The Times West Virginian

Sports

December 4, 2013

Polar Bears looking to keep pace on the mat

FAIRMONT — Fairmont Senior is hoping that their hot 2012-13 season carries over into this season.

After returning four wrestlers who placed at the state championship, head coach Mark Delligatti and his team are hoping that some state titles are in the cards.

“We finished up strong last year,” Delligatti said. “We have four state placers that are returning, but two are out until late December.”

Delligatti and his staff feel that they have a top-notch program from top to bottom.

“We’ve got a pretty good little wrestling team coming back,” he said. “We know North (Marion) and East (Fairmont) have a good team, too, so we’re trying to compete with those teams.”

The Polar Bears will turn to two seniors, Vincent Delligatti and Anthony Alvaro, to lead the way.

Alvaro returns a state champion from last season at the 145-pound weight class, while Delligatti comes back hungry after dropping only two matches to the eventual state champion in the 220-pound weight class.

“We’ve got two really good seniors,” coach Delligatti said of his returners. “But we also have some youth in some places.”

One of those in that category is Brent Wyne, who has qualified for states twice in his career.

Delligatti said he’ll be looking for Wyne to step up while the others are out.

“Coming into the season we have some young kids who we’re really trying to get pumped up,” Delligatti said. “Then we’ll turn them loose and see how they can wrestle.”

Delligatti attributes the success of his program, along with the rest of Marion County, to their wrestling feeder system.

“Some of these kids have been wrestling since the pee wee level and now we’ll get to see how they compete at the high school level,” he said. “You’re only as good as your feeder programs.

“We’ve always taken pride in building a good wrestling program, and it shows in Marion County. All three schools have strong programs.”

Delligatti said this season he hopes to build even more interest with the success of the program.

“Hopefully we can give them something to look forward to,” he said.

Wrestling fans can catch their first glimpse of the action this Friday when the Polar Bears travel to Hedgesville for their first match of the season.

“Going to Hedgesville this weekend gives up a chance to open at a tournament,” Delligatti said of the team’s first stop. “It gives us a chance to wrestle eight matches in two days, and East and North will be there so it’ll give us a chance to see them.”

As for expectations, Delligatti just wants to give the fans something to celebrate, and a few state titles.

“We want them to enjoy Polar Bear wrestling and keep that going and give our local fans something to look forward to.”

Email Matt Welch at mwelch@timeswv.com or follow him on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.

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