Wrestling team changes offer new opportunities


Photo contributed by Nick Augeri ‘22

Staples Wrestling team begins training and competing for their upcoming season with many new team members and a change in coaching staff.

Dual meets and tournaments occupy almost every weekend and Wednesday for many Staples students as the wrestling season rolls into play. Over 40 boys train, practice and prepare for their matches day after day. 

After taking home fourth place at FCIACS last season, the team has gained 20 new members, as well as new coaches with hopes to take home first place at states and FCIACS. 

Many return wrestlers are excited for the new members of the team. The team is led by three senior captains: Jake Rizy, Terry Branigan and Luke Molina. 

“A lot of them seem to be getting their technique down and I’m excited to see what they can do and watch them excel,” Molina ’20 said. 

As well as the team having new members, there has also been a change in new coaching staff for the season. Head coach Fred Mills, as well as the assistant coaches Paula Fritas, Alex Caplan and Chris Cornell will train and coach the team this season.  

“A lot of these guys have wrestled D1,” Molina said. “They know what they’re doing and having new incoming teammates will add great depth and a great confidence factor for our team.” 

With new team members comes more competition, as there can only be 15 starters for varsity, and 20 players each for both varsity and junior varsity. Returners must show the improvement and progress they have made in order to make the team.

“I’ve been wrestling for about nine years, and it doesn’t come easy,” Noah Fras ’22 said. “But I love being part of the team because everyone pushes each other to work their hardest and it motivates me a lot.” 

The popularity of the wrestling team spreads for all grade levels, as the appeal for the sport becomes more compelling. Individuals who wrestle have been shown to be hard workers and thoroughly enjoy their sport.

“It’s a really good way to test your physical and mental strength,” Fras said. “It pushes me to work really hard and always give 110%.”