The Herricks Middle School wrestling team got off to a flying start at the Bethpage Youth Tournament. The Soaring Eagles grapplers, under the tutelage of coaches Leo Kouroupos and Seth Cook, made the season-opening trip east and came home with an 11-7 day.
Brendan McCauley (8th grade) went 4-0 for a first place award in his weight class pool. Seventh grader Francisco Purificato finished in third place in his wrestling career debut. Michael Marcy (7th grade) was runner-up at his weight, as was Brian Ginter (8th grade) and Marc Licul (7th grade). McCauley was on the team last year, while Purificato, Marcy, Ginter, and Licul are all rookies.
The team’s first dual match came against the Great Neck North Blazers, a team composed primarily of experienced eighth graders and the Soaring Eagles managed to pull out five individual wins. McCauley and fellow eighth grader Sean Park both scored a first period pins. Marcy came out aggressively, gave up a takedown, but then came right back with a reversal to tie the score. He chose bottom position to begin the second period, reversed his man and pinned him. Eighth grader Mike Chase followed Marcy with a pin victory and Ginter got into foul trouble early after a couple of clasping calls from top position, but then he shifted into takedown mode and put on a clinic to come away with a solid 17-11 decision win.
In their second dual match against the Southwoods (Syosset) Braves, Herricks pulled out a 45-33 victory to the delight of the hometown Muller Arena fans. Francesco Cabrera (7th grade), Anuj Sharma (8th grade) and Luke Esposito (8th grade) all won by pins. Anthony Bartilotta (8th grade) broke into the win column with two pin victories, both in the first period. Ginter won by a 12-2 major decision, Devin Goldberg (8th grade) won by decision and Park squeaked out a 2-2 overtime tie.
Brendan McCauley leads the team with five victories so far this season. He is closely followed by Brian Ginter with four and Mike Marcy with three wins.