Dalers Wrestle to the Top

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 Jalees Briggs, Staff Writer

On January 10th at Farmingdale High School, Farmingdale’s varsity wrestling team competed against Westbury for a conference title. Farmingdale had a great undefeated start to the season, and a conference title would add even more hype to their great season.

Westbury had a solid lineup that matched up well with Farmingdale, so this was a good dual meet to watch. Farmingdale started the match off with losing at 132 lbs , giving Westbury six points. Joe Simons got those six points back by winning his match, and to follow this up Bishop Wilkerson won by points and gave Farmingdale a three point lead, 9-6. Farmingdale then forfeited 152 lbs, giving Westbury the win and six points added to their team score. At this point, the score was tied at 9-9. At 160 lbs Farmingdale sent out Jalees Briggs, who won his match by points and put Farmingdale up by the score of 12-9. Nick Franco at 170 lbs won by pin and gave Farmingdale another six points to add to the score. After a loss and a forfeit by the Dalers, Westbury took the lead, 21-18. In a hard-fought double overtime match at 285 lbs, Ryan Charleston won and tied the score at 21-21. After another Daler loss, Wesbury took the lead 27-21, but Matt Cestare tied the score with a win at 106 lbs. Wins by Alex Almonte (113 lbs) and Nick Demeri (120 lbs) gave Farmingdale the lead, 36-27. And for the last match of the night, Mark Bakich had a grueling six-minute match that ended in victory, giving Farmingdale their last win to clinch the conference title by the final score of 39-27.

Since this conference championship win, the Farmingdale varsity wrestling team made it to the dual meet playoffs where they were unfortunately eliminated in the first round by Macarthur, but they still went out with a fight. After dual meet playoffs on January 27th, Farmingdale hosted their annual Timmy Collins dual meet tournament, making it to the finals before a loss to Brentwood. Now it was time for qualifiers, and Farmingdale had four qualifying champions: Jalees Briggs, Joe Simons, Alex Almonte, and Nick Franco. At counties the Dalers had one county champion, and now he is a two-time county champion, Joe Simons, who also placed fourth at states. And now that the season is over, the work begins: time for the offseason.