At the Nassau County Championships, defending champion Island Trees and Massapequa finished in a tie for the Section Eight title, both teams tallied 105 points. Finishing in third place was Locust Valley (90.5), followed by Bellmore Kennedy (71.5) and Farmingdale with 70. The Bulldogs and Chiefs finished knotted for the team title for the second consecutive year and as Chiefs' coach Al Bevilacqua noted, "It's just ironic that with all the possible ways to earn points, the two teams earned the same number twice in a row." The Bulldogs were led by two-time county champion Dom Macchia (26-1) who decisioned Rich Egleston (Baldwin) 14-4, to claim the 155-pound title. The Chiefs had two winners; defending champion Lindsey Biagini (98) and four-time county placewinner Ed Fiorvanti (27-0) at 126 pounds. Locust Valley crowned three champions, including the DeStefanis brothers, Al, who decisioned Ed Varela (ITrees), 8-2, at 91, defending state king, Bob, who avenged an earlier loss over Barry Calvagna (Carle Place), 9-1 at 105 and Ed Pidgeon who narrowly defeated Massapequa's Jim LaFlare, 4-1, for the 119-pound championship. Reigning state champion Bob Bury dominated the tournament as he posted four falls en route to the 112-pound title and was voted the tournament's outstanding wrestler. Also earning county crowns were tough Bobby O'Connor (132) of Plainedge, returning titlist Rick Cavayero (138) of Bellmore-Kennedy and Farmingdale's gridiron star, Ron Heller at 215 pounds.
     At the Suffolk County Championships, Brentwood Ross cruised to the county title, as they amassed 132 points, to easily outdistance runner-up Walt Whitman (93), Sachem (88.5), Harborfields (73.5) and defending team champion Huntington who finished with 64 points. The Indians, the top-ranked team in the state, had five finalists and emerged with one champion, unbeaten Joe Plante (27-0), he decisioned Sachem's Joe Mayo, 8-3, for the 167-pound title. Brentwood coach, Joe Campo, cited Plante, "One of the greatest wrestlers I have ever coached." Incidentally, he defeated Nassau champ, Dom Macchia, 5-0, in the finals of the Farmingdale Christmas Tournament in December. Huntington's Paul Widerman decisioned Sachem's Wade Genova, 7-5, at 98 and Jim Abbott (Harborfields) edged Joe Petrucci (Brentwood), 4-3, to claim the 105-pound crown. Sayville's Tom Hake defeated Mike Tillman (Northport), 7-2, for the 112-pound championship and was voted the tournament's Most Valuable Wrestler Award. Also winning county titles were Todd Cummings (91) of Smithtown East, Mike Guistizia (119) of Walt Whitman and Marco Leddy of Hampton Bays at 138 pounds.
     At the 15th annual New York State Intersectional Championships, Section Eight won its eighth mat title, as they totaled 207.5 points to finish ahead of Section Three (191) and Section Eleven (163.5). The green-cladded contingent had four state champions; Bob DeStefanis (105), Bob Bury (112), Paul Meyers (145) and Dom Macchia at 155 pounds. DeStefanis and Bury both won their second consecutive state titles, DeStefanis decisioned National Junior Champion, Don St. James (Rush-Henrietta), 7-0, and Bury dominated John Elmer (Bishop Ludden), 10-3. Baldwin's Paul Meyers, a junior, nipped Chris Leichtweis (Olean), 3-2 and Dom Macchia, who finished third last season, rallied to defeat the heralded Ed Banach (Port Jervis), in perhaps one of the best ever state finals. Macchia trailed Banach, 4-3, going into the final 30 seconds, but he pulled off a two-point reversal and almost converted it into a pin to score an 8-4 decision. Banach (33-1), a junior, had entered the state meet unbeaten, as did his twin brother Lou (34-0) who went on to win the 177-pound title, and older brother Steve, who finished fifth at 167 pounds. Collectively, they entered the state tournament with a unbelievable 90-0 mark. Suffolk's lone champion was Paul Widerman who edged Lindsey Biagini in a controversial final at 98 pounds. For a while it appeared as though Biagini had scored two near fall points in the final 20 seconds and had his hand raised in victory. However, the two mat judges overruled the referee's decision and awarded Widerman the state title. It was the second state runner-up finish for Biagini. Barry Barone (110-8) of Westhill won the 126-pound class, as he decisioned Ed Fiorvanti (31-1) in the semifinals and dominated Mark DeMeo,14-2, for his state title. Baldwinsville's Tom Pickard (35-0), a junior, capped a perfect season as he rolled to the 132-pound crown. In a wild bout at 138 pounds, Pioneer's Kyle Grunwald edged Rick Cavayero, 12-8. Last year Grunwald defeated Cavayero's brother Steve in the finals.The OSW Award went to three-time state champion Mark Iacovelli (135-1-1 career mark) of Ithaca who defeated Ed Pidgeon, 7-2, for the 119-pound title. Port Jervis head coach Mark Faller also had 91-pounder Barry Chase (12-0) and Eric Savacool (24-0) entered in the state meet, those two along with the three Banach brothers, had an unbelievable combined record of 126-0, they edged Locust Valley, 58 to 53.5 points, to claim individual school honors.

                    
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A LOOK BACK
1977