Garnets Working Hard to Overcome Disadvantages

Coming off a 16-7 record with only four seniors gone to graduation, hopes were high for head coach Matt Beatty and the Rye wrestling team entering the season. But, things have not gone the way the Garnets might have envisioned them. Rye’s main problem is that they cannot fill four weight classes, which gives opposing…

Published December 19, 2011 4:34 PM
3 min read

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sp-simothumbComing off a 16-7 record with only four seniors gone to graduation, hopes were high for head coach Matt Beatty and the Rye wrestling team entering the season. But, things have not gone the way the Garnets might have envisioned them. Rye’s main problem is that they cannot fill four weight classes, which gives opposing teams a built-in 24-point advantage due to forfeits.

 

By Melanie Cane

 

Coming off a 16-7 record with only four seniors gone to graduation, hopes were high for head coach Matt Beatty and the Rye wrestling team entering the season. But, things have not gone the way the Garnets might have envisioned them. Rye’s main problem is that they cannot fill four weight classes, which gives opposing teams a built-in 24-point advantage due to forfeits.

Nevertheless, Beatty is pleased because the Garnets are “demonstrating pride, honor, and loyalty by working so hard and committing themselves to achieving success.”

 

sp-simoThe Garnets, currently 3-5, have been forced to re-evaluate their goals in dual meets because of the 24-point disadvantage. More focus has been placed on tournament outcomes and the success of the individual wrestler.

 

Many Garnets were outstanding in the 38th annual Mamaroneck Tournament December 10. Senior captain Joe Simolacaj went undefeated with one pin, earning the gold in the 182-pound weight class. Ben Breitel (160) made it to the finals as well, but was upset there and settled for a second-place finish.

 

Brian Gardner (113) advanced to the semifinals and finished fourth overall. Fritz Zahringer (138) lost in the last 10 seconds of his semifinals match, which was heartbreaking considering he dominated for the first 5:50. He earned a bronze, however, via pinfall in the third place match.

 

Alex Raynor (145) went 3-1, placing fifth, while Steven Valencia (195) rebounded to take third after falling in the semifinals.

 

“I know how hard this sport truly is and not everyone could put themselves through what these young men do,” said Beatty. “I often tell them that this will be the hardest thing they ever do in their lives. There’s an old saying – once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy!”

 

It’s still fairly early in the season, but it is evident the team will do everything it can to win while remaining humble. Simolacaj, Conway, and Jeff Dempsey, the senior captains, are great leaders who demand nothing but the best of their teammates.

 

“We give up a lot of forfeits because we can’t fill some weight classes, but the wrestlers in the starting line-up all give us a chance to win each match,” said Dempsey. “We are in a very tough league this year, but that just makes us work harder each day. The Mamaroneck tournament showed what type of team we are and that we are capable of winning.”

 

Rye’s wrestles Rye Country Day post press time December 15, and then participates in the Woodlands Tournament December 17.

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