MAHOPAC, N.Y. – The Mahopac High School wrestling team is coming off one of the best seasons in team history, rolling to 31-5 dual meet record and a league title.
This year’s Indians team returns a solid core of experienced grapplers, who will wrestle under the direction of first-year coach Steve Tornambe, who takes over for veteran Dennis DiSanto, who retired after last season. DiSanto (the all-time Section 1 wins leader) is actually back coaching the Indians JV team this season, due to unexpected circumstances. Joe Srednicki, a sectional champ with the Indians in 2001, will assist Tornambe.
Tornambe was an assistant varsity coach at Pleasantville for 13 years. This will be his first opportunity as a head coach.
“I came from a prestigious program in Ossining, and Pleasantville is also a good program,” he said. “So, I feel confident about stepping into Dennis DiSanto’s shoes, and doing a great job.”
Mahopac graduated eight starters from last year‘s team, but 15 return, including All-Section selections Angelo Centrone (sophomore, 113, 46-6 last season), Aiden Muldoon (junior, 120, 38-13 last season), and Tyler Roa (senior 152, 41-9 last season).
Senior Larry Nardecchia (26-9 last season) also returns and will serve as a captain this year—along with senior Londrim Hasanramaj (120, 32-10 last season), Roa and Centrone. Juniors Ryan Kick (132) and James Russo (138) also return, and hope to play a key role.
“We’re looking for our four captains to lead by example,” Tornambe said. “We have 37 kids, including a bunch of freshmen, and they know all the kids, and lead on and off the mat. They are the hardest workers in the room, they set the standard.
“Our expectations are high,” the coach added. “Our seniors know where they are, and they have a good mindset. They’ll do what it takes to achieve their goals.”
Freshmen Chris Morris and Sam Przymylski are a pair of up-and-coming wrestlers in whom Tornambe sees potential.
“Chris placed fourth at the tournament, and wrestles with a great attitude,” Tornambe said. “He’s always asking questions. Sam is new to the sport, but he has a great attitude and picks up very well. I can’t wait to see him compete.”
The coach believes the Indians are looking at a strong season.
“The transition has been going very well,” he said. “I think we have a great chance to show people Mahopac is still around. We’re seeded 15 in the Section 1 Dual Meet Tournament. I think that’s low. Our goal is a league title, and to put as many wrestlers in the sectionals as we can, and win a sectional title. That’s why we’re doing it. Staying healthy will be a key, and we need to learn from our mistakes. We have to learn and get better every day.”
Indians Take Second Place
The wrestling team opened their season last Saturday (Nov. 30), taking second place at the Uniondale Black Knights Classic in Uniondale, Long Island.
The Indians had three champions: sophomore team captain Angelo Centrone took a title at 113 pounds, junior Alexander Smith won at 120, and senior captain Tyler Roa was crowned at 152.
Junior All-Section 120-pounder Aiden Muldoon took a second place, and junior 170-pounder Brock Fitzpatrick also took second.
Junior Ryan Kick (132) and junior James Russo (138) both took thirds, senior Larry Nardecchia was third at 145, and Londrim Hasanramaj took third at 220 pounds. Freshman Chris Morris placed fourth at 99 pounds, and junior Eddie Gonzalez was fourth at 132 pounds.
“This was a good first tournament for us,” Indians coach Steve Tornambe said. “We saw some very good wrestling, and some not so good wrestling. I got to see a lot of our wrestlers, and I was impressed. They have a good foundation, they’ve been coached well in the past, and our three champions all looked calm and collected.
“Alexander (Smith) was impressive,” the coach went on. “Unfortunately, his win came against a teammate (Smith beat Muldoon in the 120 final). Brock impressed me, Ryan and James are such hard workers, and looked great. And Angelo and Tyler both looked great.”
Mahopac was scheduled to compete at the Mike Nardone Invitational Tournament Saturday at Ossining High School, starting at 9 a.m., and the Indians are at Walter Panas at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10.