Mercado shines for East Hartford High School wrestling team
By Corey AmEnde - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Thu., Jan. 23, 2014
An animated Todd Albert displayed a range of emotions as he watched the East Hartford Hornets wrestling team face off against Wethersfield during a recent home match. From the thrill of victory, to the agony of defeat, the first-year head coach was equally invested in each match as East Hartford dropped a close one to Wethersfield, 42-39.
This year’s team has had its share of ups and downs. With a 1-9 record as of press time, there have been struggles as a collective unit, but individual wrestlers have also celebrated some accomplishments. Albert said Eddie Mercado has been a consistent force at 106 this season. Mercado recently won the Eagle Classic on Saturday, Jan. 18, at East Catholic High School. The match featured 16 teams, including a few undefeated squads.
Alex Marlow and Chandler Chasse, both team veterans, have also been very consistent this year, added Albert. In addition to a core of veterans, Albert said the team of 30 has a number of rookies and first-year wrestlers that are also making an impact.
“Our rookies are looking really good,” said Albert. “They’re stepping in when they have to. They’re winning matches; we’re doing well in JV tournaments. We've got a lot of rookies in the lineup, which makes it very difficult when they’re going against experienced and older people.”
At a recent JV tournament at Fermi, the Hornets had four first-place finishers, four second-place finishers and three third-place finishers out of the teams. “Our record doesn’t necessarily reflect that, but we’re building,” the coach said. And according to Albert, the outlook for the future of the East Hartford High School wrestling program is promising.
“We have a fantastic middle school program that was established about three years ago,” said Albert. “Our youth program was re-established two years ago. So the feeders are going to pay off. The dividends are just going to take a couple years before that all works out for us, which is good going forward.”
As for the remainder of this season, Albert looks for the team to keep building – one day at a time, one match at a time. “If we can get consistency with our guys, that’s going to be the biggest key for us,” said Albert.
Hornets’ remaining schedule: Saturday, 2/1 Enfield, New Haven, Northwestern at Enfield 9:30 a.m.; Wednesday, 2/5 at Berlin 6 p.m.; Saturday, 2/8 at Conard 11 a.m.; Saturday, 2/15 CCC Tournament at Glastonbury 10 a.m.