WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Yorktown’s Joe Mastro and his teammates have been waiting for this opportunity throughout their varsity wrestling careers – to compete in the prestigious 10th annual Eastern States Wrestling Classic.
They will get this chance, along with numerous Westchester County high school wrestlers as the two-day tournament begins at 10:40 a.m. Friday at Sullivan Community College in Loch Sheldrake. Wrestling will resume at 9 a.m. Saturday.
“It’s our first time heading to Eastern States and we are excited about it,” Mastro said. “It’s an excellent tournament because it gets the best competitors throughout the state, in each division, along with some great out-of-state talent.”
There are wrestlers representing 114 schools from New York, New England and Virginia.
Mastro is seeded sixth in the 152-pound weight class. Teammates Steven Sabella (fourth at 195), Thomas Murray (eighth at 182) and David Varian (third at 285) also are seeded.
Mastro said his approach to this tournament differs from others.
“You go into it with more of a mental focus because you know that every match is going to be a battle,” Mastro said.
Fox Lane senior Tommy Grippi has been a regular at Eastern States since his freshman year.
“The last couple of years I have fallen short and I have not placed,” Grippi said. “I don’t think that in any of the years I’ve wrestled here I have wrestled my best. Hopefully that will change this year.”
Wrestling coaches and wrestlers consider the Eastern States the best regular-season tournament in New York.
“In my opinion, this tournament is more important than any others,” Grippi said. “It shows you where you are with other top wrestlers in the state and it gives you a taste of what the New York State championships are going to be like and that benefits me in a positive way.”
Grippi is seeded fifth in the 145-pound weight class. Younger brother, Matt, is seeded sixth at 106 and teammate Brandon Fay is seeded eighth at 99.
Somers’ Dylan Realbuto is seeded first at 126 pounds. Edgemont’s Trey Aslanian (120) and New Rochelle’s Nick Barbaria (106) are both seeded third. Ossining’s Alex DelaCruz is the sixth seed at 120, Mohegan Lake resident and Fordham Prep senior Sam Melikian is the fourth seed at 132.