The Carlucci Dual Meet tournament at Purchase College on Saturday provided several emerging programs with an opportunity to make a statement, and three teams took advantage. With traditional powers such as New Rochelle and Somers getting off to slow starts, Port Chester, Harrison and Mamaroneck each made a splash by finishing in the top five.
“On the bus ride here, coach (Vin) Nicita said, ‘This is the time to make a name for yourself,’ ” Harrison senior David Polakoff said. “He’s believed in us, and he knew that we could do it.”
The only final that ended up as expected was the first-place matchup. Section 9 power Monroe-Woodbury handed defending Section 1 champ Fox Lane a convincing 60-17 loss to take the title.
“We thought we could win some matches down low, but once we got to 160 (pounds), we knew they were tough,” Fox Lane coach Anthony Rodrigues said. “We were hoping to stay off our backs, but we didn’t do a good job of that.”
The Foxes managed to take second despite a lineup that features four wrestlers who are freshmen or younger. Tom Grippi — Fox Lane’s lone returning section champ — was named the Most Outstanding Senior, while Scott Rodrigues was the tournament’s Most Outstanding Freshman. Both went 6-0 over the weekend.
“We have 17 freshmen on our team,” Scott Rodrigues said. “It says that we’re going to be good in a couple of years, because we’re all working hard and trying our best.”
Not many could have predicted the final standings after the top two.
Host Port Chester went 5-1 to earn a spot in the third-place final, and Harrison shocked Edgemont early Saturday afternoon to clinch its spot. Joe Maida’s late pin in the final match against Edgemont gave the Huskies a dramatic 34-33 win.
“This is my fourth year here, and we’ve never placed at a tournament like this,” Polakoff said.
The Rams edged out Harrison for third place with a 42-35 win. A key match came at 120 pounds, where senior Kevin Rodriguez pulled off a third-period pin of Josh Guerrero. Rodriguez was down by a point at the time of the pin.
“In my head, I noticed that he didn’t have that cradle locked in,” Rodriguez said. “I knew if I work my way out and turn in quick, I could put him on his back. I had confidence in myself.”
Mamaroneck took fifth place with a 46-37 win over Edgemont. The Tigers showed significant improvement after placing eighth at this same tournament last season.
“A lot of seniors graduated last year from some top programs, so I think other programs definitely have a chance (this season),” said Mamaroneck sophomore Youssif Hemida, who went 6-0 during the tournament.