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Behind the Scenes: Wrestlers of Section XI Looks at Past and Present NY Standouts

By John Passaro , 01/28/14, 7:45PM EST


It isn't always easy to find wrestling coverage, especially coverage that takes a deeper look at the wrestlers who put it all on the line week after week.  John Passaro's Wrestlers of Section XI Facebook page tries to do just that, with a goal of capturing "the people and culture of Section XI wrestling".   The site includes interviews with current Suffolk wrestlers and coaches as well as those who have taken the mat in the past to get some different perspectives on the sport.

Here are just a few recent offerings. To see more, visit this link.


John Busiello, 2013 NYS placer for Eastport South Manor, currently a sophomore at Wyoming Seminary

JP: How is it to be coached by a great coach like Scott Green, who used to be Kyle Dake's coach?

John Busiello: Coach Green is not just a wrestling coach, he is a life coach. Which is why he has produced many great wrestlers who are also great people. He knows that before you can become great you have to live a healthy champion lifestyle, which is exactly what he teaches, whether it be nutrition or mentality or being the best person you can be to your community.

Through these lessons it starts to sink in how you choose to live your life off the mat is in direct relationship with how you live it on the mat. Most of the lessons he has taught me have come from mistakes I have made off the mat. 

As I am still working on improving my lifestyle everyday I begin to gain much more insight on how to improve my ability as a wrestler, all because I am a better person. 

Coach Green and the rest of the coaching staff are also very good on pinpointing where I can improve as a wrestler.  It is a true gift to be here and be able to compete for coach Green.

JP: John, why is Coach Green such a great coach?

He teaches so much more than wrestling. He teaches you morals. He has changed my lifestyle and my mindset so much since I've been here. 

He has broken me 1000 times over. And has built me up 1001 times. 


Sachem East coach Sean O'Hara, a former wrestler at the University of Pennsylvania

JP: Ivy League schools don't allow a wrestler to "redshirt". While you were at UPenn, I heard that you took a year off of school to train with Iowa and Dan Gable. Please tell me a little about that experience.

Coach O'Hara:  I did have the opportunity to train for a year with Iowa and the experience was amazing! 

I was able to train with the best in the sport on a daily basis (Tom and Terry Brands, Troy Steiner, Tom Ryan, Mena, McGuiness, Ironside, Zadick, etc..). The atmosphere was incredible and their 'outwork the world' attitude was contagious and beyond motivating. 

The best part of the experience was being around Dan Gable. I kept a notebook of the details of what Gable had us do every workout and although it was almost 20 years ago I still carry it with me in my bag and refer back to it from time to time. 

Gable was amazing, simply the best, I was able to observe him bring out the best in everyone around him. He made you believe in yourself more than you thought possible. 

I was there for a year because my school did not allow you to redshirt, so I took a year off and trained with Iowa. 

Gable treated me like I was one of his wrestlers. 

He took time to show me things, I was part of all the extra workouts, I even went to his house with members from the team for dinner.  Towards the end of my time there I thanked him and asked him why he was so helpful to me even though I was just there to train and not on the team.
He told me the things he did for me were very small and didn’t take much for him to do, but he knew they would have a big impact on me!

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