Last year was a tough year for the Wildcats winning just a handful of games in the Patroon Conference. Going into sectionals the boys found themselves with an extraordinarily low seed and actually had to win a play-in game to even technically make it into the Sectional tournament. Following an impressive victory in the play-in game, the boys hit what appeared to be a brick wall with no door out playing the number 1 seed Lake George Warriors lead by Joel Wincowski. Adding to the wall was the fact that Wincowski would be going for a section 2 record in the game. Heading into the BIG game some local media outlets pretended that Maple Hill weren’t even going to be there but, within the first few minutes some I’m sure wished they could take back their ill spoken words. As the wildcats came out swinging and actually stunned many by having a slight lead at first but, that would all change with some help from a pair of Foot Locker employees (ahem, the refs). The game became The Joel Wincowski Show, and anyone that came within a mile of him was called for foul. Long story short, before halftime Wincowski would go on to break Jimmer Fredette’s record for career points in section 2, with a free throw. Unlike your humble correspondent the boys certainly don’t want to fret over last years misfortunes. Look for the handful of seniors to step up as leaders on the team this year.
This year the lady wildcats will have a new coach at the helm, in former JV coach Seth Hedrick. Some from the outside may look at this with some concern considering this is the third coach in as many years. Look for some of the old members of last year’s JV squad to play well this year given that they don’t have to undergo the coaching adjustment. Additionally look for some of these seniors to step up given it will be their last year in the program.
Maple Hill historically has been a Section 2 powerhouse over the years and look for this year to be no different. It’s hard to predict how or what could happen given the nature of the sport. Much of the success the Wildcats have had over the years is directly linked to the c
oaching in the Gibbons dynasty. I don’t think they keep career coaching stats in wrestling, but if they did, I’m sure you’d see Gibbons on there more than once.
It may be a touchy subject around these halls but there is one thing no one is denying about this new team, and that is the skill that is on it. Sure not a lot of class C schools have a program but that C isn’t a grade, if it was I’d say it could be as high as an A. Think about it, we have one of if not the best running programs in the Patroon Conference which is mainly made of class B’s( depending on how you look at). Us historically doing so well with schools bigger than us already gives us a leg up on the competition. I don’t like to speculate so I won’t put anything concrete down but look for this team to go places.
– Dylan Rossiter