Wrestling team adopts new attitude and training regimen

by Vinny Bianco
The w­­­restling team finished the 2011-2012 season with a record of 21 wins and three losses, a turnaround from last year’s finish of two wins and nine losses.
The story behind the wrestling team’s revival is far more complex than the addition of new and better wrestlers; in fact much of the roster is comprised of returning wrestlers.
Rather, the team’s success this year can be attributed to a new attitude on the part of the players and coaches.
Senior Dion Natale, a four-year varsity wrestler, admits that, “Losing had become somewhat of a culture for us,” but explains that this year “the mood of the team really changed.”
“There was no slacking off or down time; just non-stop work and non-stop wrestling,” said   Natale.
Besides the attitude of the team changing, the physical challenges that the wrestlers endured were  more rigorous. According to junior Dominick Pigna,  the wrestling practices consisted of, “more conditioning and new techniques that we switched up a lot; specifically much more intense warm-ups, running the hallways, yoga, and dynamic stretching.”
Wrestler Matthew Ridge, a sophomore, detailed the work that the coaches required the wrestlers to do. “We ran a lot of sprints and did a lot of live wrestling with each other. The coaches really put us through some tough workouts like bicycle crunches, star jumps, squat jumps, and, in my opinion, the most difficult thing called burpies, which is when the wrestler goes from a standing position, to a push up, to a mountain- climber position and back up to a jump,” said Ridge.
These methods, which Ridge said, “the wrestlers never really liked doing, but realized would help in the long run of the season,” sculpted the wrestlers into more efficient and healthy athletes.
Marc Fabiano, a physical education teacher who wrestled for the high school, is in his first year of assistant coaching. He believes that the success of the wrestling team can be found in some of the changes that were made prior to this season. “Wrestling, flexibility training, strength training, and yoga build stronger all-around wrestlers,” said Fabiano.
The combination of both the physical and mental aspects of wrestling “limited injuries, kept the team well conditioned and created a team unity that allowed the team to pick each other up,” said Fabiano.