Five varsity wrestlers participated in the Eastern States Classic, one of the toughest and most prestigious wrestling tournaments in the country, from Jan. 11-12 in Loch Sheldrake, New York. Anthony Scicutella (99), Kyle Shriberg (106), Jack Croke (106), Vincent Marchand (120) and Gage DeNatale (132), competed with wrestlers from 174 teams and nine different states.
Gage started day one of the tournament with two decisive wins. He dominated his first opponent and recorded a technical-fall (16-0) in the first period. Gage continued his dominant performance with an 18-7 major decision over his second opponent. He began the second day of the tournament by upsetting the No. 1 seeded wrestler in his bracket, with a 3-2 decision, in an intense quarterfinal match-up. During the semifinal match, Gage recorded his first loss of the season to one of the top-ranked Division II wrestlers in New York State. However, Gage was able to conquer one of the most difficult challenges in the sport of wrestling and grind his way through the wrestle-backs to end his tournament with a victory. In dramatic fashion, he defensively pinned the No. 3 seeded wrestler in his bracket to place fifth in the 132-pound weight class. Gage’s success is not a surprise and his tireless work ethic ensures that he will be a force to be reckoned with during the New York State championship tournament in February in Albany, New York.
Despite not making it onto the podium, Locust Valley’s other four participants wrestled at a high level against the best competition available. The experience these wrestlers gained from entering and competing in this kind of tournament will prepare them to reach their individual goals in the postseason, as well as help Locust Valley defend its title as Division II county champions.
Congratulations to all of the wrestlers!