RHAM wrestling hopes to gain momentum

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Hebron - posted Wed., Jan. 4, 2012
RHAM wrestler Alex Stratton (left) takes on a Hand competitor in the 138 weight category on Dec. 30 at home during the Sachem Duals.
RHAM wrestler Alex Stratton (left) takes on a Hand competitor in the 138 weight category on Dec. 30 at home during the Sachem Duals.

According to head coach Ryan Fitch, the RHAM wrestling team had a decent season last year. “Overall, I think we’re a little bit stronger as a team this year,” he said before RHAM’s first match at the Sachem Duals on Dec. 30. Illnesses and weight issues contributed to a number of losses early this season. “I think we could have beaten the teams we lost to,” said Fitch. “Getting the team on board to be committed also slowed us down a bit, early in the season.”

RHAM is also dealing with a smaller roster this year, down from a high of about 30 at the start of the 2010-11 season to a low of about 20 before the Duals. “I’ve got some good seniors this year that hopefully will lead the team,” said Fitch. Owing to the differences between the middle school and high school programs, “the younger guys have a tough time transitioning,” said Fitch. “The middle school program is more for fun, and at the high school level the competition gets more serious.” Nevertheless, “I’ve got a real good sophomore class,” said Fitch. And with the bulk of the team consisting of sophomores and juniors, the program should be in good shape for next year.

Among the senior members of the team, Colin Davis, Chris Catanzaro and Alex Stratton have the most experience, with all three having wrestled for RHAM since their freshman years. Catanzaro is one of only two two-time state champions in the history of the program, and will be seeking his third state win this year.

Facing Hand High School (ranked number one heading into the tourney) in the first match of the Duals, “will open their eyes,” said Fitch. The coach expected his team to “compete with the other guys in our bracket, get a couple of wins and move on,” he said. Fitch expected the team to continue to improve, as commitment and experience levels increased. “I expect we’ll be a drastically better team a month from now,” he said.

Assistant coach for the RHAM wrestling team is Joe Cleary.


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