LAGRANGEVILLE, N.Y.— It’s been quite a season for Yorktown eighth-grade wrestling sensation Chris Perry, who lived up to all the hype and then some at the Section 1 Division 1 championships held at Arlington High School on Feb. 11.
Perry lived up to the hype by taking the 106-pound title in addition to being named champion of champions, which is quite an accomplishment for any wrestler but especially one for someone who isn’t even in high school yet.
“Winning a section title was my goal this season,” Perry said. “I could not have done it without my great coaching staff and teammates at Yorktown. Also my teammates and coaches at Iowa Style Wrestling really helped me mentally prepare for this day.”
Perry made it to the 106-pound finals, where he faced North Rockland’s C.J. McMonegal, coming away with a 6-0 decision to win the sectional title.
“C.J. McMonegal is a great wrestler but the key to winning that match was to push the pace and keep scoring,” Perry said.
Perry, like all the other grapplers, had to deal with the fact that the championships were condensed to one day because of the expected inclement weather on Feb. 12. Originally, the championships were supposed to be split into two days between Arlington and Clarkstown South.
“When I found out that the tournament was changed from two days to one day it threw me off guard at first,” Perry said. “The change did not affect my performance though.”
For Perry, the next step is the state tournament, which will be held on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25, at the Times Union Center in Albany.
“As an eighth-grader, going up to states is another place I have to prove myself at,” Perry said. “I believe to be successful in the state tournament, you cannot overlook anyone.”
Yorktown junior co-captains Connor Thomas (160 pounds) and Patrick Patierno (145) both earned all-section by finishing in fourth and sixth place, respectively, for a Husker squad that placed 13th out of 33 teams.
Dean Patierno (106), Andrew Finateri (120), Mauricio Arango (132), Matthew Steigmeier (182) and Owen Mcgivney (195) also competed for the Huskers.
Lakeland/Panas’ senior captain Brandon DiDomenico also had an outstanding day, as he was a finalist in the 113-pound weight class.
“I was able to make it to the finals due to my determination throughout the day,” DiDomenico said. “I went into every match with more fire and will to win. I was also as prepared as ever due to our practices prior to the tournament.”
In the finals, DiDomenico faced Mahopac’s Mike Muldoon, who pinned his Husker challenger in 32 seconds.
“Mike caught me with a near side cradle and it was too tough to break,” DiDomenico said. “I wish him all the best at states.”
Despite the loss in the finals, it couldn’t dampen what was an outstanding sectional tourney for DiDomenico.
“Being a section finalist means to me that all the blood, sweat and tears I put into this sport for the past six years was worth it,” DiDomenico said. “Although I didn’t come out on top, I gave it everything I had so I have no regrets.”
Ryan Ocasio (120), Justin Rosario (126) and Kevin Moore (170) also competed for the Rebels.