London Castillo wasn’t going to waste his opportunity.
The Brentwood junior hadn’t been sure if he was going to wrestle on Friday afternoon, coming off an early-season injury, but as soon as he heard his name called he knew he had a chance to make a difference. Castillo did just that, pinning Longwood’s Elijah Stowe with 1:37 left in the third period of the 285-pound match to help Brentwood to a 34-25 victory in Suffolk I.
“They told me I was going to wrestle and I knew I had to get ready, prepare for the match,” Castillo said. “Once that spark hit we were going to go all the way and get the win.”
Castillo and Stowe both started slow in the first period, but with 1:38 left in the second, the match took a physical turn. Castillo jumped out to a 3-1 lead and, after being pushed off the mat, said he was more determined than ever to capture the victory.
“I had to stay calm and I didn’t want to get frustrated or overheated, so I kept my cool and I went at him,” Castillo said. “I gave it all I had.”
Castillo continued to bring pressure in the early moments of the third period and, 23 seconds in, he made his move. He took Stowe down, recording the pin to give Brentwood (1-2) a much-needed boost of confidence and, most importantly, a 27-25 lead.
“I always look for the pin,” Castillo said. “I don’t try and tire someone out. I saw my chance and decided to execute the move.”
Castillo’s victory snapped an eight-match win streak for Longwood (1-2) as the Lions rallied to set Brentwood back on its collective toes. The Indians started the day strong, opening with four straight victories, including pins by Jonathon Portillo at 113 pounds and Joseph Volivar at 126 pounds, but struggled to maintain that push in the middle weights.
Still, Brentwood coach Ralph Napolitano said he was happy with his team’s performance and added that the lack of Longwood pins helped keep the Indians in it late.
“When our guys didn’t get pinned at 170 and 182 and 195 and 220, that was huge for us,” he said. “We knew we had London there to get our momentum back.”
It was the first league victory of the season for Brentwood and one the Indians hope they can build off going forward.
“We just wanted to get through this and get to the break,” Napolitano said. “Now we’ll be right back at it, hopefully healthier and learning from our mistakes.”