ARDSLEY, N.Y. – Drew Longo came into the wrestling postseason with a renewed determination, wanting to win a fourth consecutive Section 1 Division 2 wrestling title and return to Albany for the New York State Wrestling Championships.
Longo was angry because he failed to place at the 2012 championships. By the conclusion of this year's state championships, Longo walked away with a fourth-place finish in the 138-pound weight class.
That concluded an outstanding five-year varsity career for Longo, who is The Rivertowns Daily Voice February Athlete of the Month.
Longo finished as one of the most accomplished wrestlers in Ardsley program history. He won four sectional titles and placed second, fourth and fifth at the state championships. He has a career record of 180-29.
“After my performance last year I was really upset, because I felt I put a lot of work into my junior year, and not placing really hurt,” Longo said. “I approached this season exactly the same way except for one change, my mindset. I took the pressure off myself and tried to remain calm throughout.”
Longo won his first-round match at states but lost in the quarterfinal round, which sent him to wrestlebacks. He needed to win two matches to reach the placing round, and he did that, with older brother and former state-place-finisher Derrick Longo as a volunteer assistant coach for the weekend.
“After the loss, I was hurt that my chance of winning a state championship was no more,” Longo said. “But I knew my season did not end there and that I didn’t work as hard as I did throughout the season not to place. I had to put the loss behind me and give everything I had in the following matches.”
Longo will attend Lehigh University in the fall and continue wrestling. Even though he is angry about not winning a state title, he realizes what he accomplished.
“It feels pretty cool to know how much my hard work has paid off medal-wise, and to know I’ll be in the history books of Section I and New York state forever,” Longo said.