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Connetquot starting season off strong
The race for the League II title was tight last year was and if the early results this season are a harbinger of things to come, the Connetquot Thunderbirds will be neck-and-neck with Sachem North once again.
The Thunderbirds graduated three all-county wrestlers (including 145-pound champion and fourth-place New York State finisher Brendan Dent) but return a strong core that has been competing at a high level early in the season.
The Thunderbirds edged out Brentwood at the Gray-Fitzgerald Invitational at Sayville two weeks ago before an equally strong showing at the Rick Hermann Memorial Tournament in Bellport. Sandwiched in between was a dominating performance at a tri-meet against Ward Melville and Smithtown West.
Connetquot had five repeat winners at the two tournaments: Sean Miller (113), Eddie Hart (132), Gino Titone (152), Allon Avgi (170), and Tom Flanagan (190).
Avgi, a senior who finished second in League II at 152 pounds last season, has been a force at 170 pounds so far.
“I worked so hard this off season and I gave it my all and give it my all every match,” Avgi said after the tri-meet on December 20. “I’m just dedicated and let my wrestling do the talking for me. My mindset is just to make it to the top.”
Greg Chery, who won the Gray-Fitzgerald Invitational, finished second at the Rick Hermann Memorial and secured two pins, each in under two minutes, in the matches against Ward Melville and Smithtown West.
“We just work hard in the room and try to do our best to go out and get pins,” Chery said. “Everyone works really hard and it helps us get better.”
Connetquot will open its League II schedule against Whitman on January 3, one week in advance of the showdown with Sachem North. Avgi is confident the Thunderbirds will come out on top this season.
“I can’t tell you our secrets but when that time comes everyone will see,” he said. “It’s going to be a great year and I’m excited for that match.”