NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Ben Miller registered a pair of firsts Saturday at the Ted Murphy Shoreline Wrestling Classic at New Rochelle High School.
The senior became the first Mamaroneck wrestle to win the tournament, after a 6-3 decision against Tappan Zee’s Desmond Djekovic in the 152-pound final.
Miller’s win in the final also made him the winningest wrestler in the program’s history, surpassing James Watson, who finished with 111 wins.
“I didn’t realize it,” said Miller of being Mamaroneck’s first Shoreline champion. “Hopefully, we can get the younger guys in the program, who are coming up, to win this too.”
Miller said he knew he needed four wins to eclipse Watson, but he wasn't focusing on it. Instead, Miller took it match as it happened.
“I was thinking about and focusing on each match and the guys I was going to wrestle,” Miller said. “It hasn't really clicked yet. I never thought this was going to be a possibility.”
Miller was psyched to finally wrestle in Shoreline. His first two years on varsity he did not wrestle at Shoreline and the last two years, Mamaroneck did not attend the tournament.
What made him excited was what older brother, Jack, had told him about Shoreline.
“Jack always said to treat Shoreline like it was the sectionals,” Miller said. “This has always been a great tournament and it provides great competition at mid season.”
Following a pin in the first round, Miller grinded out a pair of one-point wins, 1-0 versus Brewster’s Gino Gioielli and 2-1 against Fordham Prep’s Mike Castelluci, 2-1. Miller trailed Djekovic, 2-0 after one period, before erupting in the second.
Miller secured a takedown and added three back points on the takedown.
“In the second period, I had to create angles by circling right and left and that opened up my shot,” Miller said. “After I shot the double leg I didn't even realize I was getting back points. I heard the referee counting and when I realized, I thought that was a bonus.”