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Mount Sinai Mustangs

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Mount Sinai protecting a two-point lead over Islip with 11 seconds left in regulation went to Mount Sinai junior Kylie Budke who drained a three pointer from the corner to ice the game giving the Mustangs a 50-45 win in a League VI matchup at home Feb. 19.

Mount Sinai junior Casey Campo topped the scoring chart for the Mustangs with 8 field goals a triple and 4 from the line for a team high 23 points. Budke followed with 2 treys and 5 from the floor for 16 and Brielle Williams and senior Makayla Hartcom banked 4 points apiece.

The win lifts the Mustangs to 2-2 dealing Islip their first loss of the season falls to 4-1. Mount Sinai has two games remaining in this Covid shortened season before playoffs begin Feb. 26.                                              Photos by Bill Landon 

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Photo by Andrew Zucker

By Andrew Zucker

After over a year off due to COVID-19 —371 days to be exact — the Mount Sinai Mustangs varsity basketball team brushed the dust off their jerseys on Tuesday night, as they easily defeated the East Hampton Bonackers 66-41.

“Kids missed it, we missed it, we love being in the gym. We weren’t able to be in the gym during the offseason,” Mount Sinai head coach Ryan McNeely said postgame. “From the first day after tryouts where we were back in the gym, you could feel the energy and excitement of the kids. This was great for them.”

Photo by Andrew Zucker

For the first half, the Bonackers were one step behind the Mustangs, as Mount Sinai led 27-22 at the half. 

In the third quarter, the Mustangs unleashed an offensive barrage that East Hampton could not contain as the deficit grew from five to 21 points. 

“In the first half, you could see we were a little rusty to start off the game,” McNeely said. “All of the sudden, we started getting things clicking at once.” 

Thomas Frycek and Mitchell Cumings led Mount Sinai’s high-powered offense. 

Frycek scored 25 points while hitting seven shots from beyond the three-point line, and Cumings chipped in 13. 

The Bonackers were led in scoring by Topher Cullen and Luke Reese, who scored 13 points apiece. 

The Mustangs have a practice scheduled Wednesday before they head to Sayville for a game on Feb. 11, while East Hampton heads home for a bout with Miller Place the same day.

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Above, Mount Sinai senior Matt Campo won the day at the state wrestling championship March 1. Several other North Shore wrestlers placed on the day. Photo by Mel Jacoby

Like many students in the time of the coronavirus, Matt Campo, a senior at Mount Sinai High School, has had to wrestle with a lot, from having to take all schoolwork home, to planning for college not knowing what events will be like in just a few short months.

Mount Sinai’s Matt Campo in eighth grade. He started his career at 99 pounds and ends it at 170. Photo by Bill Landon

But Campo, at 170 pounds who early last month won the state championship against the No. 1 seeded wrestler in New York, the road has been long but worth it.

“Just making a name for myself in Mount Sinai — people know I’m a wrestling guy,” he said.

The path toward the championship started 6 years ago, when Campo joined the varsity team in 7th grade at 99 pounds. Mount Sinai wrestling head coach Matt Armstrong said that is rather rare, but Campo had quickly proved he was made of strong stuff.

“We knew early on he was very talented, and he always worked very hard,” Armstrong said. “His drive and his focus of winning a state championship got to be greater and greater, and he put in a lot of extra time and a lot of hard work.”

Joining the team in middle school, Campo said it was different than what he had seen before, with a new focus on the team dynamic. Though it would be the team-based mentality that would lead him to be class president for every year of his high school career.

Wrestling, to Campo, is a mental game. 

“In a match, every move has offense and a counter — you have to think three steps ahead,” he said. “Most wrestlers are extremely smart, the ability to have usually an edge over my opponent, it’s like a big chess match.”

At the Feb. 28 and 29 NYSPHSAA wrestling tournament at the Times Union Center in Albany, Campo would face his most formidable opponent, Mickey Squires of Norwich, the No. 1 seed. Squires had pulled off a win against Campo last year at the Windsor Christmas tournament where Squires won 6-4.  The finals was the seventh time Campo and Squires faced off, with Squires winning four and Campo winning two of those matches.

