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Denebola » Article » Sports Spotlight: Maor Cohen, Joey Needleman, and Elliot Spivak
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Sports Spotlight: Maor Cohen, Joey Needleman, and Elliot Spivak

By Denebola
Published: December 2007

By Mark Garrity

After a decent season last year the wrestling team is looking forward to hitting the mats once again this winter. The team remains confident even after losing thier best wrestler, Simon Kitzis, to a private school. “Obviously, it is unfortunate to lose a great wrestler,” captain Maor Cohen said, “but I think from top to bottom, we are much stronger than we were last year.”
During practice the team splits into two sections. While one section wrestles, the other section spends time in the weight room.
Practice usually ends with a match simulation where wrestles wrestle one another in preparation for the next competition.
The wrestling team elected three captains for this season: seniors Cohen, Joey Needleman and junior Elliot Spivak.
“I think coach Rotatori is great,” Cohen said. “He is very passionate about the sport and he puts a lot of his own time into making sure that we learn not only how to wrestle, but also how to be disciplined student-athletes. Fagen is cool too.”
Cohen has been on varsity since his sophomore year. He made it to States as a sophomore and placed fifth at sectionals last year. This year he hopes to win sectionals and qualify for All-States.
“I love [being captain] because I can teach my teammates moves and watch them get better,” Cohen said.
This is Spivak’s third year on varsity. He placed third last year at sectionals with a record of 19-15.
Spivak, however, has higher hopes for this season as he aspires to win the state tournament and carry South to the DCL Championships.
“I love being the captain because I feel that I can share a lot of my knowledge in the sport with the rest of the team,” Spivak said. He has not decided yet if he will try to wrestle in college.
Needleman has been on the varsity team since sophomore year. He spent his sophomore and junior years in the 171 weight class and this year he is wrestling in the 189 weight class. Needleman improved greatly last year, from an 8-16 record sophomore year to a 22-21 record as a senior. Needleman also managed to make it to States last year by placing third at Sectionals.
He hopes that this year he will place first or second in Sectionals and also place in States so he can compete at All-States.
“I would like to do something like an intramural tournament, but I don’t think I’ll wrestle on a team,” Needleman said about his future in the sport.

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