With the end of the season in sight, Hackley’s varsity wrestling team has a winning record. After a recent victory over Riverdale Country School, the Hornets went on to celebrate senior Frank Maselli’s becoming an Ivy League Champion on Saturday, February 4th.
At that same tournament Hornet wrestlers and Sleepy Hollow residents Giuliani Lopez and Nate Zand both placed 2nd in their weight classes.
In fourteen weight classes, the Hornets are missing a heavy weight (220 lbs. plus) and a wrestler for the 119 lb. weight class. By not filling a weight class Hackley automatically takes a loss and the Hornets start out a meet with a scoring disadvantage. Another minor setback endured by the Hornets this year has been the partial absence of teammate Andrew Cheever. “Andrew was out most of the season due to illness. His absence hurt the team,” said Coach Stanek.
These minor issues have been small speed-bumps on a road to victory. Fran Stanek and assistant coach Ron Marchesi have guided a team filled with motivated young men. “We have a number of skilled wrestlers on the team, like Guiliani Lopez, ” Stanek said. Another key member of the team is junior Nate Zand. According to Stanek, Zand is the heart and soul of the team. “Nate wrestles with a lot of emotion. He goes out there fired up and motivates the rest of the team with his actions.”
According to both coaches, Frank Maselli, “has been one of the hardest working members of the team.” This hard work paid off not only this year but last year as well resulting in second place victory for both the Ivy League and State Championships. Maselli, the only senior on the team, plans to major in engineering in college. If he chooses one with a wresting team, Coach Stanek is sure that Maselli will be able to wrestle at the college level.
Fran Stanek also commended Keith Heidecorn on a season filled with improvement. “Keith has had a very good year. He definitely improved all around and was very successful in his dual meets.” In a dual meet, wins and losses are achieved collectively as a team. In tournaments the focus is on the individual wrestler.
Both Stanek and Marchesi commend the team for balancing all their academic and home responsibilities along with the rigorous schedule wrestling demands. Each day the team has practiced for two hours, followed by hours of homework and class preparation. “We have 18-19 kids that are truly dedicated. They work really hard even though they have a lot to handle in school,” Marchesi said.
Coach Stanek has been with Hackley for eleven years. Before becoming a coach, he wrestled at James Madison College in Virginia. Ron Marchesi has been with Hackley for 12 years, he has coached wrestling for 7. Both coaches share their athletic knowledge with other sports teams as well. Fran Stanek with lacrosse and Ron Marchesi with soccer and girls softball.
With the State Championships for Private Schools to be held on Long Island in mid-February there’s only one thing left to say. Go Hack!