WILCOX – The Johnsonburg varsity wrestling team was honored with a banquet Sunday afternoon at The Dam Inn in Wilcox.
Varsity head coach Mike Votano introduced the awardwinners. Michael Kennedy won the Aaron Muroski Award. The award goes to an individual that is willing to do anything necessary to help the team. He is dependable, attends practices, works hard and willing to help other wrestlers. He is team leader, supports his teammates and an outstanding representative of the team and the school.
“He’s a kid that is always trying to better himself,” Votano said. “He’s a part of everything in the school. He’s really improved the last couple years, he’s made great strides. Mike will be greatly missed.”
Kennedy was 11-14 with seven pins and was fourth at the Eisenhower Tournament.
Alex Zimmerman won the Most Valuable Wrestler Award. He had 14 pins, four technical falls, one major decision and four decisions.
“Alex had a very strong season,” Votano said. “He finished 23-5. He was an AML All-Star, honorable mention. and first place at the Eisenhower Tournament. Alex is a good, hard worker, he comes in every day. He’s one of our team captains, he pushes his teammates. That’s a huge thing when you’re an underclassman, to get the respect of your teammates. He had a very strong season and he has a bright future with the program.”
Caleb Garvey won the Most Improved Award. He was 16-12 with 12 pins.
“Caleb worked hard and improved throughout the season,” Votano said. “I look forward to working with Caleb. He’s been in the weight room and attending technique practices. I believe Caleb should be one of the top five wrestlers at the minimum. I have high hopes for Caleb next year.”
Zebb Zilcosky was 1-2 this season before missing most of the season due to injury.
“I had high hopes for Zebb coming into the season,” Votano said. “I keep my fingers crossed that he will be able to rejoin the program before he graduates. He’d be a valuable piece to the team.”
Cory Schneider was 7-8 for the Rams. He was fourth at the Eisenhower Tournament with six pins.
“It was very nice seeing Cory back in the program,” Votano said. “I’m very excited to have him around. I think he would have a strong season if not for injury.”
Mitchell Schloder was 11-12 with eight pins.
“He had a very nice season, he made improvements throughout the year and that’s a major thing to do in any sport or anything in life,” Votano said. “There’s no reason why Mitchell can’t finish in the top four in the district next year.”
Dylan DeLong was a senior and a newcomer to the team.
“Dylan has natural wrestling talent,” Votano said. “I think he could have made some noise if he was here another couple years.
Johnny Ferragine was a latecomer who Votano said has potential for next year.
“He has been coming to the weight room, coming to the practices so far this year,” Votano said. “I look forward to working with John, he has the advantage of being a lightweight and having age on his side. I think John has high hopes for next season.”
Votano expressed appreciation to the parents, boosters and assistant coaches.
“Coming from last year, we hadn’t had a junior high program for two years,” Votano said. “Having four good kids on the junior high team is a major improvement. We had five on the varsity team last year, we got up to nine at one point during the year.”
Votano gave credit to the wrestlers for being able to push themselves throughout the season.
“I give a lot of credit to these kids,” Votano said. “It’s a sport where you have to be pushed constantly. We were able to get the most out of these guys every single practice. To improve as a team, we need to be hitting the weight room in the off-season and improving our technique.”