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Another Huntington Blow-out Leads to Showdown for League Title

The Huntington wrestling team will put its nine year 81 dual meet winning streak on the line Friday night when the Blue Devils take the mat at Islip at 7 p.m. for a contest that will decide the League V championship.  Tickets are being sold on an advance basis only at the athletic offices of the two schools.  Absolutely no tickets will be available at the gate

In a tune-up meet last Friday, Huntington easily handled Hauppauge, winning 11 of 13 matches en route to a stunning 48-9 victory.  Justin Giani (103 lbs.), Tom Feldman (112), Jon Dolan (119), Chris Holland (152), Charlie Paar (160) and Dwayne Sair (171) all won decisions.  Shawn Riley (125) and Jack Sullivan (189) earned pins and Shaheim Bradshaw and Pierre Delva were handed forfeits.

Friday’s match up pits Suffolk’s two top ranked teams.  Last year’s battle ended in a 27-26 Huntington victory.  This year the squads appear evenly matched again, with a possible slight edge given to the Blue Devils (9-0) who sport an experienced group including three wrestlers ranked first in Section XI and three others ranked either second or third.  Islip (10-2) has eight wrestlers ranked in the top six of their respective weight classes.  There is little margin for error on either side. 

“It’s going to be a close match,” head coach Lou Giani said.  “They’re good and we have to wrestle a good match and get good match ups to win.”  Giani has been masterful in league matches during his career, entering the week with a 212-7 lifetime mark in such matches and 405-28-1 overall in 36 years.

Tom Magnani, Chris Wade, Mike Rudden, Ryan Patrovich and Tom Leggio lead Islip.  Joe Patrovich coaches the Buccaneers.  Athletic officials expect the meet to be a sell-out, as a large crowd will jam into the small gym.

“Our guys are working hard,” assistant coach Travis Smith said.  “We are up for it.  The kids like to wrestle in front of a lot of people.  It’s always one of our goals to win the league championship.  There’s pressure but it’s exciting.”

Another epic battle between the two teams appears inevitable.  The squads have six wrestlers that are ranked first in the county in their weight class, helping to make this the premier meet in Suffolk this season.

Directions to Islip High School: Long Island Expressway to Exit 56.  Go South on Route 111 (Islip Avenue) to the end. Turn right on Main Street and go past 5 traffic lights to the school.