Roosevelt Ettienne, Staff Writer

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As we all know, the Wrestling team will make another playoff push this year. With last year ending with a 47-30 loss against James Madison High School, the Cougars are looking forward to starting over this year. They want to make this playoff push stronger and more successful. I had a few moments to speak to Coach Craig Stanco, and I can tell that as a coach, he is really determined to push his team to their full potential. He said that, “I have great optimism for this year’s Wrestling team. Although we are facing a challenging schedule, I believe with hard work and commitment, this year’s team can be quite successful.” Coach Stanco cherishes the hard work and dedication that his players have been showing. “They have done everything expected, plus more, and I am grateful for that,” he said. The Cougars are currently 6-1 and are heading for a great season.

Here are some questions that I was able to ask in our conversation:

Q: How long have you been coaching Wrestling in FDR?
A: I have been coaching for 8 years at FDR.

Q: As a coach, what do you think defines a good wrestler?
A: A good wrestler is a person who has good work ethic, determination, confidence and experience on the mat. Also, he has to have the mental mind set and the drive to succeed.

Q: When things are not going the team’s way, what do you tell your guys to keep them motivated?
A: I tell them to stick to the fundementals and finish off the match. Also, I tell them to do their best, stay confident, and continue the hard work.

Q: What do you expect for this year’s Wrestling team?
A: I am looking for a playoff season and to succeed in the playoffs. I want everybody to come out of every match knowing that they did their best, win or lose.

Q: Who would you say are the players to look out for this season?
A: Players to look out for are Co-captains Leon Gonzalez and Alijon Toshimov. Leon is the returning NYC Champion and Alijon has All-City credentials. They are great leaders.