January 30, 2014 at 6:55 AM
LIVINGSTON, NJ - After helping Livingston High School attain its 19th consecutive Essex County Championship title, junior wrestler Tommy Heller has been named The Alternative Press of Livingston’s Athlete of the Week.
Wrestling is a sport that often goes unnoticed. “Wrestling is the only 24/7 sport,” said Heller, “even when you’re not practicing or training, you are still managing your weight, watching what you eat and getting another work out in.”
Heller has been dominant on the mat since he was in second grade, and has proven to be a force for the Lancers as he has been a starter on the Varsity squad since freshman year.
This past week, Tommy wrestled at Richard J. Codey Arena at the Essex County Championships where he was fighting to keep the Lancer’s tournament win streak alive.
“The championship match made me really anxious,” said the top-seeded Heller. “I had a lot of confidence and I knew that the tournament was mine to win.”
After making a mistake at the end of the second period, where the score was 3-2 going into the last period, Heller said, “I still knew that I was going to win.” And, sure enough—he did.
“I did feel a lot of pressure about it but I wasn't going to let that change anything about how I wrestled,” said Heller.
This year, the team is struggling, as they have been plagued with injury. However, they continue to work hard in practice and improve their skills with many new athletes on the squad.
“Our team goals are to beat teams that we know we can beat,” said Heller. “We want to win all of the close matches that could go either way."
Heller added that they also want to wrestle well as a team in the district tournament.
“Personally, my goal is to be a region champ,” said Heller. “And, to place in the state tournament in Atlantic City this year.”
As a sophomore last season, Heller made it to the tourney but came up short of a title.
When he’s not on the mat, you can find Heller on the Lacrosse field, which is where he was named Varsity Captain for the 2014 season—and is where he will surely make headlines as an Athlete of the Week in the spring as well.