NEW ROCHELLE – From the time that he was a pee-wee wrestler, Dean Artrip dreamed of donning the classic navy and white singlet for the Suffern Mounties. But by the time Artrip reached high school, his family was living in Tuxedo, which meant that Artrip would be suiting up for a different team.
Artrip achieved success at Tuxedo, winning a Section 9 title as a sophomore, but his heart was still in Suffern. Prior to his junior year, the Artrip family decided to relocate, giving Dean the opportunity he’s always wanted.
“I pretty much grew up with the (Suffern) team,” Artrip said. “They treated me like family. I would go to some of their practices over the years, and then we finally moved when we heard that Tuxedo was closing (their wrestling program). They kept saying that there might be a team, but we didn’t want to take that chance, so we moved to Sloatsburg and I got on the team.”
The 113-pounder has added a new dimension to an already potent lineup. He missed some time prior to the holidays due to a sprained MCL, but Artrip was back in action on Thursday, helping the Mounties notch a notable 51-23 win at New Rochelle.
“(Section 1) is definitely a lot better than Section 9, but it’s good competition,” said Artrip, who pinned Jack Middlesworth in just 42 seconds. “I’m looking to do the best that I can in this section. It’ll be tough, but I’ll wrestle my hardest and see what happens.”
Artrip is one of several Suffern wrestlers with high hopes for the postseason.
Will Marin (106 pounds), Brice Artrip (138) and T.J. Groesbeck (285) placed at sectionals last year and picked up wins on Thursday, while two other All-Section returners – Luis Cuevas (120) and Peter Oliveto (132) – sat out due to injuries.
The only returning Section 1 champion for the Mounties is senior Stephen Lauro, who recently dropped down from 182 pounds to 170 for the second half of the season. The 182-pound weight class looks loaded with high-profile wrestlers such as Lakeland/Panas’ Alex Melikian, Eastchester’s Nunzio Crowley and John Jay’s Evan Frank, but Lauro’s move to 170 might make him the guy to beat.
“I don’t pay too much mind to it because I feel like if you get all involved in who’s ranked where, and who’s going where, you kind of get unfocused with your own matches,” Lauro said. “I take a look every now and then, but I try to really focus on what I have ahead of me. One match at a time.”
Man of the match: Will Marin, Suffern — There were plenty of guys to choose from for the Mounties, but Marin’s second-period pin against up-and-coming eighth-grader Joey Rodas at 106 pounds gave Suffern six crucial points before some of New Rochelle’s heavy hitters took the mat.
Turning point: The strength of the Huguenots’ lineup is from 120-160 pounds, but the Mounties did an excellent job of loading up on points to put New Ro in a significant hole. Tyrell Jackson won an overtime match at 220 pounds, sparking a run of five straight wins for Suffern before the 120-pound bout.
Quotable: “Guys definitely are trying to get healthy now,” Lauro said, referring to some of the injuries to Suffern’s key wrestlers. “Mainly, though, our whole thing has been, ‘Next guy up.’ With everything that’s happened, it’s been kind of hard. But we’ve found a way to fight through it, especially since that (loss in the) East Ramapo match.”