The Guilderland wrestling team hasn't skipped a beat under new head coaches Korey Rogotzke and Don Favro.
The Dutchmen are off to a 4-0 start after sweeping their three bouts at Saturday's Niskayuna Duals. Those wins came on the heels of a 41-39 Suburban Council victory over Colonie last Wednesday that Rogotzke said was significant.
I'm really proud of the boys. It was a really nice way to start the season, said Rogotzke.
Rogotzke and Favro are hoping to continue building the Guilderland program into a Suburban Council power, something that former coach Regan Johnson strived to achieve over the last decade.
"We just want to stay in the same direction," said Rogotzke, who was Guilderland's junior varsity coach since coming to the school from Schoharie several years ago. "Obviously, we coached with (Johnson), and we want to keep going in that direction."
Several key veterans are back to help the Dutchmen this season, starting with tri-captains Matt Cubillos, Robert Romeo and Josh Sawyer. Cubillos, a light middleweight, is aiming for a second consecutive trip to the state championships after an off-season that included a 4-2 run at a national tournament, while Romeo and Sawyer are looking to get to states for the first time. Sawyer was third at last year's Section II qualifier, while Romeo placed fifth in his weight class.
"Nobody would have picked him to be top five in the section last year," Rogotzke said of Romeo, who spent part of his summer training at the Italian Olympic Center.
Two more veterans who have states on their minds this year are lightweight Travis Wolanski and heavyweight Devan VanAuken. Wolanski was fifth at the state qualifier last year, while VanAuken sat on the sidelines while teammate Kyle Hussey won the Section II title.
"Devan was probably the next-best heavyweight last year, and he was behind Kyle," said Rogotzke.