CM hosts Section XI Division 2 wrestling tournament


Center Moriches High School hosted New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s Section XI Division 2 wrestling tournament on Friday, Feb. 9.

“We have hosted the Section XI Division 2 tournament a few years back on a few occasions.  They asked us to host it again because our venue is ideal,” Center Moriches School District associate principal Jeremy Thode said.

Ten teams from various Suffolk County schools grappled with each other in the high school’s gym from 9 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.  Teenaged athletes competed in matches in order to qualify for the tournament’s finals.  Victorious finalists were entered into a statewide championship competition.

“I wrestled for Center Moriches in high school and it brings me a lot of pride to [help coach],” Center Moriches wrestling team assistant coach John Fey said.

In order to be eligible for the tournament, athletes needed to have already competed in at least six matches during the sports season.  Competitors in the tournament were divided into 13 weight classes based on their weight.  The weight classes used for the tournament were 101, 108, 116, 124, 131, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 190, 215 and 285 pounds.  Wrestlers had to weigh the same as or less than the weight class they were sorted into.

“This standardized weight range for wrestlers ensures that there isn’t a massive size difference between athletes,” Center Moriches wrestling team head coach John O’Neill explained.

During each match, wrestlers competed to earn the most points by executing certain physical moves against each other.  Points could be won by knocking the opponent down to the ground while remaining on top of the opponent (also known as a takedown), escaping from the opponent, or exposing the opponent’s back on the mat.  A match could automatically end if one of the wrestlers is able to execute a pin against the other.

“A pin, also known as a ‘fall,’ occurs after a wrestler is able to expose his opponent’s back for a count of five seconds, and is then able to secure the shoulders of his opponent to the mat for another two seconds,” O’Neill explained.

The winners of the semifinal matches faced each other during the final matches.  Only the finals were broadcast online, and the livestream can currently be viewed by subscribers to the National Federation of State High School Association’s website.

The wrestlers that won the finals came from the school districts of Port Jefferson, Mount Sinai, Elwood, Bayport-Blue Point, Shoreham-Wading River, Mattituck and Babylon. The participants were honored at an awards ceremony after the last match of the finals.  Attendees were invited to circle around the athletes to take photographs.

“They now place wrestlers at each weight class up to [sixth] place,” Fey added.  “[A] trophy was [given to] the team score champions, which was John Glenn [from Elwood].” 

John H. Glenn High School’s team won 306 points, making them the highest-scoring team that participated in the tournament.

“[The Section XI Division 2 wrestling] tournament has been ongoing for many years.  It will continue yearly moving forward,” Thode continued.


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