It is that time of year again. The time of year with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. The time of year where athletes must sacrifice their blood, sweat and tears to attain the glory that they all dream of. It is wrestling season.
On Saturday afternoon, the 2016 Hofstra Wrestle-Offs took place in front of an avid crowd at the David S. Mack Physical Education Center.
A wrestle-off is a scrimmage match which, for the most part, sets the starting lineup for the season.
Essentially, the coach makes the final decision of who starts.
This year’s exhibition was cut to only seven matches due to injuries.
The day started at 125 lbs., where two freshmen faced off.
Vinny Vespa defeated Jacob Martin 7-2, thanks to many scrambles throughout the match.
Vespa, a very tall and lanky wrestler, was able to win most of the scrambles which allowed him to cruise to a 7-2 victory.
The second match of the day was at 141 lbs. where Connor Burkert faced Charlie Kane.
Connor Burkert was able to hit a fireman’s carry to get Kane on his back, giving Connor Burkert a fast 4-0 lead early in the match.
He never looked back, winning the match 10-2.
Next was the 149 lbs. match, which featured Ryan Burkert and Connor Muli. Ryan Burkert won the match by technical fall after putting Muli on his back multiple times throughout the match.
The fourth match of the day was at 157 lbs. between Ricky Stamm and Jake Kaminsky in a tight 6-5 match won by Stamm.
Kaminsky tied the match with a takedown in the third period, but elected to let Stamm up, giving Stamm the 6-5 lead.
Kaminsky was unable to secure another takedown before time ran out.
“[Stamm] is the epitome of getting a quarter of a point better every single day,” said head coach Dennis Papadatos.
“He has such a great demeanor and such a great attitude.”
Sage Heller won 9-2 against Anthony Olivieri in the 165/174 lbs. exhibition match.
“We’re impressed with Sage Heller, but we have been for a while,” said Papadatos. “He’s talented.”
The one pin of the match came in the 184 lbs. when Cory Damiana put a cradle on Michael Oxley and was able to secure the hold for the pin.
The final match of the afternoon was between two brothers, Nezar and Omar Haddad.
They wrestled at 197 lbs. and 285 lbs., respectively.
Nezar Haddad was able to leave the mat victorious winning the match 6-4.
The Pride will start its season on Sunday, Nov. 13, competing in the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open at Binghamton University.