The Student News Site of Kinnelon High School

Colt Chronicle

The Student News Site of Kinnelon High School

Colt Chronicle

The Student News Site of Kinnelon High School

Colt Chronicle

How the Student Became The Teacher

This is how our head wrestling coach got to the position he is in now.
Anthony Colabella
Anthony Colebella wrestling a college opponent.

As you enter the gym, the unmistakable scent of wrestling mats and the tang of sweat fills the air. The bleachers are packed with spirited students and supportive families, their cheers echoing off the gymnasium walls. The mats, worn by countless matches, lie at the center. The fluorescent lights overhead cast a focused glow on the mats, emphasizing each move and the faces of young athletes. Coaches pace along the sidelines, shouting encouragement and tactical advice to their students. 

Kinnelon High School’s head wrestling coach, Anthony Colebella, has been coaching for about six years, but wrestling has been a part of his life ever since he was a young boy. 

“I’ve wrestled my whole life; it drew my interest at a young age,” Colebella says. He goes on to talk about specific details about the sport that really caught his attention, “It’s such a different sport in relation to other sports in the sense where it’s a team sport, but also an individual sport. And really, your results are an exact output of the work that you, yourself, is putting in. It also gives you a lot of life lessons since if you lose a match there is no one to blame but yourself.”

He fondly talks about how his wrestling ‘coaching’ started from his late middle school years as well, as he was an older brother to John Colabella, he always had his little brothers’ back. “ I always felt like I kind of took him under my wing and sort of coached him and helped him more than the actual coaches would. So I feel like doing that kind of 1 on 1 with my brother led me to going right into coaching as soon as I got the chance.”. 

When others on the wrestling team were asked how they felt about Colabella and his teaching strategies, many were delighted to talk about the atmosphere that is running through the air at every practice and competition. 

“I’ve been doing wrestling for six years, but I’ve never had a coach like Mr.C; he knows how to help each student in their own way. Giving each student a new challenge at each practice as a way to help each of them individually,” freshman David Alexander said. Others go on to talk about how the team feels like one big family, everyone helps each other out and everyone has each other’s backs no matter what. 

“Though Mr.C makes practice very tiring and difficult, he is a coach that I feel will leave a memory in my mind forever. He really cares for each player and will help them improve in their own way. He also isn’t just a wrestling coach, he is there for you whenever you need him, whether it is for a wrestling situation or not, he always has you back,”  says freshman Leo Dimitrakiou.

Colabella explained about how he tries to keep the wrestling environment a fun, happy place for all players to feel excited to be. “ I’ve had coaches who had make my wrestling time feel like h*ll, and I want to make sure that though practice will be difficult, it wouldn’t make students’ lose love of the sport but add to it.” he says. “There are many things I try to do but mainly just keep a personal connection to each of the players. Having them know that all you are doing is always  for their benefit makes it a lot easier for them to listen to you and get them to try to build on themselves. Itry talking to them throughout school, asking them how everything is going along with having team activities like dinner, to show them that his team isn’t just any other team but it really is a family. ”. 

When Colabella was asked about what he expects from this years’ wrestling season he shared how this season could be a promising season for the Kinnelon Colts, “I see a lot of hope in this seasons’ wrestlers, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of improvement to come.”. 

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