Step onto the mat with Newsday's high school writers as they cover Long Island wrestling.
Nassau D1 Semifinal (215 lbs) - Director's Cut
So Chris Mascaro and Mark Macyk are off covering today's wrestling tournaments, which means I get to momentarily hijack the blog (shhhhh. Don't tell anyone.) I come bearing gifts!
Some tidbits from yesterday's session at Hofstra University and especially the top-heavy 215 weight class:
- I spent a good deal of time interviewing Garden City's Connor Horl after his bout with Port Washington's Michael O'Brien at 215. Now, Horl spent the better part of yesterday looking all intimidating, stalking up and down the gym with a pair of headphones in his ears and a GC camoufloge t-shirt.
What was he doing?
"You focus. I reflect on my career and the fact that every match could be my last one. If I lose my focus for a second, I can be taken down."
Legit answer, right? But file this under things you don't expect: What's he listening to to get in the zone?
"Meat Loaf...a little Billy Joel...I mean, there's some rap in there, too. But mostly Meat Loaf."
That. Is. Awesome. Maybe because Horl looks like he could be cast as the new Russian in a Rocky remake, but the idea that this (very well-spoken) wrestler listens to Meat Loaf to gear up is definitely one of my favorite tidbits from the day.
- Then there's Dave Ng. Ng is far more reserved that Horl, but then again, with two quick pins (one at 47 seconds and one at 1:43) there wasn't much to really say. "I'm going to wrestle real hard tomorrow," Ng said. His biggest opponent is "the next person that steps on the mat." (Sports cliches for 200, Alex)
- Ng's coach, Plainedge's Rob Shaver added a touch more: "Their weight class is real deep this year," he said of 215. "There's Horl and [Syosset's] Tim Graziano." Today, he said, Ng would probably have a longer day.
"We hope not, but yeah, [today's] probably going to be more competition."
- Btw, you read that right. Those of you hoping another chapter in the Dave Ng/Tom Hall rivalry (pictured wrestling at last week's Nassau Duals) will be disappointed to hear that the Wantagh grappler lost to Graziano in a 5-1 decision in the semifinals.