Shaquille Williams encountered a helpless feeling sitting on the Brooklyn Tech bench last January watching his team lose the PSAL Dual wrestling title to Grand Street Campus.
That memory burned an imprint in the 285-pound wrestler and his teammates for a calendar year. Brooklyn Tech used that as motivation Tuesday to win the first four matches against Cardozo and secure the PSAL Dual meet title with a 52-14 win at Franklin D. Roosevelt in Bensonhurst.
“Being on the bench last year and wrestling my match and winning it wasn’t enough,” Williams said. “It hurt to watch my teammates and my brothers who were seniors and it was their last chance couldn’t get it done. I felt like this win was for them too.”
Two Mayor’s Cup winners from Brooklyn Tech, ranked No. 2 in New York City by MSG Varsity, led the charge. Williams, who was coming off his second individual title Sunday, turned in a pin just 1:09 into the match. Kevin Tynes won his 195-pound matchup with a pin at 1:21 in the second period.
“This season was about keeping good mentality and working hard in the room,” Tynes said. “We had a great coaching staff and we wanted it this year.”
The Engineers (14-0) didn’t look tired after placing second overall in the Mayor’s Cup behind champion Monsignor Farrell in the two-day event at the Harlem Armory over the weekend. Brooklyn Tech coach Todd Bloom says he was pleased by his team’s commitment and tunnel vision coming off a strenuous last few days.
“I think it kept our guys sharp and a good competition,” Bloom said. “We can’t be afraid of getting hurt or beat up. They came here to wrestle and that’s why they joined the team. They came here focused, and they have been in the fire before and they came out strong tonight.”
The Engineers got off to a strong start with William Hernandez gaining a 10-1 victory at 126-pounds over Cardozo’s Yu Tam. Brooklyn Tech recorded six points each in the next two matches with Andy Huang at 132-pounds winning by pinfall with 1:09 remaining in the second period and Jacky Zhen winning in the 138-pound match, to give Brooklyn Tech a 16-0 lead.
Roman Gutin won at 160-pounds by pinfall in the third period and Olaleye Ojo took just 1:09 into the first period to pin Cardozo’s Alex Sun. Neel Deychoudhury won at 99 pounds, James Rosado earned a victory at 106 pounds, and Devon Hoyte was a winner at 113 pounds.
No. 4 Cardozo (12-5), which had rested most of its wrestlers from competing in the Mayor’s Cup due to nagging injuries, was in a 19-0 hole on Max Garkusha’s victory for Brooklyn Tech at 145 pounds.
The Judges are a young team continuing to make big strides in just their fourth season competing in the PSAL. After winning the ‘B’ Division title in 2011, the Judges earned a playoff berth last year before getting shutout by Brooklyn Tech in the second round of the playoffs.
There were bright spots for Cardozo in the closest match of the day at 152 pounds. Tagee Burns earned the first win for his team with a 2-point takedown with 50 seconds left in the third period to win 7-6.
Fabian Bramwell (170) and Khamron Boothe (220) each won by decision and Adam Gomez recorded a technical fall in the second period to win at 106 pounds. Cardozo should be a strong contender next year with 10 underclassmen returning.
“They want to improve every single day,” said Cardozo coach Chris Milani. “They work hard in practice and they dedicate themselves to going to tournaments because they are taking ownership in this sport.”
The wrestling season doesn’t end for Brooklyn Tech. Williams says his team is committed to winning the PSAL Individual Championships in the next two weekends and compete in the New York State Federation Championship in Albany.
“Wrestling never ends for Brooklyn Tech,” Williams said. “That’s what makes us good all year around.”