Wrestlers Top Long Beach for Nassau County Title; 5th in the State

Nolan Foley, Sports Editor

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As Wantagh has had a historic year of sports achievements, the wrestling team added its name to the list of winners in February. Although they were unable to win the Nassau dual meet county championship after a tough loss to rival Long Beach in the final they were able to get revenge by winning their sixth Nassau County individual tournament championship in the past seven years, February 12.

The team would even set a new county scoring record with 343.5 points to second-place Long Beach’s 328.

The grapplers had an incredible seven wrestlers reach the county finals, including two weight classes with an all-Wantagh final. The Warriors had three county champs, which automatically qualified those grapplers for states: Josiah Encarnacion (101) who beat teammate Bobby Moore in the final; (128) Justin Vines, who topped teammate Mike Killard in the final; (162) Jonathan Loew who won 10-0 in the final. At 287 pounds Gavin Casey lost a heartbreaking final in overtime and Christian Encarnacion also reached the final and lost a Plainedge opponent he had beaten during the season.

At States, Wantagh finished 5th with four wrestlers scoring points in Albany. Vines became Wantagh’s first state champ since Kyle Quinn did it in 2013, as he defeated Hilton’s Austin Hertel (Section V), 3-0 in the final. Loew took third place, Encarnacion placed sixth and Killard won two matches though he didn’t place.

Also placing at the county tournament were Aiden Araoz 3rd at 108, Charles Maier 4th and Kyle Schairer 5th both at 122, Matt Rogers 5th at 140, Thomas Rohan 4th at 147, James Langan 3rd at 162 and Nick Coppola 3rd at 182.

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