This Week's Spotlight: Nanuet Boy's Varsity Wrestling Team

This year's team was packed with all-stars.


Nanuet Boy's wrestling head coach Carmine Serra had a 2011-2012 team packed with champs. Serra and his staff led seven of its players to the Section Finals.  As a team, they took the Sectional Title with a section record of 277 points, about 40 points ahead of the second place team.

The Nanuet wrestlers who made it to the Sectional finals were

  • Joe Dillon (99 lbs)
  • Vinny Skokos (106 lbs.)
  • Anthony Calvano (120 lbs.)
  • Matt Dillon (138 lbs.)
  • (195 lbs.)
  • Mike Buhlmann (160 lbs.)
  • Kevin Brundage (182 lbs.)

In addition to the seven Section finalists, the team also had seven players place in the top six.

  • Eric Boyle (3rd place at 106 lbs.)
  • Peter Smith (3rd place at 170 lbs.)
  • Josh Nelson (3rd place at 285 lbs.)
  • Billy Thompson (5th place at 132 lbs.)
  • Jazz Saraguro (6th place at 145 lbs.)
  • Andrew Freeman (6th place at 182 lbs.)
  • Sergio Ventura (6th place at 195 lbs.)

"In the past four years, we have sent 18 wrestlers on to the New York State Championship," said Serra. "No other team in the Section can make that claim.  We have now won consecutive Section I Championships and also were crowned Section One Dual Meet Champions this year as well."

This year five of Serra's players went on to compete in the NYSPHSAA State Wrestling Championship held in Albany in February. They were Joe Dillon, Vinny Skokos, Anthony Calvano, Matt Dillon and Dan Breit. These five wrestlers competed with about 480 student-athletes from approximately 400 schools in 11 sections. It's the best of the best.

Serra is proud to share that his team has been a NY State Scholar-Athlete team. The team also is very community centric and has been involved in organizing fundraisers that have raised over $12,000 for Breast Cancer research.

"Three years ago, our team organized and ran an event called "100 Tons of Hope" where I lifted 100 tons over the course of three hours.  Wrestlers served as spotters, record keepers, t-shirt salesmen and collectors of funds.  We raised $3,100 at that event," said Serra.

For the past two years, the Nanuet Wrestling Team has organized and ran the  where teams of ten compete to pull a fire truck 100 feet. The goal is to finish in the least amount of time.

"This year we had close to 40 teams compete within the Teen, Open, and Police and Fire Divisions.  It's a way for our wrestlers to give back to the community, something we try to instill in them.  Over the past two years we raised almost $9,000.  Next year, we are hoping to get fifty teams involved."

Wrestling is a large part of the community in Nanuet. Serra and his assistant Roger Banta offer a "Mat Club" to kids at George Miller and Highview Elementary schools.  The children practice one to two times per week and they also participate in competition. Starting in grade school is a great early introduction to wrestling.

"Although my name is officially linked to our mat club, the person who actually runs the club is my assistant Roger Banta.  I take care of their paperwork and in-school aspect of the club, but he is primarily responsible for the practices.  Without him and the volunteer coaches we have, our program would not be anywhere near where it is today," said Serra.

It's a great feeder program for the high school allowing the coaches to spot talent at an early age and groom them as they enter high school.  Encouraging the varsity players to achieve the success just as this year's team has.

Congratulations to this year's Nanuet Wrestling Team! Well done, and we look forward to what next season brings.

Roger Banta March 22, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Thank you so much for the great coverage of our hardworking boys grades K-12!! You can find us on Facebook @ Nanuet Wrestling-Club. We always welcome new volunteers in any capacity. Thanks Again!!-Coach Banta
Adriana M. Skokos March 22, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Congrats to all of Nanuet Wrestler's!!! You guys did a outstanding job this year. Thanks to the coaches and everyone who supported the boy's with this sport in Nanuet High School!!! Keep up the great work!!!!


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