Alec Tapia was running on empty, standing on the mat in the closing seconds, headlocked in a tie with Brewster’s Joe Petrogallo in their 145-pound title match. But then the Yorktown senior somehow reached down and found the strength to take down Petrogallo and win 7-5.
The hyped Huskers have their two returning sectional champs in Steven Sabella and David Varian and two other returning finalists in Joe Mastro and Tom Murray. But it takes more than four to grab a dual-meet tournament crown. Tapia also did his part. Most Outstanding Wrestler Kyle Santucci did his part, including a pin in the 152-pound championship match for his 100th win. A lot of guys did their part.
That’s why the Huskers swept their five round-robin matches and then took down Brewster 45-30 in the final round to win the two-day, 12-team Yorktown/Chase Media Group Holiday Wrestling Championships Saturday at Yorktown High, the host team’s first title in this ninth annual tournament.
“It’s rewarding,” coach John Tornambe said. “It’s nice to win your own tournament. It’s nice to win a team tournament like this. … We’ve got a lot of kids who’ve been wrestling a lot of years for us.”
Sabella, Varian, Mastro and Murray are all seniors, and they all delivered pins against the Bears.
“The four (sectional) finalists, they’re a big part of the team,” said Tapia, who just regained his eligibility Friday to start his season, then went 6-0. “But everyone needs to contribute.
“I’ll tell you one thing, that we’re going to win the section.”
Sabella went out at 220, pinned Frank Golinello 1:36 in, then shot up and gleefully pumped his arm.
“That’s my goal; I wanted the pin,” Sabella said. “But even bigger, jumping from 170 to 195 this year, that was a big jump for me. Then Coach told me to bump up and face Brewster’s 220. That was another challenge in itself. … It made me realize that size really doesn’t matter.”
The Bears, who also went 5-0 in the round robin, excelled in the lighter weights against the Huskers. Grant Cuomo, Tyler Gonska and Liam Erickson turned in pins.
“The matchups weren’t the best for us,” coach Tom Looby said. “They’re pretty top heavy. We had some tougher lightweights. … Guys wrestled tough. I was pleased.”
Three Sleepy Hollow wrestlers missed the bus. Yet the Headless Horsemen still finished third after beating Hen Hud 39-35.
“We would’ve lost, I think, for sure to Yorktown, but the kids who came really wrestled well,” Sleepy Hollow coach Brian Tompkins said. “They’re coming along.”