After competing upstate last weekend and testing their skills against some of the best wrestlers from around the country at the Eastern States Classic, Edwin Rubio and Zach Ancewicz returned to Long Island to wrestle for Glenn in a key League VI match against Shoreham-Wading River.
Rubio and Ancewicz picked up important wins that helped the Knights hand Shoreham (3-1) its first dual-meet loss of the season as Glenn (3-0) won, 34-26, Wednesday in front of an electric crowd in Shoreham.
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"Upstate, when you're wrestling, it's not as much pressure because there's a lot of matches going on at once," said Rubio, who pinned Brendan Frances in 1:08 at 285 pounds. "Here we know the crowd is for Shoreham and against us basically and it makes us want to win even more."
Rubio, a sophomore, placed fourth at Eastern States. Ancewicz did not place but it was still a learning experience for the freshman.
"When you wrestle on the big [stage] it seems four times as big as this," Ancewicz said. "When you come back here it's almost like wrestling in a little kids' tournament."
Ancewicz won a 14-1 major decision over Jack Deluca at 99 pounds that all but put away the match for Glenn.
"To have those guys at the end of the match is always important but they had a couple of their big guys going, too," Glenn coach T.J. Brocking said. "It's more of the kids that don't have the big names that win matches -- Robby Valdez at 138, Jerome Brigham at 160 -- that's how you win dual meets."
Shoreham-Wading River got off to a quick start, taking a 7-0 lead after two matches. But that's when Valdez stopped the momentum with an 11-7 win over James Woods at 138 and Derek O'Brien followed with a pin of Paul Merzbacher in 1:40 at 145 to give Glenn a 9-7 lead. The meet stayed close but the Knights never trailed after that point.
"We needed a whole team effort and that's one of the big things that we talk about," Brocking said. "We try to be good at every weight -- that's our number-one goal. To beat a team that's ranked in the top 10 in the state is a great accomplishment for us and I'm really happy about the effort tonight."
The big week for Rubio and Ancewicz serves Glenn well going forward. Going from wrestling the best in an individual tournament to the biggest dual meet of the season on four days' notice has them both mentally prepared for the heart of the season and beyond.
"Winning this meet makes us think we can actually win counties," Rubio said. "Beating Shoreham makes us think we can be the county champs right now."