YORKTOWN, N.Y.-Facing one of the best wrestling programs in Section 1, Yorktown came up with as big a dual-meet win as it has enjoyed in recent memory Jan. 16 when it defeated John Jay-Cross River on the Indians’ ice, 43-36.
“Beating John Jay was a huge milestone for Yorktown wrestling,” Yorktown’s Matt Steigmeier said. “We haven’t been able to collectively beat John Jay for a number of years, and now we have.”
The win against John Jay, the defending back-to-back Section 1 Division 1 champions, shows that the effort the Huskers have put into their craft has been well worth it.
“It goes to show our hard work in practice is paying off as we continue to build,” Steigmeier said.
Steigmeier (220 pounds) was one of four Yorktown grapplers who pinned their opponents, along with Dean Patierno (126), Patrick Patierno (152) and Wayne Walsh (195).
“A few teammates and I were actually able to pin our opponents, and it again shows the progress we have all made as a team,” Steigmeier said.
Andrew Finateri (113, technical fall), Mauricio Arango (138, technical fall), Connor Thomas (160, forfeit) and Nick Lasala (182, decision), also came up with big victories.
Yorktown competed in the Westchester County Championships, won by Fox Lane, at Yonkers on Jan. 20, finishing ninth in a highly competitive 28-team field.
Leading Yorktown was Thomas, who placed first in the 152-pound weight bracket.
“It is great to be able to do so well at this weight class, after wrestling at 160 pounds for the two years prior,” Thomas said. “My coaches and I felt at the beginning of the season that I would be more successful if I dropped the weight, and this just shows that we were right. “
Thomas earned the title when he pinned Fox Lane’s Quincy Downes in the final seconds of the third period.
“I have wrestled this opponent three times in the last three weeks and each time the matches were close,” Thomas said. “However, in this match I was able to catch him at the end as he attempted a last-ditch effort to throw me.”
Patrick Patierno (145, third), Steigmeier (195, third), Dean Patierno (113, fourth) and Finateri (113, sixth) stood out for the Huskers at the county championships as well.
Lakeland/Panas also competed at the county championships, placing 16th, with Ryan Ocasio (120) registering a second-place finish and Anthony Palmisano (220) finishing sixth.
Lakeland/Panas began the week by defeating visiting Our Lady of Lourdes 52-15 on Jan. 18.
“Everyone wrestled aggressively and stuck to the basics,” Ocasio said.
Austin Bergen (120, decision 9-3), Ocasio (126, major decision 12-3), Vincent Scialdone (132, pin), Christopher Galazzo (145, pin), JeanCarlo Merchan (152, pin), Declan Fullerton (170, decision 6-0) and Kyle Tataranowicz (195, pin) all earned victories for Lakeland/Panas against Lourdes.
Ocasio won his match by simply never letting up against his opponent.
“I didn’t give my opponent an opportunity to score and I kept the pressure on the whole match,” Ocasio said.
Ocasio also cited a teammate’s performance, saying . “Chris Galazzo stands out by pinning his opponent and it’s his first year,” Ocasio said of the junior grappler.
Rebels Shane Coster (106), Palmisano (220) and Patrick Hickey (285) also were awarded forfeit victories.