Coach Coppola Predicts This Upcoming Wrestling Season
With wrestling season right around the corner, our Raider wrestlers have a lot to live up to and even more to look forward to. Following their rough season last year, a lot is expected of them on and off the mats. Coach Sabino Coppola said, “Last year we had a rough season; we had a whole lot of new wrestlers coming out for the team and had very light numbers. However, this year I think we will see a whole lot of improvement.”
There is a lot of excitement from the coaching staff and players in regards to wrestling season starting up again. Coach Coppola said, “My feelings on wrestling starting again are the same as the other coaches on the staff. We are very excited to get to work with the wrestlers again and we expect to see a nice jump in performance from last season. I am most looking forward to seeing our returning wrestlers achieve goals that we came a little short of last season, specifically at the county and district tournaments.”
This year's team is a good mix of new and familiar faces. Coach Coppola said, “We have most of last year’s team returning and we have a lot of new faces joining the team this year as well. As for freshmen joining us, the junior raider wrestling team has been very successful for the last few years and this year we have a chunk of talented freshmen joining us.”
Aside from the new faces on this year's team, there are two individuals to look out for: seniors Mariah Koster and Franco Graffeo. Coach Coppola said, “Mariah took 4th in the state last year as a junior and this year is an opportunity for her to improve on even that. As for Franco, as a senior this is his last shot at some of his goals and I think that he has put in the work over his career and this last off-season to give himself a shot to achieve them.”
This is the last chance for the seniors to leave it all out on the mat and finish off their high school wrestling careers in a positive way. Franco Graffeo said, “I’m looking forward to this season with my teammates and coaches. It’s always exciting to see how much everyone has improved over the offseason and I can’t wait to get back to work. This year I have my eye on competing at Atlantic City.”
With many new faces and familiar ones to look out for, the expectations are high for the junior varsity and varsity wrestling teams this season.