LINCOLNDALE, N.Y. – As Dylan Realbuto prepared for the beginning of the 2012-13 Somers varsity wrestling season, he realized there would be a major shift in his role on the team.
For years, Realbuto followed the lead of his older brother, a five-time Section 1 Division I and three-time New York state champion. Brian Realbuto graduated in June, leaving the team in the capable hands of Dylan and fellow senior Mark Lasar.
Dylan Realbuto and Lasar are the only seniors on a Somers’ wrestling team that is psyched about the season.
“I view my role on this team as a leader, and I am fortunate to have Mark as a leader also,” said Realbuto, the 2012 New York State Division I 113-pound champion. “I want to lead as much as Brian did. Brian led by example. He was not as vocal, but he was always there to help out anyone who needed it. I am going to do the same thing.”
Realbuto and Lasar demonstrated their leadership and coaching abilities Tuesday during practice. Somers coach William Von Tobel pointed out what the team was going to work on before each drill, then Realbuto or Lasar, or both, while demonstrating the move, explained each aspect of it.
“When a wrestler explains and demonstrates a move to his teammates, they might be more willing to listen,” Realbuto said. “It also puts Mark and I in even more of a leadership role. When coach shows faith in us to do this, our teammates will have faith in us.”
Realbuto and Lasar are the lone seniors, but the Tuskers do return a veteran core. Juniors Anthony DiMauro, Realbuto’s cousin; Larry Courtien; Liam Heine; Luke Roediger; and Alex Graap complete the nucleus. Junior Dom Celli, who wrestled for Somers his freshman year, returned to Somers after one year at Iona Prep, and adds another solid wrestler to the lineup.
Von Tobel is hoping to have a group of football players join the team this year. The football team just completed its season, so the players are talking some time off before coming to practice.
Realbuto and his teammates are psyched about the impending new additions to the team, especially in the upper weight classes, with the graduation of sectional champ Dom DeVita (220 pounds) and 195-pounder Jason DiBenedetto.
The veteran core has been together since its members were elementary school students, with Realbuto and Lasar starting as second-graders.
“With the addition of a couple of guys for our heavier weights, we can fill in our depth, and with our returning wrestlers, we want to pick up where we left off last year,” Realbuto said.