CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – On Saturday, Dec. 7, John Jay won their first three matches of the Greeley Duals Tournament at Horace Greeley. The Indians defeated Cornwall, 48-32; Iona Prep, 42-30; and Carmel, 50-34. However, the short-handed Indians fell 43-35 to Farrell in the nightcap.
But Coach Bill Swertfager doesn’t see the need for excuses, especially because he has higher priorities than how many wins or losses his team tallies in the regular season.
“All I care about is that they improve,” Swertfager said. He wants his wrestlers to be at their best when the postseason begins in March, he added.
Max Gryzmala, team captain, lead by example.
“He was a little tentative in his first match. But found a spark and went 4-0,” Swertfager said of his 152-pound wrestler.
Up the lineup, John Jay heavyweight Matt Ferrer also piled on, while making quick work of his day. Pinning all four of his opponents, beamed Swertfager, “He looked dominant.”
On the other end of the scale, Luca Duva posted a 2-2 day.
“He wrestled two of the best wrestlers in the state and lost both,” said Swertfager. “Still, he bounced back and won his final two matches.”
Other standouts were Jimmy Norris, Jake Kern and Danny Kola who went 3-1, 2-1 and 2-2, respectively.
Of course, Swerfager isn’t overlooking any members of his team after the arduous affair.
“You wrestle four times in one day,” he said. “You’re banged up, you’re bleeding, you’ve got all kinds of mental things going on, and it’s tough to keep trotting yourself out there—especially when you know you’re wrestling a kid more experienced than you.”
So, the coach was proud of the way his team pulled together to persevere through.
“They all rallied around each other, got each other pumped to get out there and strap it up,” Swertfager said.