The Mineola High School varsity wrestling team culminated its season by hosting the Nassau County Division II Championship at Mineola High School. The Mustangs had a successful year both as a team and individually. They fell just short of their team goal of capturing a league championship. The team finished with a record of 12-6 including a 5-1 record in its league, matching its 2007-2008 record.

The Mustangs had a chance to win the league title and were edged out by Valley stream North in 2008 and Cold Spring Harbor in 2009. With only thre graduating seniors, the Mustangs should be a position to make another run at the league title in 2010. The three captains - Nick Grimaldi, Leonard Dul and Arnold Gomez - demonstrated their leadership throughout the season. Eighth grade wrestler Matt Long and freshmen Willie Cashin, Dave Valmond, Joe Massaro and Dave Gorry did a great job filling in on the varsity team when the situation called for it. Matt and Willie won big matches against Oyster Bay and Wheatley to give the team victories and keep Mineola in the hunt for the title.

Sophomore Nick Fabiano also wrestled quite a few varsity matches to help the team. Sophomore Steve O'Connor had an impressive year filling in at four different weight classes and had many big wins during the year. The junior class had quite a few boys (Mike Cardillo, Peter Granath, John Vella, Mike Escobar and first-year wrestler Dan Granados) return to the team after not wrestling for the last few years and all did quite well. Cardillo and Escobar wrestled all varsity matches. Seniors Mike Goldstein and Pat Martorella helped the team out in a number of victories. Both will leave having made All-Conference honors with Mike this year and Patrick last year.

The rest of the award winners were:

County Champion

Leonard Dul

All County

Joe Barcos

Tyler Cashin

Billy Gerstner

Nick Grimaldi

Arnold Gomez

All Conference

Steve O'Connor

Mike Cerqueira

Six boys wrestled to All-County honors by the tournament's end. Wrestling mostly junior varsity matches all season, Joe Barcos had one of the biggest upsets of the tournament as he upset the second seed from Cold Spring Harbor.

After a disappointing loss, Tyler Cashin wrestled back for a strong finish. Billy Gerstner won three straight close matches to earn his honors and he had to defeat teammate Steve O'Connor in the final match to do it. That's a very tough situation when teammates have to wrestle each other with only the winner making All-County. The boys handled it well. Arnold Gomez had a great year and came up just short, losing in the 189 lbs. finals in a tough match. Nick Grimaldi also had a great year, but just missed out on winning the 112 lbs. title as he was only two points down with 30 seconds to go. He could not get that final takedown to send the match into overtime and lost 10-6. Senior Leonard Dul won the 171 lbs. championship by pinning his opponent in the finals. This victory qualified Leonard for the New York State Championships.

Leonard made the trip upstate and got the most challenging draw as he lost to the top seed and eventual state champion (from Section IV in the Binghamton area) in his first match. He then went on to defeat the Section IX champion (from lower New York State) by a score of 5-3. Although he wrestled well, Leonard was knocked out of the tournament by the Section VI (from the Buffalo area) champion and eventual third place finisher. Congratulations to Leonard on a great year and an excellent career at Mineola.

The individual records of all the boys are as follows;

Matt Long 16 - 9

Willie Cashin 7-11

Dave Valmond 9-12

Joe Massaro 16-9

Dave Gorry 8-8

Joe Barcos 15-5

Nick Fabiano 20-10

Steve O'Connor 21-7

Mike Cerqueira 10-8

Nick Grimaldi 25-8

Mike Cardillo 10-12

Peter Granath 9-9

Tyler Cashin 13-11

Billy Gerstner 12-11

John Vella 10-14

Mike Escobar 16-12

Dan Granados 10-4

Arnold Gomez 26-6

Mike Goldstein 16-14

Leonard Dul 25-6

Pat Martorella 11-19 Logo
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