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History of NMHS Wrestling
Dr. Erich Doubek

In February 1971, Mr. Paul Malinski with his assistant Mr. George Ferris, teacher at NMHS, started a wrestling program at New Milford.  Coach Malinski anticipated that it would take two years of intramural wrestling, and one year of JV wrestling, before competitive varsity wrestling would start.  Twenty boys started practice that Febraury and there was only one meet that year (a loss to a newly formed Newtown team).  Things progressed faster than anticipated and NM had a 4-6 JV record their second year.

Varsity wrestling officially started at NMHS in the 1972/1973 season, one year ahead of schedule with great success, the team winning their first three meets and finishing with a 5-6 record.

The 1973/1974 season brought many firsts.  It was the first winning season with a 7-3 record.  It was the first year of the New Milford Holiday Tournament (which NMHS won, with Weston, Housatonic Valley Regional High School, and Southbury following).  Finally, it was the first time that NM Wrestlers placed in the state sectionals (Sam Waymouth - 2nd, John Devin - 3rd and Dave Hamilton - 4th places) to qualify for the States, although none placed in the States.  After that season, Mr. Paul Malinski left NM with a 12-9 record.

Starting in the third year, Mr. George Ferris took over as head coach and lead the wrestlers for 6 years from 1974/1975 to 1979/1980.  His overall record was 32-41-1.  In 1974/1975 he had the first wrestler to place in the States (John Devin - 4th @ 105 lbs) and in 1975/1976 he had the first wrestler to win in States (John Devin - 1st @ 112 lbs).

Joe Neff was head coach for 13 years from 1980/1981 to 1983/1984 and 1985/1986 to 1993/1994.  His record during that time was 180-77-6 with 4 WCC Championships (1985/1986, 1986/1987, 1990/1991, 1991/1992).  He has had 49 wrestlers place in the States (with 4 first places - John Devin, Tom Waymouth, Dave Cooper and Jeremy Boczulak), 11 place in the State Opens and 1 in the New Englands (VInni Reddy).  In the 1981/1982 season, Joe started the New Milford High School Wrestling Tournament which is held the last Saturday of January.  That Tournament today still serves as a preperation for the end of the year State Championship tournaments.  Joe retired as head coach at the end of the 1993/1994 season.

From 1994/1995 through 2001/2002 Mr. Daryl Daniels was head coach.  His eight year record was 143-57; with an undefeated 25-0 1995/1996 season; the last ever WCC Championships and two SWC Championships.  He had 36 wrestlers place in the States (six first place - Wayne Reid, Josh Belville(2), Ryan Hall, Rob Belville, Sean Caselli) and 7 in the State Opens (two first place - Wayne Reid, Rob  Belville) and two in the New Englands (3rd - Rob Belville, 5th - Josh Belville).

In 1998/1999, Dr Erich Doubek and Neen Doubek founded the New Milford Wrestling Association and started the New Milford Elementary School "Ripple" Team and the New Milford Middle School "Surge" Team to serve as a feeder program for the High School "Wave" Team.  Mr. Mike Morris aided in the first few years and it was he who named the teams - logic being a Ripple grows into a Surge which grows into a Wave.

From 2002/2003 through 2005/2006 Mr. Pat Burns who had served 12 years as an assistant coach, was Head Coach.  Pat's 4 year record was 70-11-1 (86.42%) to hold the position of coach with the highest winning percentage.  He won 2 SWC Championships and finished 2nd the other two times.  In 2005/2006 he finished 2nd to Danbury in the State "LL" Championships and 2nd to Danbury in the State Opens and 23rd in the New Englands - all time team performances.  He had 26 wrestlers place in the States (two 1st - Dylan Tuz and Tom Ferrell).  10 place in the State Opens (two 1st - Dylan Tuz and Tom Ferrell), and 3 place in the New Englands.

From 2006/2007 to 2007/2008 Coach Daryl Daniels returned to the Head Coach position and amassed a 47-6 record to raise his career record to 190-63 (75.10%)

In 2008/2009 Mr Chris Piel, an Assistant Coach for 9 years, assumed the Head Coach position.  In his first year, Chris was selected as the Danbury News Times All-Area "Coach of the Year".  As stated in the paper's write-up, he took a team picked to finish seventh in the SWC and guided it to an SWC Championship and a second place finish in the Class "L" Championships.

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