Wrestlers third in their tournament

Tom Keller (top) has the upper hand in a match with a Pearl River opponent at the Dragon Duals in Cornwall Central High School on Dec. 10.

Tom Keller (top) has the upper hand in a match with a Pearl River opponent at the Dragon Duals in Cornwall Central High School on Dec. 10.

A pair of state-ranked wrestling teams claimed the top two places in the Dragon Duals on Dec. 10. Cornwall was third after defeating two of its four guests. The final standings were:
1. Columbia, Sect. 2
2. Pearl River, Sec, 1
3. Cornwall, Sec. 9
4. Horace Greeley, Sec. 1
5. Rondout Valley, Sec. 9

The Duals qualify as a tradition. The Cornwall Booster Club introduced the event in 1983, and ran it until the Wrestling Boosters took over a few years later.

Wrestlers have come and gone. The team pairings have changed. But Coach Don Blaine has been the tournament’s one constant. He’s been around since its inception. Referee Wayne Carroll probably ranks second. A Goshen graduate and former section champion, he’s worked at most (but not all) of the duals.

Last Saturday, Coach Blaine’s grapplers won every other match. The scores were:
Rondout Valley     60-24
Pearl River    36-41
Horace Greeley    51-32
Columbia    31-44

Greeley (guided by former Cornwall teacher and JV Coach Mike DeBellis) led for most of its encounter with the host school. The turning point came in the second period of a 145-pound bout between the visitors’ Jake Dorner and the Dragons’ Steve Gazzillo.

The Cornwall wrestler was trailing on points when he caught his opponent in the middle of the ring and ended the match with a pin. Steve’s victory gave the Dragons a slim lead, which they almost gave back in the next pairing.

Early in the next fight, Anthony Lomoriello wrenched his shoulder and was given an injury time out. It didn’t seem like he could continue, but after a minute’s rest he was able to move his arm and return to the mat, where he posted a 6-1 victory. Later, he accepted congratulations with a pack of ice strapped to his shoulder.

Three Cornwall wrestlers had perfect days. Christian Prokosch (99 pounds) won four straight matches to raise his season record to 10-0. Gazzillo  pinned all four of his opponents, including a pair of wrestlers who had placed in last year’s Section 1 Tournament. Will Leonard (180 pounds) also had four pins.

Going 3-1 for the day were Ahmani Roman (120 pounds), Thomas Cook (160), Tom Keller (195) and John Cassidy (220). Earlier in the week, the Dragons dropped a dual match at Valley Central. Their record for the season is now 6-4.

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Ken Cashman