Lippert and captains strive to lead Staples towards redemption
The Staples wrestling team did not have a strong season last year. With a 9-23 record, the Wreckers have a lot of hard work ahead of them as they strive to redeem themselves.
However, last year Staples was a young team with only two seniors and one junior, who got a concussion part way through the season. Seniors Andrew Nederlof (36-9) and David Arango (23-17) had winning records.
Staples is coached by Kevin Lippert and it's a young team with three junior captains, Julian Gendels, Chris Giunta and Mike Giunta. They wrestled at varsity level since freshman year and are ready to get focused and lead the team. They also have many team goals for the season. Gendels said, "I want the team to be aggressive and for the Staples wrestling team to be feared when being wrestled."
Last year, the Wreckers placed 12th at FCIACs and 18th at Class LL. One of Chris Giunta's goals for this season is to "hopefully have the team place in FCIACs and States," and he thinks this can be achieved with "a lot of practice and more focus than the last few years."
In addition to the captains, the Wreckers have some top returners. Lippert said, "They are all stronger, faster, and more motivated than last year." Senior John Crosby and sophomores Brad Menchaca and Michael O'Day worked hard last year and are excited to return this year in the lower weight classes.
There are also many new additions to the wrestling team. In particular, sophomore Stephen Patterson just moved from Pennsylvania and Lippert can already see that he is "fast, strong and experienced."
Also, freshman Alex Kogstad has PAL wrestling experience. Mike Giunta says that a goal for this season should be to "get some experience for the new kids."
Lippert's goal for the team this season is to "win 20 matches, place in the top five at FCIACs, top eight at states and to have no major injuries." He believes the team can achieve these goals with "hard work, re-focusing on the fundamentals, conditioning and strength training."
Mike Giunta plans to lead the team by "listening and learning from the coaches," and he is hoping the team will follow his example. Chris Giunta said, "With the coaches we have, we can definitely achieve our goals." Gendels said, "The key to achieving these goals is to push ourselves to the limit. Even at practice we need to push ourselves 100 percent."
Staples hopes it can have a season of redemption through the guidance of Lippert and the leadership of Gendels and the Giunta twins.