Last weekend, Bethpage High School wrestling coach Ron Abatelli scored his 300th dual meet victory as head coach of the Bethpage Golden Eagles. Abatelli will be honored on Saturday January 15th by the Bethpage Wrestling Alumni club during its annual Alumni Day celebration.
Coach “Abs” has been the varsity coach at Bethpage since the 1981-82 season, his first and only varsity wrestling coach position. He has twice been named Nassau County coach of the year and has coached
82 all county (including 20 county champs) and 15 all state wrestlers. Abatelli coached one state champion, Tom Sinacore in 1989. In addition, under coach Abatelli’s leadership Bethpage has 69 county qualifying tourney champions. Two notable high school careers coached by Ron Abatelli include Anthony Riccardi (4x county champ, 3X all state) and James Douglas (3x county champ and 3X all state).
The best section 8 team finishes for Abatelli’s teams include 2nd place in 1995, 3rd place (in 1988, 1991 and 1998) and 5th place in 1992. Special mention is deserved by three Abatelli coached Bethpage wrestling alums for their college wrestling careers. Tom Sinacore (Old Dominion) and Brian Burke (Clarion) were both one round away from D1 All American status. John Rooden (Springfield) was a D3 National champion.
The Bethpage Wrestling Alumni club was founded in 2005 and has since raised funds to support Bethpage Wrestling. Over the years the club has purchased finalists singlets, a mat spotlight, sent wrestlers to clinics, camps and the freestyle nationals. The Bethpage Wrestling Alumni Club has created a web site: http://bpawrestling.wordpress.com/ and a Facebook page: Bethpage High School Wrestling Alumni.