Analyzing the Stuyvesant Spartans’ 2023/24 Season

A bright future lies ahead for the Stuyvesant Spartans.

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By Lillian Engber

The 2023/24 wrestling season saw the Stuyvesant boys’ varsity wrestling team, the Spartans, finish sixth in the Manhattan/Bronx division. With a 4-3 record, it’s fair to say that the Spartans didn’t accomplish as much as they would’ve hoped. When taken in context, however, the Spartans made the best of a season full of twists and turns.

The season started with a devastating three point loss to Harry S. Truman, but the Spartans bounced back in a statement victory over Dewett Clinton by a staggering 66 points. The Spartans picked up momentum with a signature away win at rival Bronx Science, putting them in a solid position entering winter break. However, the break seemed detrimental to the Spartans, as they came back and lost 1-3 to the Lehman Campus team. Another loss and the Spartans would be out of contention for the playoffs. Though these high stakes inspired them to win against Riverdale Academy, the Spartans would lose 5-1 to the MLK team, ending their hopes of making the playoffs.

Members of the team were left disappointed, as many of them had high expectations before the season. “I expected to at least go to the playoffs. We weren’t bad, per se, last year, and two years ago the team was really good, but things didn’t work out as expected. I expected about fourth or so in our division at best, but I lowered my expectations heavily because of the situations the team had to overcome,” junior Matthias Modeste said.

Specifically, the team faced a lot of injuries and sickness this year, notably that of captain and junior Jeffrey Huang, who picked up an ankle injury halfway through. “Our [hope and expectation was] to build a solid, dedicated team. I just hoped we could build a good foundation this year for future seasons and find people that are dedicated and love wrestling as a sport,” Huang said.

For any team, facing injuries can be detrimental to achieving goals and expectations. Firstly, it ruins the chemistry of the team, as new players substituting into the team need time to adapt and get accustomed to it all. Not only does it ruin their chemistry, but it also hurts their momentum. In the case of the Spartans, the start of the season began well but the constant injuries interrupted the momentum which was built. “Injuries plagued us,” Modeste said.

The injuries were a big loss in addition to losing talented seniors from last year. Their experience and leadership were invaluable, making it hurt all the more. Another challenge was the juggling of schoolwork at the same time, and understandably so. Going to the meets required a lot of time and dedication, making it hard to focus on both grades and wrestling. 

On the bright side, the Spartans’ future is promising. Out of the 41 members on the team, 26 will be able to rejoin the Spartans next season, with 15 graduating as seniors. This season set a solid foundation for the team to build on next year. Having gone through many challenges this season, the Spartans have accumulated valuable experience which can only help them when encountering further challenges next season. Though the team dreams big for their upcoming seasons, their wish list for next season is relatively short and simple. “We have a small but strong and determined base ready for the next season. The rising senior group is prepared to go out and give it all they’ve got for their last season. Me and them know what we have to do and are preparing for it,” Huang said.

After taking the circumstances and context of the season into account, the Spartans were rather unfortunate. A combination of injuries and the loss of seniors hindered the team’s success. However, there is a foundation to build on next season. Hopefully, the team can go far and, as they wanted this year, achieve a deep run into the playoffs.