SHS wrestling team in Rodney Smith Classic
By Kathryn Elliott - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Wed., Feb. 1, 2012
On Saturday, Jan. 28, the Stafford High School wrestling team took part in the Rodney Smith Classic hosted at East Windsor High School. Beginning at 7 a.m., 19 area teams took part in the all-day tournament spread over two packed-to-capacity gymnasiums, four wrestling mats and eight hours of competition.
“I’ve got six guys working hard for me here today,” 23-year Stafford head coach Shirzad Ahmadi said. “We got here early and we’ll be at it all day. There are a lot of talented wrestlers here, but our guys are ready and I’m very proud of how hard they have worked this season so far.”
Ending 2011 as the 18th seed in the Class S state tournament with a score of 54.5, the Bulldogs entered the Classic at 2-4.
A small team by comparison, Stafford’s roster has 10 wrestlers: Alan Bakker, Mike Downer, Jason Germia, Shane McCuen, John Otero, Mark Otero, Christian Ouellet, Ethan Pace, Roshawn Rehman and Kevin Yang. Sharing the captain’s role, Rehman (131 wt. class) and Yang (190 wt class) are the leaders Ahmadi has come to rely on this season.
“I cannot say enough things about Coach Ahmadi,” Rehman said. A senior and four-year team member, he commented on the lessons learned with the SHS wrestling program. “I started wrestling my freshman year and coach has taught me everything I know. He’s always supportive, no matter how we do, and takes the time to really explain technique and strategy. He’s got a love for the sport that he shares with us every day; best coach ever.” At the Classic, Rehman defeated his opponent, 7-0.
Early in the season, Ahmadi commented on his hopes for the wrestling program at Stafford High School, as well as a sport in general. “I wish the world would wrestle,” he smiled. “It is an incredible sport that uses both the strength of the mind as well as body.”
Stafford will face the winner of the Rodney Smith Classic, division powerhouse South Windsor, away at SWHS on Feb. 4. A full schedule can be found at www.casciac.org.