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Wildcats Sports


Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2008 by Ken Richards

The Nassau Wildcats entered the 1st Annual Freeport PAL Youth Tournament this past Sunday, January 20th. After some long administrative waits as the Freeport coaches tried to overcome some "first tournament growing pains," the Wildcat grapplers were rewarded for their patience, as they captured 7 Gold Medals.

Fifteen Wildcats made the trip to Freeport. Max Mosca, unfortunately, had to withdraw due to illness. Wildcat 1st-6th graders posted an unbelievable 13-5 record (.722) winning percentage on the day. Wildcat 7th & 8th graders however did not fare as well, posting a 3-9 mark (.250). The coaches all agree that SEVERAL of the 7th & 8th graders would score far better results with MORE listening and LESS fooling around in practice. Wrestlers, if you think this applies to you, it probably does. Even so, the team's overall record for today was 16-14 (.533); a very respectable finish.

3rd grader, Mike Loiacono (6-3), and 4th grader, Christian Marini (2-2), both claimed their first Championships of the season. Nicholas Matteo (2nd grade) improved his record to 6-3, en route to his second Gold medal in as many weeks. Nick is really coming on strong lately, and is winning the close matches. All his hard work in practice is really paying off!!!

Charlie "Big Tuna" Forero made his 2008 tournament debut and was crowned Champion. He showed great technique and the coaches would like to see him get more mat time, which would certainly make him a force around County tournament time. 8th grader, Matt DeBenedittis, went undefeated on the day and was crowned Schoolboy Division Champion at 85 lbs. Matt, along with his pal, Brandon Casale, have been working out extremely hard for their upcoming Junior High seasons. Both Matt and Brandon practice with the Varsity team and have been weight training. Matt won two close matches in capturing Gold. Brandon, came back from a disappointing 1st round loss, to pin his opponent for 3rd place on the day.

Once again, 1st year wrestler, Nick (the "Hammer") Reda, was relentless on the mat. Nick (5th grade) improved to a phenomenal 7-1 on the year, and won his 3rd consecutive Championship. This is a wrestler who really pays attention in practice and is able to use the moves he's taught the very same week. Sean Richards (6th grade) won his 5th Championship in six outings with two pins. Sean (3rd year) boosted his record to 15-1, and used the Crossface Cradle we worked on in practice Thursday for his Wins-by-Pins.

Shawn Mosca took home a 2nd place on the day. Shawn wrestled his best match ever in the finals against a very experienced Oceanside opponent (who works all year round). Shawn came up a few points short, but was a cradle away from victory and made his opponent work harder than he'd been used to. Also, Dan Marini placed 4th on the day, winnng his first match of the season. Bryan Dennis wrestled two very tough matches, even staying close with Quinn "The Assassin" from Garden City. Vinnie Ali, Mike Marini and Nick Loiacono also gained valuable experience for their upcoming Junior High seasons.

Great job Wildcats!!!! County tournament in just 3 weeks (February 10th)!!!

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