MILLBURN, NJ - During Friday night's match against the Orange High School Tornadoes, the stands were packed with generations of Millburn High School wrestlers.
On a night the current crop of wrestlers defeated Orange 57-18, the mat was packed for the traditional multi-generational photo op after the match was done. The unconventional family picture included wrestlers making their return to Millburn after graduating last summer, alongside wrestlers whose time on the mat came in the '50s, '60s and '70s.
Alumni night has been going on in the wrestling program since 2004, and has grown in significance since that original date.
For legendary Millburn Wrestling Coach Jerry Sachsel, who was one of the invitees for the night, the chance to come back each year is meaningful, and is something that he cherishes.
"It means a great deal," Sachsel said. "When I sit in the stands today, coach [Bill] Miron is sitting in front of me. There'sone of my top wrestlers of all time, to be honored as the principal of the high school. Next to him was Chip Dempsey, who wrestled with Coach Miron, an outstanding wrestler.
"Sitting to my left is Phil Kirsch, he was there from '66, '67, '68. He's with one of our captains Richie Schwartz. A great psychiatrist. I look at how successful they are. But to be sitting there and looking at the kids from the '60s and the '70s around me and realize that not because of me, but because of them...all the things that they contributed is the reason that Millburn won a match tonight on alumni night."