The Scarsdale Inquirer: Aslanian hits milestone in opening tourney

Senior Danny Kornberg
Senior Pete Berman

Junior Jack McCormack
From The Scarsdale Inquirer.

December 9, 2011

By TODD SLISS

Opening weekend of the wrestling season was the first chance for Edgemont?s wrestlers to show what they can?t do, not what they can do.

With the team?s main lineup wrestling six dual matches over two days at Port Chester?s Tony Carlucci Duals at Purchase, the team not only got in good workouts, but by competing against top teams like Fox Lane and Monroe-Woodbury, got a chance to ?expose their weaknesses,? according to new head coach Pete Jacobson.

?I tend to see the negative initially until I have a chance to reflect on it,? Jacobson said. ?I?m always thinking about where we need to get better. But the effort is there and a lot of it is just the technical stuff. Overall it was a great weekend for development and testing ourselves.?

It wasn?t an easy way for any team to start the season.

?I think it?s tough to have six matches for your first competition, but I think we did well,? junior Sky Korek said. ?It?s definitely a good way to enter the season to get us mentally prepared for the rest of the season. This is all really preseason for sectionals and states. We?re just looking to get better, to keep progressing, keep moving forward.?

The Panthers didn?t graduate anyone from last year?s team, so the entire lineup is back with at least a year of experience, in many cases several years.

?When you get better guys on your team, you need to find them better guys to wrestle to expose those weaknesses,? Jacobson said. ?That?s what we were able to do for a lot of our guys. Even guys that won, there?s a lot to learn.?

For junior Trey Aslanian, a state runner-up last winter, and Korek, it was a perfect weekend. For Danny Komberg, a senior who has not found much success as one of the team?s biggest wrestlers since he was an eighth-grader, it was a time to bust out of his shell as he went 5-1 against the big-men.

Coach Jacobson was also pleased with some of the positive signs shown by seniors Peter Berrnan and Max Abramsky and junior Jack McCormack.

Aslanian won his 100th career match, and now stands at 104 varsity wins. He is Edgemont?s sixth 100-match Winner, and with it coming on the second day of the varsity season of his junior year, he will easily catch and surpass school record-holder Genta Murayama, who graduated with 150 victories.

?One hundred wins is cool and all, but it?s not something I really look for,? Aslanian said. ?I just want to get better every day and my ultimate goal is a national title. I feel I?m getting better. You can?t get ahead of yourself, 110 wins, 150 wins, 200 wins. You take it day by day. Yeah, it?s nice to look back on it some day, but in the moment it?s not what I?m looking for.?

Kornberg, while improving every year, still struggled coming into this winter. He was always a boy going against men.

?Danny is getting better and better and coming into his own as far as finding a style that fits his strengths and weaknesses,? Jacobson said. ?It?s good competition that forces you to up your game.?

The competition and the dedication have paid off, however, and he is seeing the fruits of his hard work.

?Being an eighth-, ninth- and 10th grader at the lower level going against so many upperclassmen was tough, but it helped me tremendously to mature as a person and as a wrestler,? Kornberg said. ?The whole philosophy was to get better as a wrestler. Yes, I was going to get beat up and there were points where I was discouraged, but it actually worked out. This year I?m doing much better than I ever thought I would. Last year I made tremendous gains.?

Kornberg is the type of wrestler that can be held up as an example for any struggling youngster. He likes to share his experience with his teammates.

?I know how it feels to watch the freshmen like my sister or the eighth graders sometimes get beaten up,? Kornberg said. ?I can relate to that. I tell them it only makes them better when they don?t give up.?

The Panthers don?t have wrestlers at 195 and 285 pounds, which costs them 12 points each match. On Friday they were without 160-pounder Oliver Oks and 182-pounder Chris Kim, costing them another 12 points. Kim returned on Saturday, so the team was down 18 points before each match started. They were also without 132-pounder starter Colin Hopkins, but Marc Ficuciello filled in for him for the tournament.

?The weight classes we put Wrestlers on the mat, we?re very strong,? Jacobson said.

