Step onto the mat with Newsday's high school writers as they cover Long Island wrestling.
Soria brothers on the same side of the bracket ... again
The scenario so many wrestling fans were dreading heading into this weekend's NYSPHSAA championships in Albany has come true, as twins Mike and Max Soria of Kings Park were placed on the same side of the 103-pound bracket, meaning they could potentially meet in the semifinals, but not the final.
Despite forfeiting to his brother in the Suffolk final last weekend, Mike was awarded the top seed based on the fact that he is a defending state champion (at 96 pounds) and that he was undefeated this season prior to the county final. Max is seeded fourth.
Sam Speno of Fox Lane, who was fifth in the state at 96 pounds last season, is second and Al Dierna of Wayne, who did not place last year, is third. Joe Barbato of Wantagh is the eighth seed and would be Mike Soria's quarterfinal opponent, while Chris Brienza of St. Anthony's is the fifth seed and would be Max's quarterfinal foe.
Last season, the Soria twins were paired in the 96-pound state semifinals, and Max forfeited to Mike, who went on to win the title. Max finished third.
The twins, who are seniors, have never wrestled in a competition, but they were discussing the possibility of doing so in the state final (if both of them advance that far) because it would be their final high school match. That can't happen now.
Seeding in the state tournament is based on a points system, which doesn't allow for any flexibility. It is strictly a numbers-based formula.