Xavier Wrestling Preview

Can the Falcons meet the high standards they've set for themselves in years past?

By Calvin Platt, Assistant Editor

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Xavier wrestling’s seniors this year have had a high standard set for them their entire career. Their freshman year, the 2010-2011 season, Xavier won the LL championship, followed by a 2011-2012 season in which they won the LL championship again and the State Open. Last year Xavier’s team again was among the state’s elite, and although they failed to win LL’s or the State Open, Elliot Antler ’13 was crowned New England champion for his weight class. I talked to the team’s three senior captains; Will Chowanec, Colin Cunningham, and Brendan Butler, all of whom are very confident about the upcoming year. Read below to see why they’re so confident!

Who will be some of the standout wrestlers on the team this year?

Will Chowanec: Brendan Butler (senior, 160), Colin Cunningham (senior, 182), Quinn Marino (senior, 142), me (senior, 138), Chidi Broderick (junior, 220), Noah Cruz (sophomore, 195), Pat Moynihan (freshman, 106). These are our top wrestlers; all of them should do well in LL’s and the State Open.

Brendan Butler: Will Chowanec, Colin Cunningham, Chidi Broderick, Quinn Marino, and me.

Colin Cunningham: Our four seniors: Quinn, Brendan, Will, and myself. Also, Chidi, Noah Cruz, and Severino Burgos are key non-seniors.

What are some key matches to watch for this season?

Will: Senior night will be intense. But LL’s and the State Open will both be very competitive this year.

Brendan: I would say Danbury is always a good match, and when we travel to Pennsylvanian those are big matches… I would say the best home matches this year are the meets with Glastonbury, Trumbull, Windham, and Ridgefield, they’re all solid teams.

Colin: Fairfield Warde, Foran, New Milford, Danbury, and Hand.

What is the teams strength? Why is this a strong point and who are some of the standouts in this area?

Will: We are very tough all the way through this year. The guys I’ve already mentioned should be our toughest wrestlers this season.

Brendan: I would say the strongpoints are all the weights from 140 to heavyweight because each wrestler is a top competitor at their weight, and is either a junior or a senior. All the key wrestlers I said before are wrestling throughout those weights this year.

Colin: Overall our team has very little weak points. All of us are capable of having great years. Our strongpoint would be the consistency throughout our lineup.

What are the biggest challenges for the team to overcome this year? Whats the key to overcoming these challenges?

Will: We need to become more aggressive throughout the lineup, and wrestle as well and as hard as we do in practice. In order to overcome these challenges we need to be able to get into the right mind set before our matches and realize what we are capable of.

Brendan: I think the biggest thing is just staying healthy and making weight and everything else will come easily for us.

Colin: One thing about wrestling is that it’s a long season. Unlike football or soccer everyone makes the postseason. In the years we’ve won we all wrestled our best in the LL tournament. Whereas last year, we peaked a little earlier and died out before the tournament. So I would say our biggest challenge is peaking at the right time.

Whats the biggest loss for the team from last year, and how do you fill the void?

Will: Our team this year is solid all the way through; we fill the voids left from last year well with a very consistent lineup.

Brendan: I would say losing Elliot Antler as a State Open champ and New England champ hurts, but we lost very few seniors overall and this year I believe we’re more well-rounded. We can rebound from our losses by just coming to practice every day motivated and having a goal in mind.

Colin: Elliot Antler, you don’t usually get a wrestler who goes 47-0 and wins New Englands. But, last year we had a lot of young wrestlers-most of which are now wrestling a lot better. Including myself, we have all matured and are ready to take this season on as a team.

What would you say is the X-factor for the season?

Will: Our guys need to overcome the mental aspect of wrestling and understand that they are great wrestlers-we need to believe in ourselves. If we are going to continue to wrestle strongly through to the postseason, we need to be in the right mindset and know we’re the best team in the state.

Brendan: Probably how the younger, lower weights wrestle and how successful they are.

Colin: Our toughness. We have been fighting through injuries and sickness yet have still found a way to win.

Are there any underclassmen to watch for?

Will: Pat Moynihan at 106 should be a really tough wrestler this year.

Brendan: It’s hard to say because we’re not sure of the lineup but whoever starts at around 103 lbs., 113 lbs., and 120 lbs.

Colin: Pat Moynihan, Jake Holland, and Noah Cruz.

What is your prediction for the season and why?

Will: I can’t make a straight up prediction, but what I can tell you is that our team will be one to watch out for… and we will be taking home championships this year.

Brendan: I see us winning LL’s and the State Open as a team because I don’t see a team as well rounded as us. Also, we set that goal every year and I see us reaching that goal this year.

Colin: I can’t predict anything but I can tell you our goal is to win. We can’t be content with losing; it starts with the dual meets and then carries over into the end of season tournaments.

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