Ramirez brothers coming on strong

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The Ramirez brothers had quite an impressive week for the Hampton Bays wrestling team.

Oskar (145 pounds) and his younger brother, Juan, (112/119) were 4-0 in matches last week, picking up victories in League VII meets against Center Moriches and Stony Brook while also getting a pair of victories in the Northport Tri-Meet on Saturday against Northport and Locust Valley.

Oskar, a junior, is one of the Baymen captains, chosen for the role not only because of his talent, but because of his maturity and leadership, according to head coach Rafael Lievano. His younger brother, Juan, a freshman, is in his second year on the varsity. Lievano said his success this year can be attributed to the fact that he’s following his older brother’s lead.

“This year, he’s really helped Juan out,” Lievano said of the elder Ramirez. “They’re both very talented, but Juan is focusing now and taking everything very seriously. He’s listening to me and allowing himself to be coached. He’s doing all the right things at a young age and that’s good to see. They’re both on a roll and it’s the right time to be on a roll.”

The brothers picked up the only two victories for the team in a tough match against Division I team Northport at the weekend tri-meet. Oskar Ramirez got a 2-1 overtime win against Dan Devaney, tying the match at 1-1 with an escape in the third period before getting another escape in overtime to take the win. Juan Ramirez prevailed 10-5 in his match.

In the other match in that meet, against Division II Nassau County team Locust Valley, the Baymen suffered a 42-27 loss, but had a handful of good performances. Juan Ramirez pinned his opponent in 54 seconds while Josiah Hoshyla (130) won a 13-6 decision. Tim Jordan (135) won with a pin in 4:38 and Dylan Flynn (140) pinned his opponent in 1:45. At 145 pounds, Oskar Ramirez won a 9-7 decision over John Guerriero, the defending Nassau County champion in Division II, and, at 171 pounds, Ben Tarpey won 10-3.

The Baymen were competitive in a 36-30 loss to Center Moriches—one of the tougher League VII teams—at home on January 30, winning six of the eight matches that were contested. Hampton Bays forfeited four weight classes, giving up 24 points to the Red Devils. Both teams had several wrestlers who were suffering or recovering from the flu.

At 112 pounds, Juan Ramirez pinned Christian Peterson in 3:34; at 135 pounds; Jordan won a 6-4 decision over Ricardo Martinez; Flynn (140) pinned Brendon Robles in 1:56; Oskar Ramirez defeated Sal Spitaleri 8-6; Zach Catz (152) pinned Jack McGarrity in 5:59; and Tarpey (171) won by injury default against Brenden Estes.

At 189 pounds, Connor Curtis suffered a tough 9-6 loss to Travis Baskerville and, at 130 pounds, Andre Fiahlo lost 5-1 to Sal DiSimone.

Hampton Bays forfeited the 103, 119, 125 and 215-pound weight classes.

Oskar Ramirez’s win over Spitaleri was a statement victory, giving him bragging rights as the top wrestler in his weight class. Ramirez maintained his undefeated league record with the win over Spitaleri, who was ranked second in the county.

Lievano said that Catz had one of the most exciting matches of the night, getting the pin at the last possible second in a match that was close throughout.

Prior to the match against Center Moriches, the Baymen picked up a 39-33 win against Stony Brook at home on January 27. Connor Curtis was the hero in that match, getting a win at 189 pounds by pinning Jerome Washington to seal the victory for his team.

“Before his match, I told him, ‘If you win, we win,’” Lievano said. “I put a lot of pressure on him and he went out and won, so that was a great thing for him.”

At 140 pounds, Flynn had an exciting 2-0 win over Kenny Ruddick, an All-County wrestler who defeated Flynn in the county tournament last season.

Juan Ramirez won with a pin in 3:55, Fiahlo won with a pin in 1:13, Oskar Ramirez won with a pin in 1:23, Catz won with a pin in 2:20 and Tarpey pinned his opponent in 1:30.

The Baymen will spend the next several days gearing up for the Division II county tournament, which will begin at Center Moriches High School on Friday, February 13, and continue at Hofstra University the following day. The county tournament is usually held at Stony Brook University, but renovations to the Stony Brook gym caused the tournament to be moved to Hofstra this year.

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