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Lions Sports

Farrell Wins SI DUALS!

Posted Monday, December 14, 2009 by Louis Destefano

HS wrestling: Format changes, but Monsignor Farrell doesn't

, December 12, 2009 8:35 p.m.

Monsignor Farrell has won all six Staten Island Dual Meet Invitational championships, and if Saturday’s performance by the underclassmen was any indication, it may be awhile before the Lions surrender the crown.

Farrell downed perennial power St. Benedict’s of Newark 54-33 in the final at Petrides HS, and Lion coach Lou DeStefano credited his sophomores and juniors — particularly in the lighter weights for keeping the trophy in Oakwood.

"We graduated so many seniors, and we have lots of (sophomores) and only four seniors," said DeStefano. "It was a good win (in the final) against a top prep school, and it’s the second time in a row we beat them. Last year was the first time we did it, and they have a long (and successful) history. We closed the gap, and have improved a lot."

The Lions cruised through their round-robin matches in the 12-team event, and defeated Madison 65-14 in the semifinals. St. Benedict’s survived a number of tough matches, and needed a pin by Chris Reynolds — who was one foul away from being disqualified — against Ariel Martinez at 285 pounds to defeat Curtis 39-37.

In the final, sophomore Paul DiStefano got the Lions off to a good start when he pinned Andrew Plaugic in 4:24. Juniors Vin Fischetti (125) and Joe Francolino (130) recorded pins, before Gunnar Rufo solidified Farrell’s chances with a pin of Matt Aaron in 1:02.

"(St. Benedict’s) had momentum, and sometimes when you get rolling (it snowballs)," said DeStefano. "We were worried. But then we won at 103, and Rufo’s pin at 140 was huge. It was a quality victory. Our strength is the lightweights, and we took it to them."

St. Benedict’s was still in the match until Tony Carlo (152) and soph Casey Redmond (171) notched pins sandwiched around Ben Villaret’s forfeit win to clinch the championship.

"Redmond had a great weekend," raved DeStefano. "He was a JV wrestler last year, and he went 6-1 (this weekend)."

Farrell kept its title in a year when the all-Island format was scrapped in favor of including teams from the entire metropolitan area.

"The new format was great, and the competition was great," said DeStefano. "There were a lot of scores where the difference was less than 10 points. We don’t want lopsided scores."

"The change is for the best," agreed Petrides coach Dave Olah. "The competition was much better. I think we’ll keep it this way for now, until some of the others, such as New Dorp and Port Richmond, are ready to compete."

NOTES: Monsignor Farrell’s Tony Carlo (152 pounds) was named Most Outstanding Wrestler in the upper weights. Robbie Zyko of Curtis (119 pounds) was selected Most Outstanding Wrestler in the lower weights. Mike Gannone of Tottenville (96 pounds) won the award for most pins in the least time (six pins in 4:08).

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