With a blend of experienced and young wrestlers who have one big thing in common — talent — the Beacon High School wrestling team is hoping for a strong winter season.
The Bulldogs are 3-3 in dual meets after taking a loss on the road on Dec. 19 to Brewster, 48-36. The squad will compete at a tournament at Somers High School on Jan. 4.
Coach Ron Tompkins welcomed back a core from last year’s team that includes senior captains Javon Dortch (All-Section, 152 pounds), George Pinkhardt (All-League, 285) and Sean Cooper (152), along with freshman Chris Crawford (106) and sophomore Ryan Plimley (132).
Tompkins said he likes the experience his captains, and the entire group — Plimley and Crawford each had big seasons last year — bring to the team.
“They’re all 30-plus match winners, they’ve all been here for years, and they bring a lot of leadership,” Tompkins said. “Dortch, Crawford and Pinkhardt all have the potential to be successful in sectionals.”
Senior Angel Feliz joins the team this winter, and Tompkins said he “could make some noise. He has confidence, and his work ethic is second to none. He picks up fast.”
Also joining the team this season is senior Shianne Canada, who at 126 pounds is looking for her first win. “She’s tough,” Tompkins said of Canada, who was the starting goalie for the girls’ varsity soccer squad. “She’s doing well.”
(When a school does not offer a team for a particular gender, such as basketball, football, lacrosse, soccer or wrestling, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association allows girls to compete with boys. And many excel. On Dec. 23, Isabella Garcia of Horace Greeley High School went 5-0 at a tournament in Pawling, including four pins, and won her 106-pound division.)
Picking up wins against Brewster were Dortch at 160 pounds, Feliz at 220, freshman Aaron Pegues at 182, sophomore Dan Way at 113, sophomore Ray Robles at 152, Plimley in overtime at 132, Crawford with a pin at 120 and Pinkhardt, who won due to an injury default.
“We had some kids out, so we gave up 18 points, and we were still right in the match,” Tompkins said. “Javon has been looking strong, and Crawford [who is 9-1] keeps getting better.”