Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 03 December 2010 00:00
The Carle Place High School wrestling team, under the tutelage of coaches Tim Moran and Mike Smith – both of whom wrestled for the school during the 90s and beyond – is well on its way to becoming a respectable and competitive force on the Nassau County wrestling scene.
The Frogs, following summer weight training and open-mat practices, will open the varsity season on Dec. 7 at home against Plainview at 4:30 p.m.
While Carle Place hasn’t been exactly synonymous with success on the wrestling mat in recent years, the team put together an impressive 9-4 overall record last season and sent several wrestlers to the county championship – an important step in the development of the program.
“I don’t think we’ve had a lot of expectations from our wrestling program in the last few years. I think we’ve made kids accountable,” said head coach Tim Moran.
“I think we’re starting, same with football, to gain consistency with the coaching staff. Kids are definitely focused and they have individual goals and standards set for themselves. They’ve tasted some success after last year, placing third and fourth in the county. We have some kids who believe they can be county champs, and they certainly can,” Moran added.
With what Moran described as “outstanding senior leadership,” the Frogs will also rely on their younger wrestlers to step up and compete in a tough division.
“As far as the league is concerned, it’s a tough league with Locust Valley coming down into the league, Oyster Bay (defending league champs) is returning a lot of guys as well. No match is going to be easy; every match is going to be tough. If we stay healthy, we should definitely compete. Our starters are very good, but the league is very good also,” Moran said.
After a very successful 2009-2010 campaign, Moran was named “Rookie Coach of the Year” for Division II, but insisted it was more about the athletes than it was coaching.
“We’ve got a good group of kids and last year was a big year for us. We took second in the NIT tournament (Nassau Invitational Tournament) going 5-1 as a team in that tournament. We placed 17th in the county tournament and our league record was 9-4.
“Last year was a big step, we had an all-time high of 34 guys on the roster. Our current roster has 25 guys on it, varsity and JV, I was hoping for a little bit more [turnout] with the individual and team success of last year,” said Moran, who is looking to keep Carle Place wrestling on the map for years to come.
“This particular group of seniors and juniors has done a lot of good things, on the football field and on the wrestling mat. We have to make it more contagious and more inclusive to all the other kids also, hopefully with a little of our success we have another good year and word gets out there,” said Moran.