Friday, 19 April 2013 00:00
Herricks Wrestling recently held its 3rd Annual Middle School Wrestling Festival in the community center’s Muller Arena. The Clarke Rams, Oyster Bay Baymen, Locust Valley Falcons, Jericho Jay Hawks, Westbury Green Dragons, and a contingent of PSAL IS 72 Count Basie joined the hometown Soaring Eagles for some spirited mat action.
Herricks hosted 136 individual wrestling bouts for 96 individuals, 93 of them had at least two matches and 80 of them had three matches all in the space of four and a half hours of mat time.
In wrestling, the participants are matched up in weight classes. Herricks and Westbury were supposed to have a dual match that day, but out of the 26 wrestlers available there would have been only seven matches. Although this event is not a tournament (there are no awards or places) it is run tournament style so that middle school level wrestlers can learn and become more familiar with tournament procedures.
“There are quite a few youth tournaments run by various clubs and outside organizations that these kids can enter,” Herricks wrestling coach Cliff Forziat noted. “And for those who continue their wrestling endeavors at the high school level, tournament procedure experience is a real asset.”
Anthony Bartolotta (8), Peter Lascarides (7), Brandon McCauley (8), and Marc Licul (7) led the way for the Soaring Eagles accounting for 13 pin victories among them. Sean Park (8), Brian Ginter (8), Mike Chase (8), Vasilios Kambouras (7), and Mike Marcy (7) each came away with two victories on the day, and Daniel Woska (7) added a win to the team’s total.
A major factor in wrestling success is aggressiveness. According to Forziat, “One’s best defense is one’s offense at any level. Of course, as experience, strength, and conditioning improve one’s offense becomes slicker. Put your opponent into criteria (a pinning situation) and keep him there. Let him or her worry about how to stop you.” Those who have begun to break this code and overcome the normal trepidation of one-on-one physical confrontations in front of crowds are doing well.”