NMHS Wrestling: Continuation of Dominance?

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NMHS Wrestling: Continuation of Dominance?

Taha Rao

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After winning Class L’s, finishing 3rd in state opens and 5th at New Englands, the expectations for The New Milford High School Wrestling team are extremely high going into the 2016-2017 season. The team is determined to add another year to their SWC banner, win state opens and hopefully be able to make some noise in New England’s.

The ambitious team has been restlessly awaiting the beginning of this season and preparing with their goals in mind. The team participated in the summer program at the high school while others also went to private institutions like Cactus and Iowa Style. “We feel very prepared for this season, especially the seniors and a lot of juniors too.” Said captain Cameron Berger (Senior)  “They have been doing a lot of off-season work so we feel like this is going to be a good year for us.”

Head Wrestling coach, Chris Piel, is a very experienced coach, coaching many of the wrestlers since they were young. He has built a lasting bond with these athletes and has taught them valuable lessons both in the ring and out. Piel also has very high expectations for the team, as he knows full well what they are capable of.  “This season should be very competitive.” Piel said, “We should be a competitive team as long as everyone works hard and does their job.”

The boys will be looking to come out of the gates firing with their first meet against Bethel, then onto a tournament at Wethersfield. Considering their outstanding performances last season, the team seems to be very confident in their abilities to dominate their competitors, as they should be. They will be led by returning standouts Mel Ortiz and Tyler Shultz who last year, as sophomores, placed in the Eastern States Classics, as well as Cameron Berger and CJ Shultz who both placed in SWC’s last year.

As talented as they are, nobody expects the competition to roll over for them this year. The team will face some very tough competition in the form of Newtown and Danbury. Also, despite their embarrassment of riches, it must be noted that they lost arguably two of the best wrestlers the school has ever seen. “When you lose wrestlers like Bryan Rojas and Brett Leonard, who were great captains and great leaders, you can’t replace [them].”  lamented coach Piel. But the team remains positive, hoping this year’s captains Cameron Berger, David Angulo, and CJ Shultz can lead the team to the heights Rojas and Leonard previously have. With the work the wrestlers have put in during the off-season, and the heights they set the bar at each year, the pieces are together for yet another incredible run.

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