Ean Segarra had plenty of motivation, facing the same opponent he did a year ago, and another one who stood on the same mat 44 years earlier.
The Brentwood wrestler lined up against Ward Melville’s Tom Fitzsimmons at 106 pounds, the same person he wrestled one year before and defeated by only one point at 99 pounds. He never forgot about that match.
“This year I wanted to be able to beat him by more than that,” Segarra said. “I wanted to show how much I improved . . . ”
That improvement was apparent when Segarra defeated Fitzsimmons via decision, 14-4, in a 46-13 victory for host Brentwood Friday night to clinch the Suffolk I championship.
On top of winning the program’s second straight league title, Brentwood honored Vinny Ungaro, a 1973 county champion and Hall of Famer who died from leukemia on Oct. 1. Ungaro was a firefighter and 9/11 first responder. Segarra, like the rest of the wrestlers in the Brentwood gym, were inspired by Ungaro.
“It just made me more motivated because he’s always been a part of the Brentwood family,” Segarra said.
Referring to a story one of Ungaro’s teammates told about visiting him in the hospital, Segarra said, “The last thing he did was draw that Brentwood ‘B’ on his chest and that’s what we’re representing. We go out there on the mat and we have to represent Brentwood.”
With a series of difficult matches after Segarra’s, coach Ralph Napolitano spoke about the importance of the junior having a strong performance. “That was a match we were very nervous about but Ean came out, he weathered the storm and was able to score big points in the first period,” Napolitano said.
Brentwood (5-0) got a key 8-3 decision by Kerrick Morris at 145, snapping a streak of consecutive wins by Ward Melville (3-3) from Kenny Cracchiola, Sean Fitzsimmons, Rafael Lievano and Nabeel Ahmed. The Indians went on to win the final eight matches, including a pin from Brandon Ortiz in 3:24 at 170 and decisions by Henry Martinez (152), Anthony Gomez (160), Renald Borgella (182) and Christian Eusebio (220). Wenchard Pierre-Louis (99) won the opening match for Brentwood.
Ortiz, too, was inspired by Ungaro. “I’ve been having a pretty rough season so far so I just went out there motivated and after one of our fallen alumni has passed.”