Boys Wrestling: Underdogs to Top Dogs

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Senior Tyler McCatharn flexes towards the crowd after pinning Luca Salvatoriello of West Essex in the Sectional Final. (Photo Courtesy of Alexandra Balaney)

Jaedon Wolfrum, Sports Editor

The Boys Wrestling Team had a very successful season with an 18-4 record and securing their first sectional title since 2007. The team’s season ended in mid-February when the team fell 28-27 against Delsea in the State Championship match.
After a disappointing shortened season last year, this was a big year to capitalize on the Streaks, with eight seniors in their last year of eligibility, most of their starting lineup was going to be gone after the year’s end.
Assistant Wrestling Coach Zachary Fisher said, “It was very vital for the team to achieve some of it’s goals considering we didn’t have an opportunity as a team last year”
Last year was a huge loss for the wrestling team, mostly due to canceled matches during the pandemic, but with a new year it also was a fresh start to accomplish goals.
The season started off with two losses to Mount Olive and North Hunterdon, but after those losses, it was a breeze winning their next 11 regular season matches, including a huge 35-15 win against Phillipsburg which ended a 30- year drought, and a 79-0 win against rivals, Hackettstown.
For many wrestlers these two matches were the turning points and the underdog soon became the top dog.
“One thing I will never forget this year is blowing out Phillipsburg,” said senior Jared Lee. “We were the underdog, and they overlooked us as another team that they would pass through, but we had different plans.”
The Streaks then proceeded to breeze through the postseason, dominating every team they went against.
Their toughest battle came against Delsea in the state final where they lost 28-27.
“Obviously, it is disappointing that they came up short of a state title, a goal set up four years ago, but I believe we are in a great spot to put it in the past and gain success individually now in the postseason” said Fisher.
Individually, 14 of the Streak Wrestlers qualified for regionals, another huge milestone for the team, and another one that meant a lot to the athletes.
“This year, was more special than the last couple because we knew it was our last time wrestling together,” said Senior Ryan Galka. “So we tried to make every day of the season count.”
Although the wrestling season has come to an end, the long-lasting team mentality and values doesn’t expire in the wrestlers.
“One thing this team has taught me is to win as a team,” said senior Tyler McCatharan.
The team will now look to the individual post-season as well as improving the team for next year.
“Our mindset doesn’t change we keep the gas pedal down.” Fisher said, “and keep trucking through.”