Written by Tim Ahmed Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The wrestling team at Westbury High School looks forward to a fresh start this season. Last year, they struggled to stay atop the Nassau Conference, but this time, the team has a lot of valuable pieces that are crucial for them to flip the script and potentially climb to the top of the standings.
One of the shining stars in the school’s team this year is the dominating Raeco Jackson. For the past two seasons, Jackson has had an extraordinary winning record in the 113 and 120 weight classes. “Last year, my record was 28-5 and the year before that it was 30-5,” he said. With a total record of 58 wins and 10 losses, he has won 85 percent of his matches. His impressive feat helped Jackson receive all-county honors last season.
He has been a Westbury resident his entire life and is currently in his junior year at the high school. Jackson considers football and wrestling to be his two favorite sports. The all-around athlete also plays for Westbury’s football team, and during the spring, he participates with the track and field squad.
The modest yet ultra-competitive Jackson looks forward to the upcoming wrestling meet versus Long Beach, one of the top wrestling squads in years past. He recalls his favorite wrestling memory that involved the south shore school. “It started my freshman year. I was matched up against Steven Sewkumar. He beat me in the qualifiers that year. Last season, I had the chance to play him again, and this time I was able to beat him in a close match,” said Jackson.
Coach Patrick McGovern has great expectations from his team this year. “Last year our team had a 4-11 record. Keep in mind that we had a young team in a tough conference. This year, we have an experienced junior class as well as a good freshman class.”
The camaraderie among teammates in the first week of practice displayed how closely knit this unit is. With assistance from some of the former wrestlers, the two-time coach of the year winner points out that they have key players that are vital for the team this season. “It’s great to know that we have six all-county wrestlers returning this season including Jackson,” said McGovern. A few notable players in this season’s roster include Kevin Gutierrez, Kelby Then, and Jonathan Castellanos.
The team goes up against Roosevelt for a home meet Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m. and against Hempstead on Dec. 11 at 4:30 p.m.