MAMARONECK, N.Y. – The Mamaroneck High varsity wrestling team was behind in every match last season before even getting started. The Tigers did not have enough wrestlers to fill all of the weight classes, resulting in forfeits.
Mamaroneck addressed those shortages this season as seniors Dion Duran and Ben Miller along with coach Anthony Vitti went to work recruiting new wrestlers. As a result, Mamaroneck is planning to have a complete lineup. Veterans Duran and Miller, both top-four sectional place finishers last year, are psyched.
“We have a lot of young wrestlers with a lot of potential,” Miller said. “We have a lot of open spots to fill and these guys are going to fill them.”
Duran and Vitti recruited some underclass football players to join the team.
“The young kids come into the room every single day and they are going to solidify our lineup and the program,” Duran said. “The football players have all transitioned very well because they are all athletic guys.”
Duran and Miller form the core of the team with classmates Joe Angiletta, Steven Fabiano and Tommy Murphy. Sophomores Youssif Hemida, Alex Sancez, Max Valera and Roger Ransom also return after starting last year.
Not only are Duran and Miller Mamaroneck’s most experienced and best wrestlers, the senior tandem are also the leaders and unofficial assistant coaches. The duo said they remember their first varsity season and how the veterans helped them.
“We’re the ones who have to set the example in the room,” Duran said. “If we work hard, it will spread through the room. We are working well with the coaches, and we’ve been having good, solid practices and getting more out of them.”
Miller and Duran have been working with the eager new wrestlers.
“We had a lot of the new kids working with us,” Miller said. “It feels good to pass down the knowledge that we have accumulated over the years.”
Duran agreed. “I see myself, when I was younger, in a lot of these kids, so I understand where they are coming from. I want to fill the same role the seniors did when I was a freshman.”
Mamaroneck begins the season in the Tony Carlucci Dual-Meet Tournament from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1.