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MacArthur chases title dreams

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The MacArthur wrestling team enjoyed plenty of triumph last February with one county champion and three others standing on the podium.

Eleventh-year MacArthur head coach Rob Paletta is now seeking even bigger success in the next Nassau County individual championships slated for Farmingdale State College on President’s Day weekend. The Generals return all four All County wrestlers including junior Jake Schneider, who won the 126-pound title and fell one win shy of becoming an All-State wrestler.

“He is on track to win a state title,” said Paletta of Schneider, who will wrestle at either 132 or 138 pounds during his next journey seeking championship glory. “He is ready to go.” 

Sophomore Killian Foy was on the doorstep of a title last year falling in the 99-pound county finals. He then earned a wildcard entry into the New York State Championships and reached the finals stage once again before falling to Hilton High School’s Gregor McNeil.  

“He is focused on winning the county title this year and trying to win state as well,” Paletta said of Foy, who moved up to the 113 weight class for his sophomore campaign. “He is plugging away.”

Returning junior Matt Huggard and senior Dylan Young both finished sixth at counties last year and are aiming for higher placements this February. Huggard is wrestling at 106 with Young slated to battle at 170 or 182 before wrestling on the collegiate level next year at nearby Long Island University.

 Junior Michael Randazzo (126 or 132) is capable of All County status after accomplishing the feat two years ago as a freshman at 106 pounds. Senior Nick Dougherty (138 or 145) will also look to make a run at counties after getting disqualified from county qualifiers last year, which Paletta said has placed “a huge chip on his shoulder.”

Louis Calone (152 or 160) has fueled MacArthur’s large roster to reach high levels through his senior leadership and has potential to end his high school career with All County honors. On the opposite end of the spectrum, eighth grader Anthony Harris has already positioned himself as county contender during his first year on varsity.

“The future looks very bright for him,” Paletta said of Harris. “He wants to be All County as an eighth grader.” 

The individual Nassau County championships are set for Feb. 15-16 with the New York State Championships to be held Feb. 28-29 at the Times Union Center in Albany. In order to position MacArthur for as many All County wrestlers as possible Paletta created a challenging schedule that pins the Generals against some of the top wrestlers at the Cold Spring Harbor Duals and the Eastern States at Sullivan Community College on Jan. 10-11.

“You want these tough matches because it prepares for the tougher ones at the end,” he said.

MacArthur concludes its league dual meet schedule on Jan. 16 at home against East Meadow at 6:30 p.m. The county dual championships are set for Jan. 25 at Clarke High School with Paletta hoping for a top four finish.