Down season not keeping Wave on the mat


NOT GIVING IN — Wave wrestling’s not saying die in a season it competes with dwindling numbers. David Ziga, above, led as runner up in the last meet. (Photo courtesy of Darien Athletic Foundation)


As Darien grapples through a harsh winter of competition, its lopsided losing record isn’t keeping the wrestlers, or their coach, down.

Our only hope is to really develop our youth program to start feeding our team with kids that have already experienced the sport.

— Joe Vano

“The great part of wrestling is that although your goal is to win as a team, it’s definitely an individual sport where each wrestler has their own goals and I strive to make each wrestler better than they were in their previous match,” veteran DHS coach Joe Vano said, after the Wave had some high finishes but as a team came in 10th of 13 teams at Oxford recently. “I have wrestlers that are shooting to win their first match and wrestlers who have goals of placing in FCIAC’s and Class L’s. I work to develop each of them differently.”

So it’s a mixed bag in 2013 after a run of seasons competing more toward the top and producing champion contenders at multiple weight classes.

“That’s the beauty of wrestling, although it’s really tough to lose — it’s great to see potential,” Vano said. “I’ve been in this position before with a small team losing mainly because of lack of numbers and able to grow it to a team when I had a full varsity and JV line up, able to send the JV team to their own tournaments and having strong winning seasons.

“We’ll get their again, it will just take time.”

Time kills, with big turnover years, and time heals it all back up again, fickle as it is, as bruises turn to a new found brawn on the mat.

“When the majority of your team graduates, there are times when the team is just not as strong,” said Vano. “It’s hard when we’re forfeiting half the weight classes.”

Darien’s competitive numbers is the main thing hurting it this rebuilding season.

“If it wasn’t for a lack of numbers on the team, we definitely would have more wins this season,” said Vano. “Our only hope is to really develop our youth program to start feeding our team with kids that have already experienced the sport.

“For now, we need to reach out to the freshman and sophomores to bring in the numbers so we’re not forfeiting any weight classes and develop the team again.”

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Darien Times Sports Editor since 2000

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