Hewlett varsity wrestling coach Stephen Jones is a busy man.
It was the middle of the holiday season and still the early stages of the new season, but Jones wasn’t overwhelmed by the hustle, the bustle, the festivities or the workouts. Instead he was trying to think of everything, like a guy making a list and checking it twice.
He was preparing for his team’s trip to Arlington in upstate New York for a tournament there. He’s also looking forward to Hewlett’s first-ever Alumni Night (Jan. 3 at 6:30 p.m. against Garden City) and to Senior Night (Jan. 16, at home against South Side). He’s talking about new assistant coach Ryan Murphy and about his favorite nights of the week: Tuesdays and Thursdays, because on those nights the coach runs a wrestling clinic for kids (contact him at email@example.com, for registration information).
But it’s not as if Jones doesn’t have something to say when it comes to his squad of grapplers, which includes stalwarts Simon Greebel, Aaron Weinberg, Lester Enrique, Rob Rosenberg, Justin Ciaralo, Oran Revivo and Matt Kaminer. Greebel, Enriquez and Weinberg each earned all-conference honors last season, and Rosenberg finished fourth in the county.
“We’re looking good,” Jones said. “We have the talent, and so we’re just trying to make it as easy as possible for everyone to come out and support us.”
The Bulldogs, one of the best programs on the Island, will be tough in tournament play and in dual meets. They got off to a fast start by finishing second in the Long Beach Tournament and fourth in the ultra-competitive Baldwin Tournament. The day after Christmas, Jones and his squad will head up to Arlington, in Dutchess County, for the Mid Hudson Tournament. Two nights after New Year’s, they’ll welcome their alumni. They also have matches scheduled against Roslyn (away, Jan. 4), Plainedge (away, Jan. 9), Garden City (home, Jan. 11) and Division (away, Jan. 18). On Jan. 16, while hosting South Side, the Bulldogs will honor their seniors.
Last season ended with the Bulldogs’ 41-36 loss to Lawrence, despite winning efforts from Greebel (106 pounds), Rosenberg (138) and Enriquez (285). In their 49-32 victory over Roslyn in late December, Weinberg, Rosenberg, Ciaralo, Kaminer and Enriquez earned key points. Weinberg pinned his opponent in the 126-pound division 1:42 into their match.
Ten days earlier, the Bulldogs had won the Lynbrook Sportsmanship Cup, defeating Lynbrook 54-34. Revivo’s 12-11 win in the 126-pound weight class led the way. Greebel, Weinberg and Rosenberg also had key victories, all on pins.
Now they’re at it again, and their coach is a busy man.