SOMERS, N.Y. — Minus five key starters, Somers headed into its senior day dual meet with many backups in the starting lineup, but the Tuskers battled until the final match was over. Somers fell to visiting Greeley 63-24 on Jan. 14 at home.
After two pins and a forfeit, the Tuskers fell into a quick 18-0 hole which proved difficult to fight back from.
“The match-ups were tough because our good guys went against their good guys,” Somers coach Ron DiSanto Jr. said. “Those matches which could have gone either way didn’t really go our way. We didn’t have our full, healthy lineup. We had about five regular starters that were injured and couldn’t wrestle, so we had to either forfeit those weight classes or send out a less experienced wrestler. Based on our lineup we did the best we could and we battled and won a few matches. A couple of our younger guys are starting to emerge and make a name for themselves and prove themselves. That was a positive from the match.”
Junior Brian Walter earned the Tuskers’ first win of the day with a pin of Max Brandes in 3:13 at 132 pounds. Fellow junior Javaughn Clarke picked up a quick pin in just 43 seconds over Matt Vertucci at 182 pounds. Sean Freebern got a pin in only 41 seconds against Danny Merker at 220 pounds and Michael Esquivel closed the match with a victory by forfeit at 285.
“Javaughn, it’s his first year wrestling and he’s really tough and strong,” DiSanto Jr. said. “He’s starting to learn the technique and he’s won a few varsity matches already in his first year, which is pretty impressive. Sean Freebern did well. He had a pin the first period. Brian Walter won by pin. He’s getting used to varsity and helping out the team.”
Despite the loss, the Tuskers are a much improved dual meet team overall this season due in part to their depth.
“Our depth has improved so we have more weight classes filled but we also have more guys at each weight class, so we’re able to get more guys varsity wrestling experience,” DiSanto Jr. said. “In each weight class we have someone that we trust for varsity. At this point we only have two weeks of the regular season before divisionals. We’re gradually building confidence and we are on pace to peak mentally and physically for the postseason. We have a few individuals that are under the radar and are in good positions to make a run for all-section. We still have an overall young team. We’re still growing as a team, so we expect some ups and downs, but whether we win or lose we are learning and that will prepare our young team to take the next step next year.”
The Tuskers participated in the Hendrick Hudson tournament on Jan. 16. Graham Roediger took fourth place at 120 pounds.
Somers lost to host Fox Lane 43-27 on Jan. 12. Ryan Savino (99, forfeit), William DiBenedetto (126, pin), Max Freebern (160, 7-1), Sean Freebern (195, pin) and Esquivel (285, forfeit) picked up wins.
The Tuskers will participate in the Westchester County Championships on Jan. 23 at Yonkers High School.
“We’ll see tough competition that will give our guys a chance to wrestle some of the best guys in the section,” DiSanto Jr. said, “and we’ll be trying to pull out some wins.”