Herricks wrestling advances in playoffs

The Herricks Highlanders (overall 5-1, conf 3-1) hosted the Baldwin Bruin’s on Highlander senior night, Jan. 15, 2020. As always, coaches Goldberg, LaMaida and Bianco had the team ready for the challenge and Herrick’s grapplers were victorious 43-24. Seniors honored included John Pappas, captain Sal Puliafico, captain Cole Larock, Ruiz Kamaruszaman, captain Daniel Mattei, captain Matthew Polo, Nate Dowd, Franco Dimilta, Quinn Gilhooly, and Ash Multani.

Herricks had three pairs of brothers winning critical matches, the Manfredi’s – Joseph 99 lbs. and Michael 106 lbs.; the Mattei’s – Joseph 132 lbs. and captain Daniel 182 lbs.; and the Larock’s – captain Cole 152 lbs. and Cooper 195 lbs.

Capt. Sal Puliafico had a major decision at 126 lbs., Kailen McCauley winning an exciting overtime battle at 138 lbs., captain Matthew Polo with a come from behind victory at 220 lbs. and Nate Dowd with a critical pin at 285 lbs.

Kumel Arif, 113 lbs., Aaron Cho, 120 lbs., Marcus Osieczkowski, 138 lbs., Ruiz Kamaruszaman 160 lbs., and Zach Montalbano 160 lbs. all wrestled formidable opponents and lost.

In second man matches, Danny Fetahi, Emeril Peralta, and Nigel Oomen were victorious, while Jerry Wu, Orlando Salinas, Alex Espinosa, Kevin Chan, Avinash Chopra, Prithvi Verma, and Franco Dimilta wrestled well, but lost.

25th Annual Highlander’s Tournament:
On Saturday, Jan. 18, Herricks hosted its 25th Annual Highlander’s Tournament at the Herricks Community Center. Teams that entered the tournament included Edgemont and Pelham from Westchester County, Massapequa, Lawrence, Hempstead, Jericho and Valley Stream North from Nassau, and Longwood from Suffolk County.

The entire Herricks team was present and ready to work. The team crowned four champions at the varsity level, Joe Manfredi, 99 lbs., Michael Manfredi, 106 lbs., Aaron Cho, 120 lbs., and Joseph Mattei, 132 lbs. and two champions at the JV level, Alex Espinosa, 132 lbs. and Georgious Tsoumpariotis, 152lbs.

All the Highlander place winners were as follows:

Varsity Results:
99 lbs. First: Joe Manfredi
106 lbs. First: Michael Manfredi
106 lbs. Second: Kumel Arif
106 lbs. Fifth: Danny Dunn
120 lbs. First: Aaron Cho
120 lbs. Second: John Pappas
126 lbs. Second: Sal Puliafico
132 lbs. First: Joe Mattei
132 lbs. Second: Kailen McCauley
152 lbs. Fourth: Cole LaRock
160 lbs. Second: Ruiz Kamaruszaman
182 lbs. Third: Daniel Mattei
182 lbs. Sixth: Cooper LaRock
220 lbs. Third: Matt Polo
220 lbs. Fifth: Nate Dowd
285 lbs. Fourth: Amr Ibrahim

Highlander JV results:
126 lbs. Third: Danny Fetahi
132 lbs. First: Alex Espinosa
138 lbs. Fourth: Rayan Abdolahzadi
152 lbs. First: Georgious Tsoumpariotis
152 lbs. Second: Justin Chin
160 lbs. Second: Zach Montalbano

Playoffs – Plainedge and Massapequa:
On Jan. 23, the Herricks Highlanders traveled to Mepham High School to meet Plainedge in the first round of the Nassau County Dual Meet playoffs. Plainedge placed first in its conference and was the sixth seed while Herricks placed second in its conference and was unseeded. The contest was expected to be close and it didn’t disappoint, with the Highlanders coming away with a close win 36-32.

The wrestling started at 170 lbs. where Ali Shahid lost a close bout 3-0 followed by another loss by Cooper Larock at 182 lbs. The Highlanders won their first match with a pin by capt. Daniel Mattei at 195 lbs. and took the lead with a forfeit win at 220 lbs. by captain Matthew Polo. Nate Dowd dropped another close match 5-0 at 285 lbs. then Herricks proceeded to win the next four matches. Joe Manfredi, 99 lbs., Michael Manfredi, 106 lbs., and Kumel Arif, 120 lbs., all won by pin while Aaron Cho won by decision at 120 lbs. The Highlanders then dropped the next three matches. Captain Sal Puliafico lost 11-2 at 126 lbs., Kailen McCauley lost by pin at 132 lbs. and Joseph Mattei lost 8-5 at 138 lbs. Marcus Osieczkowski at 145 lbs. clinched the win for Herricks by prevailing with a 7-6 victory. He was followed by Cole LaRock at 152 lbs. who lost a close match and Georgios Tsoumpariotis who finished the evening at 160 lbs., losing by pin.

With this win, the team advanced to the quarterfinal round on Jan. 25 at Clarke High School. Herrick’s next opponent was the defending New York State Dual Meet Champion, Massapequa Chiefs. Unfortunately, the defending champs had too much firepower for the Highlanders, and the team lost 53-21.

The day started off with a win by a decision by captain Daniel Mattei at 182 lbs. Herricks lost the next three matches between Cooper LaRock – 195 lbs., captain Matthew Polo – 220 lbs., Nate Dowd – 195 lbs., and won the following two between Joseph Manfredi – 99 lbs. and Kumel Arif – 106 lbs. The Chiefs then won the next seven of nine matches. The two Herricks winners were Marcus Osieczkowski at 145 lbs. and captain Cole LaRock at 152 lbs. Wrestling well but losing included Danny Dunn, 113 lbs., Aaron Cho, 120 lbs., captain Sal Puliafico 132 lbs., Kailen McCauley 138 lbs., Justin Chin 160 lbs., and Ali Shahid 170 lbs.

Submitted by Susan Mattei

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