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Returning CHSAA champs open with pins
Wednesday’s match between St. Anthony’s and Sachem East was an opportunity for two top programs in Suffolk County to begin the long road back toward the county and state championships.
While Sachem East came away with a rather decisive 49-25 victory, it was the top returning wrestlers who were under the most scrutiny on the mat.
Two of St. Anthony’s wrestlers who participated Wednesday were 2012 CHSAA champions: John Twoney (99 pounds) and John Vrasidas (160).
Twoney, wrestling at 106 pounds, scored a pin over Sachem East’s Mike Leonardo in 1:26. Vrasidas also scored a first round (1:59) pin over Sachem East’s Mark Tracy at 170.
For the Flaming Arrows, their top two returning wrestlers both performed up to expectations as well. Coming off a fourth-place finish at 126 pounds, Conor O’Hara (pictured above) put together a dominating performance to pin St. Anthony’s Mike Senia in 3:52 at 138 pounds.
Jackson Mordente, who finished fifth in Suffolk at 138 pounds, defeated Nick Allesandrini 6-0 at 152 pounds.
Sachem East’s Christian Nunez, who finished third in the county at 195 pounds last year, did not wrestle Wednesday.
As Sachem East coach Sean O’Hara said after the match, last year’s records and accomplishments don’t mean a thing now. The key for teams such as Sachem East and St. Anthony’s will be to continue to produce young talent to fill in the holes left by departed seniors. Both schools should be in a position to do so and excel into 2013.