When Clarke and Cold Spring Harbor met on Jan. 8 the match was decided by the smallest of margins. The teams were tied before Cold Spring Harbor won on criteria after taking eight of the 15 matches.
Clarke’s Karl Osmond-Bouyer wrestled the final match that day, winning a major decision. On Saturday Osmond-Bouyer wrestled the first match and set the tone for the Rams.
The 220-pounder pinned Reed Cooper in 2:36 as Clarke captured its first Nassau division II dual meet wrestling championship, 45-31, in front of a raucous home crowd Saturday. “Getting that early pin helped us tremendously,” Osmond-Bouyer said. “It really helped set an example for the team.”
After a pair of forfeit wins at 99 and 106 Clarke took over with four straight wins between 120 and 138, with three of them earning bonus points.
“We were all really pumped up and ready to go today,” said Aiden Yurdiga, who won a 13-5 major decision over Ben Bruno at 138. “We really just wanted that county title more than anything.”
The Rams clinched the title when Lucas Abbatiello defeated Jacob Bruno, 5-3, at 160. “It was all about our mentality today,” Abbatiello said. “We really wanted to come out and show we wouldn’t back down and to take the county, we did that today. And having our entire town behind us and backing us up and that energy just felt great.”
Abbatiello, who re-joined the team after taking two years off to focus on football provided the spark that Clarke needed to secure its first ever title.
“Lucas works incredibly hard and is very coachable,” Clarke coach Michael Leonard said. “He’s a great kid and he just grinds out every match.”
“After football it left a sour taste in my mouth and the wrestling program here is amazing,” Abbatiello said. “I missed it so much and I came back and it was the best decision I’ve made.”
With the win Clarke earns a berth into the state dual meet tournament on Saturday in Syracuse. “We just try to bring it every time we step on the mat and we wrestle like it’s the last time we’ll ever be out there,” Osmond-Bouyer said. “Today was probably the best thing I’ve ever felt, seeing our crowd in the stands and our team getting hyped. It was amazing.”
“Wrestling in front of the home crowd really gave us some extra juice,” Leonard said. “We’ve hosted this the last 16 years and it was great to finally be able to win it.”