Coach’s Corner with Anthony Schettino

Matt Corsitto, Sports Editor

Matt Corsitto: I’m excited to be sitting down today with varsity wrestling coach Anthony Schettino. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview, coach.

Anthony Schettino: Gladly. Thank you for showing interest in our team.

MC: So how has the season been going so far this year?

AS: We started the season off strong with multiple place winners, finalists and champions in each tournament, followed by three wins against Hicksville and powerhouses Garden City and Sewanhaka East before winter break. Over the holidays, we competed in two tournaments and had a total of 9 matches over the course of two days.  During those tournaments, we had a chance to compete against teams from Nassau, Suffolk and NYC.  Although we were without some starters due to illness, we finished with a 5-3 record and wins against Mineola, Bayport Bluepoint, Jericho, Roslyn and Collegiate, and losses to Westbury, state-ranked Locust Valley, and Suffolk-ranked North Babylon. Unfortunately, we’ve had a really tough time between illness and injuries, and have been without much of our starting lineup for most of the season thus far. The silver lining is younger guys have had an opportunity to step in while gaining more experience at the varsity level. Having many younger wrestlers in the room, we look forward to this experience paying off down the road.

MC: Sounds like you’ve been able to make the best of things. What have been some key wins or exciting moments from this season?

AS: After a two point loss to powerhouse Garden City last season, it was nice coming out with a 56-27 win this year, along with a 60-30 win over Hicksville and a tough 41-39 barn burner over Sewanhaka East.  Individually, Captain Michael Nahas reached the 100 career wins earlier this season. This is a special feat, having only been accomplished four times in the history of our program. Michael is also currently 20-2 on the season and ranked 3rd in Nassau County. Captain Nahas has won 2 tournaments and recently took 2nd place in the prestigious Ed Solosky Memorial tournament losing a tight match to a top ranked wrestler from Suffolk County. To add to list of accomplishments this season, Nahas also had most pins least time in the Hank Paris Tournament.  His fellow captain and workout partner, junior Brandon Liu, has also been having an outstanding season with a current record of 18-3 while also being named champion of the Bethpage Tournament. Captain Liu also recently knocked off the 4th ranked wrestler in Nassau County from Massapequa and stands as another role model on the team and an outstanding returning wrestler.

MC: Who are some of the most important wrestlers on the team, aside from Lui and Nahas?

AS: Everyone on our team is equally important. However, some individuals having a positive impact during varsity competition have been sophomore Andrew Gaudiuso, 2X tournament finalist and 3X tournament placewinner, 8th grader Dan Gibso, who just beat the #3 and #5 ranked wrestlers in Nassau, Bryan Novoa, Henry Burns, Justin Maravilla, and as I mentioned, Nahas and Lui.

MC: Are you at all worried about departing seniors? Will it have an impact on the team’s performance in future seasons?

AS: Our seniors will pass down the work ethic necessary for our younger and very capable wrestlers to succeed.

MC: Who are some of the younger talents on the team who you are excited about?

AS: Some of the younger guys we’re very excited about and are already showing a lot of promise are Andrew Gaudiuso, Dan Gibson, Sam Schwartzkopf, Taz Selwin, Brian Sanchez, Dan Hart, Peter Cybriwsky, Mark Napoli, Jake Diamond, Dylan Forman, Clark Lerner, Matthew Hassan, Jonathan Valencia, Andy DeLao, Scott Haggerty, Gio Mendoza, Anderson Herrera, Carlos, Duarte, George Moschos, and Chan Lee. With this many individuals and the right attitude, work ethic and responsibility the future is bright.

MC: That’s certainly a lot of names! So what’s the general feeling at practices or meets? What is the overall spirit of the team?

AS: A wrestler is a special breed of athlete.  It takes a strong mentality to come into our practice room day in and day out.  It’s definitely not for everyone, but for those who see it through, they come away with tremendous life skills, integrity, pride and a level of conditioning that cannot be found in many other places.

MC: Finally, what are your expectations for the rest of the season? Are there any goals you hope to accomplish in the coming weeks?

AS: We always have high expectations and set high goals for ourselves each season. We expect to finish strong. As for our goals, we hope to pick up even more wins between now and the end of the regular season and for our guys to do big things in the postseason.

MC: Thank you again for your cooperation, Coach Schettino. I wish you and the team the best of luck in the remainder of the season.

AS: Anytime.