Wrestling program builds confidence

Feb 23, 2024

When the Wareham Tigers Athletic Association started its wrestling program in the fall of 2023, it didn't know what kind of reception the program would have. 

As it  turned out, the community’s interest was high. 

"Our original goal was to cap it right around 20 [kids]," said Adam Giacomozzi, the Tigers' wrestling coach. "We ended up taking 27, and I know that there was more that wanted to do it."

The season's turnout built confidence in the program. Giacomozzi said the Tigers is looking to run some individual classes in the spring and an expanded version of the program this coming winter, with kids having the opportunity to wrestle kids from other towns or attend tournaments. 

The Tigers' long-term goal is to build interest in wrestling and to get a high-school version of the program going, he said. 

The program has also built confidence out on the mat. 

John Brito coaches for both the Tigers’ wrestling and football programs He said the growth of confidence in the kids between the first and last days of the program was apparent. 

In team sports like football, it's possible for one kid to "hide" among the others on the field, Brito said. Kids don't have that option in an individual sport like wrestling. 

"You can't hide,"  Brito said. "You gotta have confidence to compete."

"What you put into it is what you're gonna get out of it," Giacomozzi said. "It really shapes you as a person and builds confidence, because wrestling is a one-on-one sport."

Matt Woodside, another football and wrestling coach, said lots of skills transfer between the two sports — especially strength and coordination. About half the kids who participated in wrestling have participated in other Tigers sports, according to Brito. 

"The kids were great," Woodside said. "Wareham has a great pool of kids, of talent," and they can help put the town on the map, he added.