It began as a faint humming from down the hall, and the crowd rose to its feet.
Into the Glenn gymnasium strutted two bagpipers and a drummer in full garb (kilts, hats, jackets and hosiery) screeching out a battle song as captain Nick Terdick led the Knights into the arena.
From the moment he began warmups to the moment the referee slammed his hand down for a pin in his 152-pound match to the moment he and coach T.J. Brocking hoisted Mike Bosco after his double-overtime win, Terdick was the embodiment of the warrior mentality.
"That's our thing," he said.
Winning? Well, no, he was talking about entering to the sound of bagpipes. But he and the Knights also have made a habit of winning. Friday night's 33-17 wrestling triumph over visiting Rocky Point in a League VI scuffle was Glenn's 47th straight dual-meet victory.
Glenn (4-0), the top-ranked Division I team in the state, didn't need much extra incentive against Rocky Point (3-1), its top challenger in League VI. But Brocking decided to bring in some buddies from the NYPD's Pipes & Drums of the Emerald Society. "We call them up when the boys need a little extra juice," he said.
That Rocky Point brought three All-State wrestlers - including defending state champ Stephen Dutton - into the gym also helped with an adrenaline boost. Glenn, last year's Suffolk champion, countered with six All-County performers. Included in that bunch was Nick Meinsen, who put the Knights up for good at 15-11 with a technical fall at 130 pounds. His brother Kenny followed Matt Gannon's pin at 135 with an 11-4 win at 140. Then Dutton stepped on the mat.
Looking unusually sluggish - he nearly vomited into a pail on the edge of the mat during a break in the action - the three-time All-State grappler needed an escape and a takedown to break a 2-2 tie with Matt Fusaro at 145. He held on for a 7-3 win.
"We had guys who didn't wrestle to their potential, myself included," said Dutton, who acknowledged he has been fighting a fever since Wednesday. "We weren't in the right mind-set."
With the match in hand after Terdick pinned Russ Petito in 2 minutes, 12 seconds, Bosco faced Anthony Volpe at 160 in a matchup of undefeateds.
Each managed only a single point in the first three periods, sending the match to overtime. But Bosco escaped with 14 seconds remaining in the second 30-second segment of the second overtime to earn a 2-1 win.
In the final match of the evening, the Eagles' Billy Coggins earned a 6-3 victory over Jared Cheatham at 171, the 200th win of his career. He is the third Rocky Point wrestler, joining Volpe and Dutton, to achieve that feat this season.
There was no pomp and circumstance for Coggins, though, as most of the crowd still was abuzz over Bosco's performance. As he walked off to a standing ovation, Terdick and Brocking raised him up on their shoulders to bask in the glory.
Said Bosco: "I was flying."
Must have been the bagpipes.