The annual Port Washington PYA youth and senior wrestling night held extra significance this year as the night was renamed to Major Michael Corbisiero PYA/Senior Wrestling Night after a former Viking wrestler, U.S. army service member and city Rescue EMC Firefighter. The bleachers in the main gym filled with family and friends ready to watch youth matches, speeches and the main event—Port vs. Oceanside.
The PYA youth wrestlers kicked off the night with matches against Manhasset’s youth wrestling team.
“Having our youth open up for our high school holds great significance,” said head coach Anthony Schettino. “Many of the guys in the varsity lineup started their wrestling careers in the PYA program. As if it wasn’t exciting enough for our youth to wrestle in front of a large home crowd, seeing and experiencing the varsity in action, and knowing that could be them someday is a pretty amazing thought and very attainable goal for them.”
After the first- to eighth-graders finished their matches, Schettino honored the varsity team’s three seniors Brenden Ventimilla, Matteo Paratare and Brandon Liu. Schettino then gave a speech about Corbisiero, the man the night was named after. Corbisiero was a former Viking wrestler who began his career of service after leaving Schreiber when he joined the ROTC at Villanova University. He then entered the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer, later earning the distinction of company commander of the 101st Airborne Division Air Assault MP Company. Corbisiero served deployments to Panama, South Korea, and during Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq for 13 months, Corbisiero was awarded the Bronze Star for his heroic service in a combat zone. He also earned rank of Major while being assigned as a CID Officer. Today, Corbisiero is a leader and EMC on the Rescue Squad for the Clarksville Fire Department in Clarksville, TN, specializing in extrications and emergency medical treatment.
“An incredibly modest individual, Mike is a true local hero who has dedicated his life to service through both the military and fire department,” said Schettino. “This honor tonight is a well earned and deserved one and being [that it’s] senior night we couldn’t think of a better event than this to recognize a former Viking who, like our senior wrestlers, has also displayed leadership, work ethic, sacrifice and perseverance at an extreme level while remaining a role model and mentor for others. The Major Michael Corbisiero PYA-Senior Night will become an annual event while becoming part of our program’s history.”
The Conference I playoff berth had a lineup that included an eighth-grader, five freshman, five sophomore, two juniors and two seniors. In the end, the score was 39-23 Oceanside, with some close matches.
“Senior Captain Brandon Liu decisioned highly regarded Jake Marine at 126 pounds,” said Schettino. “Eighth-grade phenom Matthew Castillo had a big win at 99 pounds, along with a big win by Honorary Captain for the evening, Brenden Ventimilla, at 195 pounds.”
This season, the team has had multiple tournament champions and finalists in each tournament.