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Wrestling Room Dedicated To Al Bevilacqua

Former students give legendary coach praise and accolades at ceremony

On Friday, Oct. 5, Massapequa High School unveiled a newly renovated, state of the art wrestling room in honor of former head coach, Al Bevilacqua. The room was dedicated to Bevilacqua, who has almost 35 years of experience as both an educator and coach in Massapequa schools. Many of Bevilacqua’s former students and wrestlers joined in honoring their former coach, as did members of his family, local residents, school board members, and other school officials. Those who spoke at the ceremony talked about Bevilacqua’s coaching ability, and also commented about his character, ethics, and love of education. Bevilacqua is credited with helping transform Massapequa High School wrestling into the recognized program that it is today, and many of his former students would also say that his impact extends far beyond wrestling.

“If you had him as a teacher, you would understand why this wrestling room is being dedicated to him,” said Gary Mims, Massapequa’s former wrestling coach of many years who succeeded Bevilacqua. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him.”

Mims said that Bevilacqua taught wrestling techniques, and also instilled in generations of students the values of discipline, which they applied in all aspects of their lives. Mims refers to himself as “Bevilacqua’s eldest son.”

“Nobody loves wrestling more than Al,” he later added.

The renovation and dedication of the wrestling room was made possible through donations given to The Friends of Massapequa Wrestling Inc, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting wrestling within the Massapequa community. The efforts put forth into renovating the wrestling room are intended to mimic Coach Bevilacqua’s own generosity and inclination toward giving back to the community. With the addition of this wrestling room, it is hoped that future generations of Massapequa wrestlers will be able to develop their talents, and the program will continue to flourish.