The winter sports season brings a myriad of intriguing and entertaining sports, but one in particular raises many interests: Ridgewood’s wrestling program. Sometimes overlooked and shadowed by sports like Basketball and Track & Field, the wrestling team is a group of dedicated athletes who commit themselves to demanding training and dieting. Wrestling is known to be one of the most intense sports in general, and at RHS it is no different. The members of this team do not think of their program in terms of Freshman, JV, and Varsity levels as many other sports do. Instead, they believe that the entire wrestling team is one community, and everyone within it should support one another. Shane Trattner, a Junior at RHS stated, “We are one team. Every person on the team is important and contributes to the program’s overall success. I never feel alone on the team and there is always someone I can talk to and rely on for support. It’s a great group of people.”
The teams first match took place on Friday, December 20th, against Glen Rock at RHS. Last season, the team maintained an admirable record of 13-9-1 in the Big North Freedom Division, one of the toughest divisions in the area. Along with impressive athletes like Jeffery Deiss, Shane Trattner, Lucas Sharma, Sean Emmanuel, Joseph & Michael Bussinelli, and Anthony Vacarella, the roster for this year’s team is full of talented competitors who are ready to prove that RHS wrestling is the best. In addition to a great group of athletes, the RHS wrestling program is run by well-respected Torre Watson who has been the head coach of the team for over ten years; his commitment and discipline of the team has made Ridgewood one of the most competitive wrestling teams in North Jersey. With both an amazing coach and a talented program, RHS is undoubtedly one of the strongest teams going into the 2019-20 wrestling season. Sean Emmanuel, another Junior stated, “Wrestling is definitely hard, there’s no denying that. The practices and restricted eating can for sure get to you, but it’s all worth it when you go out there and win. All the hard work and dedication pays off when you’re able to share the success with your team.” Despite the arduous practices that push athletes to their limits, the rigorous dieting that is required to meet certain weight classes, and the overarching pressure to succeed and win, athletes on the RHS wrestling team deal with it all tremendously well and showcase that this sport is not one to be forgotten.
Graphic: Sofia Lee