With his team in need of some matches due to the cancellation of a tournament earlier this season because of inclement weather, Hampton Bays wrestling head coach Rafael Lievano was able to score his squad a spot at the fifth annual Groundhog Wrestling Festival at Herricks High School on Saturday.
The tournament used a round-robin pool format, allowing wrestlers to get in the maximum amount of matches—five. Cody Nolan (160 pounds) and Anthony Mora (120 pounds) both went undefeated and won their respective weight classes. Mora was wrestling up a weight class—normally he wrestles at 113 pounds. Nolan pinned all of his opponents.
Joey Panetta wrestled at 113 pounds for the Baymen and was able to finish fourth, so was Ayden Muhs and Jonathan Sacco, who wrestled at 160 and 195 pounds, respectively.
Lievano said the tournament featured wrestlers from Suffolk County, including Westhampton Beach, but also had schools from Queens and Nassau County. “It was awesome,” he said. “Everyone was able to get five matches in, so everyone got a lot of experience. That’s what we needed.”
Hampton Bays also won its final regular season dual meets last week over Stony Brook and Smithtown Christian. The Baymen won, 51-21, at Stony Brook on January 29. Nolan, Muhs, Sacco, Lucas Kraus (106), Kenneth Giron (120) and Ralph Oswald (138) all won their matches.
Hampton Bays defeated Smithtown Christian in its final home meet of the season, but those scores and results were not available. The Baymen finished the dual meet season with a 3-5 record.
Hampton Bays will now have nearly two weeks to gear up for the Suffolk County Division II Championships, which will take place on Saturday, February 15, at Center Moriches High School. There is a $6 admission to the tournament, which is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.
Lievano said he doesn’t have any scrimmages scheduled before then and that his wrestlers will be working out as a team over the next several days. “It’s just going to be a bunch of training for the guys now,” he said.