Armstrong said in the night before the match, he and his fellow coaches were discussing Campo’s prospects. Universally, it seemed every one of them were betting on Campo’s skills.

“We all thought Matt was going to win,” the coach said. “It was his work ethic and drive, he wrestled with the best kids and beat them or lost by a point or two. We just knew how focused he was, and thought he was gonna make that happen.” 

Matt Campo in 2018. Photo by Melvyn Jacoby

The match itself was an overtime nailbiter. It started with Squires scoring one point in the first period with an escape and took the lead 1-0.
Campo responded in the second period with a takedown, scoring two points and a 2-1 lead. Squires responded with a third-period escape, scoring one point. This tied the score at 2-2 and sent the match to overtime. The crowd was in a frenzy, knowing the first one to score would win the championship. In a dramatic finish, Campo scored two points on a takedown and won the match 4-2.

“It’s more I just go out there and just the ability to act and react in a match is what gives me an edge,” the wrestling champ said.

The tournament also represented a milestone for both him and Mount Sinai High School, leaving Albany with 200 wins under his belt. He is ending his high school wrestling career with 202 wins, a school record.

Beyond the mat, Campo has also started his own business that he’s now run for several years. Called Campo Creations, he does balloon twisting for parties and other events. It started several years ago, when he was bored in his room and started watching YouTube videos about making balloon animals. Though he is still getting calls during the ongoing pandemic, he said he has not been able to get out to do the job. 

After he graduates high school, he said he has plans to attend Siena College, going into the pediatric neurology program. He said he wants to become a pediatric neurologist, specifically because of his interest in the brain and his continuing desire to work with and help children.

Though Armstrong said the team is going to be missing Campo, along with a bevy of other seniors who are graduating this year, he thought Campo has the ability to accomplish anything.

“He definitely has drive and focus,” the coach said. “When he sets his mind to something, he’s gonna do it.”

It was fun for all ages at the annual Mount Sinai faculty basketball game March 6. Bill Landon photo

The Mount Sinai middle school All-Stars squared off against the high school Elite varsity squad in the annual Battle of the Educators faculty basketball game March 6. The fundraiser was organized by Diane Tabile and Carmella Stein, the respective president and treasurer of the Mount Sinai Booster Club, and again drew a capacity crowd for the 18th year running.

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Above, Mount Sinai senior Matt Campo won the day at the state wrestling championship March 1. Several other North Shore wrestlers placed on the day. Photo by Mel Jacoby

The wrestling season came to an end this past weekend at the Times Union Center in Albany with North Shore wrestlers making way at the 2020 Championship.  

A sellout crowd was in attendance for the two-day, three-session event featuring the best wrestlers throughout New York state. All of the Division II County Champions plus a few wildcards competed.

North Shore wrestlers from John Glenn, Mount Sinai, Shoreham-Wading River and Mattituck participated.  

Mount Sinai’s Matt Campo, the No. 2 seed, wrestled Mickey Squires of Norwich, the No. 1 seed, in a rematch of their Windsor Christmas tournament where Squires won 6-4.  The finals was the seventh time Campo and Squires faced off, with Squires wining four and Campo winning two.

The match started with Squires scoring one point in the first period with an escape and took the lead 1-0. Campo responded in the second period with a takedown, scoring two points and a 2-1 lead. Squires responded with a third-period escape, scoring one point. This tied the score at 2-2 and sent the match to overtime. Both wrestlers knew the other’s style and adjusted accordingly. The crowd was in a frenzy during the overtime, knowing the first one to score would win the championship. In a dramatic finish, Campo scored two points on a takedown and won the match 4-2, becoming the New York State Champion at 170 pounds. Campo also recorded his 200th career win during the tournament.   

Campo credited the win to the strategy set up by his father, Mike Campo, coach Matt Armstrong and assistants Kurt Wagner, Eric Strobeck, Ralph Menchino, Jim Walker and two outstanding wrestling training partners, Joe Goodrich and Adam Shrata.    

Also placing in the tournament were Brayden Fahrbach and Mike O’Brien of Mount Sinai, who finished third. Craig Jablonski, of Shoreham-Wading River, placed fifth, while Joe Goodrich, of Mount Sinai placed sixth.

