Hauppauge’s Steven Holder entered the Suffolk League V wrestling tournament on Saturday seeded fourth at 170 pounds, a placement he was not at all pleased with.
To show his discontent, he bested everyone in his path to win Most Outstanding Wrestler.
Hauppauge, which had seven wrestlers in the finals and five champions, won the League V tournament at Rocky Point.
Holder beat the No. 1 seed, Rocky Point’s Anthony Lucia, in the semis before defeating Kings Park’s Nico Zaccardi in a major decision (10-2) to win the 170-pound championship.
“He was being very stingy,” Hauppauge coach Chris Messina said. “He wasn’t giving up points or takedowns. He was the aggressor, and with three seconds left on the clock, he got a takedown which gave him the major.”
Holder, leading 8-2 at the time of the takedown, didn’t need to exert the extra effort. But Messina encouraged him to do it.
“My coach looked at me and told me to get the major for the team,” he said. “I just had to do it.”
While a 10-2 win indicates a dominant effort, Holder credited Zaccardi for making things difficult by trying to throw him on multiple occasions. His focus and drive were the key factors to his success, Messina said.
Despite the victory for his team, Holder said there’s still more work to do. He doesn’t want to get complacent after his victory, as next week’s county tournament is even more important.
Said Holder: “This means nothing if I don’t place next week.”