Far Rock Strikes Gold At Wrestling Championships
By Ken Hernandez
The Far Rockaway High School Wrestling team took a major step in bringing back the winning tradition to its program. Marquis Whitmore came in first place (275 pounds) at the NYC PSAL Individual Championships held at Truman High School on Saturday February /16/2002). This marks the first time in twelve years that Far Rockaway has an Individual city champion since David Santos (112lbs.).
This special day also marks the first time in five years that Coach Ken Hernandez, who is also the varsity Baseball team head coach, and an Assistant Coach for Varsity Football, has a representative of the NYC Championship team.
The Far Rockaway High School Wrestling team took a major step yesterday in bringing back the winning tradition to its program. Marquis Whitmore came in first place (275 pounds) at the NYC PSAL Individual Championships held at Truman High School on Saturday, February 16, 2002). This marks the first time in twelve years that Far Rockaway has an Individual city champion since David Santos (112lbs.). This special day also marks the first time in my five year coaching tenure that I have had the honor of coaching a representative of the NYC Championship team.
Marquis, who is in his Junior year at Far Rock, has been a great captain for our Wrestling team this year. In his second year of Wrestling, he has grown into the sport and has become a force to be reckoned with in the Heavyweight division. This B+ student is a three-sport star participating in Football, Wrestling and Baseball. His leadership, patience, and guidance have been valuable parts of this year's team. While the team did struggle as a unit, they never gave up and they were always willing to go that extra mile to become better.
As the number one seed going into the tournament, Marquis knew that the pressure would be on him to produce. But he did not let this sway him. This in fact helped motivate him to train hard, and dedicate himself, as well as his team, to reach for the stars and conclude this season on a positive note. His seeding granted him a bye in the quarterfinal round, and a result he faced a wrestler from team champion Truman High School. In an exciting battle, Marquis was able to roll his opponent to his back after both went down in overtime for the victory and a shot at the finals. His opponent, as fate would have it would be Lehman's Lee Mar (Juicy) Millington, who Whitmore faced in a dual meet earlier in the season.
This match proved to be a great war of wills, heart, and determination from both opponents. At about 5:30 into the match, in the third period, Marquis was able to gain an inside lock on his opponent, forcing him to the mat. He held on to Millington as the referee called the match by pin and Marquis had fulfilled his dream. He mentioned to me before the match, "You know coach, I'm tired of seeing all this silver in my dreams", referring to the two 2nd place finishes he achieved at the Glass Tournament and the Varsity Tournament last year. He doesn't have to dream of silver anymore.
Also competing at the PSAL Tournament for Far Rockaway was:
103 pounds: Christian Hidalgo took 6th place with a win over Stuyvesant.
125 pounds: Calvin Dawson placed 8th.
130 pounds: Devon Jones placed 8th.
152 pounds: James Reed placed 6th with a win over Sheepshead Bay.
171 pounds: Andre Green placed 8th.
215 pounds: Thomas Terry placed 8th.
It was a great day overall for the team.