So it?s the morning of New Year?s Eve day and we just finished our winter break training cycle. The guys are off the next few days for a well-earned recovery period, and I figured this was a great time to write you a quick note.
First off, Happy Holidays to all!
New Years is always a great time for reflection on the prior year and obviously resolutions for the coming year. When it comes to the wrestling season, though, on one hand, it?s a weird time to take stock - we?re literally in the middle of our season! On the other hand, though, this natural break seems always seems like a good time to me to re-assess where our team is at, and where we need to be in 41 days and in 55 days (Sectionals and States, but who?s counting?!).
Of course, as most of you know about me, I?m constantly thinking about how we can improve, build on where we are and get to where we need to be, so this should come as no surprise!
Rather than, give you an exhaustive run-down, I figured I?d just share with you some select thoughts with you here.
Our biggest challenge
Our biggest challenge this season (in a GREAT way!) has been the personnel we have. For those who don?t know, our roster consists of a big senior class and a big freshmen class (with a few sophomores and juniors mixed in). This year really symbolizes a new era being ushered in for our program. The challenge for our staff lies in getting everyone exactly what they need to be at their best.
We have seniors capable of winning Section 1 and New York State titles this year. We have other seniors who should be high up on the podium. We have freshmen who are enthusiastically seizing the opportunities they?re given to develop their skills and contribute to our line-up. A lot of times what these two groups need are very different things. I think this type of challenge is really where our program and our coaching staff shines. We?ve gone out of our way to create a competition schedule that allows both of these groups to thrive. Our freshmen are getting a ton of mat experience in appropriately-leveled competition, while our best guys are facing some of the toughest competition in the state in tournaments like Center Moriches, Shoreline and Eastern States.
Our coaches have also been getting our guys just what they need on a daily basis. With the coaching staff we assembled we?ve really been extremely fortunate in our ability to differentiate our training each day to make sure we are giving every wrestler the specific attention they need to optimize their growth. Our freshmen get one or two coaches specifically allocated to work with them on a daily basis with a strong emphasis on fundamentals and development of the attitude and toughness that has come to define our program. The progress has been awesome! Meanwhile, our veterans are getting highly individualized work to help them flourish within each of their unique styles to make them the best they can be. It can become a complex operation for our coaching staff, but it?s a challenge we relish and get excited about on a daily basis!
I think the ?magic? that makes this all work though is just how close-knit this team is. These guys support each other, push each other and lift each other up in a way that?s inspiring, even for our program.
"A group of highly-motivated individuals caring deeply about each other and united towards a common goal is the foundation for extraordinary accomplishment."
A new era
If I could give you just two words to describe our seven-man freshmen class it would be ?Fearless? and ?Resilient,? and, as you might imagine, those two words are music to our ears! Man, these kids go out there compete hard!
What?s most remarkable about this class is clearly in their collective attitude. They?ve fully embraced our culture and the idea that failure is a necessary stop on the road to success. It shows on the mat. These guys consistently step out there and let it fly, they are aggressive, they take risks and when they make mistakes, they learn to wrestle through them.
This is so rare for rookies, who usually wrestle very tight and the result has been that our freshmen have been developing faster than any freshmen class I can remember!
The resiliency is probably the best characteristic we could ask for to supplement the fearlessness. Our freshmen class can go out there and take a licking (like most freshmen do in this sport), but then step back out there just as confident and aggressive as before. We can?t wait to see what the future holds for these guys!
This past week
As always this past week of training was one of the best of the season. By design, we don?t compete over the break. We start our break with four days off to let our guys recover physically and mentally and enjoy holidays with friends and family.
They came in fresh and ready to work hard. We get such great development this week because we can push these guys hard each day, without having to balance the time with academics or weight management.
I can confidently tell you that every guy on our team training this week is significantly better than they were a week ago! We were really able to dig into individualized training plans this week and get each guy plenty of time and plenty of reps in their specific areas of concentration - whether it was taking their strengths and making them unstoppable or shoring up any weaknesses.
This recovery cycle for the next few days will allow their bodies to bounce back from the beating we gave them this week and get ready to jump back into the second half of our competitive season.
We?re back in practice next Tuesday and competing on Thursday in our home opener against Port Chester. Our January slate features the Shoreline Tournament and the Ardsley Tournament on 1/7. The Eastern States Classic and the Hen Hud Tournament the weekend of 1/14. The Herricks Invitational the weekend of 1/21 and the 35th Annual Edgemont Tournament on 1/28. We?ll also wrestle duals against Scarsdale, Pleasantville, Pawling, Putnam Valley and Irvington.
You can check out our full schedule here: edgemontwrestling.org/schedule
Important Dates for YOU
With all this stuff going on, I wanted to point out a few key dates coming up for all of YOU out there. We?d love to see you!
- Fri 1/20 6 PM - EHS San Marco Gym - Edgemont Panthers vs. Irvington Bulldogs
We?re hosting Irvington in a Friday night match to make it easier for many of our alumni to attend. We?re also teaming up with Irvington Wrestling to use this match as a joint fundraiser to support the American Cancer Society. We?ll be asking for a suggested donation at the door and donating 100% of the proceeds in memory of Robert Schwartz, father of our own senior Mike Schwartz. Mr. Schwartz passed away earlier this year. Finally, immediately after the match, we?ll be hosting a reception with cash bar for alumni and parents at The Garth Road Inn. Catch up with old friends, meet the coaching staff and celebrate the team! Hope you can make it!
- Sat 1/28 9 AM - 6 PM EHS - 35th Annual Edgemont Invitational Wrestling Tournament
Come watch your Panthers battle grapplers from 18 teams on four mats. Action kicks off at 9 AM with the finals slated for 5 PM.
- Fri 2/10 and Sat 2/11 - EHS - Section 1 Championships
Edgemont HS is playing host to this year?s Section 1 Championships. Wrestling in tentatively scheduled to start at 4:30 PM on Friday and resume at 10:00 AM on Saturday.
- Fri 2/24 and Sat 2/25 - Times Union Arena - Albany, NY - NY State Championships
Get more info on the State Championships here: http://www.nysphsaa.org/Sports/Wrestling
With the year coming to a close, we?ve been getting some donations to Edgemont Wrestling Club from alumni and I just wanted to take the chance to thank you all so much for your support! You guys are an integral part in making our program what it is today and steering us in the direction we?re heading. 20 years ago, I don?t think any of us could have said this, but today we really have such an amazing wrestling tradition here in Edgemont and it?s in no small part because of the support of our proud and generous alumni and alumni parents.
Thank you - we are so appreciative!
If you?d like to give, you can get more info and do so here.
Happy New Year! Talk to you soon!
Feed the Panther!