EHS wrestlers: young, but taking it to the mat

By Tom Phelan - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Thu., Feb. 10, 2011
Junior Ryan Rader is one of the bright lights for the Raiders wrestling team. Photos by Tom Phelan.
Junior Ryan Rader is one of the bright lights for the Raiders wrestling team. Photos by Tom Phelan.

Enfield High School’s wrestlers looked as though they would come away with a win in their match against Suffield last week. It went right down to the last minute of the last match. “That’s usually how it goes,” said coach Brian Olsen after the match finished at 45-33 in favor of Suffield.

“We have seven first-year wrestlers, from 103-pound right up to 140.” Olsen said. His team has more experience in the heavier weights. “I kind of knew it was going to come down to the last few matches,”

As the contest approached its end, with only three individual matches left, freshman Jarret Maloney stepped onto the mat against Suffield junior Dan D’Ostuni. Maloney was behind in the scoring through much of the match, then came back toward the end of regulation to tie it up. But it turned out not to be his day, and he lost in a10-8 decision.

“He was a freshman going up against a junior,” Olsen pointed out in Maloney’s defense. “Jarret’s been working hard all year. He’s really been improving and he’s really psyched about wrestling.”  Olsen feels Maloney is one freshman who will improve with some off-season wrestling and weight lifting.

As the wrestling season is drawing to a close, Olsen is realistic about his team’s performance in his first year as coach. Their record stood at 7-13 after the loss to Suffield. “I’m happy with the seven wins,” he said. “Hopefully, we’re looking to get into double digits [in the win column], and we’ll improve on that.”

Olsen teaches at Enfield High School, and his trips through the halls and in and out of classrooms are all recruiting trips as far as he’s concerned. “I think we can be competitive two or three years down the road,” he said. He has seven first-year wrestlers on this year’s team. “If I can keep getting seven each year,” he said with a grin. “It’s going to look good in three or four years. That’s what I’m hoping for.

The Raiders’ team had some success with dual meets, but the first-year coach laments all the lost practice time and match time because of snow days. According to Olsen, in years past Enfield had wrestling squads with numbers in the single digits. This year he has carried fifteen. “If I can get the number up to 20 or 25, and maybe 30 the year after that, we’re looking good.”

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