LHW: It’s been rumored that you will be retiring from wrestling shortly to spend more time with your kids. Is there any truth to this?
HOWIE: I’ve been doing this for 24 years, and it may be time. I’m not sure, but this year may be it. I have 3 young kids, ages 8, 7, and 4, and it’s difficult to build a successful program and at the same time devote quality time to your kids; it’s not impossible, it’s just difficult.
If I’m going to be here as head coach, I have to know that I can give it my all because it’s not fair to these young wrestlers who have high goals if I can’t give my all to help them achieve their dreams.
LHW: It’s been rumored that you ducked a dual meet with the Wantagh team last season. Is there any truth to that?
HOWIE: We’ve been County Champs seven years out of the last eight. I was not looking at Wantagh as being in our game. Coach Murphy talked himself into the spotlight. As a seven time County Champ if you want to wrestle me, you come to me. He never did.
I mean the bottom line is I invite everybody to the Long Island Challenge. I want the best teams to be there. I ask people every year to wrestle MacArthur. Massapequa will, Seaford will, Farmingdale will and a few others will.
Wantagh has never been a part of that. They never even crossed my mind. Coming into last year, I was looking at East Meadow again. I was looking at Massapequa, I liked Seaford, sixth in the county, many place winners back, but I thought the team to beat would be Plainedge. That’s who I really thought. So Wantagh wasn’t even on the table.
Each season my number one goal is to win the Nassau County Tournament championship; my second goal is to win the Dual meet county title; my third goal is to win the Conference championship. Other than that, I’d rather lose a close match 32 to 31 than win 50 to 3. The thrill and preparation of a good match are awesome, win or lose.