Breaking News
The Student News Site of East Haven High School

The Comet

The Student News Site of East Haven High School

The Comet

The Student News Site of East Haven High School

The Comet

As a teacher, you build relationships with students in an academic classroom. As a coach it gets so much deeper.
Keepin It Reel: A Binge-worthy TV Show to Get You in the Mood for Summer
Keepin' It Reel: A Binge-worthy TV Show to Get You in the Mood for Summer
Isabella Mott, Reporter • May 24, 2024

Outer Banks  Genre: Drama, Adventure  Isabella’s Rating:★★★★ Outer banks follows a group of teens who consider themselves...

AP Classes and AP Tests: Are They Worth It?
Sofia Calixto, Reporter • May 24, 2024

As we head into May, AP Exams will be taking place May 6th-May 16th. Taking this course along with taking the exam have many benefits while also...

Buzzing Bites: Blueberry Donut Iced Coffee
Buzzing Bites: Blueberry Donut Iced Coffee
Holly Speers, Editor-in-Chief • May 24, 2024

On this week’s buzzing bites I will be reviewing the new blueberry donut iced coffee at Dunkin Donuts.  This coffee truly does taste like...

Mr. Mark Tolla Retired From Coaching Wrestling After 35 Years

Mr.+Mark+Tolla+Retired+From+Coaching+Wrestling+After+35+Years

Mr. Mark Tolla, the long-time wrestling coach and current EHHS teacher, has retired from coaching for our wrestling team. He has been coaching the sport for 35 years, but finally decided to end his career because he felt he could no longer put his in best efforts as he gets older. He will be dearly missed by the EHHS wrestling team but still has many years of teaching at EHHS ahead of him.

Mr. Tolla had started his coaching career 35 years ago in Danbury with one of his good friends who pulled him into the sport and was very good at what he did. After Tolla (as he’s lovingly referred to in the halls of EHHS) earned his education degree he fell in love with the sport of wrestling. Tolla claims that in high school he was much better at football and baseball, but his friend made him love wrestling. Throughout his year of coaching, he has looked back on some of his favorite moments when leading his students toward victory. Mr. Tolla speaks about how some of his favorite seasons in wrestling include the years before COVID hit when he and his team were getting top 20 in the state. They finished second in SCCs and had finished higher than they ever had two years in a row. Though these are some of his favorite moments. He also says, “Winning definitely matters. I’m not gonna say it doesn’t, but I enjoy every season.”

When Mr. Tolla speaks about specific moments he has loved he speaks about the underdogs on his team. He explains how he enjoys it when the underdogs step up and win the game for the team. These teammates get to have the night dedicated to them, with their win for the whole team. Another moment that he reminisces on is when a parent ran to his child on the mat when he had won. This was obviously against the rules, but everyone in the room was laughing and enjoyed this special moment they got to witness between the student and his father. The team at the time had not had their best season but it showed how far, as a team, had come, and the hard work they had put in. These moments are why Mr. Tolla wrestled for so long, leading his team to victory and experiencing special moments and bonds with his students.

Story continues below advertisement

When asked about these bonds he had with his students he says, “It’s special. It’s different from teaching. As a teacher, you build relationships with students in an academic classroom. As a coach it gets so much deeper. You see them out of their element and they open up.” He speaks about how the bond you can have with your teammates is more real, with the ability to talk to ur students in coaching more freely. He also explains how, when coaching, you can form bonds with students you never thought you would expect to form bonds with.

Mr. Tolla had specifically quit coaching because he believed he had not put in as much effort this last year, 2023,  as he had in other seasons. He has said that wrestling is a “young man’s game” and wants newer and younger coaches to take his place. Tolla says that coaching requires a lot of time and effort that goes into it. It’s not just being on the mat, but other technical matters that have to be dealt with. He says, “There’s a time in your life where you just have to stop. It’s year-round, 24/7. I loved certain parts of coaching but wasn’t mentally or physically prepared to do it. It’s a grind.” He also says that if he stayed it would have been ok, but he wasn’t able to do all the things he had to do at the level he had to do it at.

Mr. Tolla will always love the sport, and continue to keep up with it. He believes that his time is up in this sport, and he wants better opportunities for the children. He will continue to build bonds with those children, and continue his teaching career for years to come. He shares, “Wrestling is an amazing sport that I’ve come to appreciate a lot more the more I’ve been around it. It teaches young men and women about life. The integrity and the character you build wrestling is very amazing.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Comet
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of East Haven High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Isabella Mott, Reporter
Isabella Mott works as a reporter for The Comet and the main reviewer for "Keepin' It Reel" at EHHS. She began working with The Comet during the 23–24 academic year, and she intends to stay on as their staff in the upcoming years. She loves writing for The Comet, watching movies, and reading books. She hopes to grow, and add more to the comet at here career here continues.
Donate to The Comet
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Comet Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *