Conditioning is such an important factor in any sport, but none more so than in wrestling.
The Mattituck/Greenport Tuckers wrestling coach, Cory Dolson, was proud of the fact that six of his wrestlers reached the finals of the 11-team Berlin (Conn.) Invitational on Saturday, with three of the Tuckers emerging victorious. Conditioning had something to do with it.
In the 140-pound final, the Tuckers’ Jeff Strider won a close 8-5 decision over Berlin’s Shawn Sullivan. Tomasz Filipkowski edged Avon’s Ryan Pearson, 3-2, for the 160-pound title, and Brandon Lake took the 189-weight class with a 4-3 victory over Avon’s David St. Onge in their final.
“Our guys were in good shape,” Dolson said. “That helped them win.”
The three Tuckers who finished as runners-up all lost on pins. At 119 pounds, New Milford’s Alex Thalassinos pinned Brian Pelan in 1 minute 10 seconds; New Milford’s Cameron Bradshaw pinned Chris Baglivi at 1:35 of their 171-pound match; and Berlin’s entry at 215 pounds, Mason Powers, pinned Jorge Perez at 5:23.
Dolson was especially pleased with Baglivi’s performance.
“Chris is a sophomore and this was his first tournament,” Dolson said. “For him to reach the finals is a testament to his work ethic.”
The Tuckers’ Wilson Quizphi placed third at 103 pounds, and Ryan Bergen came in fourth at 112.
New Milford won the overall team title with 120 points, followed by Hand with 87 points and Mattituck/Greenport was third with 83.
On Dec. 15, Mattituck/Greenport rolled past the Amityville Warriors, 53-27. Strider won on a technical fall at 145 pounds while David Dillon won a close decision at 130. The Tuckers won every weight class from 145 to 215.
Dolson summed it up by saying, “We took care of business.”
The Tuckers are 5-1 in dual meets.
“We are doing well,” Dolson said. “This is the fastest start we’ve had in a while. The kids are wrestling hard. We are minimizing our mistakes. As we go into the league schedule, the competition is going to get more difficult. We have to step it up and keep getting better and better.”