Uniondale County Qualifier:
The Herricks Highlanders competed in its county qualifier at Uniondale High School on Feb. 8. It was a very challenging qualifier which included Wantagh, Uniondale, Plainview JFK, North Shore, Lawrence, SouthSide/East Rockaway, and Jericho.
At the completion of the tournament, Herricks had the following 14 all-conference wrestlers, with top-five place-winners advancing to the county championship:
99 lbs. 1st: Joe Manfredi
106 lbs. 2nd: Michael Manfredi
106 lbs. 3rd: Kumel Arif
126 lbs. 1st: Sal Puliafico
126 lbs. 3rd: Aaron Cho
132 lbs. 1st: Joe Mattei
132 lbs. 5th: Kailen McCauley
145 lbs. 4th: Marcus Osieczkowski
152 lbs. 2nd: Cole LaRock
152 lbs. 4th: Georgious Tsoumpariotis
182 lbs. 3rd: Daniel Mattei
220 lbs. 2nd: Matt Polo
220 lbs. 4th: Nate Dowd
285 lbs. 6th: Ash Multani
Joe Manfredi was also voted the most outstanding wrestler of the tournament.
Nassau County Championship:
On Feb. 15 and 16, Herricks entered the Nassau County Wrestling Tournament Championship at Farmingdale State College. The top five Highlander place-winners from the previous week’s qualifier at Uniondale 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, Grade 8 (99 lbs.) – Top seed in his weight class. He was 3-0 on the day and advanced to the semi-finals. Manfredi was the only Herricks wrestler to advance to the next day.
Kumel Arif, Grade 11 (106 lbs.) – Advanced to quarterfinals and was 2-2 with two tough losses, one of which placed second. Kumel was a top-twelve finisher in the county.
Michael Manfredi, Grade 9 (106 lbs.) – He was 1-2, losing his first match to his teammate in the championship round.
Sal Puliafico, Grade 12 (126 lbs.) – Puliafico was 3-2 on the day. He won his first-round match and two wrestle-backs, with a loss to the eventual fifth-place finisher. Sal was a top-twelve finisher in the county.
Aaron Cho, Grade 10 (126 lbs.) – Cho was 1-2, losing his final match to his teammate in the consolation round.
Joseph Mattei, Grade 9 (132 lbs.) – Mattei was 2-2 on the day with a bye in the first round. His consolation loss was to the eventual 6th place finisher. He was a top-twelve finisher in the county.
Kailen McCauley, Grade 10 (132 lbs.) – McCauley was 0-2 losing to the eventual fourth-place finisher in the championship round.
Marcus Osieczkowski, Grade 11 (145 lbs.) – Osieczkowski was 0-2, losing to the eventual first-place finisher in the championship round.
Cole LaRock, Grade 12 (152 lbs.) – LaRock was 3-2 on the day with losses to the eventual third- and sixth-place finishers. He was a top-twelve finisher in the county.
Georgios Tsoumpariotis, Grade 10 (152 lbs.) – Tsoumpariotis lost both matches in the championship and consolation rounds.
Daniel Mattei, Grade 12 (182 lbs.) – He was 2-2 on the day with a bye in the first round. His consolation loss was to the eventual sixth-place finisher. He was a top-twelve finisher in the county.
Nate Dowd, Grade 12 (220 lbs.) – Dowd lost both matches in the championship and consolation rounds.
Matt Polo, Grade 12 (220 lbs.) – Polo was 3-2 on the day. His championship round loss was to the eventual sixth-place finisher. He was a top-twelve finisher in the county.
On Sunday, Feb. 16, Joseph Manfredi (99 lbs.) went 2-0 and was crowned county champ – an accomplishment not done at Herricks since 2011. He did not have a single point scored on him during the entire tournament. He will represent Nassau in the state tournament on Feb. 28 and 29 in Albany.
The Herricks Highlanders ended up with 75 team points in the counties, placing 11th out of 42 teams. This is the highest finish by the team in the last 20 years.
Thanks to Coaches Eric Goldberg, Thomas LaMaida and Robert Bianco for a great season and to all those who came out and supported the team.
Submitted by Susan Mattei