Wantagh's Josiah Encarnacion has been eyeing the possibility of a fourth consecutive trip to the state championships.
On Saturday afternoon, he came another step closer.
“I put all the work in and came here to win,” said Encarnacion, who defeated Syosset’s Zachary Collins in the 120-pound weight class by major decision, 13-3, at the Nassau Division-I wrestling quarterfinals at Farmingdale State. “This is what I’ve worked for all year. So I’m excited.”
Encarnacion, who finished as a state-runner up last season said he wanted to gain a mental advantage over Collins.
“He’s a tough kid,” Encarnacion said. “My whole gameplan was just to break him and get in his head.”
Also advancing to the semifinals for Wantagh was senior Matt Rogers at 182, as he pinned Glen Cove’s Eder Leiva in 2 minutes and 13 seconds.
“He was shorter and I just kept my composure, Rogers said. I struggled to pin him but I didn’t get frustrated. I just relaxed and ended up winning.”
Rogers’ younger brother, Ben, at 138, advanced to the semifinals as well for the Warriors. He defeated Mineola’s Matheus Silva by major decision, 12-3.
The sophomore said he’s determined to come up with a county title on Sunday after finishing in second place last year.
“I’ve got to watch some video tonight and fix some stuff for tomorrow,” Rogers said. “Winning’s on my mind.”
Rogers said the difference-maker was not allowing his opponent’s quick movements to divert him from his strategy.
“The key was not getting intimidated by his movements,” Rogers said. “He was moving his hands really quick. Just being stingy about points.”
Myles Norris, a state-runner up last season, clinched a berth in the semifinals for Freeport by defeating pinning Mepham’s Miguel Rivera in 1:40 at 285.
“Just focused on the next match,” Norris said. “I have one goal here. The only thing I want to do here is win the counties…I don’t want to feel the way I felt last year. I want to be better. So I have to go get that county title and make my night.”
Norris also picked up his 100th varsity win in the process.
“It was a nice thing to get off my chest,” Norris said. “But it’s on to the county title now.”
Norris said patience ultimately played a major role in coming up with the quarterfinal win.
“I was just trying to get a feel for him and see how hard he trying to approach me,” Norris said. “I just got into a position that I felt comfortable with.”
Also earning a victory for Freeport was junior Jason Figueroa over Tyler James of Hewlett at 160 by decision, 3-2, clinching his first trip to the semifinals.
“My coaches pulled me to the corner and told me that he was breaking and getting really tired,” Figueroa said. “That gave me a whole bunch of energy to just keep hammering away to win that match.”
Other winners included Killian Foy of MacArthur defeating Manhasset’s Timmy Fruhauf at 113 by major decision, 13-3, and Port Washington’s RJ Holt pinning Dominic Zizzo of Bethpage at 220 in 1:35.