By Shohrukh Abdulloev ’17
Boys wrestling came out on top in a close duel against rival James Madison High School with a score of 40-27 on December 16. With four crucial pins, Midwood managed to come out on top, now leading the standings with a 2-0 record, along with Brooklyn Technical High School.
The team was without three of its brightest stars: the Pavlov brothers and Amirbek Ahtamov ’16 were all out injured. Daniel Pavlov ’18 suffers from a broken arm while his brother, Nicholas Pavlov ’16, was out due to a temporary injury. Ahtamov was unable to wrestle because of an injury picked up during a tournament a week earlier. However, other strong members such as Chad Williams ’16 and Cihan Mabocoglu ’16 stepped up and successfully completed a weight class above their usual.
Despite these unfortunate injuries to key starters, the team managed to take the win.
Ahtamov said, “Although I was injured and could not wrestle, I tried to cheer the team on and boost the team’s confidence. It definitely helps to have your teammates cheer while you are on the mat.”
The team’s morale and confidence is a major factor for how the team performs. Fortunately, wrestlers were able to keep the spirit alive even after unfortunate pins.
Ahtamov added, “Not being able to wrestle makes me feel guilty, but then again, I never chose to get injured. It makes me want to heal faster and get back on the mat because I want to be a part of the team. We are more than a team, we are a family.”
It was crucial for the team to stay together and go through the match even with detrimental injuries.
Mr. Mike Dowd said, “Too many people got pinned. We didn’t expect some guys to get pinned but they did. We need to work on keeping them off their backs.”
Although the team is doing well, it is not perfect and will continue to strive for improvements.
Mr. George Hero said after the match, “We won, but we should have completely dominated Madison. There was no reason why they got 27 points when they should have only got maybe 6 points.”
The coaches discussed the few mistakes in their losses and said that they will be focusing on those mistakes more to make sure they don’t happen again. After all, everyone learns from mistakes, and it’s better to make mistakes now rather than later in playoffs.
The rivalry has been strong between Madison and Midwood, ever since Madison’s seven year winning streak. From the 2007-2008 season, Madison beat Midwood until the streak was ended in the 2014-2015 season. This win was huge for Midwood since it proves that it wasn’t just out of luck that they beat Madison last year. Going on to win for the second year in a row definitely shows how much improvement the Hornets have made.
Chad Williams ’16 stated, “It feels great beating a rival team. After losing for 7 years straight, it felt even more rewarding to beat them two years in a row.”