Bethpage's Jake Einbinder, a 2014 state placer, had an official visit to Binghamton that he's unlikely to forget. During the trip, he experienced some pains, which turned out to be an appendicitis. However, that didn't take away from the overwhelmingly positive experience that led him to later commit to the Bearcats. New York Wrestling News caught up with Einbinder to talk a little bit about his decision.
New York Wrestling News (NYWN): What were the main reasons you chose Binghamton?
Jake Einbinder (JE): It was just a great place overall. The team was really nice, the campus was beautiful and I felt that the atmosphere would be really good for me. I went on an unofficial over the summer to Binghamton and went back for my official visit. It was a great experience and it will set me up for the future.
What other schools were you considering?
I was looking at Maryland, Hofstra and Cortland. I took unofficial visits to all three. Binghamton was my first official visit and I knew it was the right place.
What weight do you see yourself wrestling in college?
I would say either 149 or 157. In high school this year, I will probably go either 145 or 152.
Last year, you dropped your first two matches against two-time state finalist Justin Cooksey of MacArthur, but then beat him in the Section 8 finals to earn your way to the state tournament. What was the difference in that third match?
The first match I had against him, I was just back from football. I hadn't put much training in and was pretty gassed. The next time, I wasn't able to get out from bottom - he just controlled me. I worked a lot with Gregor Gillespie, especially on bottom and on top because I knew that I would see Cooksey again. I thought if I wrestled the way I could, I would beat him. In our third match, in the county finals, it was 0-0 after the first. I got an escape and then put him on his back for a five point move and won 6-1. That win was a big boost - it made me feel I could wrestle so much better and gave me confidence going into the state tournament.
In your first apperance at the state tournament, you made All-State after taking sixth at 138. How did you feel about your performance in Albany?
I was a little nervous -- even though I usually don't get nervous. The day before the tournament started, when I walked in on the practice mat, I looked around and it was really big - I hadn't been in that atmosphere before. I felt that on the first day I wrestled pretty well, but on the second day I got frustrated after my semifinal loss and didn't wrestle back too hard. I regret that now, but there's nothing I can do about it now. I have to fix it this year. I want to be a county champ again and win a state championship.
What do you feel that you've improved since last season?
I am definitely so much better on bottom and I think my top game also has gotten better and better because of the work I've done with Gregor Gillespie on my mat wrestling.
Are you doing any tournaments or other wrestling before the season starts?
I'm in football season right now. I'm the starting quarterback and a safety for Bethpage. [Einbinder led his team in tackles last year]. But I still wrestle. Usually a couple of nights a week, I try to go to Ascend with Craig Vitagliano -- especially to match night on Wednesdays. There are a lot of top guys there. I also wrestled over the summer and went to a lot of camps.
I also play lacrosse, but I enjoy wrestling the most. I think the coaches at Binghamton feel that as a three-sport athlete, I haven't reached my full potential in wrestling yet.
I want to thank my coaches and my brother [Samuel Einbinder, a county placer last year] for helping me improve. I go with my brother every day. I think he can win the county this year, if he gets to the right weight.