HARRISON, N.Y. – Mark Arcara grew up in the Harrison wrestling room so it was only natural that he would eventually plan on becoming a teacher and coach.
The recent SUNY-Cortland graduate and three-time Section 1 Division I wrestling (2006-08) champion has returned to Harrison as the varsity wrestling assistant coach to head man Vinny Nicita.
“I knew I wanted to be a coach since I was little,” said Arcara, who is also Harrison’s wrestler with the most wins. “This feels great and is an ideal situation for me. I wrestled here and my family wrestled here.”
Arcara is from the first family of Harrison wrestling. His father, Frank, and uncle, Joe, were Section 1 champions. His uncles, Billy and Vic, were also excellent wrestlers, as was his older brother, Frank, and cousin, Jeff. Vic Arcara is the Harrison kids’ club coach and father, Frank, is the Harrison modified coach.
Arcara, who is currently doing his student teaching in Mount Vernon, was contacted by Nicita when former assistant Pete Loughran took a position at Edgemont. Arcara, who wrestled his first two years at Cortland, submitted his resume, went for an interview and then had to wait as other applicants were interviewed. Once Arcara received the confirmation, he was excited to get starterd.
“I was thankful to get hired,” Arcara said.
Harrison senior Joe Maida was an aspiring varsity wrestler who watched Arcara win his third sectional title.
“I was in eighth-grade when he was a senior and watching his matches motivated me,” said Maida, in his fourth varsity season. “He has helped me so much, especially with technique. I’ve learned a lot from him.”
Because of his familiarity with the wrestlers, Arcara’s transition has been smooth. Returning to the mat has been what Arcara wanted.
“I stopped wrestling after my sophomore year so I was excited for this,” Arcara said.