The Glen Cove High School Wrestling Team finished the 2008-09 campaign in solid fasion. On February 14, the team traveled to Syosset High School for the Qualifying Tournament. There are six qualifying tournaments throughout Nassau County. Each tournament has eight teams competing with the top four wrestlers in each weight class earning a trip to the counties.
Piero Dilorenzo, Derek Shearer, Jakub Micko and Gorov Sodhi all wrestled well for the Big Red. Freshmen Ricky Liang and Nick McAdams had big wins for Glen Cove. Nick finished in fifth place, missing a trip to the counties by one match. Rahul Nath also had some wins for Glen Cove. His first round victory put him in the quarter-finals against the eventual New York State Champ Nick Arujau from Syosset. Nath wrestled back to sixth place. These young wrestlers gained a great deal of experience preparing for and wrestling in the qualifier. This will surely pay off big in the years to come.
Senior Jamie Theodorou made it to the qualifying round where he had to face teammate and fellow senior Harrison Balisky. Balisky won the hard fought battle and a trip to the counties. Both Balisky and Theodorou were not done yet. Theodorou wrestled back to take fifth place and Balisky pinned Chris Lethbridge of South Side to take third place. Junior Danny Belfiore wrestled very well in a tough weight class. He made it to the semi-finals where he lost in overtime to James Edwards of Long Beach. Belfiore wrestled back to earn a spot at the counties. Sophomores Aaron Sylver and Julio Bonilla each had three wins to get to the county tournament. They wrestled for third and fourth place with Bonilla winning the match.
Sophomore Alexey Bogdanich also had a solid tournament. Bogdanich went 3-1 on the day to take third place and his first trip to the counties. Hector Paez wrestled his way into the semi-finals. He was winning but got caught in a move and lost the match. There was a lot of wrestling left for Paez as he fought back to beat opponents from Hicksville and Levittown to take third place and his third trip to the counties in three years. Kevin Gardrvits knew there was work to be done as he wrestled back to third and his second trip to Hofstra by beating opponents from Hempstead and Long Beach.
Glen Cove sent three wrestlers to the finals. At 140 pounds Pat Cook had a pin and a major decision to earn his way to the finals. He lost to Steve Barrere of South Side. Sasha Bogdanich pinned his way into the finals against opponents from Levittown Division and South Side where he lost in a good match to Guy Macchia of Syosset. Junior Mike Iannetta had three pins to get to the finals where he defeated James Rodriguez of South Side 10-7 for his first qualifying tournament championship.
The Big Red sent 18 wrestlers to the qualifier. Of the 18 students, 14 wrestlers placed in the top six and 10 individuals earned trips to Hofstra and the Nassau County Tournament. Glen Cove took third place as a team scoring 208 points in the tournament.
The following week, the Big Red picked up where they left off. In the first round of the counties, Hector Paez earned a pin over Mike Cohen of East Meadow.
Pat Cook beat Richard Schultz of Farmingdale. Alexey Bogdanich had a major decision against Mike Coder of Plainedge. Sasha Bogdanich pinned Aaron Vasquez of Farmingdale. Kevin Gardrvits pinned Brian Taveras of Freeport. Lastly, Aaron Sylver defeated Mike Scialpi of Seaford. With Dan Belfiore and Harrison Balisky losing close matches, Glen Cove went 7 for 9 in the first round.
The second round of the counties is always very tough. You are left with the top 12 kids from 48 teams. Mike Iannetta was beating highly touted Danny LoFrese of Garden City 8-4 going into the last period. LoFrese reversed Iannetta to his back for the win. Only Kevin Gardrvits won this round with a 5-0 decision over Vito Basso of East Meadow, but several Big Red wrestlers were still alive. Gardrvits followed his win over Basso with a win against Alex Todd of Calhoun. The match would come down to a takedown as Gardrvits dug deep and took Todd down with a double leg attack. This put Gardrvits into the semi-finals against Matt Lowe from Wantagh.
In the wrestle back round, Aaron Sylver fought tough but lost to Dan Kashinsky of Plainedge. Hector Paez had a solid 7-2 win over Chris Einberg of Roslyn. Sasha Bogdanich wrestled very tough to earn an overtime win against highly touted Brandan Mulholland of MacArthur. In the matches to go All-County, Hector Paez came up short against Mike Snow of Bellmore JFK. Sasha lost to Peter Curcio of Lynbrook. The two juniors came so close this year. They are sure to get ready for their senior year as they go for the podium at Hofstra, their coach said.
Gardrvits was ready to go the next day as he faced Matt Lowe in the semi-finals. Lowe, second in New York State, was more than Gardrvits could handle. But Gardrvits was not done yet. He wrestled back with a pin over Nick Aloia of Manhasset to earn the right to wrestle for third place. In another great match against Alex Todd of Calhoun, Gardrvits lost by a point to take fourth place. This was a great honor for Gardrvits who worked as hard as any Glen Cove wrestler to get to his goal, said his coach.