WEST NYACK, N.Y. – It was a successful weekend for both Yorktown and Lakeland/Panas wrestling teams, which both participated in the Section 1 Division 1 tournament.
The tournament was held over two days: Saturday, Feb. 15, at Sleepy Hollow and Sunday, Feb. 16, at Clarkstown South.
The local wrestler who placed the highest was Yorktown senior captain Andrew Finateri, who finished second in the 120-pound weight class.
“It meant a lot (to finish second), because when I first started wrestling, I looked up to the people that were in the finals, and that’s where I wanted to be,” Finateri said. “It was cool to see how far I’ve come in the sport.”
Finateri thought that heeding the words of the Husker coaching staff, and his work ethic, put him in a position to place second.
“I made it to the finals because I listened to my coaches and worked hard in practice with them every day,” Finateri said.
Finishing second earned Finateri All-Section honors. Finateri’s Yorktown teammates, fellow senior captains Dean Patierno (145), and Christian Sinagra (170), each placed fourth in their respective weight classes, earning All-Section honors as well.
“Dean and Christian both brought their best wrestling to sectionals and it showed in their success,” Finateri said.
For Finateri, Patierno and Sinagra, it’s the second year in a row that each earned All-Section honors, as all three also earned All-Section last year as juniors. Finateri was fifth last season at 120 pounds and Patierno and Sinagra each placed sixth, at 138 and 182 pounds, respectively.
Yorktown had five other of its grapplers compete in the tournament this year: Joe Tornambe (99 pounds), Chris Constantine (99), Marc Pisani (132), John Falcone (132) and Dillon Carter (152).
“As a team, we performed great overall,” said Yorktown coach Eric Fama. “Dillon, Marc, and Joe all won at least one match.”
Fama was pleased that the Huskers were able to continue their momentum from last season, when they had four All-Section wrestlers. This year, they placed 12th as a team, one spot up from last year’s sectional tournament.
“I’m proud of the fact that we were able to build off last season,” Fama said.
Earning All-Section honors for Lakeland/Panas was Gio Russo, who placed fourth in the 113-pound division.
“Gio is an extremely hard worker,” said Lakeland/Panas coach Dave Bergen. “He wrestles all year-round and is very confident, and clean, with his technique. He also never panics, when he is in a tough situation. He just sticks to the plan and keeps wrestling.”
Rebels’ Austin Bergen (126) and Connor McGannon (182) each won a match on Day 1 but did not advance to Day 2.
“Overall, we did OK,” Bergen said. “Gio wrestled incredibly. The rest fought hard, but it was a lack of experience that caught up with us. But we got experience this year, which should pay off next season.”
Spencer Maja (106), Charlie Dubrawski (220), and senior captain Pat Hickey (285) also competed in the sectionals for the Rebels.
Bergen said that having six of his wrestlers in the tournament means that the program is moving in the right direction.
“That’s two more than we had last year, and all but one of those guys returns next year,” Bergen said. “It’s good for our program to have so many kids qualify and wrestle hard.”