The Island Trees Bulldogs wrestling team started the 2013-14 season with an impressive showing at the annual Uniondale Knights Classic Wrestling Tournament this past weekend.
The team scored a total of 350 points, demolishing the competition with large school Uniondale finishing in second place and 90 points behind Island Trees.
The tournament had a total of nine teams which included Island Trees,
Uniondale, Seaford, Valley Stream Central, Valley Stream South, Westbury,
Hempstead, and upstate section 1 schools Yonkers and Ardsley.
The team entered 22 wrestlers and placed 16, 1st through 4th. Out of the 15 weight classes, Island Trees had nine of them covered in the finals. Finalists were: freshman Joe Sarchie at 99 lbs., freshman Tyler Butrico at 113 lbs., junior and Nassau County runner-up Chris Donnelly at 120 lbs., junior Matt Gund at 126 lbs., sophomore Tommy Ryan at 132 lbs., sophomore Chris Williams at 138 lbs., seniors Joe Piscopio and John Nicolino both facing each other at 152 lbs., and senior and returning all-county Vinny Manna at 285 lbs.
Unseeded Tommy Ryan won the tournament with a stellar performance winning all four of his matches by pin and defeating the number 1, 2, and 4 seeded wrestlers in his bracket. Matt Gund and Johnny Nicolino also won the titles at their respective weight classes by defeating the number 1 seeds.
Consolation finalists wrestling for third and fourth place included: senior Rich Tufano third place at 126 lbs., sophomore Kevin McDonough fourth place at 160 lbs., senior Brandon Fourquet third place at 170 lbs., Junior Joe Bohorquez fourth place at 182 lbs., senior Anthony Reyes third place at 195 lbs., senior Ed Sanchez at 220 lbs., and junior Paul Parada third place at 285 lbs. Freshmen Timmy Madden and Trent Goodman did not place, but wrestled well for their first high school tournament.
As the parade of champions entered the gym, it was like a sea of red. It was a great opening to a long grueling season in which the Bulldogs looked prepped and ready to pick up right where they left off last season - as a top five team in all of Nassau County and best finish in school history since the 80’s.
(Editor's Note: Story submitted by Lou Tuorto, Island Trees wrestling coach)