COXSACKIE — In a sport where the majority of competitors are male, there is a local Coxsackie-Athens High school wrestler who is making her mark on the sport and the community.
Schyler Caringi is a current freshman for the Coxsackie Athens Indians and a passionate wrestler. She recently finished in first place at the 132 weight class in the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) Girls State Wrestling Tournament in New York City this past weekend.
“It feels amazing to be the 132 pound champion,” Caringi said. “I trained extra hard for weeks leading up to the day and it really paid off.”
Caringi took the first place spot with three wins, all three matches were won by pin. Caringi’s first match of the day was against a Fargo all-American wrestler, Natalie Dunn.
“I pinned her in the second period,” Caringi said. “She is a really good wrestler, so overall we had a great match.”
Caringi was even more impressive in her second match of the tournament, pinning her opponent in 42 seconds.
Caringi was able to get involved in this tournament thanks to her C-A high school coach, Ryan Palmer.
“Coach Palmer encouraged me to head down there to face other female wresters,” Caringi said.
But Caringi isn’t just making a splash in the all female tournaments, she quickly became a fan favorite on the 2018-2019 Coxsackie-Athens Patroon Conference champion wrestling team.
“Schyler is a successful wrestler because she has the proper mindset and work ethic,” C-A wrestling coach Ryan Palmer said, “Schyler hates being referred to as a ‘girl wrestler.’ She prefers to be just a ‘wrestler’. We all respect that about her.”
Caringi was 17-22 this season, with 11 pins. She had some major wins for C-A in matches against Patroon rivals such as Catskill and Greenville. In a particularly tough match against two time state champion, Maple Hill’s Trent Svingala, Caringi was able to hold her own well into the match.
“She is tough, and often surprises her opponents,” Coach Palmer said, “She never quits, always wrestling to the whistle. Schuyler’s work ethic is right up there with most others.” Caringi become involved in wrestling in seventh grade, thanks to an interest in jiu jitsu.
“I expressed interest in training jiu jitsu with my dad,” Caringi said. “My parents were a little unsure if I’d enjoy it and encouraged me to try the upcoming season of wrestling at school to get a feel for grappling.”
Caringi’s parents told her that if she liked it and practiced hard, they would also let her try jiu jitsu.
“On the first day of wrestling season, I feel in love with the sport,” Caringi said. “I’ve been doing it since.”
According to Coach Palmer, Caringi started with the JV/sarsity squad as an eighth grader, but suffered from an ankle injury which sidelined her for most of the season. Even thought she was unable to participate, Caringi made every attempt to attend practice.
“She learned and did what she could, but really turned it up in her off season training.” Palmer said.
During that offseason Schyler competed in multiple girls’ tournaments and qualified for the National Tournament down in Texas, competing against some of the best in the country.
Looking to her future, Caringi has a lot planned.
“My freshman folkstyle season has come to a close, but off-season wrestling is definitely on my radar.” Caringi said.
She has started practicing at the Curby 3-style wrestling club in Troy with coach, Joe Uccelini and she plans to compete in the Mohawk Valley Tournament on March 9.
Caringi also wants to continue competing on the C-A wrestling team.
“Those boys are like my family.” Caringi said, “They don’t ever treat me any differently because I’m a girl. We’re all just wrestlers on the mat. I couldn’t ask for a better team.”
In a sport that in which girls are far less represented, Schyler Caringi is a fresh presence and a new force to be reckoned with. Caringi has a deep passion for the sport and she is not slowing down.
“Wrestling is the greatest sport I’ve ever encountered.” Caringi said, “Between having your hand raised after a win and spending time with your teammates, the overall energy at matches and tournaments can’t be beat.”