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Brotherly love lifts Wantagh

Christian Encarnacion of Wantagh, top, pinned Ryan Resnick

Christian Encarnacion of Wantagh, top, pinned Ryan Resnick of Bethpage in 57 seconds at 132 pounds. Credit: James Escher

Christian Encarnacion has never had to go far for a training partner.

The Wantagh senior, who made a county final two years ago and finished fourth in Nassau last year at 120, has the best competition available right in his own house with his brother Josiah.

“We were always close in size and our dad told us to use that to our advantage,” Christian said after pinning Ryan Resnick of Bethpage in 57 seconds at 132 in a Nassau 3B dual meet the host Warriors won 80-6 Wednesday night.

“We always wrestle each other in the room and usually it goes back-and-forth,” he said. “We throw each other into walls, it’s really a grind.”

And if either of them needs advice they can call their uncle, former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman.

“He’s a normal uncle but outside of that he shows us that you always have to pick your head up and stay humble through wins and defeats,” Christian said.

Josiah, a junior who won by forfeit at 120, is a two-time county champ who finished fourth in the state last year at 106.

“We work to get better every day — we pound each other here and there and fight a little bit in between — but that happens,” Josiah said. “That’s what gets us better though.”

The family ties run deeper than just the Encarnacions. Brothers Matt and Ben Rogers and Joe and Bobby Moore are the core of a young Wantagh team looking to repeat last year’s success when the Warriors won the state Division I dual meet tournament and the team title at the individual tournament.

“Ever since I started, Ben has wanted to get into the room,” senior Matt Rogers said. “I’m always working with him and even though we’re different sizes it doesn’t matter showing him technique.”

Matt is the defending county champion at 170 and won his match via forfeit. Ben pinned Matt Brams in 1:47 at 126 pounds.

“He’s always able to push me,” Ben said. “I really take after him.”

And the brotherly competition motivates all of them.

“He finished higher than me in counties,” Joe Moore, who won via tech fall in 3:34 against Sean McMullen at 138, said. “It was an inspiration to see him set a goal and to try and climb up to it.”

“We don’t really wrestle each other much anymore,” Bobby said. “But when we do we still try and beat each other up and try to be better.”

Some things never change and the Warriors hope that also applies to the program’s run of postseason success.

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