The fell victim to the weather and were forced to wrestle seven matches in a five-day span and six in three days.
Why so hectic? The snow of course. With school closures and after-school activities canceled, Section XI scrambled to reschedule many matches.
While the Colts did win five of the seven matches they competed in, the two losses unfortunately were big ones. The Colts scored victories against Bellport, North Babylon, Brentwood, Mattituck and West Islip. All in decisive fashion. Their two loses, by a total of 8 points were costly.
The first loss was to Riverhead, the defending League IV champions. The Colts battled heroically, trading victories with the Riverhead team, favorites to repeat as League Dual Meet champions.
The coaches battled strategy all night long. Bumping wrestlers up and down the lineup to set up victories. As the meet pushed through the heart of the lineup-- where the Colts are strongest--Coach Patrovich bumped sophomore sensation Tyler Grimaldi from his usual 145 slot to 152, hoping for a matchup with a Riverhead stud.
The Riverhead coach countered by forfeiting the match to Grimaldi and bumping his 152 up to 160, thinking he would pick up 6 important points. That backfired when Hills West sophomore Joe Piccolo scored a pin-fall victory. The meet came down to the final match. Unfortunately, freshman Austin Rutella was pinned and the Colts fell short. Not only did they lose the match, but they probably lost any chance of winning the League IV Dual Meet championship this year.
The second loss cost the Colts a chance to wrestle for the Colt Cup championship. Battling a very tough Central Islip team, and with the meet again down to the last bout, the Colts fell short, losing by two points.
The two heartbreaking losses aside, the week was filled with highlights and great matches. Sophomores Joe Piccolo and Tyler Grimaldi ended with week with seven victories apiece and junior Ryan Carter had six. Grimaldi also chalked up his 75th varsity victory with his second period pin of a Mattituck wrestler Saturday night.
Grimaldi, who started wrestling for the varsity as a 140-pound eighth grader, finished the 2008-2009 season 23-10 and was a League IV finalist and County Championship Qualifier. He was selected as the first freshman captain in Hills West history, and recorded a 31-3 record (his only loses were to wrestlers ranked in the top five in Suffolk County). Thus far as a sophomore, Grimaldi has a 21-1 record.
When asked about his momentous victory, Grimaldi said, "There is nothing like having your hand raised in the center of the mat. It makes all the long hours of training worth it. But I am nowhere near my goals. This year I want the team to with the League IV championship and have as many guys as possible win league titles. The more guys we have at Stony Brook (the county championships), the better."
Bottom Line: In the past three years, the Colts have gone from being a League IV doormat to being a contender for the title. That can be attributed to hours and hours of hard work by the wrestlers and hours and hours of work by the coaching staff. Watch out for the Colts come league championship time.
Next Up: The Colts' next match is Friday 1/21 in West Babylon, and then they have the Mattituck Tournament on Saturday 1/22.