This winter’s Deerfield wrestling team must have felt as though it was opening its season with the equivalent of one hand tied behind its back. Its most decorated member, Luke Mario ’12 was forced to miss the entire season due to injury.
But even without its king pin, who captured the 125-pound weight bracket at the Class A Tournament as a freshman and sophomore, “the kids really stepped up and although our won-lost record (4-13) wasn’t all that great, individually, a number of the kids had good seasons for themselves,” said coach Mark Teutsch.
Leading the Big Green matmen was Christian Saccone ’13, who would earn the team’s lone invite to the National Tournament, where he came up one match short of attaining All-American laurels at the 119-pound weight bracket. Saccone, who finished his regular season with an 18-12 record, received the invite to the Nationals after finishing fifth in both the Class A and New England tournaments.
“We had a young team this season,” said Teutsch, “but we got some great leadership from our seniors . . . especially from our captain, Gunn Herabat, . . . and I feel as though the leadership they showed made a big difference in how the younger kids improved as the season went along.
“Wrestling is a sport where building camaraderie is particularly important,” added Teutsch, “and under the influence of this year’s seniors, some great team relationships were formed.”
Herabat proved to be a strong leader on the mat as well, as he posted a 10-8 record on the season at 135 pounds and would later be presented with the Deerfield Wrestling Trophy for his efforts. Laddie Trees ’12, meanwhile, qualified for the New England tourney after finishing fifth in the Class A competition at 160 pounds. Another senior, Edward Fashole-Luke, “showed a lot of heart,” according to Teutsch, during his rookie season as a wrestler and came through with a 6-11 record.
A pair of juniors in Adam Coppola and Maksat Kalymgazinov turned in solid performances this winter and, combined with Mario, should give the Big Green a solid nucleus to build on next season. Coppola went 12-8 at 130 pounds, while Kalymgazinov recorded a 7-7 mark at 171 pounds.