Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder walked to the center of Massapequa Gymnasium and began to speak. The fighters of Freeport and Massapequa surrounded him in a large circle while the crowd listened to his passionate speech on how Wrestling takes drugs.
Ryder’s poignant speech sent a blunt message about the department’s initiative to eliminate drugs on Wednesday night before the regular double-season championship between Freeport and Massapequa.
Ryder nailed it. The former wrestler Lynbrook in his anti-drug message trained high school athletes to educate the youngest children in the community and lead by example.
“We are educating children and building a foundation for our future,” said Ryder. “Our initiatives start in schools. We cannot continue to lock people up and think that the drug problem will disappear. We need to spread the message and educate young people. And it starts in places like Massapequa, which is such a large area and has tons of youth programs. ”
In the pre-game ceremony on Wednesday night, all the fighters of the university and youth teams signed a commitment to eliminate drugs.
And then the night belonged to the masters of Massapequa, as the defending champions of the Division I double encounter of the state defeated Freeport, 58-12, to capture the crown of the Nassau 1A Conference. Massapequa improved to 15-4 and 5-0 in conference and Freeport is 7-5 and 4-1.
“We have strength in numbers in the wrestling community,” said Massapequa coach Ron Serrano. “I strongly believe in this program to eliminate drugs. And we have 200 children in our program from middle school to high school program. This is a wrestling statement that will take people away from the opioid epidemic. People who go to drugs, use drugs, are fleeing their problems, hiding their problems with drug use. In the fight, we face our fears, overcome our problems, build our inner strength to face adversity and present a safe mindset. “
But Wednesday night’s message was much more than a sporting event for Freeport and Massapequa. They joined together to fight for a regular season title. But they also joined together to fight in the biggest battle of all: the war on drugs.
“It’s an incredibly strong message when the Police Commissioner himself enters the gym and addresses the crowd,” Freeport coach Joe Chetti said. “It was a powerful message. It is the same message we preach every day to our athletes: stay away from drugs. We want our fighters to be leaders and role models and to teach younger fighters to lead a good and clean life. ”
Matt Reehil, eighth grade student from Massapequa, opened the dual encounter with a pin at 2:13 on Justin Rienke with 99 pounds. Chiefs junior Chase Liardi covered Miguel Payamps in 53 seconds with a 15-3 lead.
Second year student Anthony Conetta forged a 15-10 lead in the third period and locked Terry Ellis for the pin at 4:33 to 126 pounds. Ellis and Conetta fought during the first two periods in an entertaining round-trip bout. Ellis seemed to have the victory in the middle of the second period when he had Conetta behind him.
“We never quit, we just fight,” said Serrano. “Anthony fought against his back and won again. He had the confidence to overcome adversity. That is a great character check. “