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Expectations High For Westbury Wrestling

The wrestling team at Westbury High School looks forward to a fresh start this season.  Last year, they struggled to stay atop the Nassau Conference, but this time, the team has a lot of valuable pieces that are crucial for them to flip the script and potentially climb to the top of the standings.


One of the shining stars in the school’s team this year is the dominating Raeco Jackson.  For the past two seasons, Jackson has had an extraordinary winning record in the 113 and 120 weight classes.  “Last year, my record was 28-5 and the year before that it was 30-5,” he said.  With a total record of 58 wins and 10 losses, he has won 85 percent of his matches.  His impressive feat helped Jackson receive all-county honors last season.


He has been a Westbury resident his entire life and is currently in his junior year at the high school.  Jackson considers football and wrestling to be his two favorite sports.  The all-around athlete also plays for Westbury’s football team, and during the spring, he participates with the track and field squad.


The modest yet ultra-competitive Jackson looks forward to the upcoming wrestling meet versus Long Beach, one of the top wrestling squads in years past.  He recalls his favorite wrestling memory that involved the south shore school.  “It started my freshman year.  I was matched up against Steven Sewkumar.  He beat me in the qualifiers that year.  Last season, I had the chance to play him again, and this time I was able to beat him in a close match,” said Jackson.


Coach Patrick McGovern has great expectations from his team this year.  “Last year our team had a 4-11 record.  Keep in mind that we had a young team in a tough conference.  This year, we have an experienced junior class as well as a good freshman class.”


The camaraderie among teammates in the first week of practice displayed how closely knit this unit is.  With assistance from some of the former wrestlers, the two-time coach of the year winner points out that they have key players that are vital for the team this season.  “It’s great to know that we have six all-county wrestlers returning this season including Jackson,” said McGovern.  A few notable players in this season’s roster include Kevin Gutierrez, Kelby Then, and Jonathan Castellanos.


The team goes up against Roosevelt for a home meet Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m. and against Hempstead on Dec. 11 at 4:30 p.m. 


Westbury High School students are teaching younger children from Park Avenue Elementary School valuable life lessons about money and business skills through the High School Heroes program.


In this program, high school students that are taking Renate Johnson’s Junior Achievement class will go into first grade classrooms to teach 45-minute lessons.


“It is a program that gives high school and younger students confidence and teaches them about business and financial literacy,” said Johnson.

The Westbury Historical Society will host Dr. Natalie Naylor, professor emerita at Hofstra University and author of Women in Long Island’s Past: Eminent Ladies and Everyday Lives at their next meeting on March 9. 


Naylor’s presentation will focus on the place of women in Long Island’s history, including several prominent women from Westbury’s past.  


Albertson resident and Kellenberg sophomore Gabby Schreib qualified for the Millrose Games in New York City. Schreib qualified as a member of the Sprint Medley Relay along with Danielle Correia, Bridget McNierney, and Jazmine Fray. 


The Kellenberg relay’s close second place finish in January’s Millrose Trials has moved them closer to defending the title they won in the same relay at last year’s Millrose Games. Schreib and her teammates time is currently second in the United States for girls track and field performances.

Congratulations to Westbury athletes Michael Esposito, Eileen Harris, Brett Harris, and Michael Going, each of whom won awards in Race # 1 of the Jonas Chiropractic Run Nassau Series co-hosted by Nassau County and the Greater Long Island Running Club.


Michael Esposito, age 15, took home the second place award in the 15-19 age group with a time of 23 minutes, 6 seconds.  Eileen Harris, age 42, earned the first place award in the women’s 40-44 age group.  She completed the race with her 45 year old husband, Brett Harris, who was the third place award winner in the men’s 45-49 age group.  Michael Going, age 41, scored third place honors in the 40-44 age group with a time of 20 minutes, 51 seconds.


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