Several generations of Lynbrook wrestlers gathered at Angelina’s Restaurant on Atlantic Avenue Tuesday night to honor Hilary Becker for his 30 years of service with the Lynbrook Titans youth wrestling program.
Becker joined the Titans program, which was founded by his uncle, Robert Becker, after graduating from college in 1982.
“I wrestled in high school and college,” said Becker, who took over as head coach when his uncle retired in the late 1980s. “I believe in wrestling because it’s a very strong character-building sport.”
The program currently includes more than 170 participants, ages 6-12, many of whom go on to wrestle for Lynbrook High School.
“At least 80 percent of my wrestlers come from the Titan program,” said Rich Renz, varsity wrestling coach for Lynbrook High School.
Along with coaching at the high school, Renz has been volunteering with the Titan program since 1990.
Long relationships with the Titans are not uncommon. Becker’s close friends and fellow teammates from the Lynbrook High School Class of 1978, James Johnson and Kevin Murphy, have both been with the program for more than a decade.
All three men have coached their sons in the Titan program, including Becker’s three boys, Joseph, 11, David, 10 and Thomas, 8.
“It’s amazing to see how many people stick with it,” said Becker, who is also a Village of Lynbrook trustee. “It’s truly a blessing.”
As president of the Lynbrook Youth Athletic Association, Becker introduced a women’s wrestling program, teaching wrestling as self-defense to young girls.
“I’m proud of [Becker] and his devotion to young people,” Becker’s brother and Nassau County Legis. Francis Becker (R-Lynbrook) said. “[The program] creates a great sense of community.”