Notre Dame wrestlers celebrate first program win
Success isn't supposed to come this quickly to a first-year program. First-year programs are supposed to experience serious growing pains and aren't supposed to go out and beat teams that have a much longer history in the sport than they do.
But Notre Dame-Fairfield went out and in just its sixth match as a varsity wrestling program, defeated Amity 39-24 at the Southington Duals.
"We had four matches total at the Southington Duals," said head coach Steve Fulco. "We've wrestled against Barlow and Weston and in a couple of individual tournaments."
Junior Hakim Fleming, who shined on the football field this season for the Lancers, went 4-0 on the day to win the heavyweight division while freshmen Jacob Castillo (113) and Wesley DaSilva (182), senior Daniel Mendez (220) and junior Bill Kelly (195) all went 2-2 on the day.
"Hakim has been great." Fulco said. "He knocked off two ranked heavyweights in the state, (Richard) Crooks, from NFA (Norwich Free Academy) and a kid from Amity."
Recruiting mostly from the football team, Fulco has been able to field wrestlers in eight weight classes and hopes to continue to bring in potential wrestlers from other Notre Dame sports. He even has a couple of female wrestlers, senior Tekarah Coward (152) and senior Danielle DaCosta.
"She's tough," Fulco said of Coward who went 1-3 at the Southington Duals, losing 6-5 to a wrestler from NFA and 5-1 to a wrestler from Platt. She went all three periods with those wrestlers. She really is tough."
"Our future is pretty bright with these kids," Fulco said. "Our main focus is definitely going to be looking to get kids from the soccer team, the track team. I think we're getting a lot of good feedback throughout the school. Kids come and watch the practices ... we'll see what happens."