Following a 1-20 season, North’s wrestling program had to make some much-needed changes; the head coach’s departure created not only a vacancy in the team but also an opportunity to raise the program from its ashes. The man who came to fix these troubles of the past year, and now says his wrestlers “will be successful,” is new wrestling head coach Edward Ferraro.
Ferraro’s wrestling background certainly supports his notion that the team will make significant improvements. He wrestled in high school and college and has won championships with elite teams like Eagle Academy, so he clearly has a solid understanding of the sport.
But any major sports fan will tell you that not all coaches who understand the game know how to teach it well. Many coaches will train in ways that might seem tedious or ineffective; Ferraro is aware of this potential problem. “The guys right now are used to conditioning in the form of doing a lot of running, but this is the complete opposite of my philosophy in wrestling,” Ferraro said.
He believes that the best way to prepare for a full match is through “constant drilling and wrestling in the room.” To enforce this philosophy of match preparation, Ferraro has incorporated training drills from other coaches and wrestlers, such as former UFC champion Frankie Edgar and also a Coach from Blair Academy, one of the most prestigious boarding schools for wrestling.
The team members have only positive comments regarding Ferraro’s coaching philosophy. “His coaching style has a huge impact on the team. In the room you can already see that everyone is working hard, and the practices are all high quality,” senior Vinny Porreca said. “One of the biggest differences from last year is that he demands respect and intensity at each practice.”
“This is the key element that will turn our team around,” junior Chris St. Amour said.
What is most naturally concerning is the team’s lack of depth: only thirteen wrestlers. Despite this low number, the size of the team has actually grown from last year. “During pre-season I have been to the school as much as possible to promote the program and have shown up to many events just trying to spark some interest and recruit as many kids as possible,” Ferraro said. Although the number of wrestlers is low, “I would rather have thirteen kids who want to be there and understand the family atmosphere I am trying to create than thirty kids who are just dragging through practice,” he added.
With an increase to the size of the program, an eager group of wrestlers, and a knowledgeable coach who understands how to teach the sport properly, the team is only going to improve.