If you ask Malachi Lord-Kelly what he’s improved on the most he’ll give you an instant answer.
“It’s definitely my shot,” Lord-Kelly said. “Last year I couldn’t shoot for anything but I’ve really improved and am definitely taking more shots now.”
That’s scary news for the other wrestlers of Long Island. The Central Islip senior showed off all the improvements in his game Saturday at the Edie Mellino Breast Cancer Awareness Tournament at West Islip.
Lord-Kelly went 5-0 with five first-round pins to win the title in the 182-pound weight class in the round robin style tournament.
“I feel like I’m coming for it this year — I’m coming to win,” he said. “I’m going to keep working and grinding and nothing is going to stop me.”
After finishing third in the county last year Lord-Kelly is hoping to become Central Islip’s first county champion since 2010.
“That would mean everything,” he said. “I really want to make the coaches happy
— they really deserve it because they put their all into us.”
Lord-Kelly finished the day on an impressive note, pinning East Islip’s Arjay Wilko in just 20 seconds.
“The first thing I think about is how am I going to get that takedown?” Lord-Kelly said. “I’m not thinking of going out and dominating, I’m just going out there to compete to the best of my abilities and I’m going to do what I have to do.”
Lord-Kelly mentioned the family atmosphere as something that has helped turn around the Central Islip program, and that is something that Port Jefferson knows a lot about.
The Royals had three pairs of brothers wrestling in the tournament and had Ricky and Anthony D’Elia meet in the final match at 113. Ricky, a senior, won by technical fall in 3:38.
The two have been on the team together for three years but said they haven’t had a competitive match against each other since youth wrestling.
“At practice I always look to go at him and work hard,” Anthony, a junior, said. “I’ve seen him be very successful in the county tournament and that’s what I’m aiming for this year. I’ve always wanted to be all-county like him.”
That’s also a goal of Brentwood’s London Castillo. The junior was the champion at 285 pounds after winning all five of his matches by pin.
“I felt really good, this is exactly what I was looking for today,” Castillo said. “I’m feeling great and I just have to keep pushing forward and doing me.”
Chaminade, behind wins at 132 by Michael Sanfilippo and Ryan Bihasa at 170, took home the team title with 114 points. Brentwood finished second with 96.5 and Central Islip was third with 80.