By Michael Otero
During the 2014-2015 school year, LIU Post reinstated wrestling, a sport that had a long history at the university. Before last year, the last wrestling match at LIU was in 1988. The comeback has sparked great feedback from alumni and former wrestlers alike.
Warren Hannas was a wrestler for the then C.W. Post Pioneers when their wrestling program was in its hay-day in the 1960s. Hannas, now 70 years young, felt proud to see the program revived in Brookville, “Long Island wrestlers have dominated New York state high school programs for many decades!”
Hannas, who wrestled for Post as a senior, previously wrestled at Franklin and Marshall for a couple of seasons before transferring to Post. At that time, his coach was Jim Davey. Davey was the man responsible for catapulting Hannas’ wrestling career. “He encouraged me to join the team in my senior year having demonstrated my abilities in the wrestling room in my junior year.”
The importance of a coach to his wrestlers cannot be overstated. Hannas stressed how important Davey was to him. “He drew talent and cultivated both technique and disciplined athletic tness. He was a man that you wanted to push yourself to your optimum and deliver for.”
After he graduated from Post, Hannas still had a desire to be a part of the sport he loved. He had been very successful on the mat, but wanted to instill values in the younger generation of wrestlers. So, when he became an English teacher at Village School District in the Stony Brook region, he mentored seventh, eighth, and ninth graders and taught them how to wrestle. Even to this day, Hannas still has the itch to coach wrestling. He assists a wrestling program in Madison, Conn., where his two grandsons are beginning to hone their skills.
Hannas, who has seen his fair share of wrestling matches, gives young wrestlers a piece of advice: “Never underestimate your opponent and nd out your biggest weakness and work on it.” How can you expect to get better when you’re never willing to improve? Hannas was and still is open to constructive criticism of the sport he loves.
The wrestling team, with a roster of 21 members is currently coached by Joe Patrovich. They still have plenty of matches left this season. The team is currently ranked in the top 10 in the latest D2wrestle. com Super Region I rankings. “Wrestling is like a chess match with your body,” Hannas said fondly. Each move has a bunch of possible counters and there are then counters to those counters. “If skills and training are equal, the victory can depend on a slight nuance or a stronger desire [to win].”