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Somers Overtakes Unbeaten Brewster

Posted Thursday, January 05, 2012 by VMercogliano

Somers overtakes unbeaten Brewster


 Brewster— With Somers facing a seemingly insurmountable deficit on Tuesday against an undefeated Brewster team, first-year coach William Von Tobel called over all of his wrestlers who still had matches to come.

“We grabbed them and said, ‘We have to pin,’ ” Von Tobel told his wrestlers. “ ‘We need to stay off of our backs, and we need to pick up pins when we can.’ ”

With the Bears having already won the Section 1 Dual Meet Tournament championship earlier in the season, most teams would have packed it in. But the Tuskers rattled off wins in the final six matches of the dual meet — four of them via pin — to pull off the 39-33 upset win.

“Even if we’re down 50-0, we still go out there with intensity,” 182-pounder Jason DiBenedetto said.

Somers’ deficit wasn’t quite 50 points, but it wasn’t far off, either. Before the Tuskers won six in a row to finish Brewster off, they were trailing 33-6. From 99 pounds through 145, the Bears had won all but one match to build up a significant lead.

The only match in that area of the lineup that Somers did win came in a match featuring two of the hottest wrestlers in the section. Both Somers’ Dylan Realbuto and Brewster’s Liam Erickson had yet to lose this season, setting up a highly anticipated bout at 120 pounds.

Realbuto had lost their most recent meeting last season, but he changed his fortunes this time around. Erickson came out aggressive, taking shots early and often. But Realbuto used his defense to fend off Erickson’s early attempts before pulling away for the 7-1 decision.

“I was kind of expecting (him to be aggressive),” Realbuto said. “He really does wrestle hard for the whole match, but he lost a lot of confidence after my first two takedowns.”

Joe Buonadonna extended Brewster’s lead to 33-6 with a win at 145 pounds, but coach Tom Looby knew not to count the Tuskers out. From 152 pounds to 285, Somers may be the top team in the section.


“We still didn’t feel comfortable at all because we knew going into the heavyweights that they had a much stronger team,” Looby said.Cornell-bound senior Brian Realbuto got the Tuskers’ run started with a pin at 152 pounds, followed by a huge win from Mark Lasar over Kyle McAlpin at 160. McAlpin recently picked up his 100th career win for the Bears, but Lasar pulled out the 7-5 decision thanks to two takedowns in the final period.

After Angelo Revel’s third period pin at 170 pounds cut Somers’ deficit to 33-21, DiBenedetto came up with Somers most dramatic win of the day at 182. After dictating the pace of his match against Bruno Albertassi early on, DiBenedetto appeared to lose some steam as the match wore on. Holding onto just a 7-6 lead in the final period, DiBenedetto was able to pick up six crucial points for his team by pinning Albertassi with just about a minute remaining.

“I knew I had control, and if I only beat him by a few points we might not have won the dual meet,” DiBenedetto said. “I dumped him to his back, squeezed him as hard as I could and waited for the ref to hit the mat.”

Nick Giancaspro’s pin at 195 pounds tied the score at 33-33, and then the Bears were forced to forfeit at 220 because they had bumped Mike Liston up to 285 earlier in the meet.

“Not at all really,” Looby said when asked if he regretted his decision to move Liston up, where he lost to Anthony Campanelli at 285 pounds. “We felt that Mike could have won, but he just didn’t wrestle his best match.”

For the Tuskers, the win proves that they can hang with any team in the section. It’s a signature win for Von Tobel in his first season at the helm.

“It’s huge,” he said. “I knew down low that they were very tough, but we’re strong up top.”

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