Rasheed, Grimaldi, Hughes shine at Smithtown tourney
Longwood's Corey Rasheed and Half Hollow Hills West's Tyler Grimaldi were two of only four state finalists from Long Island who returned to the mat in 2013.
Michael Hughes of Smithtown West was a county champion in 2012 and is possibly the most physically imposing wrestler on Long Island at 285 pounds.
All three showcased their ability Saturday, winning decisively at the Smithtown Wrestling Tournament at Smithtown East.
Rasheed dominated his competition at 152 pounds after dropping down in weight for the first time this season and he proved why he is a favorite to not only get back to the state finals, but to win it all.
Although Rasheed won all four matches to grab the 152- pound crown, culminating with a 19-4 technical fall over Steve Schmitt of Connetqout, he wasn't overly impressed with his performance.
"From my first match to the semis, I was kind of upset with my performance, I was a little sloppy," Rasheed said. "This is the first time this whole year I had to make 152 and I didn't have all the nutrients I should have had in me."
But he recovered to his standards for the final. "I was pretty happy with how I performed," Rasheed said. "I kept on pushing and got through the wall pretty easily and went 100 percent."
Smithtown West's Hughes also dominated on his way to a championship and did it without ever really having to go through a grueling match. Hughes also won a total of three matches, all by pin, taking up a total of 1:59 to do so.
"Today is really a more relaxing day for me, to be honest," Hughes said. "The coaches usually bring two guys down -- one who's an ex-Marine and one who wrestled in college -- to beat me up every day. It's a lot easier going up against kids who are my own weight and who aren't as strong as them."
Hughes' dominant performance was capped by a 34-second pin of Eastport-South Manor's Niko Bedell.
Grimaldi of Hills West, at 160 pounds, also came through strong, pinning two opponents in a combined 1:37 and scoring a 16-0 technical fall over Nick Mastro in the final.
"Every day when I wake up, the first thing I think about is getting back to that state finals match," Grimaldi said. "Every day, it's the first thing I think about and it's all that I want.
"I'm ready to go and I think the state title is mine. I don't want anybody to get in the way of that."
The tournament's most outstanding wrestler was Keanu Thompson of Grand Street Campus of Brooklyn.