When Kevin Jorgensen was named captain of the Connetquot wrestling team before the start of the season, he already had an idea of how to handle the role.
“I remember when I was in eighth grade and looked up to the seniors on the team,” Jorgensen said. “I learned a lot from them and now I really like helping the younger kids improve their skills.”
Jorgensen pinned Nick Rowes in 5:47 at 182 pounds Wednesday night to lead Connetquot past Whitman, 64-9, in the first Suffolk League II dual meet of the season for both teams.
“It set the tone very well,” Jorgensen said. “I know that I need to be very well disciplined every time I step on the mat. I wanted to get us going, and I think I did just that.”
After picking up two forfeit wins following Jorgensen’s match, the Thunderbirds continued to pile up the pins.
Sean Schaller earned a fall over Mondell Brandon in 3:49 at 285 to put the Thunderbirds ahead 24-0. Ryan Obert-Thorn, Dalton Otto, Christian Paredes, David Muchnick and Sean Hauser also recorded falls.
“I love watching my teammates go out there and get us pins,” Paredes said. “It really shows the other teams how good we are.”
During the summer, the Connetquot team committed to working on its craft together and got to know one another a little better. “We all go and train together,” Otto said. “I think it keeps us ahead of other teams. All offseason long they could be slacking, but I think it provides an edge over everyone else.”
Connetquot (5-1 overall) is hoping that edge can help the Thunderbirds defend their League II title, which they shared with Bay Shore and Central Islip last season. Led by Paredes and Jorgensen, the T-birds have high aspirations this season.
“Our goal is to win the League II dual tournament,” Paredes said. “Winning the meet today was a good start and I hope we can continue to perform like this throughout the rest of the season.”
Jorgensen added: “In the dual leagues I hope we can go all the way. We have a very good team this year and people are sleeping on us, but that doesn’t matter. I think we are going to go pretty far.”