Sachem North senior Steve Mills earned his way to Albany with a wild card bid, but took his grappling skills all the way to the New York State Wrestling tournament finals.
The 220-pound wrestler and football player fell just short of a state title, dropping the final bout to Richard Sisti, of Monsignor Farrell catholic school last night, but his appearance in the finals as a public school representative marks him the top wrestler in the public school category.
Mills dropped his match 3-2 against Sisti at the Times Union Center, as Sachem Communications Director Chris Vaccaro reported from Albany.
“Having the senior year I’ve had, I just wanted to come up here and place,” Mills told Vaccaro, “and I did that. It’s been a great year.”
Mills' road to Albany was a bit odd. After losing in the Suffolk County Championship, he earned a wild card trip to the state tourney and put together a string of wins that powered him all the way to the championship bracket. He fell behind Sisti 2-0 and was never able to recover as the match went on.
“I knew he was going to come out physical and get that first takedown and he did,” Mills was quoted in The Sachem Report. “It was kind of hard to get back into it. I had a great tournament and I’m still proud to be a public school state champion.”
The front-runner heading into the tournament was Gio Santiago of Sachem North. A heavy favorite to reach the final mat, Santiago was defeated in his semifinal matchup against Shayne Brady, of Carthage High, according to Vaccaro.