There has been a long line of celebrated wrestlers at Shoreham-Wading River. The list is long and impressive.
The East End wrestling powerhouse is ready to add another wrestler to that compilation.
Eighth-grader Gavin Mangano pinned Chase Davis of Port Jefferson with an overhead cradle in 1:00 to earn the 110-pound title at the Suffolk County Division II wrestling championships Saturday night at Mattituck High School. It was Mangano’s first county crown and improved his career record to 63-1.
Dare we say Mangano’s name in the same breath as Shoreham-Wading River’s Jesse Jantzen, arguably Long Island’s greatest high school wrestler. Is it too early for such adulation?
“He’s the best-kept secret in Long Island wrestling,” Shoreham-Wading River coach Joe Condon said. “We’re still in the surprise stage of his career but people are starting to know the name. He’s a very special wrestler and he works at it all year round.”
Mangano suffered a broken wrist as a seventh-grader days before the state dual meet championships and also missed the Suffolk tournament in 2022.
“It was a disappointing thing and it left me unsatisfied with my first varsity season,” Mangano said. “I just continued to practice and work so hard. Winning the Suffolk crown is just a stepping stone to my goal, which is to win the state tournament.”
Mangano served notice on opponents in the tri-state area when he won the prestigious Eastern States Tournament at Sullivan Community College in January.
“He has been destroying opponents in every tournament,” Condon said. “And he beat the best of the best in the Eastern States. He beat two Division I state place-winners and two Division II state place-winners from New York. He has been amazing, and folks are starting to make those comparisons to the great ones.”
John Glenn earned the team title with 331 points. The Knights crowned three individual champions in sophomore Tommy Aiello (102), senior Anthony Mirando (126) and sophomore Elijah Porpora (215). Aiello earned his second Suffolk title with a pin in 1:44 over Antonio Faldetta of Mount Sinai. Mirando shared the champion of champions award with 152-pound champion Joe Steimel of Shoreham-Wading River. Steimel stacked Liam Rogers of Port Jefferson for a pin in 1:16 for the title.
Mirando and Mount Sinai’s Derek Menechino did battle in the 126-pound final. Mirando, the defending champion, recorded a late escape in the second period and got a takedown midway through the third period for a 3-0 lead. He turned Menechino twice for near-fall points for the 8-0 final.
SWR's Chris Colon, who lost a heartbreaker in last year’s final to Mirando, was voted the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler after he pinned Chris Boccard of Glenn in 3:21 for the 118-pound crown. Cole Fox-Bathon of Southampton had the most pins in the least time with four in 3:43.
Two Bayport-Blue Point wrestlers gave the Phantoms faithful something to cheer about in the middle weights.
At 138 pounds, Vin Daidone of Bayport-Blue Point was trailing 6-5 late in the second period and hit a big move to pin Tommy Palumbo of Shoreham-Wading River in 4:00. His teammate Kyle Barber shook off an injury to beat Will Miller of Shoreham-Wading River, 9-3 for the 145-pound crown.