Over the two-day tournament, the sixth-place Panthers beat Iona Prep 46-33, Croton-Harmon 45-39 and Harrison 51-13 and lost to Fox Lane 69-15, Monroe-Woodbury 54-8 and Port Chester 40-39.

Against Iona Prep, Tyler Aslanian won at 99 pounds by pin in 4:11, Korek in 2:37 at 106 pounds, Trey Aslanian at 113 in 1:11, Abramsky in 2:25 at 120, Will Graybeal 12-10 at 126. The Panthers fell at 132 and 138 pounds, with Ficuciello falling in 1:46, Berman 9-5. McCormack won 12-0 at 145, Ross Kantor in 3:15 at 152. Edgemont forfeited at 160. Jason Worobow won in 2:51 at 170. The Panthers forfeited at 182 and 195. Kornberg won 7-0 at 220. The Panthers forfeited again at 285.

Against Fox Lane, Tyler Aslanian won 9-2, Korek in 2:46 and Trey As1anian in 26 seconds. The Panthers got pinned from 120 pounds to 152. Kornberg lost his only match of the Weekend, falling 2-0 to Dan Clune.

Monroe-Woodbury was a tough match, too. Korek and Trey Aslanian were the lone winners for Edgemont. Korek won 4-1, Aslanian 23-7. Among the losses, Graybeal was the closest, falling only 6-3.

In a tight match with Croton-Harrnon, the Panthers came out on top. Tyler Aslanian was pinned in 4:28. Korek won in 1:57, Trey Aslanian by forfeit. Abramsky, Graybeal and Ficuciello all lost. Berman picked the Panthers up with a 5-2 win and McCormack followed with a pin in 1:08. Kantor won in 1:15, Worobow in 1:23. Kim won in only 13 seconds over Matt Seputro. Kornberg won by pin in 1:42.

Against Hanison, the Panthers dominated. Tyler Aslanian won in 2:43, Korek, Trey Aslanian and Abramsky by forfeit. Graybeal lost 5-0, Ficuciello 8-0. Berman won 5-4, McCormack in 3:20, Kantor in 1:27, Worobow in 42 seconds, Kornberg in only 21 seconds.

In the fifth-sixth-place match, Port Chester and Edgemont tied until after the final match when the Panthers were penalized a point for throwing headgear, ultimately costing them the win.

Tyler Aslanian was pinned in 1:07. Korek won 9-0, Trey Aslanian in 1:03, Abramsky in 120. Graybeal lost 19-8. Ficuciello lost, too. Berman won in 3:24, McCormack 3-2. Kantor fell in 3:40. Worobow won 9-6, Kim in 1:50. Komberg won by pin in 2:27.

?Our guys really wrestled well,? Jacobson said. ?It was an emotional match, the last one of the day. We had not competed as well against Monroe-Woodbury. They were fired up for that match and Max Abramsky had a huge pin after a tough match. It showed his experience as a senior and knowing the situation.?

Six wrestlers also attended the Herricks Tournament, which featured a varsity draw and a freshman/sophomore draw. Kyle Aslanian and Riki Mistry wrestled varsity, while Alyson Kornberg, Brian Evans, Saumil Kothari and Dylan Huff were in the freshman/sophomore bracket.

?They all wrestled very well as far as where they are at and what their expectations are,? Jacobson said.

The Panthers were prepared well by their coaches in preseason and even in their offseason workouts.

?I thought we had a really good couple of weeks of practice leading up to the duals,? Trey Aslanian said. ?I thought our preparation was top notch. This preseason was the best one I?ve been a part of. It?s about the attitude going into practice, just more intense, more focused.?

The Panthers have lofty goals individually and as a team ? they want to win as many section championships as possible. So far so good for individuals and the team.

?We have a strong team and we were hoping to do well for our first tournament,? Korek said. ?A lot of the young kids on the team really pulled through. They worked hard and got done what they needed to get done. Everyone is practicing harder than last year and I think this is the best team that we?ve had.?