Despite small numbers, the Hackley Wrestling team brought home strong results, including top individual finishes in regional and state-level competition.
The Hackley wrestling team was ten athletes strong this season, which is five less than the fifteen weight classes that are currently in the sport of wrestling. As such, the team had to give up forfeits in the 99, 106, 170, 195, 220, and 285 pound weight classes. Even though any team with wrestlers at those weights could score up to 30 free points on Hackley, the wrestling team had a positive record in dual meets of 5-3.
After suffering early losses to Storm King (36-54) and Poly Prep (24-60), Hackley went on to beat Trinity (39-22) and Rye Country Day by criteria (33-33). After taking a difficult loss to Horace Mann (26-42), Hackley went on a three meet winning streak against Dalton (48-34), Rye High (54-36), and Collegiate (33-24). With modest numbers, everyone on the team had to contribute to achieve the success that Hackley had this season.
Lara Schechter '21 was 5 and 1 for dual meets where she dominated an array of male competitors in our league. She took second in the girls division at the Germantown Invitational in Pennsylvania (126lbs), the first tournament of the season. Lara shot up to first place (120lbs) in the girls division at the Edgemont Invitational, where she pinned her way through the competition. Most impressively, she snagged a 3rd place finish at the Eastern States Classic going at 126 pounds. The Eastern States Classic combines schools from seven different states on the eastern side of the US, meaning that she succeeded against top-notch female competition. The team picked Lara for Wrestler of the Match (our own award for the best performance within our team) for that tournament. Her performance qualified her for the NY Girls State Championship, where she took second among the best female wrestlers in the state.
Hadassah Henderson '21 took a step up this season to wrestle at 160lbs. Hadassah often trained with our beastly assistant coach Jim Reinold who walks around at a weight ~20lbs heavier than hers. Her hard work bore fruit when she scored a clutch pin in our dual meet vs. Collegiate, beating Andrew Zhang by pinfall in the first 30 second of the match. The six team points which Hadassah scored earned Hackley a 33-24 victory in a dual which could have gone either way. For this reason, the team nominated Hadassah Henderson for Wrestler of the Match for that dual. Hadassah also qualified for the NY Girls State Championship, finishing 4th.
Tyler Wyman '21 made his name at the Westchester county championships by placing 3rd in the county at 120lbs. That day, Wyman faced off against some of the best wrestlers in all of Westchester county and never gave up. Wyman bolstered Hackley’s reputation by winning his match for third by decision (8-3) against Sean Degl from Iona Prep. Tyler was also recognized as the Wrestler of the Match for Westchester County. In addition, Wyman placed 3rd at the Irvington Invitational and 2nd at the Edgemont Invitational, both at 126lbs. Moving up a weight to 132lbs, Tyler put forward a dominant show at NYSAIS and Ivy Preps where he took the title of champion. This was his 3rd career title at both events. Tyler led the team this season in takedowns and escapes with 65 takedowns (incredible!) and 19 escapes from the bottom position.
Jake Abraham '21 started this season out strong by winning his first match in our dual meet versus Storm King by pinfall in 31 second (145lbs). Jake’s aggressive style also earned him a team nomination for Wrestler of the Match against Rye Country Day when he scored a quick double leg to a half nelson, flattening 145 pounder Gabriel Shook in only 32 seconds. Jake also took home Wrestler of the Match for his performance at the Hendrick Hudson Invitational with three wins, a bye, and three losses (138lbs). Jake took 5th at the Edgemont Invitational (138lbs) as well as 2nd at both Ivy Preps and NYSAIS (also 138lbs).
As a freshman at 182lbs, Liam Abraham '23 wrestled against challenging competition with years of varsity experience over him. He was the biggest wrestler on the team and as such played a crucial role in all of our dual meets, earning Hackley six points by forfeit against Horace Mann, Trinity, and Collegiate. Even more important were Liam’s two pins in dual meets against Graham Yarden from Dalton (182lbs) and Ben Poole from Rye High (195lbs). In this season’s tournaments Liam took 2nd place in the JV division at Germantown, 2nd at Ivy Preps, and 5th at NYSAIS. Liam grew substantially as a competitor from Storm King to NYSAIS; always striving to improve, his attitude in the room is reminiscent of a team captain’s even though this is only his freshman year.
Danny O’Brien '22 was another freshman who refused to back down all season. He found early success taking 2nd in the JV division at Germantown and continued to play an important role wrestling at 138lbs in dual meets. O’Brien won against Dalton and Rye High, both matches by pin. Practicing with Cole Joseph, it will be interesting to see Danny’s development into an ever-more competitive wrestler.
Cole Joseph '22, a first year student at Hackley, proved he’s got stuff in the very beginning of the season by taking 2nd at the Germantown invitational (120lbs). In the Germantown semifinals Cole made a season-record nine-point comeback, by pin fall no less, all within the first period. It was a tremendous showing of grit and determination. Cole didn’t stop there, taking home the gold at the Edgemont Invitational (113lbs) and placing second at the Irvington Invitational (113lbs). Amazed by the freshman's dominance, our team nominated Cole for Wrestler of the Match for all three events: Germantown, Irvington, and Edgemont. Moreover, Cole led the team in wins, pins, and reversals from the bottom position: 28 wins, 18 of them by pin, and 9 reversals. He went on to place 5th at Westchester Counties and was undefeated in dual meets and in-league matches. Cole waltzed through NYSAIS and Ivy Preps, taking 1st at both, where his placement qualified him for the NY State Championships where Cole will compete for a state title.
Alex Crispi '21 won at our first dual of the season versus Storm King with a cool half nelson to a 2nd period pinfall (160lbs). Crispi also pinned Poly Prep’s Oleg Daniloff at 160lbs through the same means in front of a screaming home crowd. After those exciting wins, the team acknowledged Alex with Wrestler of the Match for both the Storm King and Poly Prep dual meets. The juggernaut Alex Crispi stuck around even after his season was over to continue practicing with Hadassah Henderson, showing his great all-around commitment to the team. The team, having him go up and down from 152 to 160lbs to wrestle at every single dual meet this season, is certainly grateful to have Alex Crispi.
Sophomore Theo Yannuzzi was a late comer this season, fighting off an injury to wrestle for his first season ever. Yanuzzi earned his nickname "The Beast" after winning his 3rd ever varsity match in our dual meet against Dalton, defeatng Dalton’s Owen Muratore (170lbs) in only 14 seconds! Not only was his pin fast enough to get a speeding ticket, tied for the quickest pin of the season, it got Yannuzzi picked as Wrestler of the Match for the dual meet at Dalton. Despite having only a half-season of experience, he muscled his way to a 4th place finish at both NYSAIS and Ivy Preps. All said and done, Theo Yannuzzi far surpassed any expectations regarding his performance for his rookie season.
The bar was set high for Jack Bosco '20 this season. A senior and captain of the wrestling team, Bosco led the team in team points with 65 points scored this season. He found early success at the Germantown Classic, taking 2nd at 126lbs. He then went on to take 2nd at the Irvington Tournament and 1st at the Edgemont Invitational. A dominant force within NYSAIS, Jack Bosco was undefeated in in-league matches and dual meets. The team voted Jack Wrestler of the Match for the dual against Trinity. In addition, he took 1st place at both NYSAIS and Ivy Preps where the NYSAIS coaching staff awarded him with the title of Most Outstanding Wrestler for both events. Bosco was also given the Iron Horse award for placing top four four times at NYSAIS in his high school career. He will be making the trip up to Albany along with Cole Joseph to compete for a state title at the public school state championships.