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Huntington Wrestlers Stumble in Kohl Tournament, Finish Second

Five individual champions weren’t enough to prevent the Huntington wrestling team from stumbling to a second place finish in the 12-team Kohl tournament last Saturday at Suffern High School.  Monroe-Woodbury soundly beat the Blue Devils, 235.5-201.5.

Brian Lifson (96 lbs.), Shaheim Bradshaw (152), Charlie Paar (171), Jack Sullivan (189) and Kelcy Perry (215) were crowned champions, but a lack of points from five other weight classes doomed Huntington in the team standings. 

The Blue Devils were without the services of two of their best wrestlers in Shawn Riley and Pierre Delva.  Riley, 15-0 this season, sat out Friday and Saturday for personal reasons and Delva (14-2) was taking the SAT and unable to make the trek north. 

“Most of the team wrestled well,” assistant coach Travis T. Smith said.  “But, in a tournament with strong teams like Monroe-Woodbury, Suffern and Woodbridge (NJ), we need contributions from every weight class and we just didn’t get that.”

Lifson improved to 15-3 with a pair of pins and a 6-2 decision over Marc Zurla of North Rockland at 96 lbs.  Bradshaw continued to march through his senior season, gaining two pins and a solid 7-1 decision over Ken Brown of Monroe-Woodbury in the finals at 152 lbs.  The three victories increased Bradshaw’s season mark to a perfect 19-0. 

Paar (18-1) was never seriously threatened, winning in the quarterfinals with a 24 second pin and following it up with a 16-1 technical fall of Brian Evans of Monroe-Woodbury in the semifinals.  In the championship bout the Huntington junior successfully faced down Ben Herrick of Cornwall, 8-3. 

“Charlie did a great job,” head coach Lou Giani said.  “We had some good wrestling out there.  Some other guys need to pick it up.  We think they will, if they keep working hard.  It’s hard to be upset when you walk away with five champions.”

Sullivan’s title surprised no one, as the junior improved to 19-1 with three wins.  After a first round bye, he secured a pin in 1:12 in the quarterfinals, and grabbed a major decision over Chris Dollbaum of Monroe-Woodbury in the semifinals, 11-2.  Sullivan kept his momentum going with a 7-3 decision of Port Jervis’s Alex Kaufman in the finals.

Perry, a junior who normally serves as Delva’s steady backup, stepped in and won the tournament with 13-3, 7-3 and 3-2 decisions.  The latter one coming in the finals over North Rockland’s Angel Rosas which helped increase Perry’s record to 7-1. 

Francisco Periera (103), Justin Giani (112), Frank Sangiovanni (140) and Jeremy Pellot (275) each earned third place in their weight classes. 

Perieria (9-3), an 8th grader, lost a heartbreaking 7-5 overtime decision in the semifinals to Doug Christiansen of Monroe-Woodbury, before bouncing back to win his consolation match over T.J. Ratajczak of Woodbridge, 7-5. 

Giani (14-6) dropped a 4-2 overtime decision in the semifinals to Gary Griffin of Woodbridge, before he, too, won in the consolation round with a 10-5 decision of North Rockland’s Chris Fallom. 

Sangiovanni (14-5) enjoyed an excellent showing, with two pins and a 5-2 consolation round decision over Jesse Lodema of Port Jervis.  Pellot (9-6) opened with a 7-1 win and then lost a controversial referee’s criteria decision, 2-2 when he was ridden out during the final 30-second overtime.

Stephan Riley (10-3, 96 lbs.) and Manny Santiago (17-5, 135 lbs.) finished fifth in their weight classes. 

The Blue Devils have finished second in the Kohl tournament the last four years.  The team has league meets this week at Kings Park (Weds. Jan. 14, 5:15 p.m.) and at home with Comsewogue (Fri. Jan. 16, 4:30 p.m.). 

Final Team Standings: 1. Monroe-Woodbury-235.5  2. Huntington-201.5  3. Suffern-179.5  4. Woodbridge-155.5  5. North Rockland-133  6. Port Jervis-109.5  7. Cornwall-89.5  8. Nanuet-76  9. Sleepy Hollow-53  10. East Ramapo-48  11. Rondout Valley-29  12. Nyack-27