By Colin Dowd ‘16
In the interest of full disclosure, Colin Dowd ’16 is on the wrestling team.
Making it to the city finals is one goal of the Midwood wrestlers this season. With a team of forty people and many good returning wrestlers, the team expects to do well in the post season.
“I think the team we have this year can win our division and go far in the playoffs,” said team captain David Nemirovsky ’15.
The team has seven returning wrestlers who qualified for the individual city championships last year which means they have some of the best wrestlers in the city. Out of those seven, four of them placed in the top eight in their weight classes. Makar Tchekalenkov ’15 finished third, David Nemirovsky ‘15 finished fourth, while Sefath Chowdhury ‘16 and Colin Dowd ‘16 each placed seventh. With over seventy teams in Division 1 wrestling, it was a big accomplishment for these wrestlers to do that well.
“We had wrestlers go to the city championship and we want to keep that momentum going this year,” said Nemirovsky.
The new guys on the team will be counting on the leadership of the returning wrestlers to help build a strong team with good depth at each weight class. Wrestling has weight classes ranging from 99-320 pounds. If a team has no one to wrestle at a weight class then they give up points to the other team. In recent years forfeiting weight classes has been a problem for Midwood, causing the team to lose matches it might have otherwise won. This year things appear to be different.
“Every weight class is filled this year and with lots of strong wrestlers it gives us good depth,” said head coach George Hero.
Coach Hero is really impressed with the first year wrestlers.
“We have a great bunch of newcomers on the team. They show up every day ready to work hard and to learn how to wrestle,” he said.
The team wrestled ten matches this season, but only two of those matches are viewed as real competition. The matches against Madison and New Utrecht will decide whether the team will go to the playoffs; the other matches are viewed as easy wins. Last year, close losses to some of the top teams in the city kept Midwood out of the playoffs but they were also viewed as a sign of progress for the team as a whole.
“Last season marked a turning point. The hard work from everyone is beginning to show, and I expect to have a strong team for a long time,” said Hero.
On December 13, Midwood sent individuals to a tournament at Wingate High School. It’s known for being one of the hardest tournaments of the season. First place winners include David Nemirovsky’15, Cihan Mabocoglu’15 and Colin Dowd’16. Second place winners were Daniel Pavlov’18, Makar Tchekalenkov’15, Joseph Vittoriano’16 Bekzod Aninjonov. The third place winners were Sefath Chowdhury’16 and Amirbeck Ahtamov’16. Midwood was the second place team at the tournament after being one of the bottom schools the previous years. The results of the tournament looked promising for the team as a whole. At the tournament the wrestlers showed that Midwood is looking like one of the top teams in the city.
“This tournament shows that our team is ready for the season ahead and I’m excited to see how we will do,” said team captain Makar Tchekalenkov’15.