GLEN COVE, N.Y. — Yorktown’s wrestling squad was outstanding Dec. 28, placing second in the Charles McCullough Tournament at Glen Cove on Long Island.
“Getting second at Glen Cove as a team was a great accomplishment for us,” Yorktown senior Patrick Patierno said. “It shows how much we have improved as a team Kids like Matthew Steigmeier and Mauricio Arango and my brother Dean have taken leaps in their game and are really stepping up for us.”
Leading the Huskers to second-place were Patierno (145 pounds) and Connor Thomas (152), who each earned first-place finishes.
“I was able to place first today because of all the work that I put in every day at practice, and my drive to be the best,” Patierno said. “I think that I was able to do this because I feel like I am overlooked as a wrestler and I want to prove myself. I want a section title and I'm not settling for less.”
Thomas said it felt great being able to win on Long Island after coming from behind in the finals.
“I have been working on the ability to stay focused, even when losing a match, and it really paid off,” Thomas said.
Arango (138, second), Steigmeier (195, second), Dean Patierno (113, third), Marc Pisani (120, third), Tyler Rodriguez (285, third), Nicholas Lasala (170, fourth) and Andrew Finateri (113, fifth) also stood out for the Huskers.
“I would like to make a shout-out to Dean Patierno, Marc Pisani and Tyler Rodriguez for their bronze-medal performances today,” Thomas said. “Without their efforts we wouldn't have been able to earn second place out of 13 teams.”
Yorktown lost a very competitive match to visiting North Rockland 45-31 on Dec. 22.
“North Rockland is a tough team that’s been one of the powerhouses of Section 1 wrestling for a while now,” Arango said. “If we didn’t forfeit two weight classes it could’ve been way closer but we wrestled pretty well as a whole.”
Thomas felt his squad had a solid effort against the Red Raiders as well.
“The team wrestled well, especially since North Rockland was the second best team in the Section 1 Dual Meet Tournament earlier this year,” Thomas said. “While we were hoping to come away with a win, we kept the match close despite giving up two forfeits.”
Arango came away with an 8-6 decision in the 138-pound weight class.
“I was aggressive in the beginning of the match and scored some points but I got sloppy and let him back in,” Arango said. “I realized if I just cleaned it up and wrestled smart that I’d get the win easily.”
Thomas earned a victory at 160 pounds by pin 1:40 into the match.
“Everyone on North Rockland team is tough,” Thomas said. “They don't give up the pin easily. However, I've been working with my coaches on the particular pinning combination that I used. I was able to put the sequence together, and was happy to get the pin.”
Thomas’ effort was one that stood out to Arango, along with pins from Patrick Patierno (152) and Steigmeier (220) and a 14-1 major decision by Rodriguez (285).
“Our captain Connor Thomas got a huge pin in his match. He’s really showing that he’s going to be tough to beat come February,” Arango said. “The same goes for captains Patrick Patierno and Matt Steigmeier, who are going to be top guys when sectionals roll around. But heavyweight Tyler Rodriguez looked really impressive in his last match, where he picked up a win by major decision.”
Wayne Walsh also had a big victory at 195 pounds.
“Wayne Walsh had a great day, pinning his opponent very quickly,” Thomas said. “Tyler Rodriguez thoroughly dominated his opponent, missing the technical fall by one point. Captains Matthew Steigmeier, Mauricio Arango, and Patrick Patierno each also came away with important victories.”