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Jacori Teemer, Vito Arujau each nail down fourth state title

Long Beach's Jacori Teemer wins fourth state wrestling championship, beating Victor's Mike Venosa 1-0 to win the 132-pound title. (Videojournalist: Owen O'Brien)

ALBANY — Long Beach junior Jacori Teemer became the first wrestler in Nassau history to win four state titles at the state tournament Saturday night at Times Union Center.

Minutes later in the very next weight class at 138, Syosset senior Vito Arujau became the second wrestler in Nassau to win four state championships.

Teemer and Arujau are two of the winningest wrestlers in Nassau history. But perhaps the most heartfelt title came at 152 pounds when senior Peter Pappas realized a lifelong dream after he captured his first state crown before a crowd of more than 6,000.

Pappas, a two-time state runner-up from Old Bethpage-Plainview JFK, was overwhelmed with emotion and collapsed on the mat after he defeated Matt Grippi of Fox Lane, 7-3. He sealed the win with a late ankle pick for a two-point takedown.

“Once I hit the last takedown, it hit me immediately that I was a state champ,” Pappas said. “It’s all I’ve ever wanted. I got beat in the finals twice and missed the states with a shoulder injury as a junior. This was my last chance.”

Pappas (39-0), who will wrestle at Edinboro University, was mobbed by coaches and friends after he captured the title.

“I know what it feels like to lose in the state final,” said Pappas, a five-year starter and Plainview’s all-time winningest wrestler with 185 wins. “This is so much better.”

Nassau crowned four Division I champs and Suffolk had two. In Division II, Nassau’s Jonathan Gomez of Locust Valley won his second straight state title at 126 pounds and Mattituck crowned its first two state champs in school history in James Hoeg at 195 pounds and Tanner Zagarino at 220.

“We went 6-for-6 in the finals,” said John Mankowich, the assistant chairman to Nassau wrestling. “It was an excellent day for our sectional team.”

One of those Nassau winners was Wantagh junior Justin Vines, who beat Austin Hertel of Hilton, 3-0, to win the 126-pound class. He improved to 49-3.

Following Vines’ dominant win, Teemer edged Mike Venosa of Victor, 1-0, to win the 132-pound crown. And Arujau beat Hauppauge’s Jake Silverstein, 8-3, for the 138-pound title.

“I was actually having some anxiety and nervous about this final,” said Teemer, who has a career record of 170-5. “I was breathing heavy and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Now I’m going for a fifth state title next year.”

Sophomore Adam Busiello of Eastport-South Manor, a two-time state champion, and Rocky Point senior Anthony Cirillo met for the state title at 120 pounds. Busiello scored a takedown in the waning seconds of the first period for a 2-0 lead and used a simple half-Nelson to put Cirillo to his back for the pin in 2:53 for his third state crown.

Suffolk, which won its ninth team title in a row and scored 249.5 points, crowned its first champ at 106 pounds when junior Dylan Ryder of Half Hollow Hills West beat Cody Anders of Brockport by technical fall, 15-0, at the six-minute mark. Ryder took a big first-period lead when he came out of a scramble for a two-point lead and then turned Anders to his back.

It was a night of redemption for Ryder, who lost a 3-2 heartbreaker in the 99-pound state final last year. He had come back from a torn ACL injury in his freshman year to reach the state final and come up short.

“It’s a whole different feeling when you’re getting your hand raised,” Ryder said. “You have to wait a year to get back here and so many things can happen.”

Long Island Wrestlers with 200 career victories

Victories, Name, Schools (s), comment

261, Thomas Dutton, Rocky Point, 2015, 6X league champ, 2X Suffolk champ, 1X state champ.

247, Chris Mauriello, Hauppauge, 2016, 6X All-Suffolk, 3X all-state, 1X state champ.

227, Stephen Dutton, Hauppauge and Rocky Point, 2010, 4X Suffolk champ, 2X state champ

226, Anthony Volpe, Rocky Point, 2010, 2X Suffolk champ, 1X state champ.

226, Nick Piccininni, Ward Melville, 2015, 5X Suffolk champ, 4X state champ

222, Billy Coggins, Rocky Point, 2010, 2X Suffolk champ, 1X state champ.

221, Jesse Jantzen, Shoreham-Wading River, 2000, 6X league champ, 6 Suffolk champ, 4X state champ

216, Paul Liguori, Wantagh, 2009, 4X Nassau champ, 4X all-state, 2X state champ.

216, Vito Arujau, Syosset, 2017, 5X Nassau champ, 5X state finalist, 4X state champ.

214, PJ Gillespie, Long Beach, 2007, 4X Nassau champ, 4x all-state, 1X state champ.

213, Matt Ross, Rocky Point, 2011, 3X all-Suffolk, 1X all-state.

213, Dylan Palacio, Long Beach, 2012, 3X Nassau champ, 3X all-state, 1X state champ.

210, Ryan Patrovich, Islip, 2006, 6X all-Suffolk, 3X Suffolk champ, 2X state champ.

207, Travis Passaro, Eastport-South Manor, 2014, 4X all-Suffolk, 2X Suffolk champ, 1X state champ.


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