Friday, 13 November 2009 00:00The Nassau Wildcats Youth Wrestling Club, based out of Wheatley High School in Old Westbury, is slated to begin practices for its fifth season on Nov. 17.
The club is comprised of youngsters in grades 1-8 from East Williston, Old Westbury, Roslyn Heights, Mineola, and many other surrounding towns. Practicing two nights weekly from Nov.17 through late February, the Wildcats split the grapplers into two groups based on experience (beginners 6-7:15 p.m., advanced 7:30-9 p.m.).
Optional tournaments start up on Sundays throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties beginning in December and running through February, wherein the Wildcats get a chance to test their skills against wrestlers from all over Long Island.
The Wildcats, in only four previous years of competition, have already become one of Nassau County’s premier clubs in terms of winning percentage on the mat. The team’s goals for its participants are to learn wrestling, spark an interest in physical fitness and above all, to have fun. This philosophy has made the Wildcat Wrestling Club one of the most successful in the county.
The coaching staff is extremely excited about the upcoming season, as the Wildcats return four of six All-County wrestlers to the program. Leading the charge are the Mosca brothers. Shawn and Max (both fifth graders) placed second and fourth, respectively, in last year’s Nassau County Championships.
Also returning for his final year on the Wildcats is eighth grader, Sean Richards. Richards is a two-time All-County wrestler and also took home foruth place in last year’s Long Island Junior High Championships.
Rounding out the top returnees are second grader Joseph Contrastano and fourth grader Chris Santoli. Contranstano will try to improve on his third place Nassau County finish. Santoli was a rookie sensation last season, going 11-2, and winning three regular season tournament championships.
Directing the club is former Wheatley High School coach, Ken Richards (Hofstra University). Richards is assisted by Matt Gaynor (two-time All-County selection), Joe Selby (former Mineola standout), Joe Cerulli and Zak Korman (Wheatley High School coaches), along with Andrew Mosca (Wheatley), Mark Burkey and Mike Manfredi (New Hyde Park) and Pete Ganley (Carle Place).