Long Beach foursome earn All-State


It wasn’t a flawless weekend for Long Beach at the New York State wrestling championships in Albany, but the Marines were a perfect 4-for-4 when it came to earning spots on the All-State podium.

Super sophomore Dunia Sibomana-Rodriguez fell just short of his quest for a second state title in three seasons and had to settle for runner-up at 108 pounds after dropping a 1-0 heartbreaker to sophomore Cooper Merli of Newburgh in last Saturday night’s final.

Merli repeated as state champ with a third-period escape for the lone point of the match. Sibomana-Rodriguez was faced with stalling tactics by Merli in the first period that led to a warning by referees. The action was stopped multiple times and a point was nearly rewarded to the three-time Nassau County champ.

“He wanted to slow the match down to the speed he wanted,” Long Beach coach Ray Adams said of Merli. “Dunia had a few opportunities to score and didn’t finish off his moves. It wasn’t the end result he was looking for, but he had another great season and he’ll be back for sure.”

Sibomana-Rodriguez, who made national news with his state title run as an eighth-grader in February, 2022, took third in the state last winter. He won 42 of 45 matches this season.

He had a bye into the third round last Friday and opened the tournament with a pin in 3:34 over Peyton Hubbard of Chenango Forks. He then faced a familiar foe, Manhasset’s Will Russell, in the quarterfinals and in a rematch of the county championship bout, emerged with a convincing 10-1 major decision.

In the semifinals Saturday morning, Sibomana-Rodriguez earned another major decision victory, 19-8 over Longwood’s Anthony LaGala-Ryan.

“Dunia’s been on fire,” Adams said. “He had a great weekend but the final match just didn’t go his way.”

A year after making history as the first-ever seventh-grader to win a Nassau County Division 1 championship and finishing All-State (seventh place), Ethan Andreula repeated as county champ at 101 pounds and bettered his spot on the All-State podium, taking third with four consecutive wins after falling to eventual champion William Soto of Newburgh in the quarterfinals.

“Ethan had some impressive wins,” Adams explained. “Once you lose, the best you can do is third. He did a great job of refocusing. Really proud of him and excited for the future.”

Andreula, who went 5-1 upstate and finished with 40 wins this season. He took a 5-2 decision over MacArthur’s Vincent Orandello in the third-place match. That was also a rematch of the Round of 16 in Albany and the county final on Super Bowl Sunday.

Senior Gregory Milone (160 pounds) and junior Gregory Walpole (116) were Nassau runners-up and can now add All-State to their resumes. Milone, who registered 41 victories on the season, lost his opening match by a point but went 4-2 thereafter to claim seventh. Walpole had three wins in Albany, including one in overtime to become All-State, and also finished seventh.

“We’re very proud with how all the boys competed,” Adams said. “Overall, we’re so happy with everyone’s performances.”