The Oceanside wrestling team had an impressive showing at last Saturday’s Nassau Division 1 qualifier at Plainedge High School, with 12 grapplers advancing to this week’s county championships at Hofstra and the squad placing third overall.
Eighth-grader Chace Morris (102 pounds), sophomores Jake Strianese (110) and Jared Marine (172) and senior Christian Scarlata (189) won their respective weight classes, while junior Ben Rivezzo (189) and seniors Andrew Cagno (215) and Jake Moshkovich (285) advanced to the final. Sophomore Santino Palmisano (189) qualified by taking the consolation bracket as did fourth-place finishers Dan Gilmore (138), and juniors Trevor Schramm (160) and Brett Moshkovich (285).
Also joining them is senior newcomer Sharif Ali (215), who was fifth. Those performances helped the Sailors finish third in the overall competition with 296 points, 56 better than fourth-place Mepham.
“We’re peaking at the right time,” said first-year coach Brian Schoenfelder. “We had a few disappointments and a few surprises. I don’t think we overperformed, but we definitely met expectations of where we want to be.”
Morris had two pinfalls in under a minute before besting Calhoun’s Sean Gallagher 8-2 in the final, while Strianese took a different route with two technical pinfalls sandwiched around a pinfall in almost two minutes.
Marine pinned his first two opponents before recording a major decision victory over Great Neck South’s Safeer Kahn. Back in December, he won the Frank Giampaolo Cyclone Tournament by recording an event-best four pins in 5 minutes, 28 seconds. “He’s great,” Schoenfelder said of Marine. “He’s one of the better kids in the county. He’s another kid who will be looking for a spot [at] states this year.”
The Sailors’ most intriguing bracket of the day was the 189-pound class, when Scarlata pinned teammates Palmisano and Rivezzo to claim the title. Palmisano rebounded to record two straight pinfalls to finish third.
“We owned that bracket,” Schoenfelder said. “It’s been like that all year.”
Adding to the day’s intrigue, the Moshkovich brothers almost faced each other for the second time this season in the 285 semifinal, but Brett lost his quarters match to Vincent Trovato of Plainedge. Jake advanced to the final on the strength of two pinfalls and Brett also had a pair of pins during his run to the consolation championship match.
But the “story of the day”, according to Schoenfelder, was the bounce back performance of Schramm. The 160-pound grappler struggled most the season and lost his first-round match before recording three straight pinfalls in a combined time of 2:24. He was also leading his consolation title match.
“That kid has had a hard, hard road,” Schoenfelder said. “He’s missed a lot of time, and then he came back and last week he wrestled well. We found a couple of things that may help him, then he did a couple of throws and had some big wins.”
Oceanside mustered just 48.5 points in last year’s county championship, but Schoenfelder is confident that score will improve.
“I’m not in the prediction business, but I think we’ll be pretty good,” he said. “My goal is to make a new standard.”