Junior High wrestlers honored with banquet

WILCOX - The Johnsonburg junior high wrestlers were honored with a banquet Sunday afternoon at The Dam Inn in Wilcox. Junior high head coach Tim Raubenstrauch introduced the four wrestlers on the team this season. Cheyenne Copello was one of the wrestlers and Raubenstrauch said she was a leader on the team. "I've seen Cheyenne from day one to where she ended this year and her improvement throughout the year has been incredible," Raubenstrauch said. "She's learned the moves, she became more aggressive and she really gave a lot of their opponents a run for their money. I was really impressed with Cheyenne and her commitment. She never complained, she's the leader of our team." Trey Schneider was the lone seventh grader on the team this season. "Trey was one of those kids in a weight class where he can move up and down a little bit," Raubenstrauch said. "Any time we get him on the mat wrestling, it's only going to make him better so we took advantage of that. Trey brought some experience into the wrestling room. Trey can get better if he works hard. Next year, I'm expecting big things out of Trey." Christopher Kennedy was a wrestler Raubenstrauch said has potential to improve. "He really brings a lot to the table with his intensity, his desire and will to win," Raubenstrauch said. "I know if he continues to work hard in the classroom and in the wrestling room, a couple years down the road, Christopher's going to do a good job in the varsity wrestling room. He was a really good addition to the team. The sky is the limit for him."Raubenstrauch said William Peluso is a wrestler heavily involved. "A kid like William who's committed to being involved in extracurricular activities, that's going to benefit him," Raubenstrauch said. "It's going to make him a better person. He shows up each and every day, ready to go. He wants to get better. Willie never backed down. I'm expecting if he continues to work hard and wants to get better, he will." Raubenstrauch expessed appreciation to the wrestling booster, parents, athletic director Jill Casilio, Michael Kennedy for helping with the junior high team and the varsity coaches. "I know this year just being in the wrestling room seeing how hard and how much work the varsity wrestlers put in and how coach Votano and his staff push those wrestlers this year, I was impressed," Raubenstrauch said. "With hard work like that, I think good things are in the future." He also recognized assistant coach Dan Carnovale. "Without him working with the kids, we wouldn't have seen the improvement we've seen from day one," Raubenstrauch said. "He dedicates a lot of his time and his effort to see them improve."Raubenstrauch said he hopes the team gets more wrestlers next year. "I'm hoping that next year we keep doing this and keep working hard, which we'll do," Raubenstrauch said. "Our numbers will grow, our program will get stronger and better. I want these four back, I want you each to get a friend or two. We need the numbers, we need more people involved. We're just a few numbers shy of really being able to put together a good team. We went and practiced with Clarion. It was an eye-opener as to what we can do with the numbers."