Long Island Wrestling Association


Donate to Support
the LIWA


Association Office
117 Dale Dr
Oakdale, NY 11769

Steve Meehan
stevemeehan0809 @ gmail.com


Interview with Islip Varsity Wrestling Coach:
 Joe Patrovich
by Carol Carrozza

After a long day of work and wrestling practice, Coach Joe Patrovich graciously agreed to let me interview him for the Long Island Wrestling Association.  First, I apologized for being primarily knowledgeable about Nassau wrestling (as my brothers wrestled for Island Trees High School) and that he may have to give me background on some of the Suffolk wrestlers.  I then learned that he wrestled in the 70’s for Farmingdale High School, and that we shared a very close past friendship with the late Gary Ventimiglia from Island Trees High School.

Joe Patrovich is a Physical Education teacher at Islip High School and is now in his 9th season as head wrestling coach.  As wrestling is often a family affair, it is not surprising that Coach Patrovich's has three sons, all of whom wrestle.  Joe Jr. was a NY State runner up, as well as, High School National runner up.   Mike was a NY State champ in 2001, and a Hofstra NCAA Qualifier.  Ryan, the youngest son, is presently a sophomore on the Islip Varsity wrestling team.  He placed 4th in the County when he was only a 7th grader, and placed 3rd in 8th and 9th grade.  This season he will be setting his sites on the County tournament once again.

Friday, February 6th at 7PM at Islip High School, wrestling fans from all over Long Island will pack into the sold out gym to watch the two highest ranked teams on Long Island “duke it out.”  The Huntington team is currently ranked 1st and recently celebrated its 80th consecutive dual meet win.  Legendary Coach Lou Giani is at the helm, in his 34th season, leading a group of very talented mat men.  However, Islip is equally prepared for battle, and as Coach Patrovich says, “ready to go!”  In preparation, Islip has continued with its already strenuous practices, perhaps “stepping it up a notch.”  Attention is being paid, as usual, to intensity and solid conditioning.  When I asked about the “mental” aspect of preparing for a big match, Patrovich explained that his wrestlers are mentally tough, and used to high level competition.  They wrestle nationally and do not shy away from stiff competition during the year.

When discussing possible match ups for Friday’s showdown, Coach Patrovich said that both he and Giani have more than one wrestler that could be moved up or down a weight class in several areas.  The decisions of who will wrestle whom for the most part will be made strategically mat side.  Obviously a good coach must “think on his feet” planning matchups as the action plays out…

Some possible matchups we discussed were:

103 - Jim Knipper (I) vs. Justin Giani (H)
112 - Chris Camarda (I) vs. Justin Giani (H)
119 - Tom Magnani (2x sectional champ, 2x state runner up) (I) or Joe Macaluso (I) vs. Feldman or Dolan (H)
125 - Paul Vaeth (I) vs. Shawn Riley (3rd in State) or Jon Dolan (H)
130 - ? vs. Shawn Riley (H)
140 - Dan Petroro (I) or Ryan Patrovich (3rd in county) vs. Frank Sangiovanni (H)
145 - ? vs. Shaheim  Bradshaw (2nd in county) (H)
152 - ? vs. Shaheim Bradshaw (H)
160 - Tom Leggio (I) or Dan Egan (I) vs. Charlie Paar (county place winner) (H)
171 - Matt Guinta (I) vs. Charlie Paar or Sair (H)
189 - Bruce Carpenter (I) vs. Jack Sullivan (2nd in county)
215 - Kyle Carroll (I) vs. Pierre Delva (all county)

Coach Patrovich explained that the two teams are evenly matched with talented wrestlers; much will depend upon the strategy of the match ups and the amount of pins and technical falls accrued.

In the past, Coach Giani seemed to prefer a more conservative match up approach to that of Patrovich’s more aggressive style of “my best vs. your best” however, both strategies have merit and have met with success.

It was clear, after interviewing Coach Patrovich, that the fans at Islip High School this Friday night will be getting their moneys worth!  Long Island wrestling at its finest, two equally talented, well-led teams, “locking horns” for the title of Long Islands best… a match that could easily go either way!

Looking ahead, Patrovich believes that seven or eight of his wrestlers are County hopefuls, and that Islip could feasibly crown four County Champs.

When asked if Suffolk would be in the hunt for the State Sectional Championships, Coach Patrovich unhesitatingly replied, “without a doubt!”

Coach Patrovich, I thank you for an informative and lively interview, and especially for your cheerfulness and cooperative spirit answering many questions at the end of your very long day!  Good Luck!