Heading into his second season on the sidelines as Somers’ varsity wrestling coach, Ron DiSanto Jr. has noticed steady development with his squad and the interest level in wrestling at Somers has increased on top of that.
“I have seen an all-around improvement in the team,” DiSanto Jr. said. “It’s not just in their skill, but I see improvements in their maturity and confidence. Our roster has 28 wrestlers this year compared to 19 last year, so there is an improved wrestling culture in the high school and more kids are joining.”
The Tuskers are led by three senior captains in Conor Heine (160 pounds), Dillon Baloy (145 pounds) and Max Freebern (182 pounds).
Other key returners to the Tusker lineup include sophomore Eric Giancaspro (120 pounds), junior Graham Roediger (126 pounds), junior Billy DiBenedetto (132 pounds) and sophomore Antonio Vieira (170 pounds).
“The strength of our dual meet lineup will be our middleweights because of the amount of experience they have at the varsity level,” said DiSanto, whose team is looking to improve on its 4-14 dual meet record from last season.
Somers has plenty of newcomers to the squad and the following grapplers are the only team members at their respective weight classes and will be starters this season: freshman Ryan Savino (99 pounds), sophomore Sean Freebern (195 pounds), sophomore Jared Rannekleiv (220 pounds) and sophomore Will Mendez (285 pounds).
The following grapplers are newcomers to the team and DiSanto Jr. believes they all have the potential to break into the lineup: sophomore John Henry Genualdo (113 pounds), sophomore Shane Weiss (113 pounds), eighth-grader Matt Kelly (138 pounds), junior Brian Walter (138 pounds), senior Rob Evans (138 pounds), sophomore Nick Fiore (145 pounds), sophomore Jacob Leff (145 pounds), sophomore Nick Davison (152 pounds), sophomore Brendan Loughlin (152 pounds), junior Jared Mazzola (170 pounds), sophomore Peter Bentivegna (170 pounds), junior Messiah Horne (182 pounds) and senior Brian Joyce (182 pounds).
DiSanto Jr. has high hopes for his youthful squad, which he believes they can attain.
“Even though we are still young and unproven, the team has a high learning curve and a great work ethic,” DiSanto Jr. said. “I believe that we are on the verge of being a very competitive team with a winning record. Our goal is to peak by February so that we can make waves at divisionals and sectionals.”
The Tuskers will open up their season by hosting the Section 1 Dual Meet Tournament on Dec. 2 and will then host their annual tournament, The Eric D’Agnese Memorial Tournament, on Dec. 5. Local teams such as Yorktown, North Rockland, Peekskill, Port Chester and Mahopac, which is coached by DiSanto Jr.’s uncle and former Somers coach Dennis DiSanto, will be competing in the tournament.