Written by Arthur Kaminsky Thursday, 06 June 2013 00:00
Everyone in Manhasset is well aware that many talented local male student-athletes choose to shuffle off down the road a small pace to attend prestigious Chaminade High School. Often, there are “side effects” beyond the obvious—that the young men receive a fine educational experience—and the students grow into clever and well-spoken athletes.
Therefore, it is no surprise that a pair of local boys played major roles in the success of a pair of that school’s varsity teams—wrestling and hockey.
Despite having taken up wrestling at his elementary school in New Jersey, also a grappling hotbed, Declan Gray provided a surprising answer when asked how he came to this most grueling activity.
“My dad forced me to do it.”
Apparently, his father, Michael, had enjoyed some success on the mat and considered such guidance would be beneficial for his only son.
Clearly it was terrific advice, as Declan has compiled a remarkable wrestling resume while also gaining National Honor Society recognition for his academic achievements:
124 individual victories against 23 defeats
Only sophomore in history of the program to be given team Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award (2010-11)
Which led to this year’s events as a senior and resulted in the extremely rare (5th occurrence on the Flyer mat) in which a wrestler, having been MVP previously, was rewarded with the career MVP trophy as even a higher honor.
Declan’s dominant season at 132 lbs., which featured his 2nd Catholic League (CHSAA) Championship, qualification (remarkably rare) for the New York State Federation Tournament held in Albany. Against the best of the best, Declan racked up a very respectable 2-2 record, finishing 8th in his weight class—a single victory from 6th, which would have earned him All-State recognition. “I was very pleased to advance as far as I did in the Federation against the great New York State Public Schools wrestlers—the best in our nation.”
As for colleges, he is still sifting through offers to wrestle at a higher level — either Hunter in New York City or the College of New Jersey—which would bring him back to dad, James’, roots in the Garden State. He plans on a pre-med major, which he hopes will lead to a career as a psychiatrist.
Blending academics and sport—all while remaining an exceptionally pleasant fellow— results in quite a combination. Quite a guy.
His friend, James Henry’s, resume reads the same. He has just completed one truly spectacular hockey campaign for the Chaminade icers—which produced his first MVP Trophy for the University of Richmond-bound center-iceman. Again, consider the facts:
Once scored 8 points in a single game—one of his four 4-goal games this season (24 goals and 30 assists for 54 points in only 19 games).
MVP for the entire CHSAA as well as both 1st team All-Long Island All-Star Team and MSG Varsity’s Tri State All-Stars.
Joined by sophomore defensemen, brother Thomas, the team finished second in the regular season only to drop a heartbreaker to archrival St. Anthony’s in OT.
As for the future, this National Honor Society student-athlete intends to follow his dad Jim’s footsteps in becoming a distinguished orthopedic surgeon.
Like Declan, James embodies discipline, hard work, the willingness to pursue quality academics and highly competitive sport. Congratulations to them both.