South Side crowns two qualifying champs


Seven South Side/East Rockaway wrestlers, including star grappler Kyle Mosher, will be competing at this weekend’s county championships in Hofstra after securing spots at the Division 1 qualifier hosted by Uniondale last Saturday.

Mosher, a junior who is vying for his fifth straight New York State wrestling championship berth, easily won the 145-pound class with three technical-fall wins before besting Uniondale’s Wyllanfield St. Louis with a 12-3 major decision. His effort earned him the Outstanding Wrestler award for the tournament.

“Mosher dominated all day,” said coach Mike Robinson. “He teched three guys in five or six minutes.”

Mosher should be the No. 1 seed and is expected to go far in the county championships, an event he has won just once in his career. He has reached the finals at Hofstra three straight years in convincing fashion.

“We want to get that county title, get back upstate and get business done upstate and get to the final,” Robinson said. 

Mosher advanced to the semifinals in the state tournament in each of the last two years, and the road this year could be a little easier with four-time state champion Vito Arujau of Syosset now wrestling at Cornell. But Robinson said MacArthur’s Nick Dougherty could potentially be his stiffest competition for that elusive crown.

“He is focused to get back to that semifinal,” Robinson said of Mosher.

Junior Nick Shimkin (120) was the only other Cyclone wrestler to win his class when he topped Freeport’s Sebeastian Mauras in the final by a 7-4 decision. He pinned Uniondale’s Iverson St. Vil and Jose Garcia of Lawrence.

East Rockaway’s Austin Halik advanced to the championship match of the 160-pound class and eighth-grader Andrew Cancel (99) and junior Greg Lethbridge (170) placed third. Junior Connor Alfano (152) and senior Tygah Scott (285) also qualified for the county championships by finishing fourth.

“The kids performed well,” said Robinson. “We got two champs, which is nice. It was a good day.”

Robinson believes that Halik could be somebody to watch out for at Hofstra.

“He’s a dark horse,” he said. “He’s a No. 5-ranked guy.”

After pinning Lawrence’s Chris D’Aguste in the first round, Scott squeaked into fourth place when he took down Jericho’s Josh Kaplan in the final seconds for a 4-3 decision in the quarterfinals.  He lost to Myles Norris of Freeport in the semifinals, but rebounded to pin Lawrence’s Yuri Martinez in the consolation bout.

Lethbridge pinned Uniondale’s Brownen Trajean during their third-place bout to solidify his spot after recording a pinfall and a major decision win in his first two matches. Cancel got as far as the semifinals and had pinfall wins in both the consolation and third-place matches.

Alfano edged Brandon McCarthy, who spent most of the year with the JV team, for the fourth and final spot by besting his sophomore teammate with a 9-5 decision victory. Despite the loss, Robinson still has high hopes for McCarthy next season because of his improved strength and positioning.