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Somers Wrestlers Take 4th in Section One Tournament

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By Rich MonettiPublished 3 months ago 4 min read
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Sunday, February 11 was day two of the Section One Wrestling Tournament at the County Center, and five Somers Wrestlers were still alive. Three reaching the finals, only one came out on top, and in the waning seconds of the deciding match, the Tusker looked up in the direction of his family to signify that he was halfway there.

“I want to be the first four time section one champ,” said two time champ Ryan Ball.

A 5-0 victory, the sophomore looked like he was heading into the second period down 2-0. Thomas Looby of Brewster abruptly got in deep on a double leg takedown, but Ball refused to relent. “I grabbed the nearest thing possible, and that was his leg,” said Ball. “I held on for dear life and looked at the clock.”

Time expiring, Ball clapped his hands hard at the buzzer and then went to work. He escaped from bottom, scored a takedown and did the same to start the third. From there, he rode the victory home, and the agenda isn’t changing. “I just want to run through, get to the second day and make All-State,” the 116 pounder revealed.

Ethan Steuber would have to settle for second place, though. Beating Carlos Demetrio Deoleo in the semis, the 108 pounder got right down to business by making sure it wasn’t an even playing field. “He attacked me, and I shifted his momentum,” said Steuber.

Up two on the takedown, there wasn’t much science to his second period pin either. “It wasn’t really much of a move,” said the sophomore. “I just willed him down.”

The victory set up his fourth match this year versus Nicholas Fortugno. The most recent a one point loss in the Division finals, Steuber didn’t have to get very deep to explain this loss. “I wrestled his match instead of mine,” he lamented after the 5-2 loss.

Specifically, Steuber let Fortugno take most of the shots, and when Steuber did get in for a double leg, the order was pretty stocky. “He had strong legs,” said the second place finisher.

Of course, the goal next year is to win, and while he won’t abandon the double leg, he’s going to split the difference. “I’m going to incorporate the single leg,” he said.

No takedown in the first period of Liam Dwyer’s semifinal match, the final score was razor thin too. The 131 pounder looked like he might be on the downside too when first seeded Amari Payton cradled him up for a 4-2 lead.

Still, Dwyer knew what to do. “The best thing is to try to extend your body and wait for a slip,” he said. “I kind of felt it, I bridged out and then I had him in a cradle.”

This left Dwyer with a 6-4 lead in the third, and a late Payton escape still had the Tusker in command. “I was just trying to get out of it and come away with the win,” he assured.

Good for a spot in the finals, Dwyer again kept the center on edge. Two escapes to Neil Paulercio’s two takedowns, the wrestlers stood on their feet with a minute to go. “His defense was to not put himself in a bad position,” said Dwyer.

No opening to exploit, Dwyer fell 4-2, but kept his head up in terms of going forward. “I need to be resilient, bounce back and reflect,” he said.

Rob Vrabel won’t get that opportunity. He’s a senior and lost in the semis and consolation round for fourth place. The two losses didn't diminish all he’s accomplished in only his third season of wrestling.

A 27-11 record this year, he hopes his example serves the already proud tradition at Somers. “I came out as a sophomore with an underdog mentality, and in order to get to the next level, I I had to work extremely hard,” said the senior.

Not sure if he will wrestle in college, Vrabel will keep the mentality with a business major in his future. “Succeeding is all about separating yourself from the majority and doing what others won’t do,” he said. “Like wrestling, the limits are endless.”

Justin Daniyan was also up against the clock. The senior was pinned in the semis by Alex Ryzy, and down 4-3 in the consolation round, getting one more for the road was imperative. “I really didn’t want to lose my last match,” he said.

The 190 pounder got an escape to tie at the beginning of the third and took the lead with a takedown. Unable to ride the victory home, an escape by Naseer Johnson had Daniyan sure of one thing. “I would not have lasted overtime,” Daniyan said.

The slim 6-5 lead still gave him the upper hand, though. “He went for a desperate shot,” said the Daniyan. “That’s how I got the takedown.”

A bronze medal for his neck, the efforts of all the Tuskers tallied a 4th place finish and had Coach Ron DiSanto beaming with pride. Only the 7th time Somers had made the top four, he concluded, “This is a big day for our team and our program.”

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Rich Monetti

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