It was business as usual for Long Beach sophomore Jacori Teemer on Sunday night. The two-time state champion went out in workmanlike fashion and beat Massapequa’s Garret Gibbons, 14-4, to claim the 126-pound title at the Nassau County wrestling championships at Hofstra University.
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And he showed a touch of class after the championship bout against Gibbons.
“I give Garret a lot of props,” Teemer said. “He got hurt in the semifinals and wasn’t going to wrestle in the finals. So I give him respect for wrestling.”
It was the undefeated Teemer’s third Nassau crown and sends him to the state tournament in Albany as the wrestler to beat in his weight class. Teemer improved his career record to 151-4 and is looking to become Long Island’s first five-time state champion.
“He’s on a path and a mission,” Long Beach coach Ray Adams said. “He knows what’s in front of him but he never loses focus. He wrestles them one at a time. We don’t talk much about the next three years and the possibilities, but we know he can do it.”
Teemer was the leader of a Long Beach team that marched seven wrestlers into the final round and crowned four champions. Other winners for the Marines included senior Josh Bourne, who took the 120- pound title over defending county champion Kyle Mosher of South Side with an 8-3 decision. Junior Tyrese Byron captured the 152-pound crown with a pin in 1:04 over East Meadow senior Mike Choi. Junior Tyreek Bromley decisioned Lynbrook’s Zach Kornberg, 10-4, to win the 182 title.
The anticipation for a wild final came at 120, in which Bourne and Mosher split overtime matches earlier this season.
“I wrestled aggressive and went after him,” Bourne said. “There was a lot of pressure in the match because he beat me the last time. But I get beat up in practice every day by Jacori and that’s helped me grow as a wrestler. I didn’t want any part of overtime this time.”
Teemer agreed that he pounds Bourne in practice.
“We push each other and I beat him up,” Teemer said, laughing. “It makes him better. He’s come a long way, working hard, and he’s a great wrestler now.”
With the team title wrapped up earlier in the day, the Marines celebrated individual glory as 14 of their wrestlers garnered All-Nassau status.
“It’s all about the commitment,” Adams said. “They bought in all the way. It’s exciting to be a part of the Long Beach wrestling program.”
Undefeated junior Vito Arujau beat two-time state runner-up Peter Pappas of Plainview, 14-4, in the 132-pound final. Arujau, a two-time state champ, won his fourth Nassau title and extended his winning streak to 132.
“Peter’s a very good wrestler and he’s been in the states a couple of times,” Arujau said. “He always gets stuck in between really tough opponents. But Peter’s one of the top kids in this country, in my mind. Especially with his injury in the semis and some people say his shoulder came out and he wasn’t going to wrestle the finals. So to see him come out and wrestle took a lot of guts. I showed him the respect he deserved and gave him a good match. It’s an honor to be able to represent my section up at states again. I’m really excited. Hopefully I can go for my third state title.”