SYRACUSE, N.Y. — On a day that began at 7 a.m. with weigh-ins, the Mount Sinai wrestling team knew they had a long day ahead of them.
They also knew that if they won four matches they would become the first ever state Division II dual meet champions.
“Throughout the day the team got more tired and tired,” senior captain Mike Zarif said. “We kept telling each other one more match, two more matches. We knew that we couldn’t throw out all the work we have put in for this.
And the Mustangs made sure they did not throw it away.
In second to last match of the championship, Brendan Goodrich walked out onto the mat and knew that if he won Mt. Sinai would be a state champion. With Mt. Sinai leading 30-24, Goodrich came out victorious at 99 pounds, earning a 5-3 decision in Mt. Sinai’s 33-30 win over Canisteo Greenwood at SRC Arena at Onondaga Community College Saturday night.
Mt. Sinai forfeited its final match, since the championship was already decided.
Goodrich won his semifinal, a 9-0 major decision that clinched a spot in the championship for the Mustangs.
Matt Campo was the star of the day for Mt. Sinai (16-1), as the sophomore pinned every opponent he faced at 126 pounds, in a combined time of 3:31.
“I put so much time into this sport,” Campo said. “I spend my entire offseason wrestling. My coaches give nothing but support to me. I want to thank my parents for helping me every day.”
Mount Sinai came into the tournament knowing that it could make history, and for coach Matt Armstrong, there’s no better feeling.
“We have had a pretty good program for a while, but it’s great to be recognized and represent Suffolk County wrestling,” Armstrong said. “It really is an incredible feeling, I really can’t believe that we did it. I am so glad that this is the team that will represent Suffolk County as the first ever dual meet state champion.”
While reveling in Mt. Sinai’s team victory, Zarif also looked ahead to the individual championships.
“This is the greatest feeling of my life. We have worked so hard for this, and I wanted to be a state champion all my life,” he said. “We did it team-wise and now in a couple of weeks we have to get it individually and that’s our next goal.”
Locust Valley makes early exit. Locust Valley (14-8) failed to advance after losing its opening two matches, 45-24, to Warrensburg/Bolton, and 52-25, to Peru.
Senior Jack Ward, who won both of his matches at 152 for Locust Valley, was grateful for the opportunity.
“It was pretty cool that this got to happen in my senior year. I wish it happened in the past,” he said. “We would have had some good showings with prior teams, and should have had a better showing today, but we really didn’t show up and now we have to get it done in the counties.”