Everyone that is involved in wrestling knows that it can be just as much an individual sport as a team sport. That is particularly true for Southampton.
Last season, the Mariners went 1-5 in League VII matches and 1-7 overall, but what is not shown in the standings is that Southampton had to forfeit at least six weight classes at each meet last season simply because it did not have wrestlers to compete in all weight classes.
“You’ve got to look at the numbers and see how we matched up to others last year,” Southampton head coach Ryan McCready said. “We would start a match down 30-0. You can’t come back from that. If you look at the matches we wrestled, we’d always have the majority of the wins, but, because of forfeits, we’d lose every dual meet except for the one.”
This season McCready, in his third year coaching the team, expects his team to wrestle in the majority of the weight classes because there are now 22 wrestlers on the squad, up from 18 last year.
Individually the team should do fairly well as Julius Anglickas (215 pounds) returns from a fifth-place finish in New York State last season, while Erin Simmons (140, 145) returns from his runner-up finish in the county tournament. Khomari Moses (171) will also return and will join Anglickas and Simmons as the three captains of the team.
“Those three stand out in my head as the leaders on the team this year, and the guys who I think are going to do exceptionally well,” McCready said.
Other wrestlers that are returning are Adam Gravano (140, 145), Kaleb Vega (130, 135), Nick Alessandrini (96, 103), and Papa Bullock (130) and Liwanu Bullock (125). Southampton also has a couple of wrestlers returning to the mat who haven’t wrestled in a few years such as Joe Dosch (130, 135).
“There is so much potential in here,” McCready said. “It’s going to be good. It’s going to be real good.”
While Southampton has many wrestlers returning, it will miss what Neko Gettling and twin brothers Matt and Josh King brought to the team as they have all graduated. Gettling will be with the team this season, helping McCready as an assistant.
Southampton will have a busy month of December to get ready for league competition. The Mariners will be at Miller Place for a non-league match on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. Southampton will then be in three tournaments; the Bay Shore Tournament at Bay Shore High School on December 13 at 9 a.m., the Bellport Tournament at Bellport High School on December 20 at 9 a.m. and the Ward Melville Tournament at Ward Melville High School on December 27, which starts at 8 a.m. Southampton will have its first league match on January 7 at home against Mercy at 5 p.m.