The Brooklyn Tech wrestling team established itself as a city power by winning its second Public School Athletic League duel meet title in four years.
The No. 11-seeded Engineers topped No. 1 Benjamin Cardozo 52–14 at Franklin D. Roosevelt on Tuesday. By doing so, the team erased the bad taste that had lingered from falling to Grand Street Campus in last year’s final.
The wrestlers had carried that feeling with them the minute that match ended and poured it into their training in hopes of getting a chance at redemption in the school’s fourth straight appearance in the championship match.
“Days after we lost in the championship [last year] we were back in the room, we were back in the room working toward a next one,” Brooklyn Tech star senior Shaquille Williams said. “We expected to win it because we worked hard. It wasn’t a surprise.”
Brooklyn Tech set the tone early by winning the first four matches, the biggest being senior captain Jacky Zhen topping Steven Kim at 138 pounds to give the Engineers a 16–0 lead. He was fighting the flu coming into the championship match, but preformed at his best.
“Jacky just turned it up to a new level,” Engineer coach Todd Bloom said. “That really jump started everything.”
The victory was part of a stellar week for the Engineers as the team entered the home stretch of the season. Williams and Kevin Tynes both won Mayor’s Cup titles on Jan. 27 at 285 and 195 pounds respectively. Brooklyn Tech finished second behind Monsignor Farrell for the overall crown.
That momentum continued into the city final. Williams earned a pin 1:09 into the match and Tynes won with a pin at 1:21 in the second period. The continued success after loosing two all-state wrestlers, Christian Masya and Patryk Kopczynski, is a point of pride for Bloom.
“We are trying to establish a really successful program that’s going to be consistent,” Bloom said. “It’s been consistent that last couple of years and will continue to be consistent.”
The road doesn’t end here, as the Engineers will compete in the individual city championships from Feb. 9 to 10 and hopefully at the state championships from Feb. 23 to 24 in Albany. Bloom is hopeful that Williams and Tynes will earn All-State honors by finishing in the top six of their weight class.
Williams has even higher aspirations in mind.
“I think I can win it,” Williams said. “That’s the only way you can go about it. If I didn’t think I could win it, I wouldn’t be trying to.”Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at jstaszewsk