GREENBURGH, N.Y. The Woodlands High School wrestling team is 3-11 this season. The Greenburgh schools team only has one senior and two juniors on its 17-man roster. Still, coach Jason Parker, who earned accolades as a wrestler at Woodlands High, is patient because knows that his team is rebuilding to reach the heights it once enjoyed.
I know the level that the program has been at and I know its going to take a lot of dedication to get us back to anywhere close to that level, Parker said.
Parker was there when the Woodlands wrestling program flourished. As a student, he won three section titles and was an all-state wrestler. On Friday against Irvington, the fifth-year varsity coach stood on the edge of the mat, yelling praises and strategies to his wrestlers as he paced the length of the mat and waved his arms. But that level of energy and animation, he said, is not surprising to his team.
Every day in practice, Im showing wrestling moves. I wrestle my assistant coach sometimes, Parker said. Just show them that Im passionate about the sport and they should be, too. Its not a sport that you can lollygag around and sit back.
Irvington defeated Woodlands on Friday in a match in which the Falcons inexperience showed. Aside from the one senior and two juniors, the rest of the 17-man roster is made up of eighth through 10th graders.
Parker spends time recruiting students to the team and said he hopes to retain a few of them each year to bolster his roster. He knows that the experience the young wrestlers gain now will, hopefully, bring the program back to the level it was when he won titles.
I got 25 new kids out to wrestle this year and about eight of them stayed on because its not an easy sport, Parker said. Were just looking to keep building. If we can get eight new kids every year, were going to be okay.
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