Bulldog wrestlers nearing state tournament
By Kathryn Elliott - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Fri., Feb. 4, 2011
STAFFORD - Every afternoon, the StaffordHigh Schoolwrestling team can be found practicing for upcoming tournament competitions. With the barrage of inclement weather canceling matches and practices, the Bulldogs have taken every opportunity – including weekends and holidays – to work out, build technique and stay focused.
“We are here practicing every day we can,” said head coach Shirzad Ahmadi. “These kids are very, very determined to do well this year. I’m very proud of what we have accomplished so far. The states are right around the corner.”
With a record of 11-5, the Bulldogs have several strong opponents on their schedule in upcoming weeks. “We’ve got a good chance with the meets we have left,” Ahmadi said. “South Windsorwill be a touch match-up, but my guys are really practicing hard and they want it. They can do it.” With a recent 51-21 win over Canton, the team is building momentum towards the NCCC tournament.
Like many teams, the Bulldogs have experienced setbacks. “We had a wrestler get injured last week against Granby,” Ahmadi said. “Emerson Dolby was brought down a little hard and got a shoulder injury. He’s a great athlete – it’s hard for him and the team.”
Ahmadi would like to see wrestling build a following. “Wrestling builds character; the kids on this team are strong in mind and body. They have come a long way since the first day of practice, and I see great things in all of them,” he said.
StaffordHigh SchoolWrestling Head Coach Shirzad Ahmadi
Number of season with this team: 22
Thoughts on the season: “The kids are working very hard this season,” Ahmadi said. “We have some big matches coming up and we need to keep up the hard work and stay positive.”
Complete schedule on www.edline.net/pages/Stafford_High_School
Steve German, Senior. Weight Class: 160
Representing Coventryas a one-man team, German has been wrestling with the Bulldogs since freshman year. German has spent considerable time improving both muscle strength and technique. An All-State athlete in 2010 for both wrestling and soccer, he finished third in the Classics in his weight class. He plans on attending ManchesterCommunity Collegein the fall with a focus on criminal justice.
Tucker Fontanella, Senior. Weight Class: 171
Team captain Fontanella is described by the coaching staff as the heart of the team. Prior to SHS, Fontanella spent five years building his wrestling skills at the youth level in both the Staffordand Somers programs. In addition to wrestling, Fontanella competes in football and track, and hopes to study sports management at college in the fall.