As many of you should know our school has a wrestling program, run by Mr. Tolla and Mr. Rivellini. The wrestling program has been apart of our school for quite sometime, starting as as an after school activity in the mid to late 80’s. The sport was first popularized during the 1896 Olympics). It lost momentum briefly, but had a resurgence in 1905.
Wrestling is the sport or activity of grappling with an opponent and trying to throw or hold them down on the ground, typically according to a code of rules. If you do not follow the rules you subjected to lose a point and or disqualification from the match as a whole. There are five ways to score points in a wrestling match: 1) Takedown - (2 points) You score two points for taking your opponent down to the mat and controlling him/her. 2) Escape - (1 point) You score one point for getting away or getting to a neutral position when your opponent has you down on the mat.
The wrestling, team over the last 3 years, has improved and exceeded people’s expectations . Mark Tolla explains “Over the past 3 years, we have tripled our numbers and have improved from 1-19 to 18-7 two years ago and 15-6 last year. Last year we finished 9th in our state class and scored the most points since 2002.” Our wrestling team is on the rise and deserves more appreciation. The wrestling team gets overlooked by the school and I hope we see more fans at their meets cheering them on.
“Much of our preparation is similar to what we have done in the past. We have conditioning two days a week this fall. These involve cardio sessions with a weight lifting component” said Mark Tolla. Although the preparation is the same the players have taken it in their own hands to train for this upcoming season. “This year, more of our kids are club wrestling which gives them opportunities to work with wrestlers from other towns. Many of our returning wrestlers also volunteer to work with our elementary wrestlers in the youth wrestling program” said Mark Tolla. The wrestlers helped the youth to expand their knowledge of the sport and prepare them for what is next in their journey. The wrestling season starts on the Monday after Thanksgiving. There are between 45 and 50 wrestlers planning to begin the season. “Our goal this year is to have our third consecutive winning season. That task will be much more difficult since we have stacked our schedule with numerous top ten teams from last year and have moved to the “A” division of the SCC. We plan to finish in the top 5 in the SCC tournament and Class M state tournament. We hope to qualify at least 6 wrestlers in the state open individual wrestling tournament. Finally we plan to be recognized as one of the top 20 teams in the final state ranking poll.” The wrestling team is filled with a whole lot of talent. The coaches have not decided on captains yet, but some of the competitive players from last year were, “Antonio Lieto who was a captain last year. Antonio won the SCC’s and finished fourth in the states. Other seniors include: Justin Fonacier, Amadeo Bugatti, Connor Gontarz and Anthony Parisi. Juniors expected to have a significant role: Victor Garcia (3rd SCC and 5th M’s), Josh Rao, Jon Macao, Danny Jarrin and Giancarlo Alberino. The team is rounded out by large talented Sophomore and Freshman classes led by Tanner Divito who placed 6th in the M’s last year.” This team has all the players needed to be successful.