The Whitman-Hanson Regional High wrestling team finished above .500 for the first time in five years.
Proud is an understatement when Whitman-Hanson Regional High wrestling head coach Gary Rabinovitz reflects on this past season.
It’s easy to see why. W-H finished the season with an 11-8 mark, its best record in five years, sent five wrestlers to the D2 state meet and filled all 14 weight classes by early January.
“I cannot say enough about what this year’s team was able to accomplish,” said the fourth-year head coach.
It wasn’t always smooth sailing for the Panthers, who opened the winter 5-7, before catching fire, winning six of their last seven, highlighted by a sweep of Nauset, Rockland and Hanover on Feb. 1.
“Each of my first four years as head coach we lasted a week longer than the previous year,” said the coach. “That means our wrestlers are getting better and that is all that matters.”
Senior captain Steve Brooks (160 pounds) paced the Panthers in every statistical category, going 38-11, while posting 32 pins for 215 points en route to league all-star status.
“Steve Brooks is a pinning machine,” Rabinovitz said. “Steve had an outstanding career as a four-year starter and two-year captain for Whitman-Hanson.”
Junior captain Damari Goldsmith-Greene (138 pounds) was also voted a Patriot League All-Star after going 32-13 and racking up 149 points. He’ll enter his senior campaign with 88 career wins.
“We can’t wait for Damari to reach the 100-win mark as only four Panther wrestlers have ever hit that mark,” said his coach.
Senior captain Bethany Ralph (120 pounds) brought leadership to the mat as well. Also, for the second straight year, Ralph finished as a runner-up in the girls’ wrestling state tournament.
“I noticed from Day One of her freshman year that Bethany Ralph was going to be a special wrestler,” Rabinovitz said. “She brought it all to practice and competition every day for four years. She had one heck of a career.”
Seniors Mike Gardner (182 pounds) and Tyler Cullinan (170 pounds), junior Declan Hanapy (220/285 pounds) and sophomore Joe Boss (106 pounds) also heavily contributed for the Panthers this season.
Rabinovitz said the future of the program relies on numbers and offseason training.
“If we can continue to fill all 14 weight classes with quality kids we will continue to head in the right direction,” Rabinovitz said. “I believe the whole team is excited for next season, we finished on a high note and it really brought this team closer together.”