Individually, Cooperstown wrestlers had one of their best years on the mat in 2013, but now the team is in rebuilding mode.
The good news is the program is larger than it has been in recent years with 19 grapplers on the varsity level and a full squad in modified. However the Hawkeyes have no seniors and big freshman and sophomore classes.
“We’ve got no where to go but up,” said co-coach Tom Rice.
Rice is the new coach in town, a New Hartford native in his first year at CCS. He coached modified football in the fall and is now teaming with Pete Sorbera to lead the wrestling program.
Sorbera is the veteran of CCS wrestling, an assistant the past few years under Micaiah Abts and a longtime fixture in the program.
“I think we’re on the right track,” Sorbera said. “We’ve got a lot of good kids. We’ve got a great modified program under Bud Lippitt. I just hope we can keep Tom around. I’m 64 and retired and I don’t know how long I can keep doing this. I can’t really get on the mat and show them things anymore. Tom can get out there and show them moves.”
The program had come together the past few years under Abts, who is teaching at Unatego but no longer coaching. It had its best year in a decade last year when three wrestlers won individual titles and Mikey Boyle was the fifth CCS wrestler to make the state tournament.
Boyle won the Section Three Class D tournament and the Section Three Division II tournament at 120 pounds on his way to a 1-2 record at states. His fellow co-captains, Jacob Miller and Kevin Segit also won titles. Segit won the Class D tournament at 190 pounds while Miller won the Center State Conference tournament at 145 pounds.