HARRISON, N.Y. – Harrison High School’s David Polakoff did not like the way the wrestling season concluded in his junior year.
He qualified for sectionals but felt he did not wrestle well and did not place. This sent him into the offseason determined to wrestle as much as possible in order to raise his level.
Polakoff’s work ethic has resulted in the senior posting a 12-1 record through the first week of the season. He capped week one by going 5-0 to win the 145-pound weight class Saturday at the John Jay Patriot Wrestling Tournament.
“During the offseason and summer I never skipped practice,” Polakoff said. “I wanted to wrestle with the best kids.”
Polakoff did this by going to Max Askren’s Wrestling Academy in Somers, where he worked with numerous Section 1 wrestlers, including 2012 New York state champion Dylan Realbuto of Somers and two-time state finalist Trey Aslanian of Edgemont.
“There were all good guys in the room,” Polakoff said. “I wrestled with Dylan and Trey, mostly live. They have two different styles so I was able to get two different looks.”
Polakoff also spent his offseason in the weight room because he wanted to “step it up.” The addition of varsity assistant Mark Arcara, a three-time Section 1 champ for Harrison, has also accelerated his progress. “Mark is my weight so he has helped me out a lot,” Polakoff said.
Polakoff opened the season with a 6-0 record at the Tony Carlucci Dual-Meet Tournament, which gave him confidence going into the Patriot Tournament.
“I felt everything was there for me, both mentally and physically,” Polakoff said. “I was happy with the way I wrestled.”
Among Polakoff’s five wins were two pins, two technical falls and a major decision, 9-0, in the final.