Lynbrook didn’t fulfill all of its goals at last weekend’s Nassau Division I wrestling championships at Hofstra, but it still came away with plenty of positives.
The Owls were represented on the All-County podium (top six finishers in each weight class) by seniors Matthew Renz (fifth place, 285 pounds) and Tommy Urena (fifth, 182), as well as junior Tyler Heaney (fifth, 138) following a solid 10-6 dual meet campaign.
“We’ve had an excellent run the past five or six years,” Lynbrook coach Rich Renz said.
Crowning a champion for a second season in a row seemed possible for the Owls with Matthew Renz the No. 1 seed and defending county titleholder Joe Becker seeded No. 2 at 113. Both lost by narrow margins, however, and Becker, the champ at 106 last winter, was unable to compete in the wrestlebacks following his loss to Garden City’s Joseph Foxen due to injury.
Renz, who also earned All-County honors as a junior, finishing fourth, reached the semifinals where he was stopped by eventual champion Deqauan Stuart of Roosevelt, 3-2.
“Joe wasn’t quite 100 percent and lost a back-and-forth match,” coach Renz said of Becker, who finished 23-6 and won three tournaments this season, including the qualifier hosted by Hewlett on Feb. 3.
Matthew Renz, the coach’s son, won a team-high 39 matches against only six defeats. He rolled into the county semifinals with a pair of victories last Saturday, a pin of Valley Stream North’s Jonathan Sofield in 37 seconds and a 5-1 overtime win against Westbury’s Swindlee Mercy. Renz captured five tournament crowns, setting a program single-season record, and was voted Most Outstanding Wrestler in three of them.
Stuart’s escape point with 90 seconds left proved the difference in the finals. “It was an exciting and close match,” coach Renz said.
Urena missed all of last season following surgery on both shoulders and made his first-ever trip to the county championship stage a memorable one. He won six times at Hofstra and finished with a record of 32-10.
“Tommy’s been involved in wrestling going back to his days in the youth program,” Renz said. “It was great to see him come back from what he went through last season and get All-County.”
Urena proved resilient after losing in the second round. He rebounded with four wins in the wrestlebacks, including avenging a loss just a week earlier to Valley Stream Central’s Joel Rosario in the battle for fifth/sixth, taking a 2-1 decision.
Heaney’s road was a mirror image of Urena’s. After losing in the second round, Heaney ripped off four wins in his next five bouts and closed the season with a record of 28-13. “Tyler is a really strong kid who seems to get better the more he wrestles,” Renz said. “He can use this experience as a springboard for next season.”
Senior Justin Harvin (four wins at 182), junior Johnny Dibenedetto (four wins at 160) and senior Matt Ferrante (three wins at 113) also enjoyed success last weekend.