Rokosz, Strassfield Continue To Dominate Their Competition


It was more of the same for Rafal Rokosz and Peter Strassfield at the Rick Hermann Memorial Tournament on Saturday at Bellport High School: Rokosz was the 220-pound weight class champion, while Strassfield made quick work of his opponents en route to the 285-pound championship.

Rokosz opened the tournament with a 30-second pin over Zak Schwartz of Syosset, followed by another pin in 3:38 over last year’s runner-up at the same tournament, Bellport’s Alex LaBranche. Southampton head coach Lester Ware said Rokosz hit a “dazzling” step-around body lock to launch LaBranche in the first period. Rokosz finished the tournament with a pin in 1:57 over Connetquot’s Josh Guttierez, who placed second at the League II Tournament last season.

Strassfield was a “one-man wrecking crew” last weekend, according to Ware. He pinned all four of his opponents in a total of 3:32, earning him the distinction of most pins, least time. He pinned Jae Soo Om of Syosset in six seconds first, followed by consecutive 26-second pins of Patchogue/Medford’s Milton Jara and Connetquot’s Brett Mongiello.

In the finals, Strassfield faced Syosset’s Alec Yaccovonne, who had just upset Christian Ohlenshlager of Harborfields, who is ranked third in Division I, and was trailing by a point. But as he did last weekend, at the Sprig Gardner Tournament in East Hampton, Strassfield came back and pinned Yaccovonne in 2:27.

Thomas Roughan made his season debut at 182 pounds and pinned Comsewogue’s John Delman in 1:01 in his very first match of the winter. He then lost to top-seeded Chris Beal of Connetquot. Roughan made what Ware said was a spectacular throw early in that match, only to have the ref say it occurred out of bounds.

Roughan wrestled back and pinned Wayne Caldicott of Bellport in 47 seconds, but then lost by pin in the consolations to Angelo Blando of Connetquot to finish in sixth place.

Chris Osufsen, seeded second in the tournament, opened with a 6-4 victory over Jason Blackmon of Comsewogue, followed by a 6-0 win over Ryan Horvatin of Sachem North. He was then pinned, though, by the third seed, Tom Repolone of Connetquot, in 1:57 in the semifinals. In the match for third place, Osufen got caught in a cradle while leading the match and was pinned in 2:10. Ware said it was the first match “where we got to see some of last year’s sparkle” from Osufen.

Mitchell Pena, the fifth seed in the tournament, opened with a pin at 1:23 over Xavier Stout of Sachem North, but he then followed that up with a loss to fourth-seeded Dan Smith of Bellport. Ware said Pena basically pinned himself, trying to do a tilt.

Southampton will be competing in the two-day East Meadow Tournament, this Friday and Saturday. The junior varsity will be wrestling the first day, varsity the second. The Mariners will then have a full week off before getting back at it at the Copiague Tournament on Saturday, January 4. They will then have their first League VII/Division II match of the season at Hampton Bays on Friday, January 10, at 4 p.m.

“We are stronger than we have been in a long time, and if everybody is in the lineup, we’ll be competitive,” Ware said of the upcoming league matches in January. “Mattituck is going to be top 10 in the state, and we have some kids who will match up well. We have a couple of kids who are world beaters and a bunch who are as green as grass. How we finish will be determined by how the team cowboys up.”

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