Southampton wrestler Rafal Rokosz was a tournament champion for the fourth time this season, going 3-0 at the St. John the Baptist Cougar Pride Tournament in West Islip on Saturday.
Rokosz, a junior competing in the 220-pound weight class, started off by pinning Michael Plackis of Elwood/John Glenn in 53 seconds, and then pinned Erik Ramirez of Hampton Bays in 2:42. He beat another Bayman, Eddie Perez, in a 6-3 decision to take the title.
Southampton head coach Lester Ware was impressed with Rokosz, saying the victories were “the most sound matches he has for the season.”
Mariners Colby Lenahan (120 pounds) and Mitchell Pena (113) had a good tournament, finishing third in their respective weight classes. Pena opened the tournament by pinning Jordan Nancoo of Glenn in 3:08, before losing, 10-8, to Anthony Mora of Hampton Bays in the second round. Pena battled back for third by pinning Arian Pazooki of Roslyn in 19 seconds, beating Anthony Fernandez of Centereach in a 7-5 decision, and winning an 8-6 decision over Russell D’Agostino of Centereach. In the consolation final, Pena beat Jake Blanton of Glenn in a 3-2 decision.
Lenahan started off with a 38-second pin of Tyler Griffith of Holy Trinity before getting pinned in 3:41 by Steven Illicete of Copiague. Lenahan then pinned Nick Cipolla of St. John the Baptist in 57 seconds before pinning Ryan Ormiston of Centereach in 2:05 to take third place.
Before competing in the tournament, the Mariners fell to 1-3 in League VII with a 78-3 home loss to Bayport/Blue Point (3-1) on January 16. Southampton’s only points came in a thrilling match at 99 pounds, where Keeling Pilaro beat Tyler Valkavich, 13-12, in the second overtime session, known as the ultimate tiebreaker. Pilaro managed an escape to secure the victory.
Southampton forfeited to Bayport at 106, 120, 126, 145, 195 and 285. While beating Bayport would have been a tall order under any circumstances, the Mariners were hampered by the absence of four starters. Chris Osufsen (106) was nursing a broken finger; Lenahan (120) was sick; Danny Claud (145) had a sore knee; and Peter Strassfield (285) one of the team’s most dominant wrestlers, was out sick. Ware said that all those bouts would have been competitive and said that two of the missing wrestlers were “likely winners.” He added that all four were expected to be back in the lineup in time for the county tournament.
Rokosz lost a close 5-3 decision in overtime to Matthew Doty of Bayport. Doty was the fourth-ranked wrestler in the county at 220 going into that match, and Rokosz was ranked second.ON THE SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 1/23, at Babylon, 6:30 p.m.; Thursday, 1/24, vs. Center Moriches, 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 1/30, at Port Jefferson, 6 p.m.