By Adela Julevic ’16
The wrestling team just finished their best season yet: sending 12 players into the playoffs, going undefeated, and beating New Utrecht and Madison. Their quest to be the best led them to be number one in their division and recognized as one of the best wrestling teams in the city.
“Starting off the season, we would have never imagined that we would have accomplished what we did,” said Makar Tchekalenkov ’15. “The team, undefeated so far this season, beat two teams that we hadn’t got even close to defeating in previous years: New Utrecht and Madison. For the first time in more than five years, the wrestling team made it into the playoffs, and seeded fifth.”
The captains, David Nemirovsky ’15 and Tchekalenkov, helped guide the team to victory with their hard work and skillful team strategies.
“The captains this year made a big point of leading by example and setting the standards for us at practices and during matches,” said Sean Boyle ’16. “Not only are their victorious performances and words of encouragement the reasons why we went undefeated this year, as well as made it to play offs, but they are the reasons why I really believe we can continue to make it far this year.”
Guiding the captains and training the team to be the best were the coaches, Mr. George Hero and Mr. Michael Dowd.
“Mr. Hero and Mr. Dowd really pushed us this year with building on our discipline and work ethic collectively as a team, which had really helped us all improve on and off the mat,” said Boyle.
Along with dedicated captains, more matches and positive attitudes contributed to their success.
“They are hardworking, dedicated, and willing to learn from their mistakes,” said Mr. Dowd.
The team proved their skills during the Madison match and beat them with a score of 46-27. Midwood hasn’t beat Madison since 2010.
The team was nervous about what was to come of the match due to knee injuries among some players, yet they finished strong.
“It was the first time this season where I felt nervous about competing,” explained Colin Dowd ’16. “After we won, it felt great knowing that I contributed to the win and it was nice seeing the team come together.”
Two years ago, Midwood was placed 24th in the PSAL City Championship. Last year, they were placed 12th in the city championship. This year, they are placed sixth in the city championship.
“We have a really strong team this year and the guys work hard.,” said Emily Sorge ’16, one of the team managers. “The team has come so far in the past few years and we hope to continue improving.” Along with their wins, The New York Times will be shining a light on the Uzbek wrestlers from Midwood along with other schools.
“We had a very successful season this year and I’m very proud of my teammates,” said Nemirovsky. “We were able to beat some of the top teams in the city and we even won our division for the first time in many years. I’m going to miss this team and all of the good times that we’ve had very much.”