Mariners Take On Some Of State’s Best

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The Southampton wrestling team faced some of the toughest competition the state has to offer in Division II last week, losing two dual meets to Mattituck and Bayport/Blue Point. The Tuckers (4-0, 11-1 overall) are currently the third-ranked Division II team in the state and are the defending Suffolk County Division II champions. Mattituck has proven itself as a formidable team not only in Division II but against some of the better Division I programs in the county as well, losing by just three points to Brentwood, a perennial powerhouse in Division I, and beating Longwood, another big Division I powerhouse.

The Mariners hosted the Tuckers on Wednesday night and took a 66-18 loss, which, while lopsided, didn’t disappoint head coach Lester Ware, who pointed out that his team is without the services of two of its best wrestlers—Colby Lenahan and Chris Osufsen—for the rest of the year.

On Friday, Southampton traveled to Bayport and lost, 72-15. The Phantoms are ranked 13th in the state.

“It was a very tough week for the young kids, facing the number three and number 13 teams in New York in the same week,” Ware said. “We forfeited a lot of matches in both meets to not have the green kids go up against people who could hurt them.”

Southampton wrapped up the week by participating in a tournament at St. John the Baptist High School, coming away with some strong individual results.

In the loss to Mattituck, Mitchell Pena (120 pounds) beat Tim Pelan in a 6-1 decision, the start of what was a 5-1 week for him. Pena also pinned Austin Kruger of Bayport in 1:13, and he finished second in his weight class at the tournament, losing 8-7 in the finals to Patrick Ortiz of Centereach. Before making it to the finals, Pena had three pins, all in the first period.

“Mitchell continues to be on a collision course with Brett Frole of Babylon for the Division II county finals,” Ware said of Pena.

Also against Mattituck, Alejandro Reyes (132) had a nice win, beating Ben Schmidt 7-5 in overtime. Reyes scored a takedown late in regulation to tie the match, and then scored another in the sudden-victory overtime session to earn the win. Reyes also picked up two wins at the tournament on Saturday, as did Ian Saw-Burke, who had a pair of pins while competing at 170 pounds.

Heavyweight standouts Rafal Rokosz (220) and Peter Strassfield (285) picked up the only other wins for Southampton against Mattituck, with Rokosz pinning Adam Goode in 4:26 and Strassfield pinning Stephen Ostrowski in 1:01. Against Bayport, Rokosz earned a narrow 3-2 win over Matt Doty,” while Strassfield received a forfeit.

Ware was happy with Rokosz, who faced two of the tougher Division II opponents in the county in Goode and Doty. Goode has won three tournaments this year, while Doty has been ranked as high as seventh in the Long Island combined Division I and II rankings. Rokosz was nursing a slight knee injury over the weekend and therefore did not compete in the tournament.

Strassfield, meanwhile, was undefeated on the week, winning his weight class at the St. John’s tournament. Ware said that Strassfield “showed flashes of the speed he will need” to beat Kyle Fiske of Port Jefferson, who is ranked fifth in the state among all wrestlers in both divisions. Rokosz and Strassfield are both listed as honorable mentions on the combined Division/Division II state rankings, while Rokosz is ranked second and Strassfield fourth in the Division II state rankings.

ON THE SCHEDULE: Tuesday, 10/21, vs. Stony Brook and Smithtown Christian, at Stony Brook, 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 1/24, vs. Babylon, 4:30 p.m.

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