Former Lynbrook Owls wrestlers return to their roots


It was a special day for the Lynbrook varsity wrestling team on Nov. 25 as former members of the squad who went on to wrestle in college paid a visit to the Owls’ practice.

“It was great to see last year’s seniors come down to wrestling practice today during their Thanksgiving break,” said Hilary Becker, who runs the Lynbrook Titans Wrestling Program. “All of them are doing very well in their new environments, and we’re so proud of them.”

According to Becker, Lynbrook High School has a record number of former high school wrestlers grappling at the collegiate level. They include Becker’s son, Joe Becker (Castleton University); Matt Swanson (Binghamton University); Matt Ferrante (Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania); Zach Kornberg (The College at Brockport); Garret Handel (Binghamton); Justin Harvin (Pennsylvania State University); Tommy Urena (The New York Institute of Technology); and Matt Renz (NYIT), the son of head coach Richie Renz.

The former Lynbrook Owls came down to their old gym sporting their college T-shirts to help motivate the current Lynbrook team and went out for pizza afterward. Becker said he is optimistic this year’s team will be strong on the mat.

“Notwithstanding the loss of so many seniors, this year’s team is looking very tough,” he said. “There are many experienced wrestlers that have a good shot at making All-County, and one senior, Tyler Heaney, returning as an All-County wrestler. With hard work and determination, I’m sure that Coach Renz and Coach [Eddie] Parenteau will bring out the best in each and every one of these fine young men and, of course, one of the top female wrestlers in the country, Ally Fitzgerald.”

Fitzgerald has Olympic aspirations and made history last season when she became the first female wrestler to win her weight class in a sanctioned county tournament.