Trumbull High has established itself as a top tier wrestling program in the state, and the upcoming campaign promises more success.

Charlie Anderson and Niko Filippakis have been awarded by the state with Coaches of the Year awards.

Similarly, many of the wrestlers have been recognized for their excellent performances on the mat, which have ultimately led to numerous high honors and awards.

Many graduates of this team have gone on to compete at collegiate levels. This includes David Barber of Sacred Heart University, Ben Anderson of Roger Williams University and Bryan Barnish of Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Anderson has stepped down and Filippakis steps up to the challenge as the new head coach.

“I think we are going to do well this year,” Filippakis said. “The boys have been working hard during the offseason. The guys have been going to tournaments, coming to preseason conditioning, and working diligently at camps.

“Their hard work and dedication will pay off and it will show whose been putting in the effort. I believe if we stay healthy and capitalize on some opportunities we can be one of the top teams in the state.

“That’s the overall goal; to be the best. All we can do now is grind.”

The Eagles have benefitted greatly from the Trumbull Youth Wrestling Program (TYW).

Created in 2005, it has introduced important skills to kids from grades K-8 and has helped build a strong foundation to Trumbull High’s program.

Paul McKee, a senior captain for the Eagles, said:

“Not only has Trumbull Youth Wrestling provided me with the fundamentals and techniques that I attribute to my high school success.

“Also, the coaches and teammates have instilled in me a sense of pride, loyalty, work ethic and perseverance to overcome the difficult times I face both on and off the mat.”

In addition to McKee, a significant amount of varsity wrestlers have started and progressed with the Youth program: Brandon Fulco, Brandon Liscinsky, Dylan Havilland, David Briganti, Stephen Briganti, Andrew Marino, Cross Cannone, Kevin Cecio, Adam Angelucci and Marcus Nieves.

The amount of time and dedication that these kids have put into the Youth program is quite evident. Not only are great athletes made, but great friendships are made too.

Fulco said: “The wrestlers that were once my teammates I now call my best friends. Participating in any sport can positively influence kids to enhance not only their athletic ability, but also it teaches important life skills.”

The team’s Mission Statement highlights the platform by which all wrestlers are made:

“They can accomplish what this incredible sport can offer, an opportunity to learn, achieve and go as far as their talent, ability and determination will take them.”

The first home match is Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. against Stamford High. Go to trumbullwrestling.com. for complete schedule.