Greylock, Taconic wrestlers hold joint practices to prepare for states
WILLIAMSTOWN -- At the end of wrestling practice Tuesday morning in Mount Greylock's "Snake Pit," Mounties coach Ray Miro called the wrestlers to the mat. He spoke briefly, talked about the next day's practice, and had the grapplers break practice.
"One, two, three -- Berkshire County!" went the cheer.
It wasn't just Mounties in the huddle, after all. The Taconic Braves were there, too.
The Mounties and Braves are practicing together this week in advance of Friday's Division III state meet in Foxborough. It's a tradition Miro has had during his entire tenure at Greylock, and one he -- and Taconic's coaching staff -- believes benefits all sides in this round of the postseason.
"We'll work out together because we're down a few people," Miro said. "It gives you fresh bodies."
The wrestlers who are still in the hunt for championships are fewer now than last week. Greylock will take six wrestlers to states this weekend, while Taconic takes four.
Many of those state qualifiers were on the mats in Williamstown on Tuesday morning, and they'll be there this morning and Thursday as well. Miro, John Carvalho and Taconic coaches Jeremy Tetreault and Dave Jones patrolled the mats. On one end, Taconic's Dylan Sickell worked out with Greylock's CJ Lillie. Carvalho got on the mats as well, working with Taconic 220-pounder Dave Jones, the Taconic assistant coach's son.
"I can see what he likes to work ... and we're able to build off it a little bit," Sickell said of Lillie. "We've wrestled a lot of times in the past, and it's always been a really good match. It's good to get to work with some of the better people from the other schools."
There was no animosity between teams Tuesday. There typically isn't, either. The coaches get along, and they respect each other's programs. It's the reason they keep practicing together.
"That's usually the way it is," Tetreault said. "Western Mass., you're against everybody. When we go to states, it's kind of camaraderie. You go and you're hanging out with the Monument guy, or the Greylock guy.
"We get a little bit from them, and they get a little bit from us."
The coaches don't have a problem guiding the other team's wrestlers, either. Miro ran the drills midway through practice Tuesday before handing the whistle and timer over to the elder Jones.
When either man spoke, everyone -- whether they were wearing green Taconic clothing or black Mounties shirts -- listened.
"Certainly, if I walked in someone else's room, it's their show, and I have no issue," Miro said. "We all get along. What we're trying to do is get these kids a good workout."
For Greylock freshman Devin Pelletier, it doesn't matter who's talking during practice -- the Greylock coaches who guided him to a Western Mass. individual title Saturday at Holyoke, or the Taconic coaches who have joined the Mounties on the mats this week.
"I think of them all as coaches," Pelletier said. "They all wrestled. They know what they're doing. It's very helpful to have them."
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