The Hewlett Bulldogs traveled to the Mid-Hudson wrestling tournament held over two days during the winter break at Arlington High School in Lagrangeville, NY.
Among the 18 teams in attendance were perennial Section 1 and 9 powerhouses Yorktown and Cornwall. Unlike most of the teams in attendance, the Bulldogs, due to some mitigating circumstances, only brought 13 wrestlers instead of a full team of 15.
When Coach Stephen Jones was discussing his team’s prospects, notwithstanding the number of wrestlers he brought, he responded by stating “The total number of wrestlers is less important than the effort they put forth when on the mat.”
Those comments proved to be prophetic as the Bulldogs fought their way to a second place finish in the tournament. Coach Jones stated further, “Even when all odds were against us, being a south shore undermanned Long Island team in their territory, we overcame some highly questionable calls and adversity to come back home with a second place team trophy and many individual place winners.”
The Mid-Hudson Tournament is set up differently than most tournament formats of expanded brackets leading to the crowning of the weight classes champion. On the first day, there are pools of wrestlers (four to five depending on the number of entrants) by weight class who wrestle each other round-robin style. On the second day, the top two finishers in each pool progresses to eight-man brackets for each weight class to determine the champion.
Leading the 11 Bulldogs who were in medal contention on the second day was Captain Robert Rosenberg (138) who captured his first tournament championship in a gritty hard-nosed performance. Matt Kaminer (220) lost a tough title match but still took second place. Senior captains Simon Greebel (120), Aaron Weinberg (126) and Lester Enriquez (285) all took third place in their respective weight classes.
Most impressive was the performance of freshman, Andrew Fang (106), who over the two-day tournament opened the team’s matches with pins in his first match each day, setting the tone for the teams tenacity. Fang ended up taking fourth place. Also placing were Owen Bachelder (126), who took fifth, and junior captain Oran Revivo (132) and Justin Ciraolo (195), who both took sixth.
Coach Jones stated further, “I constantly tell the boys that it is important that each one of them peak at the right time. I believe as a whole we are right where we need to be. We will continue to improve with each and every day. I am very proud of what our team has done with the first half of the season. I think we are really opening people’s eyes. Hewlett Wrestling is now on the map.”
The Hewlett Bulldogs are hosting their first Alumni Evening with a dual match this Thursday, Jan. 3, against a tough Garden City squad at Hewlett High School at 6:30 p.m. Their schedule continues with a dual match Friday night at Roslyn, and then the team travels to the always-tough Ted Murphy Shoreline Classic on Saturday, Jan. 5, at New Rochelle.