with a pin in 26 seconds before falling to third-place finisher Dan Schneider of Smithtown Christian. Johann won his first match before losing to third-place finisher Castin Carter of Bayport/Blue Point.
Stewart said that overall, the tournament was a much more positive experience for his team that it has been in recent years.
“We were pleased,” he said. “After the preliminary round, we were in first place, which is a small consolation but it was actually quite exciting for the kids to do so well in the first round.
“We scored more points and had more kids place and had a lot more energy,” Stewart continued. “The kids could see vast improvement, so we were happy with that.”
Before the tournament, East Hampton hosted Eastport South Manor in a non-league dual meet on December 10, falling 60-22. The Bonackers forfeited six weight classes while ESM forfeited just two, which led to the lopsided score. In the six matches that were actually wrestled, East Hampton prevailed in two of them. Ward beat Ryan Parrish 14-6 at 145 pounds, while McGowin (152) pinned Sean Ullrich in 1:25.
The Bonackers will compete in the Doc Fallot Tournament at Hampton Bays High School on Saturday, December 20, and will travel to Port Jefferson for a non-league match on December 23 at 5 p.m.