SLEPPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- Steven Bencosme laughed when he thought about how his role with the Sleepy Hollow wrestling team has changed in a span of a few years.
I started wrestling varsity in seventh grade and I was one of those guys who looked up to the older guys, said Bencosme, the third member of the family to wrestle for Sleepy Hollow, joining older brother Ronnie, an assistant coach, and Dennis.
Bencosme, a junior, is now one of the older guys and is a co-captain with classmate, good friend and practice partner, Edwin Jimenez, this year. The captain duo, along with Frank Curanaj, Gabe Palacios and Juan Pablo Loja form the nucleus of a Sleepy Hollow team that will look to continue a tradition of excellent under veteran coach Brian Tompkins.
Jimenez and Bencosme understand that they are now the leaders of this Sleepy Hollow team. Being the captains means that Edwin and I definitely have to take a leadership role, especially with the freshmen and sophomores, Bencosme said. We have to teach them like we were taught.
Its definitely a big change for Edwin and I. When we were in seventh grade we used to listen to what the older guys had to say. Now, we know they are going to be listening to what we have to say.
In order to set a good example, Bencosme said he and Jimenez make sure they are the first one on the mat and ready to have the team begin stretching when practice begins at 3:30 p.m. Then, Bencosme and Jimenez become two additional assistant coaches.
The younger guys are great, Bencosme said. They are always listening and you can see they want to learn and they want to win. They are asking Edwin and I a lot of questions. They want Edwin and I to show them a new move or show them something that will help them in a particular position.
This desire to ask questions and learn makes Bencosme optimistic about the season. I feel this is going to be a great season, he said. We have a lot of veteran wrestlers coming back and younger guys in the lighter weights who we feel are going to do well.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.