RAMAPO The moment that Shatir Henry stepped foot onto the mat on Wednesday, he was reminded of exactly why he stuck with it.
The East Ramapo senior, who also stars for the Ramapo football team, contemplated giving up wrestling during the offseason. But after putting some thought into it, he decided not to make a regrettable decision.
“It feels amazing,” Henry said. “I really didn’t plan on wrestling this year, but I just thought about it and I was like, ‘Let me just go out there and give it my all for my senior year.’ It’s a lot of stress and my body would get tired. I would think of giving up, but there’s no give-up in my mindset. My mindset it to keep striving and going forward.”
Henry was one of eight wrestlers to go 2-0 on the day for the Titans, helping them advance to the Division 1 (large school) quarterfinals in the Section 1 Dual Meet Championships for the second consecutive year.
After dispatching Rye with a dominant 62-12 win in its opening dual meet, East Ramapo was pitted against another quarterfinalist from last year in Yonkers. That match was considered a toss-up, but the Titans proved to have the deeper lineup with a steady 53-29 win.
They’ll travel to defending champ Suffern for the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
“We saw that (Yonkers) was ahead of us in the (Lohud Wrestling) rankings,” senior Romello Bradley said. “We really wanted to capitalize on that and work our way towards reaching further than the teams in front of us.”
Bradley (145 pounds), Henry (160), Ziaire Benjamin (99), Trey Wardlaw (113), Luis Lema-Lema (120), Jhavon Innocent (170), Leo Pamphile (220) and Jahkem Martinez-Collins (285) all went 2 for 2 in their matches.
Man of the match: Romello Bradley, East Ramapo — After taking fifth in a tough weight class last season, the senior looks ready to compete for a section title in his last go-around. He won his first match via technical fall and then beat Yonkers’ Fredy Guevara, a returning Westchester County champ, with an impressive 8-1 decision.
“It’s a really good test for the beginning of the season,” Bradley said. “I can see where I stand as of right now. I knew him a little bit from last year, so I knew what I was going against. I didn’t go in there underestimating him.”
Turning point: Innocent and Yonkers’ Steven Garcia (182) traded pins in the first two matches of the dual meet, but East Ramapo senior Joel Feliciano’s come-from-behind pin in the third period of his 195-pound bout sparked a run for the Titans. Yonkers forfeited the next three matches to fall into an insurmountable 30-6 hole.
Quotable: “Every year that I’ve been here, we’ve been setting new goals and achieving them,” Bradley said. “I feel that in a few more years, if we keep the same program – and we just got a modified team back – that we can build up this program and reach higher goals.”