If you’ve been wondering why students around campus are flaunting bleached, blonde hair, you’ve come to the right place. Fresh off of their Inter-Ac championship, Malvern’s wrestling team members each dyed their hair to show their spirit for the team.
The championship is especially significant, as it is the first time Malvern has won the Inter-ac in twenty years, when Coach Nathan Lautar was just a freshman at Malvern.
But what to what do they attribute their success? According to Lautar, who was just named Pennsylvania’s Wrestling Coach of the Year, the team’s unity was key.
“We all came together as a group throughout the season,” said Lautar. “We had some ups and downs, but towards the end of the season everybody came back healthy and ready to go and it showed on the mat.”
Eleven Friar wrestlers qualified for Nationals: Mike Beard ‘18, Pete Ciesielski ‘15, Patrick Devine ‘15, Brian Gola ‘17, Chris Hisey ‘18, Matt and Nick Lattanze ‘16, Rashon Lusane ‘16, Mark Salvatore ‘18, Frank Satriale ‘15, and Ben Tuohey ‘16.
The team practiced daily throughout the season, in what is known as “a two-hour grind,” according to Lautar.
“We pushed the kids throughout the season in terms of tournaments, and tried to get good matches so when it came down to the season they were ready to go,” said Lautar. He said that the team habitually trained in order to peak when it counted most, at the Inter-Ac championships.
Charlie Arena ‘15, co-captain of the team, described the team as “the hardest working group of guys in the gym, pushing themselves every day to get better. That was the biggest contributor to winning the Inter-Ac.”
Arena described Coach Lautar as a huge support and influence. “Whenever I needed help on or off the mat he has been there as an influential figure in my life,” he said.
Senior co-captain Patrick Devine said, “The most important thing Nate taught me is how to always give 100% effort in everything I do. This mentality of always wanting to be the best has really affected the way I look at both academics and athletics. I’m grateful to have a coach like Nate to help me along the way.”
Lautar was caught by surprise when he heard the news about being named Coach of the Year. “They didn’t even make an announcement so I had no clue until I got home,” he said. “I got a text message from the guy running the tournament who called and said, ‘Hey how do you want your name spelled on a Coach of the Year award.”
Lautar noted that award is not just his, but shows the team’s effort as a whole.
After taking the Inter-Ac championship, the team went on to States where they placed second.
“We just have to to get back in the gym and work even harder to place first at nationals,” said Arena. “I know we have talent as a team to do it, and we just have to work for it.”