Forfeits count in high school wrestling — unfortunately for Mattituck/Greenport/Southold.
Four successive forfeits at the close of Mattituck’s home and league opener Friday night turned a 28-24 Tuckers’ lead into a 48-28 Elwood/John Glenn win.
One by one, Glenn’s Patrick Ancewicz (285 pounds), Anthony Mirando (99), Michael Sangiradi (106) and Alex Hopkins (113) reported to the scorer’s table, were wished good luck (tongue in cheek) by timekeeper Mat Litchhult and walked to the center of the mat to have their arms raised as winners.
Mattituck has had the occasional forfeit in Cory Dolson’s 14 years coaching in the program, but he said this was the first time during that span that the Tuckers forfeited four weight classes in a dual meet. That’s 24 points worth of forfeits. That’s a lot.
“The team did well,” Mattituck junior Colby Suglia said after the Suffolk County League VII contest. “If you look at it from our standpoint, [without] the four forfeits, we won.”
Regardless, Dolson doesn’t like forfeits, period.
“I hate it,” he said. “I never like forfeiting any weight classes at all. It’s embarrassing. It’s my pet peeve.”
At the same time, there’s really nothing the Tuckers can do about it. Their numbers are down, with 26 wrestlers on the roster. “We don’t have a kid who weighs in under 120,” said Dolson.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, the Tuckers do have Suglia, who is off to an outstanding start to the season. Suglia brought his record to 17-0 with his 13th pin. He made short work of his opponent at 195 pounds, Kevin Velasquez, putting his shoulders to the mat in 55 seconds.
“I prefer it like that,” Suglia said. “Longer matches take more energy. The faster I can get it over with, the easier.”
Suglia wrestled much of last season in the 170-pound weight class but entered the county tournament at 182 and was a Suffolk Division II runner-up along with teammate and fellow junior Ethan Schmidt.
Suglia said 195 is a more suitable weight class for him. The change certainly doesn’t seem to be hurting him.
“He’s not at a disadvantage,” Dolson said. “He’s big and strong. He’s going to be more athletic than most of the guys he wrestles.”
So far, Suglia has won the North Babylon Tournament championship and was named the team MVP at both the Freeport Duals and the Takedown Autism Duals at William Floyd High School.
“He’s been wrestling for a while,” Mattituck junior Cole DiGregorio said. “He’s always getting better. I’m seeing good things.”
Like Suglia, Schmidt didn’t spend too much time on the mat. Schmidt pinned Joe Tavernise 51 seconds into their bout at 170.
Another first-period pin was turned in by DiGregorio, who stopped John Henderson 1:33 into their match at 138.
Luke Altman set the tone for Mattituck in the first bout of the evening. He topped Chris Boccard, 9-7, at 120. Jacob Theodorou (10-2 over Brendan Knott at 132) and Antonio Jiminez (4-2 over Ian Fratarcangoli at 160) both won for Mattituck as well.
Jared Albert (126), Kevin Lewis (145) and Justin Vega (182) brought Glenn pins. Albert topped Ethan Prager in 1:04, Lewis needed only 38 seconds to beat Ben Webb and Vega won against David Jenkins in 3:29.
Glenn’s Thomas Giaramilia (152) and Jordan Curzale (220) won by decisions. Giaramilia was an 8-3 winner over Jackson Cantelmo and Curzale edged Tyler Marlborough, 3-2.
In preseason Suffolk Division II rankings, Schmidt was ranked No. 1 at 160, Suglia No. 2 at 170 and Webb No. 2 at 145 and No. 3 at 152.
Rankings may be fun and good fodder for debate and discussion, but Suglia doesn’t put a lot of stock in them.
“I try not to pay attention to them,” he said. “You can be upset at any time. There’s always upsets.”
Dolson isn’t big on rankings, either, with one notable exception.
He said, “There’s only one ranking that matters, and that’s the one that comes out at the end of the county tournament.”
Photo caption: Mattituck/Greenport/Southold’s Colby Suglia (left) sizing up Elwood/John Glenn’s Kevin Velasquez, who he pinned in 55 seconds. (Credit: Bob Liepa)