WHS Wrestling Enters New Era
Anthony Piscitello took over the Wethersfield High School wrestling program this winter and is in the process of rebuilding it.
Piscitello, who is from New York, most recently coached at East Hampton High School in Long Island and Brooklyn Technical High School before moving to Connecticut in July.
His top priority is mentoring an extremely raw group as he constructs a program that can be contenders in the future.
“The biggest issue is finding guys that have [wrestled] before. I came in with about 19 guys, but only three had wrestled in any capacity,” said Piscitello. “We have a lot of first year guys, but they are sticking to it and enjoying it.”
Helping Piscitello transition into the position are team captains Donato Laurie, Mateo Aguirre Ussher and Foti Gjoni.
Laurie, a sophomore, has been the team’s most consistent wrestler and has registered the most wins this winter. He recently placed third at a tournament at Bristol Central and finished 5th at the highly-competitive Greater Hartford Open on Jan. 14.
“He has the leadership mentality,” Piscitello said of Laurie, who wrestles at 132 pounds. ”He pins a lot of guys, I would expect to see him on the podium. He works really hard and he is the hardest on himself.”
Piscitello, who was a four-time All-league and two-time All-County wrestler in high school, eventually hopes to help implement a local youth feeder system in the area, which was wiped away by the Covid-19 pandemic.
For now, he is focusing on teaching the basics of wrestling to an young, yet eager group that is learning on the fly.
“It’s about building good habits. It’s about sticking to the fundamentals and making sure they are doing the right things every single match,” said Piscitello. “They are going to take their lumps, but I don’t care about the matches in December and January, it’s about where we are at the end of the season. Those are the matches that matter.”
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin