BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ—Senior Turner Haddad entered an elite group of Gov. Livingston wrestlers to reach 100 career victories during the Highlanders’ match against JFK last Friday. Haddad pinned his opponent in the 2nd period, sealing his place in Highlander history.
Coming into the season with 72 wins, Haddad made it a priority to chase his 100th victory. As he gathered win after win, the margin became slimmer, placing the milestone right in his grasp. Although his goal was within reach, focus and persistence kept the workhorse in check.
“One hundred wins was definitely a goal I was planning on achieving,” Haddad said, “but I tried not to think about it a lot because I knew if I stayed focused, I could reach 100 wins.”
Haddad has been a core part of the Highlander squad throughout the past four years, collecting wins under his belt and providing the program with immense pride. Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Shane Haddad ’13, who also attained 100 wins, Turner was able to finish the regular season with flare.
As a multi-sport athlete, Haddad knows what it takes to be prepared to win, and although wrestling has always been a part of his life, the nerves could not be completely erased.
“I was very nervous right before the match,” said Haddad, “I get nervous before every match, but this match, I was extra nervous.”
When Haddad’s hand was raised for the hundredth time in his career, however, the nerves were conquered.
Though the Highlander team fell to JFK by one point, the match allowed Haddad to secure the triumphant walk off the mat as a Highlander wrestler with 100 wins.
Now, whenever Haddad enters the GL gym, he will see his name on a banner with a select group of dedicated wrestlers, who all sought the same thing—success. One of the most important traits these athletes had was motivation to win, which was shown through their persistence in such a draining sport, both physically and mentally.
“I think motivation comes from how exhausting the sport is. If I were to put in all that work and not be motivated for something, I feel like that would be a waste,” Haddad said.
With 100 victories under his wing, Haddad looks to the rest of the season to see that his persistence will lead him to victories beyond this milestone.
“It was a great feeling [to get 100 wins],” Haddad said, “but I have not reached my goal for the season, which is to wrestle down in Atlantic City.”