Billy the Kid: 2009 Suffolk County Champion, Coggins, Headed to UVA

On Wednesday morning (September 9th), InterMat broke the story that that 2009 Suffolk County Champion, Billy Coggins, has elected to continue his academic and athletic career in Charlottesville as a member of the University of Virginia’s class of 2014. In making this decision, the 2009 NYS DI place-winner (5th @160 pounds) became the third member of the Rocky Point High School wrestling team to formally give a verbal commitment to the college/university of his choice. He is joined by the #75 ranked recruit in the nation, Stephen Dutton, who committed to Lehigh University in early July and Anthony Volpe, who just two weeks after Dutton, announced that he would be Rutgers bound…The success of these three young gentlemen are indicative of the quality program run by Head Coach, Darren Goldstein. Continue reading “Billy the Kid: 2009 Suffolk County Champion, Coggins, Headed to UVA”

A Schoolboy All American Journey

In the “Way of Lao-tzu” it is said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” For most athletes taking their first step on a wrestling mat, the destination often proves elusive. Of the few wrestlers who manage to defy the odds and attain All American honors, even fewer attain the title so shortly after the referee’s first whistle. For many, the journey starts as early as five and only after many years of practice and competition.

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Matt after Award Ceremonies

In the “Way of Lao-tzu” it is said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” For most athletes taking their first step on a wrestling mat, the destination often proves elusive.  Of the few wrestlers who manage to defy the odds and attain All American honors, even fewer attain the title so shortly after the referee’s first whistle.  For many, the journey starts as early as five and only after many years of practice and competition.   And yet, after only eighteen months, Matt Leshinger of Sayville High School stood tall among the podium earning School Boy All American honors on June 10 in Orem, Utah on the campus of Utah State University, having taken the Gold Medal in the New York State Greco Roman championships, the Silver Medal in the New York State Freestyle Championships, and the Silver Medal in both the Eastern Regional Freestyle and Greco Roman Championships along the way.  “I was kind of surprised by the success,” said Matt. “I was not ready to wrestle 68 matches in the offseason.” Continue reading “A Schoolboy All American Journey”

Mighty Max: Soria Finishes A Great Year for the Brother Tandem As A National FS Runner-up

Two minutes ! This was how close to the 98-pound Junior National freestyle title rising Kings Park senior, Maxwell Soria, was this morning as he kicked off the final day of the week long festivities under the FargoDome….Winning the first period 2-0 against his finals opponent, Ruben Navejas of Washington, on the strength of a counter roll-through, Soria was the closest to the crown that any Empire Stater had been over the course of the past seven days….But, as simplistic as it may sound, a championship for New York was just not meant to be. Continue reading “Mighty Max: Soria Finishes A Great Year for the Brother Tandem As A National FS Runner-up”

Golden Girl: Longwood’s Burkert Pins Her Way to 2009 Junior National Women’s Title

When you think Longwood wrestling, what names immediately come to mind? Kerry McCoy perhaps? How about Nick Hall Sr.? In the long and prestigous history of Longwood, there have been countless individuals that have added to the rich tradition… and as of Monday July 20th, a new name has officially etched HERSELF into the sands of time…Jenna Burkert….Burkert, who despite attending Marquette Senior High School in Michigan (in order to train as part of the USOEC), still considers Suffolk County home, became the first Empire Stater in 2009 to win a National title when she pinned Randi Beltz of Missouri with :29 seconds remaining in the opening period to win the 132-pound bracket at the Junior National Women’s Freestyle Tournament in Fargo, N.D….Winning the crown puts an emphatic cap on what has been an extremely impressive year for the rising junior. In March, Burkert won the USGWA National title with a 12-5 decision over former 2x National Champion, Hanna Martin…Martin (Oklahoma) was also a national champion this afternoon, winning the 116-pound weight class. Continue reading “Golden Girl: Longwood’s Burkert Pins Her Way to 2009 Junior National Women’s Title”