By Desirée Keegan
Area wrestlers once again rose to the occasion and racked up some hardware as a result.
Thirteen North Shore wrestlers placed first or second, 15 third or fourth and another 13 fifth or sixth at the Division I Suffolk County championships at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood Feb. 9-10.
And it was Hauppauge’s junior class that stole the show. Luke Smith (113 pounds), Danny Mauriello (152) and Michael Tyrell (182) all placed first to help the Eagles to the team title and Bill Knapp award. Mauriello, who won his match against Kings Park senior Stefan Major with a 5-3 decision, was named the Jack Mahoney Champion of Champions. Sophomore Chris Boudreau (138) placed third for Hauppauge; freshman Mikey Manta (99) and sophomore Andrew Maiorini (113) placed fourth; and junior Anthony Dibartolo (132) placed fifth.
Rocky Point was next in line with five count placers, highlighted by junior 132-pound Logan Sciotto’s pin of Islip’s Sean Peterson at 2:41 for the county crown. Senior Corey Connolly also made it to the finals, and dropped a 3-0 decision to Copiague’s Paul Illicete at 170 pounds. Junior Evan Matias (120) and senior Kris Ketchum (145) finished third, and senior Justin Amendola (113) placed fifth.
Commack, Kings Park, Newfield, Smithtown West and Ward Melville each had four wrestlers place. Commack senior Joey Slackman, who pinned his 285 opponent London Castillo of Brentwood in 36 seconds, had the most pins in the least amount of time, taking down four wrestlers in 3:22. Miller Place got three grapplers to the podium, Centereach and Huntington had two placers, and Harborfields and Northport each had one.