Walpole Wrestlers Showcase New Stars

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A Walpole wrestler ties up with his opponent. (Photo/Marissa Glover)

Justin Rouhana

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A Walpole wrestler ties up with his opponent. (Photo/Marissa Glover)

The Walpole Wrestling Team graduated three skilled Metro Sectional Champion seniors last season and are now looking to rebuild its lineup. These three top wrestlers were Captains Johnny White, Sean Coyne, and Michael Cofsky. By losing these tremendous athletes, the team has many young and less-experienced athletes; thus, this season was predicted to not be equivocal to last year. The athletes have proved fans otherwise and have stepped up gaining both experience for years to come and attention from the local media.

With the season’s focus shifting from dual meet wins to meeting individual goals and wins, sophomore Kyle Robbins – in the 182 pound weight class – is growing more and more dominant every time he wrestles. In his latest bout against long time rival Natick, Robbins beat senior Everett Winzlaff of Natick 5-4, getting the take down to win with 2 seconds left in the match. Winzlaff, a fantastic wrestler, is an honorable mention in the Division II rankings for Massachusetts wrestling. With Robbins taking the win from him demonstrates his tremendous athletic ability and strength as he is only a two-year wrestler. Robbins had the top seed at Metro Sectionals last Saturday, February 4 and took fourth place, advancing him onto states this Friday. When asked about his concerns for Friday, Robbins said non-chalantly, “I’m just focused on taking it one match at a time and wrestling my style in all of my bouts.”

Junior Captain Caleb Cofsky is another shining star in this year’s line-up and is only a second year wrestler. He was thrown into the position of Captain due to lack of seniors on the team and leadership. The coaches selected him because of his abilities on the mat as well as his tremendously responsible attitude. When asked how he felt about becoming a Captain, Cofsky answered, “Although it was a bit sudden, I was excited to take on the role of captain of the [wrestling] team. With all of the quitting and injuries at the beginning of the year.”  Caleb said,” I knew my team really needed me to step up.” Joining the team as a sophomore, he wrestled at one of the toughest weight classes in the state at 103 pounds. Even though others had an amassment of experience on him, he still had a very acceptable season, finishing with a record of 15-8. Moving up a weight class to 113 pounds, Cofsky not only gained experience but grew stronger as he increased in size. Cofsky improved his record this year to 21-7 becoming one of the most reliable wrestlers on the team and also placed in sectionals last weekend. Cofsky took 3rd and will move onto states this Friday as well.

A highly proficient member of the team, junior Captain Eric Jansen performed very well at the nimble, 132-pound weight class this season. Injuring his knee in a practice last month, Jansen was forced to end his season early, finishing with a record of 13-7. Jansen became a Captain this season, similar to Cofsky, due to lack of seniors and leadership and quickly adjusted his attitude and mentality in accordance with the position. Jansen transferred sophomore year to Walpole High from Xaverian Brother’s High School.  With his experience of having a different coach, he brings with him a completley different arsenal of takedowns and tools to defend against the opposition and helps the team by teaching them to the younger kids. When asked about his thoughts for the team next season, Jansen replied, “If kids progress and work hard in the offseason, we will be a force in Division II, mark my words.” Successfully earning the spot as a captain this season virtually gurantees the postion to him next season.

With a majority of the freshmen on the team being first timers on the mat, freshman Nicholas Glover of the 106 pound weight class is exactly the opposite of that. Glover has been growing up in a wrestling family. His parents had him coached by Ukrainian Olympic medalist Nik Zagranitchniy and the coaching proved successful. Finishing the regular season with a record of 19-9, Glover had one of the best records on the team and since he is only a freshman, this is quite an achievement. Taking 4th at sectionals last Saturday allows him to move onto states this Friday with his other star team mates. When asked what he hopes to accomplish this Friday, Glover responded optimistically, “[I hope] to wrestle my best and win as many matches as I can.”