Whitman-Hanson Regional High freshman wrestler Damari Goldsmith- Greene has been turning some heads with his play on the mat this season.
It was on brisk Wednesday, Jan. 3 evening when W-H hosted and was soundly defeated by Plymouth South, 69-3.
W-H’s lone win of the match came at 132 pounds, courtesy of Goldsmith-Greene, who downed his opposition, 9-5.
It was already the third victory of the winter for Goldsmith-Greene, and while he may be in ninth grade, he is vastly ahead of the game.
Goldsmith-Greene began his career on the mat in sixth grade as a member of Josiah Quincy Upper School’s wrestling team, where he competed for three seasons, before moving at the outset of the 2017-18 school year, which led to him attending W-H.
“I came in not knowing anything and then in seventh and eighth grade it was more of like a learning thing for me,” he said. “Then, when I got here it was kind of different because we all wrestle different, but I knew I just had to work hard and just keep it up.”
W-H wrestling head coach Gary Rabinovitz said he knew from day one he had something special in Goldsmith- Greene. “He had great takedowns, but his top and bottom is what really needs the work, so he has a lot to learn, he’s a freshman, but he’s willing to learn – he’s going to go very far,” Rabinovitz explained. “He’s come with a lot of experience behind him and pure talent, I think he’s going to be really good over the next three years.”
Not only has Goldsmith-Greene enhanced his own skills, but he’s improved others around him as well.
“Actually, Ben Cordingley at 138 [pounds], they both weighed in at 132 and he has made Ben a better wrestler,” Rabinovitz said. “Damari showed up on the scene and pushed him and actually won the spot at 132 and they’re going to wrestle off one more time before sectionals, so the things that he’s brought to the team are incredible. He really works very hard, very coachable and just a great overall kid.”
Goldsmith-Greene said the biggest hurdle he’s had to overcome since joining the W-H program is just adapting to the system.
“Learning the new moves that they learn,” Goldsmith-Greene said of his toughest challenge since joining the team. “Everyone wrestles differently, that’s basically it, learning new moves.”
In the Panthers’ Jan. 10 meet against Duxbury, Goldsmith- Greene scored another 9-5 victory to help the team edge the Dragons, 45-36. Three days later, he medaled at the 2018 Weymouth Invitational with a sixth-place finish at 132 pounds.
“I just want to work harder and make it to sectionals and states,” Goldsmith-Greene said.
Rabinovitz is looking for the same thing out of Goldsmith-Greene.
“The key is to place in sectionals, go to states, especially as a freshman,” Rabinovitz explained. “Then at every tournament next year he’ll have what’s called paper, so he’ll be at least seeded at every tournament next year, so we’re really looking for him to be in the top-four in sectionals and go to states as a freshman.”