Bears Pin LuHi in Return to Home Mat

Ashiru pins his opponent (PC: Bruce Jeffrey)

For the last 709 days, the wrestling mats remained rolled up on their rack in a corner of Swanson Gymnasium, sitting dormant during an entire 2020-21 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, for the first time in nearly two years, the mats were rolled out and dusted off and the familiar calls of “short time!,” “cross face!,” and “ankle control!” once again echoed through Swanson Gymnasium.

The Bears faced off with Long Island Lutheran exactly two years to the day since their last match-up with their PSAA rival, a 48-24 win that paved the way for the 2020 PSAA Championship. It was also Senior Day as the team said goodbye to a group of seven that included a trio of captains at the epicenter of the team for a number of years: Carter Brett, Joe Spreckels, and Yinka Ashiru.

The Bears were staked to an 18-0 lead when Cole Lograno, Thai Ly, and Hayden Lomanto earned forfeits at the 102, 110, and 118 lbs classes. Paul Cesario followed with a 9-6 win to up the Blue and White advantage to 21-0 before a forfeit for Forest Kaplan-Walbrecht at 138 lbs left the Brook up 27-0.

Ashiru had the Bears’ lone pin on the day as he flattened his 215 lbs opponent with just 1.8 seconds left in the first period while holding a slim 2-1 edge. Klod Berdica had the most exciting match of the day as he grappled his 285 lbs opponent to a 2-2 tie after three periods before falling in overtime. After the Bears took the win, 33-16, Kaplan-Walbrecht went up a class to wrestle LuHi’s 145 lbs wrestler in an exhibition match and pinned him with 11.2 seconds remaining in the first.

The Brook is back in action this evening in a non-league match-up on the road vs. Hampton Bays.



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