Top-Seed Mahopac Grappler Battles to Somers Title

Mahopac’s Charlie Nicosia has his hand raised after winning a 145-pound match. Credits: Rob DiAntonio
Mahopac’s Andi Berisha won the 126-pound weight class. Credits: Deena Bell

MAHOPAC, N.Y.-Injuries have devastated Mahopac’s wrestling lineup with five starters on the shelf but that hasn’t kept the Indians from being competitive.

Ten Mahopac grapplers placed to give the Indians a third-place finish at the Eric D’Agnese Wrestling Tournament. Host Somers took the first spot with Mamaroneck placing second.

“I am pretty happy with our third-place finish,” Mahopac coach Dennis DiSanto said. “We have had a rough time the last month with injuries. When we started the season our strength was from 152 to 285 [pounds]. Every wrestler was a returning section qualifier. Because of a series of injuries, I lost five of the seven starters, so it hasn’t been easy. Regardless, with all the injuries we have still been able to stay competitive and we still managed to place 10 wrestlers. On the plus side, I am only starting two seniors and next year we have 34 wrestlers returning.”

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Top-seeded Andi Berisha had a standout day for the Indians, claiming the 126-pound title. He bested Irvington’s Cris D’Amelio, 9-3, in the final.

“He has great technique and is quick and strong,” DiSanto said of Berisha, who is 20-3 on the season. “He continues to improve every week. He is one of the hardest workers in the room [at practice] and it shows when he wrestles.”

Frank Casagrande made it all the way to the finals as the sixth seed at 152 pounds before top-seeded Cyrus Smith pinned him. Casagrande recorded three straight first-period pins to reach the finals and place second. “Frank is showing a lot of improvement,” DiSanto noted.

Charlie Nicosia was also second for the Indians at 145 pounds. DiSanto describes him as one of the team’s most consistent wrestlers. “He always keeps on moving and never gives up,” the veteran coach said.

Tom Mahoney, who is 21-3 on the season, finished third at 160 pounds in a very competitive weight class.

Also placing for Mahopac were Mike Rivera (220 pounds, third), Frankie Scauzillo (113, fourth), Larry Nardecchia (132, fourth), Kevin Bunyea (120, sixth), Tyler Roa (138, sixth) and Carlos Miguel (195, sixth), who won his first and second varsity matches.

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