Blue Devil Mat
Coach Wins his 400th Meet with Huntington
Lou Giani waited
37 seasons to win his 400th dual meet as head coach of the Huntington
wrestling team, so what’s another hour or so? The Blue Devil legend had to wait
a little bit longer after the team bus got lost on its long journey to
Eastport/South Manor. When all was said and done, the Hall of Famer left a
happy man as his matmen toppled the Sharks, 62-9.
Giani has been
involved in the Huntington program since his sophomore year in high school in
1950. It was then that he set his mind on a sport that has delivered up more
than a few thrills, including a Pan Am Games gold medal, a spot on the 1960 U.S.
Olympic team that competed in Rome, a record 23 New York state champions and
induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma as a
Through it all,
the soft-spoken coach, who has headed the program since 1970, prefers to shy
away from any credit for the program’s national reputation and instead cite his
staff, the wrestlers and the school community. “We’ve been able to win because
we have built a complete program,” he said.
Coupled with 20
dual victories the coach accumulated during a two-year stint as head coach at
the long ago closed Eastern Military Academy (now Oheka Castle), and Giani now
has a sterling overall record of 420-34-1 in 39 seasons. (He also coached one
season on the JV level at EMA).
Sharks, Huntington was all business. The Blue Devils recorded four pins, won
two other matches by technical fall and took a seventh match by a 13-0 score.
Eastport/South Manor forfeited four other bouts for a total of 24 points. Jose
Vasquez, Stephan Riley, Omar Santiago and Chris DeRosa all won by pin.
The victory was
Huntington’s second in as many meets. The team also won three straight
tournaments to open the season. “The kids are working hard, improving and
cutting down on their mistakes,” Giani said.
back on the squad after an early winter stint with the basketball team, looked
strong at 135 lbs. His match was stopped at the 4:46 mark after the senior
opened a 15 point lead. Allan Hendrickson grabbed Huntington’s second tech fall
won he opened a 15 point spread early in the third period of his 171 lb. match.
Francisco Pereira earned a 13-0 decision at 119 lbs.
shown any indicattion that this will be his final season with the program. So
the legend’s career victory total can be expected to continue growing.