The first wrestling meet in school history was held on February 19, 1937 and saw the Blue Devils lose to an experienced Lindenhurst team, 25-10.
Legendary coach and athletic administrator William Class started the program, after student interest surged. Many other high schools around Suffolk sported teams in the 1930’s.
Huntington Station’s Charlie Smith won the first match in school history, taking a decision in the 105 lb. weight class. Harold Cole, who easily won at 155 lbs., helped spur the development of a team. Cole, an experienced grappler, transferred to Huntington High School from an upstate school and easily won at 155 lbs. in the school’s inaugural meet.
Jack Ackerly, one of the greatest Huntington athletes of his era, as well as the school president his senior year, lost in a wild bout during that first meet. Acklery was ahead of his opponent when he thought the referee blew his whistle to stop action. Acklery released his foe who immediately turned and threw the Blue Devil grappler to his back.
Huntington’s John Scanlon and Teddy Clayton both won exhibition matches on that historic day. Huntington finished that first season with a 1-2 record. The win came on February 23, 1937 against Garden City, 25-21. All meets were away since the Blue Devils lacked an area to hold a meet.
Cole went on to place in the Suffolk County tournament, becoming the first Huntington wrestler to win all-county honors.
Class coached the 1938 squad, too. That team finished 4-4 and qualified seven wrestlers for the county tournament, including Ackerly, who acquired the nickname, “Half-Nelson,” a popular move in the sport. Following the 1938 season the program was disbanded due to a lack of interest after many of the wrestlers graduated.
It wasn’t until 1951 that the sport reemerged at Huntington, this time with another legend as coach in Frank Kubisa and with an inexperienced junior on the squad by the name of Lou Giani.
More state champions have come from Huntington High School than any other high school in New York State.
|1973||Lou Giani||1973||Charlie Gadson|
|1974||Jeff Thomas||1975||Jeff Thomas|
|1976||Mike Rosenbauer||1977||Paul Widerman|
|1978||Paul Widerman||1978||Mike Thomas|
|1980||Billy Gaffney (NYS MOW)||1982||Kieran Mock|
|1984||Gene McNeil||1985||Mark Billups|
|1986||Gene McNeil||1986||Drew Jackson|
|1992||Brian Fischenich||1994||Jim Amira|
|1998||Dawid Rechul||2000||Pat Flynn|
|2000||Jack Piana||2002||Pat Flynn|
|2002||Steve Palacios||2002||Stephon Sair|
|Bill Class||2 years||5-6||.455|
|Frank Kubisa||8 years||35-33-5||.515|
|Al Cotton||1 year||7-6||.538|
|Paul McCarthy||5 years||45-17-2||.726|
|Charles Robinson||1 year||7-4||.636|
|Joe Victor||4 years||5-49||.093|
|Lou Giani||37 years||406-32||.927|
|7 Coaches||58 years||513-144-7||.773|
Source: Jim Hoops, Huntington HS