Jack Solovey ’24
The Winter trimester is quickly approaching, and the return of many highly anticipated St. Andrew’s athletic seasons lay close at hand. Among the anticipated, under the leadership of second-year Varsity Head Coach Colin Benson, the Upper School Wrestling team has set high expectations.
With Seniors Dilan Graf-Suleman, Cooper Paksima, and Jack Solovey returning for their final season, as well as Juniors Andrew Orsi, Jackson Sherman, and Chukwuemeka Nwadigo returning for another year, the team has set its sights on tournament success.
Last year, the Varsity Wrestling Team finished off a successful season with Graf-Suleman taking home first place for the Lions at MAC Championships as well as receiving All-MAC Honors. Other tournament success came in the form of Paksima’s first place finish at the Husky Open as well as strong showings from Sherman and Orsi at MAC Championships. Although The Varsity Wrestling Team may not be as large as other programs, the strong team dynamic amongst ourselves allows for positive results on the mat.
Every Varsity wrestler demonstrated clear improvement throughout the season with each athlete achieving a victory by pin. As the Varsity Wrestling Team looks towards yet another successful season, The Varsity Wrestling Team hopes to see some new faces on the mat throughout the course of the season. This would allow for more competitive practices and dual meets with other schools.
The Varsity Wrestling Team is set to host MAC-Championships this season and it is our hope to see numerous finishes on the podium. Returning for my second season, I stepped onto the mat for the first time last season with no prior knowledge of the sport. Everyone was very supportive and pushed me to my limits each and every practice. My Coach and teammates made it very clear to me that I could create my own limits and that no one would force me to compete if I did not want to, but when I saw how hard everyone pushed themselves at practice and how much effort they put into their training, there was never a doubt that I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and wrestle against some of the best schools in the area.
For anyone seeking an incredible experience this Winter, practices will be held in the Dance Studio in the Student Center and the Varsity Wrestling Team hopes to see you there. Three mandatory practices will be held each week with two additional optional practices at other schools in the area. Feel free to reach out to the athletes, coaching staff, or to drop by after school and give the sport a try. It just may lead to a once in a lifetime experience.
Photograph via SAES Athletics