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SWR Also Gives Strong Showing

Mustangs wrestling gave it their all at this year’s Division II wrestling championship Feb. 14. Photo from Mel Jacoby

Center Moriches High School was home to the Dr. L Robert “Doc” Fallot Memorial Suffolk County Division II Wrestling Championship Friday, Feb. 14. Competing in the tournament were teams from Mount Sinai, Shoreham-Wading River, John Glenn, Mattituck, Hampton Bays, Bayport-Blue Point, Port Jefferson, Southampton and Babylon. 

A capacity crowd was in attendance to watch the boys compete for the coveted championship and a trip to Albany for the New York State Championship finals. 

In a close battle at 99 pounds, Brayden Fahrbach of Mount Sinai narrowly defeated a tough Chris Colon from Shoreham-Wading River 2-1.

At 106 pounds, Craig Jablonski of Shoreham-Wading River took down Anthony Mirando of John Glenn 2-1 in a tight battle. 

At 120 pounds, Joe Sparacio of Bayport-Blue Point outlasted Connor Pierce of Shoreham-Wading River, 8-3. 

The 126-pound match featured Jordan Titus of Center Moriches, who ranked third in the nation, against Jack Tyrell of Mount Sinai. Titus won in a tech fall 18-3.

The boys from Mt. Sinai won the next two matches with Brenden Goodrich outlasting Jake Jablonski of Shoreham-Wading River 6-2 and Mike O’Brien overwhelming River Orlando of Hampton Bays 15-4.

Mount Sinai powerhouses Matt Campo, at 170 pounds, and Joe Goodrich, at 182 pounds, who have been pinning machines all year, won their respective matches by pins. Campo stuck it out, winning over Ben Brown of Southampton in 1:25, with Goodrich defeating Ethan Schmidt of Mattituck in 4:53.  

Mount Sinai’s five winning wrestlers will compete in Albany Feb. 28 and 29.

The Rick Herrmann Most Outstanding Wrestler Award in the tournament went to Joe Sparacio of Bayport-Blue-Point, while the Jack Mahoney Champion of Champions Award went to Goodrich of Mount Sinai. The Most Pins in the Least Amount of Time Award went to Campo of Mount Sinai, ending with a total of four pins in 2:7.

The Bill Knapp Award went to the Mustangs, whose team score was 261 to Shoreham-Wading River’s 248. John Glenn had 219 while Mattituck had 201.

The New York State Championship will take place Feb. 28 and 29 at the Times Union Civic Center in Albany. Mount Sinai will be sending the most wrestlers from either Division I or Division II to the tournament. 

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Farhbach, at 99 pounds, puts down his SWR opponent where his team won 47-24. Photo from Mel Jacoby

Syracuse, here they come, and not for the first time.

The Mount Sinai wrestling team after their win against SWR. Photo from Mel Jacoby

On Saturday, Jan. 25, Mount Sinai wrestlers beat Shoreham-Wading River in the finals of the Suffolk County Division II championship 47-24 to advance to the New York State Division II wrestling championship in Syracuse. Mount Sinai won an earlier match against Shoreham-Wading River in the regular season.  

The seniors again dazzled the capacity crowd by scoring pins at their respective weights. They were led by seniors Matt Campo at 170 pounds (34-2), Joe Goodrich at 182 pounds (35-0), Mike O’Brien at 138 pounds (33-4) and Adham Shata at 195 pounds (34-3), who each won their match.  

Taking charge at the lower weights was Brayden Fahrbach at 99 pounds, who won by a pin, while Derrek Menechino, Jack Tyrell and Brenden Goodrich all reversed earlier losses against Shoreham-Wading River to score decisive wins.   

Contributing to the team effort were middle weights Ryan Shanian at 145 pounds and Tristan Nardi at 160 pounds, who each won their matches.  

On the SWR side, the team ends league play with 7-6-1 and 19-4-1 overall.

This was the third year in a row that Mustang wrestlers won the Suffolk County Division II championship.  

Mount Sinai will advance to Syracuse for the New York State Dual Meet Championship at the SRC Arena Feb. 1, where they will defend their New York State title, which they have won the past two years.

