Higher Education: All-American Perez Latest NYS Wrestler To Take Talents to Ivy League, Headed to Princeton.

All I can say is finally ! For those of you who loyally read all of these recruiting press releases, you know that in the past two years, I have written about just about every demographic possible; I’ve covered a Minnesota kid taking his act to Buffalo; I’ve highlighted back-to-back #1 recruits opting to become Bearcats; I even managed to sneak in an article about three kids from the same wrestling club all heading to different elite academic colleges. What follows is hardly the first Ivy League related piece that I have written, and with the way things are looking, it certainly will not be the last. Therefore, why does this particular story appeal to me? Because it hit me just a few seconds ago that today marks the first time that I will have the pleasure of paying tribute to a young man from my own hometown….After the countless recruiting updates (all of which I should note were a joy to pen), I finally get to pay homage to a Levittownian, thanks to the work, both in the classroom and on the wrestling mat of General Douglas MacArthur High School senior, Chris Perez, who just short of a week ago realized his personal dream when he formally committed to Princeton University. In making the big decision, the pride and joy of the Generals’ wrestling program became the second Long Islander to select the Chris Ayres Tigers as his next home. He joins All-Suffolk wrestler, Steven Leshinger of Sayville, who in early November, was the first member of the class of 2011 to opt for the New Jersey based institution of higher learning.  Now, all that remains is for a wrestler from the CHSAA to pledge his allegiance to the Orange and Black in order to complete the clean sweep. Continue reading “Higher Education: All-American Perez Latest NYS Wrestler To Take Talents to Ivy League, Headed to Princeton.”

Tremendous Trio: Sayville Wrestling Club Sending Three to DI Ranks….

Like any sport, wrestling is a pyramid where only the very elite are able to successfully make the jump to the next level. For this reason, it is a major honor when a school, town, or for that matter a wrestling club is able to send even one student-athlete to the NCAA Division I level. With this sentiment is mind, I ask you, just how big a smile do you think adorns the face of Sayville WC coach Mike Vetrano, who over the course of the last few weeks has witnessed not one, not two, but three of his star pupils give commitments to DI schools? My guess is that the grin is ear to ear, and rightfully so….Starting on November 6th when All-Suffolk wrestler, Steven Leshinger (a representative of Sayville High School as well as the wrestling club) gave a verbal commitment to Princeton Tigers’ Head Coach, Chris Ayres, a chain reaction was created that saw Paul Alessandrini commit to Franklin & Marshall two days later, and the third of the trio, Mt. Sinai’s Frank Abbondanza pledge his allegiance to the Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina exactly one week after Leshinger’s initial commitment…When approached from just a wrestling aspect, this accomplishment is sufficient enough. However, to look at only one side of the proverbial picture is to ignore the true essence of what this achievement means. With all three of the selected institutions of higher learning ranked in the first tier by US News and World Report, it means that not only have these native sons done us all proud on the wrestling mat, they have also been role models in the classroom for their younger teammates. Coming from my background as a guidance counselor in training, the latter is every bit as significant to me as is the former; and both are deserving of your admiration and praise. Continue reading “Tremendous Trio: Sayville Wrestling Club Sending Three to DI Ranks….”