This years 10th annual Long Beach Wrestling Tournament called the "Battle of the Beach" kicked off the 2013-14 High School Wrestling season for the Hewlett Bulldogs.
Fresh off of last years team’s placement as a top ten program in Nassau County and his own Rookie Coach of the Year Award, Coach Stephen Jones of Hewlett is entering his third year as Head Coach. Notwithstanding the loss of some elite senior wrestlers, this Hewlett team has tremendous potential of being one of the elite programs in all of Nassau County.
"Going into the season our coaching staff has high expectations. We have many kids who have worked hard during the off-season. The kids on the team are really buying into the program and working hard" said Coach Jones during the weeks leading up to the start of the season. His team did not disappoint. Lead by Senior Captains Oran Revivo (138) and Matthew Kaminer (220), Hewlett finished third behind perennial powerhouses, Massapequa and Long Beach and just ahead of the fourth place finisher, Wantagh High School.
Only in it’s seventh year as a varsity sport, the Hewlett team, has now become a team to be reckoned with in Nassau County. It now boasts a team of 40 dedicated varsity and junior varsity wrestlers. And to enable the team to take itself to the next level, Coach Jones continues to handpick his assistants to constantly challenge his wrestlers to bring their talents to the next level. As Coach Jones had previously indicated the "stronger teams always have many assistant coaches, all designated to work with specific weight classes." Through Coach Jones hard work and dedication the fruits of his efforts have begun to realize results.
In reflecting on Saturdays success Coach Jones stated ""The boys wrestled tough. I was very proud of the guys who lost early on battled back to get the team wins. I thought it was a good showing for the first tournament. We still have a lot of work to do on order to improve"" It is also important to note that the teams which finished in the top four, Massapequa, Long Beach and Wantagh had entered no less than 25 of their wrestlers, while Hewlett only entered 16. Coach Jones went on further, "Hewlett is a great place to coach because you have kids that are both tough and smart. In most cases you are stuck with one of the two but the boys are not only tough, they are intelligent so they implement what they learn in the room and use it. They don’t make many mental mistakes like other programs. " And Coach Jones is still clearly not satisfied as we went on to state "Although we had a good tournament, I expect to get better as the season goes on."
In the end, ten of the sixteen Hewlett wrestlers placed at the Tournament. Joining Kaminer, who finished first in his weight class and also picked up a medal for having won most pins in the least amount of time was defending County Champion, Owen Bachelder (132) who also took home a first place medal. Also placing was Junior Paul Lane (285), who placed second in his first varsity tournament, Senior Captain Oran Revivo, Junior Tredd Smith (170), Freshman Lucus Pincus (120) who all finished third in their respective weight classes, Junior Alex Gordon (170) who placed fourth, Senior Andrew Kevelson (145) and Sophomore, Michael Curiel (285) who just started wrestling this season, both placed fifth.
The Hewlett Bulldogs next match will be held on December 13 and 14 at both Bellmore JFK and W.C. Mepham High School(s) in the two day Sprig Gardner Tournament which is known to be one of the toughest in Nassau County. Coach Jones has set the bar high for his team constantly challenging them so that when the Nassau County Championships come around he will have a battle tested team ready for the main event.
For those youngsters (grades 1-8) looking to experience the opportunity of becoming an elite wrestler PAL still has room. For more info contact Stephen Jones 516-220-3773 or Director/PO email@example.com.