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Senior Joe Goodrich goes for the pin on his opponent. Photo from Mel Jacoby

The Mount Sinai High School Mustangs wrestling team beat John Glenn at John Glenn High School Friday, Jan. 17 to win League VII and advance to the Suffolk County playoffs with teams from Shoreham-Wading River, Mattituck, Port Jefferson, John Glenn and Southampton.

Eighth-grader Brayden Fahrbach and senior Matt Campo both showed their stuff on the mat Jan. 17. Photo from Mel Jacoby

In an impressive victory over John Glen, Mount Sinai showed off their skills, led by seniors Matt Campo (31-2), Joe Goodrich (35-0), Mike O’Brien (31-4), Ryan Shanian (26-8), Gian Luca Ferrara; along with juniors Brenden Goodrich and Jack Tyrell. They all scored impressive wins.

Brayden Fahrbach, an eighth grader, continued his winning streak (34-0) with a pin.  Fahrbach is ranked number 1 in New York State D-2 at 99 lbs.

Mount Sinai will wrestle next at Center Moriches in the semifinals on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 4:30 p.m., with the finals at Bay Shore High School on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 2:30 p.m.

The winner of the Suffolk County Championship will travel to Syracuse where they will compete at the SRC Arena and Events Center Feb. 1 for the New York State Dual – D2 Championship. Mount Sinai was the winner of this tournament in 2018 and 2019.

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Mount Sinai sophomore Gavin Takacs (L) fights for the rebound at home against Sayville Jan. 18. Photo by Bill Landon

The Mount Sinai Mustangs fell behind 22 points in the 2nd quarter Jan. 18 but battled their way back against Sayville at home to retake the lead a by three in the closing seconds of regulation. It was then that Sayville senior Aidan Arnesen hit a 3-point buzzer beater to force overtime. Mount Sinai surged ahead in the overtime period holding off the Golden Flashes to win it 62-57 at home.

Head coach Ryan McNeely said his team has had some close wins and some close losses but that the close losses were in league play.

“We beat them earlier in [the season] so these two teams matchup very well, but I think our guys are tired of losing those close games,” said the coach. “We’ve got a lot of seniors who’ve been to the playoffs except for [one] year and I think they want to get back to that.”

Mount Sinai senior guard Ryan McNeely, the coach’s son, led his team in scoring with 17 points and talked about the rematch.

“The last time we played them it was very close-we won in overtime, so we knew we could beat them,” said the senior. “Coming into our gym we always play well, we had to keep our composure and we knew we could make a run.”

Mount Sinai seniors Justin Rinck netted 14 points and Nick Cergol banked 10.

The win lifts the Mustangs to 4-7 in League VI, 7-8 overall with five games remaining in regular season play.

Jack Neiderberger a senior places 3rd overall at 195lbs in the Bob Armstrong Memorial Cup Dec. 14. Photo by Bill Landon

The Port Jefferson and Mount Sinai wrestlers hit the mat at the Bob Armstrong Memorial Cup tournament Dec. 14. Port Jeff wrestlers made a showing, with the Royal’s Frank D’Elia made the podium finishing 2nd at 99 pounds and teammate Liam Rogers finished 2nd at 113 pounds.

In the Consolation Finals, Tyler Rogers pinned his opponent at the 3:18 mark, Sam Robertson won with a major decision and Anthony Evangelista took victory at 145 pounds.

Mount Sinai fared well in the Bob Armstrong Memorial Cup. In the final round, Brenden Goodrich pinned his opponent at the 1:39 mark and Mike O’Brien, at 138 pounds, did it in 26 seconds. O’Brien took the “Most Pins-Least Time” honors with four pins on the day in just 4 minutes 41 seconds. Both Joe Goodrich, at 182 pounds and Gian Luca Ferrara at 220 pounds pinned their opponents in final round at 0:42 and 3:56 respectively.

The Royals are back out on the mat Dec. 20 when they hit the road to face Babylon. First match is 5:30 p.m.

The Mustangs retake the mat Dec. 18 at home with a 4 p.m. start against Bayport-Blue Point.