Pride Positive After Preseason Practices
December 12th, 2002
This year’s Stuyvesant Pride, Stuy’s wrestling team, has “big shoes to fill,” according to junior co-captain, Dave Manno. After the graduation of many important seniors such as 215-pound wrestler, Michael Beltran, the team knows that only a flawless work ethic and attitude will carry them to their hopes of greatness.
The team lost not only Beltran’s winning, but the leadership of him as well as that of other seniors such as Michael Dooley and last year’s co-captains Chaz Clark and Jason Katz. However, the team enters this season with a sense of confidence and a true desire to win. Senior co-captain Perry Gold believes this year’s team, though lacking individual superstardom, is overall a better team than last year’s team, which went 5-5, losing in the first round of the playoffs to William C. Bryant High School.
One reason for the confidence is Coach Bernard Feigenbaum recruiting, which has the team’s roster boasting over forty wrestlers, including four female wrestlers, Jennifer Shum, Silvena Chan, Sophie Wu and Cindy Cen. These four have all been to every practice thus far, and have embarrassed some of the male wrestlers on the mat.
In meets against the tougher teams, the Pride’s depth may be the difference. The ability to put a wrestler on the mat in every match could lead to victories, as their opponents may have to forfeit numerous matches. “We got all the weight classes filled with two to three guys (or girls) in each weight class, and in this league that’s half the battle,” says Gold.
The team’s goal of finishing in the top five in the city is far from unreachable even in this rebuilding year. Feigenbaum says that “even with the lost seasoned wrestlers like Beltran, hopefully we’ll make the playoffs.”
These goals will be attained through hard practices, during which Gold and Manno set the intensity level as the rest of the team follows their lead. The team has realized that it’s no simple task to win with the team they have. The team has been running prior to every practice to condition and start the season in “midseason shape.” During practice, the veterans have been bringing the new wrestlers along, teaching them techniques and moves. It is this work ethic that keeps them hopeful for the season, as Gold forecasts a 7-4 team record this season, but hopes the team can surpass his prediction.
The team performed exceptionally well on December 1 in the Glass Tournament at Sheepshead Bay High School. The tournament, designed for the new wrestlers on the team, led Stuyvesant to a seventh place finish with Jennifer Shum taking fourth in the 96 pound weight class, Brian Schwartz placing fourth in the 171 pound weight class, and Alex Pinhas also placing fourth in the 112 pound weight class. Travis Samuel won a bronze medal in the 145 pound weight class and Alex Woo won the silver for 103 pounds. The impressive finishes improved the team’s confidence and boosted its morale.
The Pride starts off their regular season with a meet against Long Island City on December 10, a meet Coach Feigenbaum says “could be telling of how our season will go.” They have their first home meet on December 18 versus Curtis.