MONTROSE, N.Y. -- Hendrick Hudson High School’s varsity wrestling coach, Paul LaVallee, picked up his 200th career win on Thursday when the Sailors knocked off rival Somers High School.
LaVallee has been a part of the Sailor wrestling program for 30 years, 24 of them as head coach of the program.
During his tenure, LaVallee has had one state champion in Anthony Alberti, when Alberti achieved this feat in both 1989 and 1990. LaVallee has coached numerous Section 1 champions. Most recently, he led Mark Grant to the Section 1 title in 2013.
Athletic Director Tom Baker cited LaVallee's positive influence on hundreds of wrestlers through the years.
“Paul LaVallee has been the backbone of our wrestling program," Baker said. "He has worked extremely hard to make this program one of the best. Every year, alumni come back and visit him, always speaking to him about the pride he instilled in them. I would like to congratulate Coach LaVallee on this tremendous milestone.”
LaVallee continues to see alumni come back and root for his teams every year. 2007 graduate, Shane Turrone, achieved over 100 wins under LaVallee, now works with him as his assistant coach.
“Coach LaVallee has been an inspiration to all of the student-athletes who have wrestled at Hen Hud," Turrone said. "The knowledge he has for the sport is amazing. Coach gives every wrestler a chance to get on the mat, as long as you commit 100 percent, and all kids get a chance to get on that mat.”
Over the years, LaVallee has led the Sailors to League Championships and numerous tournament championships. This year, senior wrestler Jack Wagner, is nearing his 100th victory.
“Coach LaVallee has had a huge impact on myself and all of the wrestlers ever to wrestle for him," Wagner said. "He has led us to lots of success and has led this program to be a winning program. It has been my pleasure to have been on his team.”
LaVallee’s 2014 Sailors still have work to be done this year. Senior night will be Thursday, Jan. 23 at Hen Hud against John Jay-Cross River. Then the postseason begins on Saturday, Feb. 8 when the Sailors have Divisionals at Pearl River High School.