The Wrestling Program That Teaches You to Face Your Fears with a Grin

Tiffany Chan, Staff Writer

Sports are an integral part of the Massapequa High School community. After a hyphenated season last year due to the pandemic, MHS Winter Sports are back, including the decorated Massapequa Varsity Wrestling team.

Despite the challenges the team faced, from contact tracing to quarantines, and through dedication to the sport on behalf of both the athletes and the coaching staff, the Chiefs went undefeated and won the 2021 Nassau County Dual championships. Now, the team looks forward to continuing that streak with practice and perseverance.

Last year, safety protocols were designed and implemented to maintain the health and safety of the players and coaches. Along with mask-wearing policies, athletes were given one partner to practice with throughout the season, to minimize the spread of COVID-19 among team members.

While they were able to make the most out of the 2020-2021 season, this year’s set-up will mirror a more typical year, much to the elation of the athletes. However, the wearing of masks will continue to be strictly enforced as per the guidelines.

As for the start of the season, excitement is high among coaches and wrestlers alike. “It feels promising because I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. We are very close to normalcy and I feel that it is imperative for all,” said Coach Serrano, the wrestling team’s coach, expressing his excitement about the season.

Last year, when the team was thrown a curveball, they were able to learn and adapt to make the best out of the situation at hand under Coach Serrano’s guidance. This year, he looks forward to making sure the athletes reach their full potential and achieve the goals they set for themselves.

As for the athletes, much of the same enthusiasm could be heard. “Coming back to a full season feels good,” said Antonio Arango, who had an impressive win at the match against Freeport, “It’s nice to have a normal season for my senior year.”

A new season also results in goals being set. “Being a senior you always have big goals; my goal is to just place high in counties,” said Antonio Arango, referring to the Nassau County Dual Championships which the Chiefs dominated last season.

Much of the same could be heard from other members of the team. “Our goals are really plain [and] simple,” said Carlos Arango, who had won an individual title at the IronMan Tournament, “We are really looking at all county titles and then after that a state title. Obviously, we all have goals individually and it’s definitely not gonna come easy but we’re going to work hard and we’ll get the job done.”

Anthony Conetta, who also earned an individual title at the match simply stated, “Team state title and for myself, the state title.”

Winter Sports in Massapequa, including wrestling, began on Monday, November 15, 2021. On Saturday, December 11, the team defeated Mount Sinai, Comsewogue, Northport, Newfield, and Islip at the Northport Duals. 

On Saturday, January 8, 2022, the team competed in the IronMan Tournament, and Carlos Arango, Nick Minichiello, Anthony Conetta, Alex Giuliani, Luke Ciolino, and Anthony Digenarro all came home with gold medals. 

Furthermore, on January 13, 2022, the Massapequa Wrestling team was named the Section 8 Conference 1A Champions after a shut-out win against Freeport with a score of 67-0. We would like to give a strong congratulations to the team, and we’re looking forward to a very exciting season.

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