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Saturday, November 29, 2014
Local wrestlers shine at Sprig Gardner
Donovan Berthoud/Herald
Steven Lambert, right, is part of a deep and talented Mepham lineup. He won the Sprig Gardner Tournament at 182 pounds.

Mepham not only captured the team championship at the annual Sprig Gardner Wrestling Tournament with 308 points — 60.5 more than runner-up Brooklyn Tech — in early December, that also featured district rivals Kennedy (third place, 211 points) and Calhoun (seventh, 122), the Pirates swept the individual awards.

Mepham senior Tom Mauro, a 132-pounder who racked up 24 pins among his 25 wins last season, had the most pins in the least amount of time at the Sprig Gardner, racking up four in a total of just 5:41 on the mat. Classmate Dan Tracy, a returning All-County Champion, was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler, while junior Louis Hernandez (152 pounds), also a returning County Champ, was named the Mepham Alumni Outstanding Wrestler.

“Some of the guys have been in the program for three, four, five years,” Pirates coach Rich Anderson said, noting his team finished among the Top 10 in Nassau County last season. “It’s like a well-oiled machine with the kids knowing what we expect.”

Mepham had six individual champions crowned in all over the annual two-day tournament battled on both the Pirates and Colts home mats. Sophomore Joel Zambrano took the title at 99 pounds, senior Tyler Clougher finished first at 160 pounds with a 7-4 overtime victory, and senior Steven Lambert took a 16-5 decision in the finals at 182 pounds, joining Mauro, Tracy and Hernandez in the Winners’ Circle. Senior Jamie Dunn, a returning All-County performer, took second at 106 pounds, as did junior Matt Assael at 145 pounds, who dropped a 9-0 decision to Kennedy senior Rich Luxmore, in the 145-pound finals.

The Cougars other champion, senior Robert Person (120 pounds), is no stranger to coming out on top. Already the all-time winningest wrestler in Kennedy history (149 career victories, including a 12-0 mark this season), he won his fifth Sprig Gardner title. “He’s only the second five-time winner [at the tournament] since 1975 so that’s a pretty big deal,” his coach, Brian DeGaetano said.

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