May 20, 2024
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RKYHS Wrestling Rebuilding After a Record Breaking 2014

The Kushner Wrestling season is underway, with the team holding a 3-2 record after a shaky 0-2 start. This year’s team is in transition, with five of the 2014 team’s Top Five National place winners having graduated in the spring. Coach Dave Cilio has the team working hard to prepare for the Wittenberg Yeshiva National tournament held at Yeshiva University every year during President’s Day weekend. The Yeshiva Nationals is comprised of teams from all throughout the country, including California, Illinois, Georgia, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. Coach Cilio said that 2015 will be a year “devoted to developing young, new talent.”

The 2014 team made Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School history by becoming a coveted top-three place winner at last year’s Wittenberg tournament. The team went from last place in 2011 to second place in only three years, during which time it produced 21Top Five National Place Winners. The team boasted an undefeated yeshiva dual meet record throughout the 2014 regular season, along with impressive wins against both public and private schools.

In 2014, Kushner had 10 wrestlers place in the Top Five–two National Champions, one runner up, four third place, two fourth and one fifth–two of whom, Yoni Uvsitzky and Avery Katz, were freshman. Of the 10, only Coby Kestler, Menashe Shershow, Freddy Knapp, Uvsitzky and Katz remain on this year’s team. Kestler, an RKYHS junior last year, also brought home the Outstanding Wrestler award. He and his fellow seniors are set to groom this young team to continue their success this season and in seasons to come.

Students and parents alike credit Coach Cilio for teaching the boys about focus, hard work, and mental preparedness. They are hoping that despite the youth and inexperience of much of the team, the combination of Cilio’s stellar coaching and the boys’ determination will spur them to another victorious season.

By Dave Cilio & Jill Kirsch

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