If any wrestler has reason to feel overconfident going into the Suffolk County Division I Championships this weekend, it’s Westhampton Beach senior Liam McIntyre. But he’s too smart for that.
The 195-pound senior breezed his way to the League VI title at Sayville High School on Saturday, earning the top seed in the 195-pound bracket in this weekend’s tournament, where he will attempt to defend his county title from last year and, hopefully, make a return trip to states, where he finished sixth last year. But he knows that when it comes to counties, there are no guarantees.
“After every season, every person is like, ‘you’re going to walk through counties,’” he said after his victory on Saturday. “Nothing is ever a cakewalk. The kids are there to battle just like I am, so I’m just going to keep preparing.”
McIntyre was one of two champions on the day for the Hurricanes, and one of 10 wrestlers from his team who earned a spot at counties by finishing in the top four in their weight classes. Sophomore Jackson Hulse won the title at 160 pounds, while sophomore Joey D’Agostino (99 pounds), sophomore Grant Skala (106), sophomore Will Zaffuto (113), junior Jay Montagna (126), senior Suraj Patel (132), sophomore Christian Specht (152), and seniors Larry Citarelli (170) and Hunter Burling (182) also placed in the top four.
McIntyre needed just 1:40 to pin Colin Power of Miller Place in the finals, while Hulse earned a 7-2 decision over Brian Whitman of Rocky Point. Montagna was a runner up, losing, 12-6, to Francis Whitehouse of Islip. Zaffuto came up big, taking third despite being seeded sixth, and knocking off both the third and fourth seeds on his way to that finish. Skala and Citarelli were also third, while Patel, Specht and Burling were fourth.
Montagna earned his 100th career win after his first-round victory. The Westhampton Beach program earned another nice distinction over the weekend, finding out that JV coaches Andrew Petroulias, Ethan Mitchell and Connor Miller were named JV Coaches of the Year for League VI.