Albany — Five years ago, Jacori Teemer promised to be the first Long Island wrestler to win five state championships. It was a bold statement for a 14-year-old eighth-grader. But if you know anything about Teemer, it wasn’t such a far-fetched statement.
Saturday night, Teemer in front of a packed house in the Times Union Center made good on that promise. The Long Beach senior etched himself into the record books with his fifth straight Division I state championship. Teemer upended senior Matt Grippi of Fox Lane, 8-2, to capture the 152-pound title.
When he rose from the mat Teemer clenched his fist and opened his five fingers signifying the five state titles to a standing ovation. He leaped into the arms of head coach Ray Adams and the celebration was on. Teemer finished his fabulous career with a record of 202-5.
“I dreamed about this since the eighth grade,” Teemer said. “My speed is a God-given ability and I’ve worked very hard with my coaches to continue to improve my technique. This feels so good.”
Teemer was one of three Nassau champions. Wantagh’s Jonathan Loew earned the 195-pound title with a first period pin in 1:13 over East Ramapo’s Jhordyn Innocent. And Elijah Rodriguez pinned Halil Gecaj of John Jay in 5:16 to win the 220-pound crown.
In a very tough loss, Wantagh’s Justin Vines battled into overtime with Willie McDougald of Niagara Falls and held a 2-1 lead with 16 seconds remaining. As McDougald tried to escape and tie the score, Vines was called for clasp and a penalty point. McDougald then broke free with eight seconds left for the 3-2 win and the state title at 132 pounds.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Wantagh coach Paul Gillespie. “He had such a great year. And I thought it was a fantastic final in which both wrestlers gave it everything they had. It’s unfortunate that Justin got called for the clasp but it was the right call.”
But it was a great year for the Warriors. They earned the state dual meet crown, the Nassau sectional title and captured the state team championship last night.
The Nassau sectional finished second in the team scoring with 214 points.
Once again, the Division I tournament belonged to the Suffolk sectional team, which won the team crown for a record 10th consecutive year. Suffolk crowned five individual champions and scored 247 points.
Eastport-South Manor junior Adam Busiello tied a Suffolk record with his fourth straight state title. He pinned Justin McDouglad of Niagara-Wheatfield in 2:59. He improved to 47-0 this season and has a career record of 251-8.
Busiello working from the top position turned McDouglad early in the second period before finishing him off. He had two pins and two wins by technical fall, with none of the four bouts reaching the third period, in the tournament.
“He’s a machine,” said Eastport-South Manor Nick Garone. “It’s almost like it comes so naturally and so easy for him. And that’s the result of dedication to the sport and working his butt off. He’s the ultimate year-round grinder.”
Suffolk was so deep the section qualified both wrestlers into the finals in three weight classes Saturday night.
Busiello’s junior teammate Zach Redding earned the 120-pound crown with a 9-5 win over Suffolk champion Anthony Sciotto of Rocky Point in a rematch of the Suffolk final. Sciotto who beat Redding in the Suffolk final, 6-2, forged the lead on the aggressive Redding late in the match but Redding was relentless and would not be denied. He finished with three reversals for the win.
“He was not going to be denied,” Garone said. “He beat the one, two and three seeded wrestlers to win the states.”
Patchogue-Medford crowned its first champ since 1994 when Chris Gomez outlasted North Babylon’s Anthony Sobotker, 11-9, to claim the 138-pound title. Sobotker has beaten Gomez in the Suffolk final.
Amityville senior Deonte Wilson earned the 285-pound title with a 5-1 win over Commack’s Joey Slackman. It was the first champ for Amityville since 2001. And Hauppauge senior Jake Silverstein, a three-time state finalist, finally stood atop the podium with a 9-2 win over Chris Barker of Fairport at 160. Silverstein finished his career with a 227-15 record.
The Suffolk sectional team in Division II finished in fourth place with 158.5 points but crowned three champions, in twins Luke and Jack Bokina of Mattituck at 132 and 145 pounds respectively and Michael Zarif of Mount Sinai at 138 pounds.
DIVISION I STATE CHAMPIONS – 2018
120 -- ZACH REDDING, EASTPORT-SOUTH MANOR, SOPH.
126 -- ADAM BUSIELLO, EASTPORT-SOUTH MANOR, JR.
138 – CHRIS GOMEZ, PATCHOGUE-MEDFORD, SR.
152 – JACORI TEEMER, LONG BEACH, SR.
160 – JAKE SILVERSTEIN, HAUPPAUGE, SR.
195 – JONATHAN LOEW, WANTAGH, SR.
220 -- ELIJAH RODRIGUEZ, LONG BEACH, SR.
285 - DEONTE WILSON, AMITYVILLE, SR.
DIVISION II STATE CHAMPIONS - 2018
132 -- LUKE BOKINA, MATTITUCK, SR.
138 -- MICHAEL ZARIF, MOUNT SINAI, SR.
145 – JACK BOKINA, MATTITUCK, SR.