No matter where in the meet he’s called upon, Long Beach’s Mark Rivera is always ready.
His opening match fall in 59 seconds over MacArthur’s Joe Razza at 220 opened a dominant performance for the Marines as they defeated the Generals 63-13 to clinch the Nassau II-A wrestling title. Rivera secured a takedown early in the round and eventually worked his way into the pin.
“Winning this title is big but we really want to go for the county title,” Rivera said. “We’re focusing on that and this is one step forward for us.”
Just 10 days earlier Rivera scored a spirited 3-1 last second, come-from-behind win over John Fuino of Hilton (Rochester) to break a 31-31 tie in the final match of the championship dual meet at the Union-Endicott Duals in Binghamton. The UE duals traditionally crown the unofficial New York State team champion.
“At the UE duals everything was on me, win or lose, it was different,” Rivera said. “There was more pressure there at the moment, but tonight was different because we were at home with all the crowd and the support.”
Long Beach (12-0, 6-0) showed off its depth behind two-time defending state champion Jacori Teemer and its pair of 2015 county finalists Tyreek Bromley and Tyrese Byron.
Josh Bourne, who finished fifth in the County last year, showed off his skills on his feet, repeatedly taking down MacArthur’s Thomas Evans until he secured a cradle for a pin 37 seconds into the second period. Matt Maquet put on a dominant technical performance, securing a technical fall over Christian Dougherty in 3:58 at 120.
“This just shows how hard we worked throughout the season, Maquet said. “It goes to show that even though we have the big names we have a lot of kids who don’t have the names but excel in the room. We have just kept improving throughout the year.”
Charlie Spada clinched the match with a 16-7 major decision over John Bachus at 145 pounds.
“We have a really good group of kids with great depth,” coach Ray Adams said. “We run deep with real legitimate varsity guys at most of the weight classes. We really have guys that can get the job done. We try to get the toughest schedule we can wrestle and we believe that will get us ready for the end of the season.”