February 7, 2013 | 275 views
Bellmore-Merrick wrestlers thrive in qualifier
Mepham hosted one of six Nassau County Division I Qualifying Tournaments last Saturday, with wrestlers from seven different schools vying to advance to the Nassau County Championships at Hofstra University this Friday and Saturday. The three Bellmore schools produced a total of 10 champions in the 15 individual weight classes, with Mepham capturing six, while Kennedy and Calhoun each had a pair of title winners.
“It was electric and it was unbelievable,” Pirates coach Rich Anderson said of the atmosphere in which his team qualified 14 wrestlers and also finished first as a team. “Having it in the Mepham gym with these seniors was awesome.”
“We did very well,” Kennedy coach Brian DeGaetano said. “Mepham has a very strong team and Calhoun is much-improved. We’re very pleased as a district to do what we’re doing.”
Senior Jamie Dunn, already a two-time All-County honoree, didn’t let a broken hand slow him down. He took home the qualifying championship at 106 pounds and shared the honor of the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler with Kennedy senior Robert Person. A Nassau Division I champion and All-State honoree last season, Person knocked off Hewlett’s Simon Greebel, 5-1, in the finals at 132 pounds. His teammate, senior Rich Luxmore, finished first at 138, winning a 3-1 decision in overtime against Hewlett’s Rob Rosenberg.
“They both had great finals matches and they’re peaking at the right time,” DeGaetano said.
Mepham junior Louis Hernandez is aiming for a second consecutive county crown after defeating teammate Matt Assael, a junior, 23-8, in the qualifier finals at 145. He also earned the tournament’s honor of Most Pins in Least Time, needing a total of just 3:29 to finish off his first three opponents. Pirates’ sophomore Joel Zambrano earned the title at 99 pounds with an 11-0 major decision of sophomore teammate Alex Pekoff, while senior Tom Mauro was the top of his class at 132. Senior Dan Tracy defeated Calhoun junior Chris Johnsen, 8-0, in the finals at 160, and Pirates’ senior Steven Lambert earned a qualifying championship at 182.