By Sean Billings
First year Hunter College Head Coach Chris Mazzatta is expecting big things out of his squad this year despite losing a decent amount of guys last season. Hunter will take in a total of 18 new members to the team this season, all of whom Mazzatta describes as “young and fresh.”
While Mazzatta realizes there will undoubtedly be some struggles when competing in dual meets, he expects his team to compete for a place in the top half of the conference. “We’d like to see two or three national qualifiers and hopefully an All-American.”
Hunter’s team will look to lean on their juniors to lead the team in place of their graduated seniors. Mazzatta named Jesse Bader as one of the team’s “clear leaders.” Bader is a junior, a captain and will be competing at the 165 lb. weight class this season. Mazzatta commented on Bader’s excellent work ethic and the example he sets for the rest of the team, “he’s paving the way for the freshmen.”
While the roster is very young, the coaching staff at Hunter expects big things from the junior 133 pounder Kenny Albert and Freshman 157 pounder Declan Gray. For Albert, Coach Mazzatta says he has a good chance to be an All-American, “if he can put it together in March.” For Grey, Mazzatta commented on his talent coming in and the great potential there is for Grey this season.
Mazzatta has one match in particular circled on his schedule—“NYU, any time we face them it’s a good matchup especially with them being a top 25 team.” The Hawks will take on NYU on Friday December 6th at home. The team will have three home meets this year and can be found wrestling all around the tri-state area.