Southampton wrestlers Peter Strassfield and Rafal Rokosz established themselves last season as two of the top heavyweight wrestlers not only in Division II but in all of Suffolk County. At the Sprig Gardner Tournament at East Hampton High School on Saturday, they picked up where they left off, winning championships in their respective weight classes in their first action of the season.
Rokosz beat Division II rival Matt Doty of Bayport/Blue Point, 2-1, to claim the title at 220 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Rokosz chose the bottom position to start the second, and he quickly scored a reversal to go up, 2-0. Rokosz managed to ride Doty out for the remaining four minutes of the match, allowing Doty an escape with only eight seconds left.
Southampton head coach Lester Ware said he was proud of Rokosz, saying he turned what was his “biggest weakness” last year into an asset, finishing the “textbook ground-and-pound” match on top.
“I have harped on being able to win the one-point match since last year’s state tournament,” Ware said.
Rokosz had two first-period pins before taking on Doty in the finals, beating Jerry Lopez of Riverhead and Alex Donarumma of Hauppauge.
Strassfield, at 285 pounds, had a thrilling win in the finals, pinning James Louison of Happauge in 3:26. Strassfield had been trailing 7-6 before choosing the neutral position and then getting Louison in a body lock for the pin. Strassfield had pinned both Christian Garlaza of Hauppauge and John Munro of Hauppauge in less than a minute each on his way to the finals.
Chris Osufsen was the only Mariner who saw action on Saturday, and he finished fifth in the 126-pound weight class, going 2-2 on the day. He beat Joe Donnelly of Bayport in an 11-6 decision and beat Liam Maloney of Bayport, 6-1, to take fifth.
Two Southampton starters did not wrestle because of disciplinary reasons, while one was out with an injury and two others didn’t make weight. More than a dozen wrestlers did see time in the JV room at the tournament, and Ware pointed out that Alejandro Reyes looked strong in those matches.
The Mariners will compete at the Rick Hermann Tournament at Bellport High School on December 21 at 9 a.m., and will compete in the two-day East Meadow Tournament on December 27 and 28 to close out the year.