Long Beach wrestles to conference title


With the Nassau County wrestling dual meet playoffs and qualifying tournaments right around the corner, Long Beach coach Ray Adams couldn’t have asked for a better finish to the regular season from his young and talented team.

In a match Adams expected to be close Jan. 23, the Marines posted a convincing 53-24 victory over Bellmore-JFK at Long Beach Middle School. They had five pins, three wins by decision, and two by major decision on the way to all but securing the Conference 2B title. “Kennedy has a good program and our guys really stepped up,” Adams said. “We came out hungry and battled hard all night.”

Long Beach raced to a 27-0 lead, thanks in large part to pins by senior Glenn Rutherig (220 pounds), eighth-grader Jacori Teemer (99) and freshman Matt Maquet (106.) Senior Josh Schwimmer opened the match with a 3-0 tiebreaker decision over Anthony Lanzano in the 195-pound bout. “You always want to win that first match and get the ball rolling,” Adams explained. “Everyone fed off Josh’s win.”

After Ben Sather’s pin at 113 got the Cougars on the board, the Marines strung together four more wins to put things out of reach. Junior Alan Teemer took a 10-4 decision at 120, freshman Charlie Spada recorded at pin at 126, freshman Tyrese Byron scored a major decision at 132, and senior Jon Greifenberg pinned his opponent at 138. “Jumping out to the lead we did took a lot of steam out of them,” Adams said. “By the time some of their best guys got on the mat, we had a nice cushion.”

Senior Mike Alcivar won a major decision at 152, which led up to the closest bout of the night at 160. Long Beach senior Keith Wildstein edged Hunter Zalud, 8-7.

The win over Kennedy came five days after the Marines (9-2 in dual meets) turned in a big performance at the Timmy Collins Duals at Farmingdale Jan. 18, when they defeated Farmingdale, North Shore, Valley Stream South, and Walt Whitman (Suffolk County), and lost to MacArthur.

Adams said the come-from-behind 30-28 victory over the host Dalers was one of the highlights of the season so far. “We had to win the last four matches and we did,” noted Adams, who added Jacori and Alan Teemer, Marquet and eighth-grader Elijah Rodriguez (113) came through under pressure. “It was really exciting. We had to remain patient after falling behind. A win like that does a lot for a team’s confidence.”

Adams said he expects Long Beach to vie for the Nassau team dual meet crown along with leading contenders MacArthur, Locust Valley, Massapequa, Plainedge and Wantagh. The team semifinals and finals take place this Saturday at Clarke High School. Next Saturday, Feb. 8, the county will hold qualifier tournaments at six locations to determine participants in the championship meet Feb. 15-16 at Hofstra. “We have potential to send 20 kids to the county tournament,” Adams said.