YONKERS – As he heard the whistle from the referee indicating that he was out of bounds, Harrison senior Frankie Barchella took a moment to glance at the clock.
It became obvious that he was going to need to work quickly.
“Coming into the restart, I was telling myself, ‘There’s 12 seconds left and you have to score if you want the belt,’ ” Barchella said, referring to the belts awarded to each champion at the inaugural Westchester County Championships on Sunday at Yonkers High. “I wanted the belt and picked up the two (points).”
In the final seconds of the match, Barchella took down New Rochelle’s Moises Tera to claim a county title at 120 pounds with a 3-1 decision and earn Most Outstanding Senior honors. He and teammate Jay Martins, who won a title at 106 pounds, helped Harrison tie for a fifth-place finish with Scarsdale. But the top team at the tournament was John Jay.
Conor Melbourne (138 pounds) and Brian Kershner (145) won titles for the Indians, with a total of 11 wrestlers from John Jay placing in the top six.
“I’m just so excited,” Kershner said. “We just won the first-ever Westchester County Championships. It shows that we’re the best team in Westchester, so it’s huge.”
No team had as many champions as New Rochelle, with Jake Shore (113), Jordan Wallace (126) and Dan Mendoza (195) each winning as the Huguenots finished third overall.
“As a team, we’re really starting to click on all cylinders,” said Wallace, who was named Most Outstanding Sophomore. “We’re aiming to win sectionals, but I would say we could definitely break the top three.”
Frank Barchella of Harrison was upended by Moises Tera of New Rochelle but recovered to win the 120 pound final at the Westchester County Classic Wrestling Championship at Yonkers High School Jan. 25, 2015.
Host Yonkers took second place with two champs in Justin Lopez (99) and Fredy Guevara (132). Guevara was named Most Outstanding Freshman after pinning Mount Vernon’s Henry Terry in just 14 seconds in the finals.
“I was expecting it to be a long, drawn-out match,” Guevara said. “I still need more training, but I think I’ll make it pretty far.”
One of the most competitive weight classes was 170 pounds, where Eastchester’s Nunzio Crowley proved once again that he is the favorite heading into sectionals. One week after winning the Edgemont Tournament with victories over ranked contenders Jackson Kligerman of Rye and Roger Ransom of Mamaroneck, Crowley ran into Ransom again in the county finals and prevailed with a 5-1 decision.
“Every time that you wrestle a guy, it gets harder and harder to win,” said Crowley, who was named Most Outstanding Junior. “I like seeing them now and what they do so that I’m ready for them when it comes to sectionals. … I feel that I have a good shot.”
Scarsdale’s Daniel Baruch (152), North Salem’s Teddy Fleming (160), Kennedy’s Alex Melikian (182), Mamaroneck’s Youssif Hemida (220) and Lakeland/Panas’ Stephen Kelley (285) also earned the right to hoist a belt.