After rumor of roster not having enough athletes, wrestling team starts season


Photo Credit: Coach Corey Fitzpatrick

Members of the wrestling team pose for picture before practice. (From left to Right: Etai Weisman, Bryan Novick, Captain Greg Schlett, Captain Ben Or-Chen, Ryan Romeo, Ben Katzman, Owen Stephenson, Not pictured: Senior Captain Terence O’Toole)

by Ryan Hornish, Copy Editor

With the spread of rumors concerning Panthers Wrestling not being able to fill a roster for the season, the team has been practicing since Nov. 19. Glen Rock has found success in Wrestling after the 2015 split of the combination of both Glen Rock and Saddlebrook after a ten-year contract joining the two schools expired. After last year’s 20-6 season the team graduated 11 Seniors. Head Coach Corey Fitzpatrick is expecting a tough season ahead but despite low numbers, he believes in his team.

With questions of whether the team could field a full roster, practices started on Nov. 19. Despite the initial concern that numbers wouldn’t make the cut, the team has enough to go forward.

“Our numbers are definitely a little lower than in year’s past, you know we graduated 11 kids last year, which is a lot for us,” Fitzpatrick said, explaining that the team has lost only three or four seniors in past seasons. “We do have 16 guys on the team right now.” after the interview three more members joined the team.

Fitzpatrick has been coaching wrestling for nine years now, six of which have been at Glen Rock.

Nineteen wrestlers will be filling 13 of 14 weight classes, missing only a heavyweight. With these low numbers, the Panthers may seem like an easy win for opponents, but Fitzpatrick has seen great improvements from his 19 and believes that with the right wrestlers in the room the team has a good chance to win the league this year

A strong believer in goals and hard work, Fitzpatrick’s coaching techniques have led to success in prior wrestling seasons. He tells his athletes that they should set goals for themselves.  

“It could be as small as winning a match, could be as big as having a state medal or getting to Atlantic City,” Fitzpatrick said, referencing the State Tournament. “It’s a hard work sport” Fitzpatrick stated and the members on his team are definite hard workers

Since 2015, the Panthers have improved their record every year, so this year more than ever Coach Fitzpatrick believes that the team can win 14 to 15 matches, win the league and state sectional and send players like Captain Greg Schlett, a junior, who took 5th in the region last year, Seniors Ben Or-Chen and Terence O’Toole, both captains as well, Junior Ryan Romeo who took 4th in the district, Owen Stephenson, Ben Katzman, and of course Angelo Piazza, known as Big Ang to Atlantic City, the State Wrestling Tournament. These guys can outwork most and live and breathe wrestling with Greg Schlett predicted by Fitzpatrick to go all the way to Atlantic City, the state wrestling tournament, and win it all.

The Panthers will be wrestling three fewer matches this year and are doing an individual tournament instead of a Saturday quad, which is when 4 teams play each other.

Fitzpatrick says are “to show up, work hard, and wanna get better.”

The Panthers have their first tournament Dec. 15 at Mahwah and their home opener in the High School Gym Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 6 p.m.