The Eastport South Manor wrestling team has enjoyed success before at the Kujan Brothers Memorial Tournament at William Floyd High School, but the Sharks may have enjoyed their greatest success at this weekend’s version of the tournament.
ESM brought 12 wrestlers to Floyd on Saturday and 11 of them placed, with four Sharks winning their respective weight classes. Adam Busiello (99 pounds), Travis Passaro (126), Nick Garone (132) and Jimmy Leach (138) all took home titles while seven others placed in the top six. It’s the third consecutive year that Passaro, Garone and Leach were champions at the annual tournament.
Stephen Brooks placed fourth at 99 pounds while Joey Busiello (113), Sean Carey (145) and Alex German (195) all placed fifth. Hunter Mason (120) and Mark Zaharis (152) both placed sixth, but ESM head coach Nick Garone was pleased when 285-pounder Joe Zarcone was able to place third.
In the past two weeks, Zarcone has knocked off three ranked wrestlers and now has more than 20 victories this season. If he wins his next two League V matches this week, he’ll go into the League V Tournament, which is at ESM in a few weeks, undefeated and likely as the top seed.
“He’s doing well. I’m really happy for him ,” Coach Garone said. “He’s been working hard and wrestling better and better every time he goes out on the mat.
“If he can be seeded first at leagues, that puts him in a good spot to be a league champion,” he added. “And winning a league championship gets you seeded in the top six in the county, and makes the road to becoming an All-County wrestler that much easier.”
ESM had a busy week before the tournament, with three dual meets. After defeating Harborfields, 45-34, at home on January 14, ESM lost, 45-29, at home to Rocky Point. Then the Sharks went to Islip on Friday and lost a close bout, 40-31. The Sharks are 2-3, as of Tuesday, in League V.
Leach, the top-seeded wrestler in Suffolk County at 138, had one of the better matches against Rocky Point’s James Matias, who is ranked second. The first two periods were very close and both wrestlers were visibly into the match emotionally. With a close lead going into the third period, Leach was able to get Matias on his back for a near-fall, and he eventually won the match, 12-5.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 1/22, vs. Kings Park; Friday, 1/24, at Comsewogue, 5 p.m.