Somers Takes Sixth at Hen Hud Wrestling Tourney

Graham Roediger scores some back points on his way to the finals. Credits: Vic McGee

MONTROSE, N.Y.— It was a busy day on the mats as 27 teams from around the tri-state area came to Hendrick Hudson High School for the second annual Sailor Classic Wrestling Tournament on Jan. 14.

Somers was one of them as the Tuskers took to the mat and turned in an impressive sixth-place finish overall as a team.

“We finished sixth out of 27 teams,” Somers coach Ron DiSanto said.  “We are getting into a rhythm and hitting our stride as a solid tournament team. Each individual was able to get at least two matches, which is good experience because everyone needs the mat time. Everyone won at least one match, which helped with their confidence.”

Sign Up for E-News

Some Tuskers had busier days than others as Billy DiBenedetto, who was able to score four victories on the day to win the crown as 126-pound champion.

DiBenedetto had a bye in the first round, and he then cruised through his next three matches, winning them all by pin. He pinned Merlin Gonzales of Port Chester in the semifinals, and that set up a finals round bout against Firas Zoha of Arlington. DiBenedetto pulled away for a 7-3 victory to claim the title.

“Billy (DiBenedetto) was relentless,” DiSanto said.  “He never gave his opponents a chance to think, so his aggressiveness was to his advantage.”

He was joined in the finals by Tusker teammates Graham Roediger and Matt Kelly as they both advanced to the title bout and finished second in their respective weight classes.

Roediger advanced to the finals at 138 pounds as he pinned two opponents and then pulled out a 4-3 win over Anthony Ocello of Mahopac in the semis.

In the finals, Roediger suffered an 8-2 setback as he finished second.

Kelly advanced to the finals at 152 pounds. He had a bye in the first round and then pinned Horace Greeley’s Ryan Welch and Pleasantville’s Greg May to earn a shot at the title. In the finals, Kelly suffered a 10-7 setback to Nathaniel Garcia of Middletown.

“Graham and Matt looked really good all day and lost close matches to very good wrestlers in the finals,” DiSanto said. “Our other place winners were Nick Davison, taking sixth at 160. Matt Russo was ninth at 99, and Peter Bentivegna was 11th at 160. Jon Barakat, brand new to wrestling, had an impressive win in the first round, by pinning an opponent from Port Chester, who pinned him earlier in the season. That shows how much he is improving. He’s a very hard worker and fast learner.”

It all added up to a good day of learning on the mats for a young Somers lineup as the Tuskers get ready to close out the regular season on a high note.

“Our technique in practice has been good all year, but we’ve been picking up the intensity in our drilling so that the technique transfers better to matches, and it’s working,” DiSanto said. “As we get closer to the postseason, we will work a lot on the mental aspects of wrestling, like mental toughness, optimism and visualization.”

Somers was set to face host Rye at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19, and will take part in the Westchester County Championships on Jan. 21 at Yonkers High School.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


The Feline Night Stalker

Shades of the late Darren McGavin! If you liked the ‘70s horror shows on TV, you knew him as Kolchak, crime reporter, in the series “The Night Stalker.”

It seems that I have a night stalker living with me. My kitty, Bonnie, had her 18th birthday in April and I’ve noticed some subtle changes in her behavior. Up until that time, Bonnie would sleep on my bed at night. She ...

Hitting the road, Part II

Welcome back to our little trip across these great United States. We left off somewhere on Route 90, heading out of Cleveland.

So glad to have you following along, and frankly, if you’re following I’m just glad you’re not the cops. On the way to Chicago I found myself driving 70 miles an hour, which made the police quite angry, since the speed limit was 75. 

When ...

Sabotaged by the DMV

After living in Manhattan for the last few years, my grandson, Chris, and my wonderful grand-daughter-in-law, Silvia, have decided to move back to his hometown of Westfield, N.J. Silvia has just returned from a four-day visit with her parents in Hong Kong and they are bunking with my daughter, Lisa, while preparing their new home. Because they now have a daily commute to the city, I decided to ...

Do it badly!

Anything worth doing is worth doing badly, at least to start. 

As a recovering perfectionist, I have learned to get started on a project even if I don’t have all the pieces together. Sometimes just puttering, tinkering or moving the parts around will help me sort out my brain enough to give me an idea of how to tackle a project.  

I can’t tell you how many times ...

What Kind of Sports Parent Are You?

Social media recently showered a lot of likes and love on a high school pitcher in Minnesota whose team was playing in a regional final that would send the winning team to the state championship game.

After the last batter of the game struck out, the pitcher did something unheard of. Rather than spontaneously join his teammates in an on-field celebration, as is customary, the pitcher ...

Packing Heat

“Are you leaving me?” asked my husband one night as he surveyed the contents of my closet on our bed.

“What? No!” I said. “Why would you think that?”

“Every single article of clothing you own is laid out on our bed,” he replied. “So I have to assume you are either leaving me or you have joined the armed services and if that’s the ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, June 21, 6:00 PM

Yorktown Heights

2018 Kickball Registration is Open! Meet, Greet ...


Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

Yorktown Heights




Tue, June 26, 1:00 PM

Yorktown Heights



Excited for Somers Block Party June 30

June 20, 2018

Hello Somers:

The Town is excited this year to partner with the Somers Lions Club, Somers Chamber of Commerce and Sebastian Capital to offer a new kind of Independence Day celebration, at a new location, starting a new tradition with the 2018 Somers Block Party on June 30.

The Block Party will take place at Sebastian Capital’s 1 Pepsi Way property (across from King Kone) with gates ...