The Herricks Highlanders competed in its county qualifier at Mineola High School on Feb. 1 and 2. It was a very challenging qualifier which included Massapequa (state dual meet champion), North Shore, Freeport, Port Washington, Glen Cove, Valley Stream Central and Mineola.
After the first day of competition, Herricks advanced six wrestlers to the semi-finals:
99: Joseph Manfredi (7th grade)
106: Kumel Arif (10th grade)
113: Joseph Mattei (8th grade)
126: Sal Puliafico (11th grade) and Quinn Gilhooly (11th grade)
170: Daniel Mattei (11th grade)
Other grapplers still alive through wrestle-backs included:
106: Daniel Fetahi (9th grade)
113: Danny Dunn (10th grade)
120: Aaron Cho (9th grade) and John Pappas (11th grade)
126: Kailen McCauley (9th grade)
132: Marcus Osieczkowski (10th grade)
152: Cole LaRock (11th grade)
160: Ali Shahid (10th grade) and Georgous Tsoumpariotis (9th grade)
182: Kelsey Alvarado (10th grade) and Krish Patel (10th grade)
195: Matt Polo (11th grade)
220: Nate Dowd (11th grade)
285: Ash Multani (11th grade)
At the completion of the tournament, Herricks had the following eight all-conference wrestlers, with top five place-winners advancing to the county championship the next week:
99 (2nd): Joseph Manfredi
106 (4th): Kumel Arif
113 (2nd): Joseph Mattei
126 (3rd): Sal Puliafico
126 (6th): Quinn Gilhooly
132 (6th): Marcus Osieczkowski
160 (6th): Ali Shahid
170 (4th): Daniel Mattei
On Feb. 9 and 10, Herricks entered the Nassau County Wrestling Tournament Championship at the Pratt Center – LIU Post. The top five Highlander place-winners from the previous week’s qualifier at Mineola competed in the event. Each of the fifteen weight-classes had approximately 26 wrestlers seeded according to this season’s performance.
After the first day of very competitive wrestling, the following were the results:
Joseph Manfredi (99lbs) – was 3-1 on the day and the only Herricks wrestler to advance to the next day. His loss was to another 7th grader from Wantagh, who ended up in 5th place.
Kumel Arif (106 lbs) – had two tough losses to the eventual 4rd and 5th place finishers.
Joseph Mattei (113 lbs) – was 2-2 on the day with a bye in the first round. His losses were against the eventual 3rd and 6th place finishers and was a top twelve finisher in the county.
Sal Puliafico (126 lbs) – was 3-2 on the day. He won his first round match and two wrestle-backs, with losses coming from the eventual 4rd and 5th place finishers. Sal was a top twelve finisher in the county.
Daniel Mattei (170 lbs) – was 3-2 on the day. He lost his first round match to the eventual 5th place finisher. He had three pins in the wrestle-backs but lost his final match of the day. He was also a top twelve finisher in the county.
On Sunday February 10, Joseph Manfredi (99 lbs) went 2-1 and placed fourth in his bracket becoming an all-county wrestler as a seventh grader, which is a great accomplishment!
The Herricks Highlanders ended up with 39 team points in the counties, placing 30th out of 42 teams. Joe Manfredi earned 20 points, Co-Captain Daniel Mattei 9 pts, Sal Puliafico 6 pts and Joseph Mattei 4 pts. The young Highlanders, which had no seniors on its roster, had continued improvement each week of the season and will be well-positioned for next year.