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John Jay Wrestlers Close Season at County Center

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By Rich MonettiPublished 3 months ago 3 min read

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On February 10 and 11, the County Center in White Plains hosted the Section One Wrestling Tournament, and John Jay was there to finish their season. A few on the cusp of qualifying for all-section and a few that got the honor, Coach Will Carter was already looking ahead to next year.

“We’re in the right place to make that extra push,” he said. “I’m very happy with how the kids did.”

But on the way out is Joe Gabriele, and he was just happy to get in the door after last year. “I hurt my back,” he said. “I couldn’t even walk.”

On two feet this time, he beat Alex Perez of Clarkstown North in the first round and Zach Gleason of Eastchester Tuckahoe in the second. Unfortunately, the 131 powder was pinned by Neil Paulercio in the semi finals and lost the consolation round to Kenneth Keltto of Carmel, New York.

The showing was still all good for Gabriele, though. “Here on the podium is big for me,” said the senior. “It’s a good way to end my career.”

Faced all weekend with the finality, the wrestler took the reality in stride. “It’s a chapter that I’m ready to close and move on from. So I’m at peace with it,” said Gabriele.

Of course, the Wolf hopes his four year tenure has an impact on the future. “I hope I left behind a little bit of pride and more grit,” he said.

The sentiment brought Jake Llanos to the podium too. After losing the opening round to Nathaniel Hirsch of Nyack, the 170 pounder had his work cut out for him. “I wrestled back three times,” he said.

Llanos pinned Anthony Stewart of Horace Greeley, defeated Joseph Barbuto 12-4 and pinned Benjamin Xiao of Scarsdale. But the junior lost a 7-2 decision to Salvatore DiSenso. “I beat him earlier in the season,” he said. “I didn’t think I wrestled great.”

Then a 7-2 loss to Isaac Brightly had him finish 6th, but still had the wrestler looking forward. “The states are always the goal,” Llanos assured.

No more medals for John Jay, two came up just short of the podium. First was Deven Comstock. Following a first round loss to Pete Orlando of Suffern, Comstock beat Luke Jackob of John Jay EF and Vincent Sanabria of Nyack. But his season ended with a blood round loss to Corey Fitzsimmons of Horace Greeley.

Finally, Austin Omin put up a couple sectional wins before his season ended. The 152 pounder pinned Jason Gaylord of Rye in the first round, and after losing a 7-4 decision over John Roden of Clarkstown North, he defeated Mauro Flores in the second consolation round.

The last hoorah turned out to be a tough 2-0 loss to Brandon DellaPia of John Jay EF, which had assistant coach Brad Marvin putting Omin’s season long efforts in perspective. “He had a good season,” said Marvin. “He started off slow but got better along the way.”

The coach pointed to Omin’s conditioning as an X-factor. “He does crazy, crazy cardio so he’s been able to weaponize the pace against opponents,” said Marvin.

A lot of close matches went his way as a result, and Omin wasn’t alone in the drive that Carter saw in his wrestlers on the final weekend. “The desire is there, and that’s what matters,” he concluded.

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Rich Monetti

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