PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – When Yorktown seniors Joe Mastro, Steven Sabella and Thomas Murray all began wrestling as elementary school students, little did they know what the future held.
The senior trio, along with classmates Jimmy Kaishian, David Varian and Kyle Santucci, would collaborate on making the Yorktown varsity wrestling program a top team in Section 1.
The seniors concluded the season Monday by leading Yorktown to a second-place finish in the Section 1 Large School Wrestling Championships/New York State Qualifier. It was the best finish in program history and ground-breaking with three sectional champs..
Sabella (195 pounds) would win his second consecutive sectional title while Mastro (152) and Murray (182) were first-time champs. Varian, the 2012 285-pound sectional champ, was a runner-up and Kaishian finished third. Prior to the 2011 season, Yorktown had one sectional champ – Mike Ahearn. The last two years Yorktown has had five.
“This has been something special and it’s really cool,” said Mastro, who was brought up as an eighth-grader by Yorktown coach John Tornambe. “We’ve put in a lot of hard work and we’ve gotten beat up a lot, but it’s not over yet. We still have two more weeks to work for states.”
Murray recalled when he, Sabella, Mastro and Santucci were brought in eighth grade.
“We didn’t win many matches that year but we just kept working and we knew we were going to start winning,” said Murray, a 3-0 winner over Beacon’s Andrew Grella.
Yorktown began its rise to prominence when the current seniors were freshmen. With each year, they progressed. Last year, Yorktown finished sixth in the section and had Sabella and Varian win titles.
That was the push the Cornhuskers needed. Murray said Yorktown’s step up last year motivated the team, specifically the seniors, to focus on wrestling during the offseason.
“We wrestled a lot harder than we ever did before and we were wrestling every day,” Murray said.
Even though the tournament had just concluded and Yorktown received its second-place trophy, Mastro said this is something he and his teammates will always remember.
“This was special, for us,” Mastro said. “We accomplished a lot of what we set out to do at the end of last year.”