SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Steven Bencosme and Edwin Jimenez met as toddlers and grew up to become best of friends and make an impact on Sleepy Hollow High School football and wrestling.
However, it was through wrestling that the two seniors forged an unwavering bond. Recently they began their final varsity season together with wrestling practice.
“We started coming here [the high school wrestling room] in fifth grade with Ronnie and Dennis wrestling,” Jimenez said, referring to Steven’s older brothers Ronnie and Dennis. “We’ve been here ever since, and it has been a good fit. Growing up together, we’ve always had a practice partner to wrestle and we’ve made each other better.”
Sleepy Hollow coach Brian Tompkins promoted Bencosme and Jimenez to varsity as seventh-graders, and the two have become fixtures. They are also carrying on family traditions: Steven following Ronnie and Dennis, a Section 1 Division II champion and current Sleepy Hollow assistant coach. Jimenez’s father, Carlos, was a New York State champion for Tompkins in 1989, and his cousin Randy Rodriguez wrestled for Sleepy Hollow and was an assistant coach last year.
“We have the same mindset, that we both want to improve, so we have this competition between us, but it is a friendly competition,” Bencosme said.
They both laughed when they said that sometimes it gets intense between them in the already hot wrestling room, but that’s the nature of the sport.
Bencosme and Jimenez know each other so well that when they practice, it often leads to a stalemate or the duo wrestling on their feet for prolonged periods. As a result, both constantly add to their repertoire.
“We know everything coming from one another,” Bencosme said. “Having been through every previous situation in practice, it’s like second nature, so I might change it up, do something he does, or he will do something I do.”
The two were instrumental in leading the football team to the Section 1 Class B final and are the best of friends away from sports. Both said the same thing, that whether it's sports, schoolwork or anything, one can always turn to the other for guidance.
Though this is their final varsity season as teammates, Bencosme and Jimenez want to finish with a bang, leading their team to a sectional title and each winning an individual title.
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