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Huntington Wrestlers Enjoy Eye-Popping Performance at Port Jervis

The Huntington wrestling team has done so much winning over the years that nothing they accomplish should carry much shock value any longer.  Yet, even measured against more than 50 years of greatness, what the Blue Devils did last Saturday (Dec. 20) in the Port Jervis Christmas Tournament will go down in the sport’s annals as a stunning performance.

Eleven Huntington wrestlers won weight class championships and two finished second as the Blue Devils ran away from the six team field to win their fifth Port Jervis team title in the past seven years.  Shaheim Bradshaw was crowned Most Outstanding Wrestler after capturing the 152 lb. class.

Stephan Riley (96), Brian Lifson (103), Justin Giani (112), Tom Feldman (119), Shawn Riley (130), Manny Santiago (135), Frank Sangiovanni (140), Charlie Paar (171), Jack Sullivan (189) and Pierre Delva (215) joined Bradshaw on the top step of the victory platform after each won their respective weight class.

Huntington’s Jon Dolan (125) and Shane Bird (145) each took second place. 

“We had a great tournament,” head coach Lou Giani said.  “It was good to see some of the younger kids step up and wrestle well.  The team is coming along.”

A unique system of team scoring kept Huntington (94.5 points) and Port Jervis (70) close in the standings despite the deluge of Blue Devil champions.  Port Jervis crowned just a single champ.  Pine Bush (67), Middletown (57), New Paltz (26.5) and Ellenville (26.5) trailed in the final team standings. 

The tournament victory was the 101st of Giani’s career.  He will seek to add to his lengthy list of coaching achievements when Huntington travels to the Windsor Christmas Tournament, held outside of Binghamton on Sat. Dec. 27.  A strong field of 19 teams is expected.  The Blue Devils finished second there last year to a powerful team from Mexico High School of the Syracuse area. 

“We want to keep improving, both our conditioning and skills,” said Travis Smith, assistant coach.  “We expect to have some very strong competition at Windsor, which will be good for our top wrestlers.  It’s also an opportunity for the others to see how much they need to do.”