Many of the current Clarkstown South wrestlers haven't been around long enough to fully understand how far the program has come, but Brian McLiverty knows all too well.
The 113-pound senior has lived through the struggles, which made Tuesday's 61-26 win over Suffern to advance to the quarterfinals of the Section 1 Dual Meet Championships that much sweeter.
"For four years, I've been waiting to beat Suffern," said McLiverty, who went 2-0 on the day and is now one win away from 100 in his varsity career. "Finally, we have a team that works hard and doesn't have any drama. We went head-to-head with Suffern, which is always a tough team, and we came out and got it done. I'm so happy right now."
The Vikings started the day by dismantling Scarsdale 76-10, setting up a showdown with Suffern for the right to move on in the tournament.
The rivals alternated wins in the first four matches, with Suffern senior Alex Oliveto putting the Mounties up 14-12 with a major decision at 126 pounds. But as they worked their way toward South's upper weights, it became clear the Vikings would have the advantage.
"Coming in I knew they were very tough up top, but actually they're tough all over this year," Suffern coach Chris Matteotti said. "They have a very good team. I have a very young team, so it was good to see where we're at."
The most exciting match of the dual meet ended in Suffern's favor, with James DeSimone pinning Sean Maloney at 152 pounds with the score tied at 1-1 in the third period. Maloney appeared to make a move and take down DeSimone, but the senior was able to turn him.
"It could have gone either way," DeSimone said. "He could have got it, and it would have been game over."
DeSimone's pin put the Mounties back up, 26-23, but that would be the end of the scoring for Suffern. The strength of the Vikings' lineup won the final six matches, including a pin from Hassan Auwarter with just one second remaining in his 170-pound bout.
"I had no idea what the time was, so I was like, 'Just finish strong, and don't get turned over,' " Auwarter said.
Out of all of the teams that were present at Scarsdale's quad meet -- Suffern, Clarkstown South, Mount Vernon and Scarsdale -- South was the only team that had a full lineup.
"It's huge," coach Brenden Rogers said. "In Section 1, if you can fill a full lineup, you're going to be in every match. We feel good with what we have right now."
In Rogers' five years with the Vikings, they had never beaten Suffern or advanced to the quarterfinals in the Section 1 Dual Meet tournament.
Next up, they'll travel to Ketcham for the quarterfinals on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.