Herricks matmen finish 4th in tourney

Hyram Landers

The Patchogue-Medford High School annual Red Raider Wrestling Tournament has become a familiar intra-holiday competition destination for the Highlander Matmen. 

This year’s field included highly ranked competitors from Wantagh, John Glenn, Copiague, Rocky Point, Bay Shore, and host Patchogue-Medford. 

The Highlanders had by far the smallest contingent there, but 12 of the 15 Herricks wrestlers placed, and the team won 35 individual bouts and finished in fourth place. 

Three Highlanders reached the finals. Senior Mike Vespe dropped down to the 145 pound weight class and went 3-1 to win second place silver. Vespe leads the team so far this season with 16 varsity wins. 

Fellow senior John “CP” Temporino won silver at 152. 

“John has covered 160 and 170 for us in dual matches this year, and he has done a terrific job,” coach Cliff Forziat informed us. Temperino leads the team with three major decision wins (victories by at least an eight-point margin), and he has six pins as well among his 11 varsity wins. “His opponents may be bigger than he is, but John has compact power and the best takedown on the team.”  

Junior Solomon “ODS” Aziz won second place at 285 in his second tournament finals of the season. 

Seniors Corey Iuculano and Andrew Farrell had third place finishes at 126 and 120 respectively. Iuculano has three third-place finishes so far this year. He leads the team with eight pin victories, and he has a technical fall win and two major decisions as well among his 14 varsity wins. 

“He has become an explosive leader for us,” Forziat noted. “It takes a very good opponent to beat him, and Corey has been scoring big points for us.” 

Farrell’s 13 wins and seven pins so far this season give him 90 and 51 respectively on his career (12th and 8th on the Herricks School Record Charts).  

Senior Mike Lopez (285) and juniors Chris Woska (138) and Jason Liarikos (152) also brought home medals for the Highlanders. Junior Joe DeVito (120), sophomores Krish “Doc” Shethia (113) and John Vouzonis (138), and freshman Matthew Mach (106) also placed for Herricks. Freshman Anthony Polo (113) had a major decision and a pin, but fell a round short of placing.

At this point, going into the 2013 portion of the season, the team members have 126 varsity and 81 second-man individual match victories for a combined 67 percent winning percentage. They have accumulated 122 victories by pin, 15 by major decision and three by technical fall (a 15-point margin of victory). “We can do better,” Forziat said. “We are improving every day, but even as we do, our sights are getting higher. What perhaps had been pretty lofty goals in the beginning are starting to come within reach, just as we had hoped that they would.”

The coaches freely give a great deal of credit to their loyal and steadfast alumni base. It seems like everyday another handful of Highlander Wrestling graduates appear in The Room to work with and assist their undergraduate little brothers. 

Tom and Bill Rynne, Vinod and Ryan Singh, Joe Carranza, Kevin Ryersen, Lt. Gianluigi Sacco USAF, Joe Venezia, Clint and Jesse Bodo, Anthony Rosa, and Won Jun Jyung (to name a few) have freely donated their time and effort, and it is much appreciated.

On Saturday the team ventures to Locust Valley High School to participate in the Falcon’s annual Wrestling Tournament. Action there is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.

About the author

Hyram Landers

Share this Article