Wrestlers Grapple at Rocky Gilmore Classic Tournament


East Islip’s wrestlers grappled their way to several victories at the 25th annual Rocky Gilmore Classic wrestling tournament on Jan. 7. Finishing fourth overall on their home turf with 193.5 points, the team boasted four finalists and three titles.

In the championship finals, East Islip freshman Jesse Dellavecchia (17-4) defeated Harborfields’ Tim Johnson, 10-7, at 99 pounds. Top-seeded Chris Chambers (16-3, 12 pins) pinned Brentwood’s Carlos Vasquez in 52 seconds at 182 pounds. Third-seeded Dan Hayden (15-5) pinned Jack Doyle (Harborfields) in 2:56 at 285 pounds. Dellavecchia edged Brentwood's Danny Murray 2-0 (the latter is ranked second in Suffolk County), and both Chambers and Hayden registered falls in the finals. East Islip’s Shawn Cummings was pinned by Sachem East’s Zac Nobre in 5:57 at 170 pounds.

In the consolation finals, two East Islip wrestlers faced each other at 220 pounds: Jonathan Wilson and Marcus Rivera. Wilson won by decision, 12-7. East Islip’s Jacob Axelrod also was pinned by Kellenberg’s Tim Davison in 2:21 at 152 pounds.

The Rocky Gilmore Classic is named in honor of the late Rocky Gilmore, who served as an educator and wrestling program coach in the East Islip School District for 20 years before being named head coach in Nov.1986. Gilmore passed away suddenly in Jan. 1987 at the age of 42. East Islip’s current head wrestling coach Guy Leggio has presided over all 25 years of the tournament, which was won by perennial power Brentwood. “I feel that the Rocky Gilmore Classic is a great tribute to the memory of a great man,” Leggio said.

Photos by Diane Kelly.