The 120-pound match between Southampton’s Mitchell Pena and Babylon’s Brett Frole during last Friday’s dual meet in Southampton was supposed to be a tight contest featuring two of the best wrestlers in that weight class from Suffolk County’s Division II.
But Pena made a big statement, not only by taking down Frole, who was ranked first in the county, but by beating him decisively in a 12-0 major decision. Pena now joins teammates Rafal Rokosz (220 pounds) and Peter Strassfield (285 pounds) as favorites to win a county title in next month’s Division II county tournament.
The Mariners lost, 60-22, to Babylon, but Pena was not the only one with a strong performance for the Mariners, as Alejandro Reyes won at 132 pounds with a pin of Bryan Larsen in two minutes. Rokosz and Strassfield both won by forfeit as Babylon chose not to put a wrestler on the mat against either of the talented heavyweights.
The day before the Babylon meet, the Mariners picked up a 48-42 win at Stony Brook. Strong performances by both Ian Saw-Burke (160 pounds) and Thomas Roughan (182 pounds) were the keys to the win, according to head coach Lester Ware. Both Mariner wrestlers won with pins, with Saw-Burke sticking Samuel Ajewole in just 46 seconds and Roughan finishing off Harry Hou in just 33 seconds.
“If they’d only won by decision, it would have been a tie,” Ware explained. “Same if one of them had lost.”
There were several forfeits by both teams in the match. At 120 pounds, Pena pinned Justin Moreno in 30 seconds, and at 220 pounds, Rokosz pinned Chris Rudzitis in just 33 seconds. Strassfield received a forfeit at 285 pounds.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 1/29, at Center Moriches, 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 1/31, vs. Port Jefferson, 4:30 p.m.