When you’re striving to be the best the work never stops.
There was Hauppauge’s Jake Silverstein sprinting back-and-forth in the gym after a 12-5 win Wednesday over two-time state place winner Kyle Mosher of South Side in the 138 pound final of the Massapequa Holiday wrestling tournament.
“One of my coaches Anthony Abidin who used to wrestle at Nebraska always makes me run sprints after my matches to help with my stamina,” Silverstein said.
Silverstein had no such issues Wednesday, scoring four points in each round and looking just as fresh in the first as in the third.
It also might have helped that Silverstein came in with an extra chip on his shoulder.
“I kind of felt disrespected today not being the one seed,” he said. “I just came out here and tried to make a statement and I think that’s basically what I did.”
Silverstein, who was named the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler, led a Hauppauge contingent that placed ten wrestlers in the top six and had four champions.
The Eagles were guaranteed a champion at 126 pounds after Ben Tepperman and Danny Mauriello both made it to the finals.
Tepperman, a senior, got the best of his freshman teammate, 6-1.
“It’s pretty weird especially because he’s my training partner everyday so it’s just awkward,” Tepperman said. “We go back and forth in the room and it just shows that we have a strong team. It’s all coming together.”
For the wrestlers of Long Beach, which won the team portion of the tournament after crowning seven champions, facing off against teammates in tournaments has become the norm.
“We’re starting to really get used to going against each other in tournaments like this but it still doesn’t feel normal,” 160 pound champion Tyrese Byron said. “Just like in the room we both go at it and fight hard and no matter who comes out on top we’re still friends.”
Byron defeated teammate Greg Wildstein 9-2. In the other all Long Beach final at 170 Brandon DeVivo defeated Joe Giorlando, 9-7.
For teams loaded with talent and carrying lofty postseason expectations it’s a chance to show off the grind that goes on daily in practice.
“We know we’re both really good,” Byron said. “Today we tried to put on a show for the fans.”