ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – A noticeable change was present in the wrestling room at Delbarton over the past 12 months. Patrick Glory, the junior 120-pound wrestler had been one of the favorites to win his weight class’s individual state title each of the past two years, but came up short in the championship match to place second.
The two defeats fueled Glory, who lives in Randolph, to be better than he ever was. Even though he had never won a state title at any level of wrestling, Glory and the rest of his Green Wave teammates, coaches and admirers knew the opportunity was there for the taking.
Wrestling in his third consecutive state title bout, Glory finally reached the pinnacle of his high school career, beating Pope John’s Joseph Aragona, 3-1, in the NJSIAA Individual Wrestling 120-pound State Championship at Boardwalk Hall on Sunday.
“I was devastated the past two years,” Glory said. “I’ve never won a state title, in middle school, high school, ever. This is my first state title ever. It’s great to break through the barrier, it’s something that's been in the back of my mind my whole life. It definitely took a lot of weight off my shoulders.”
Glory came off the mat on Sunday a little bit upset that the score wasn’t higher, but the “eye test” said otherwise.
After a brief “getting to know you” phase in the opening period, Glory picked up a 2-point take down with 30 seconds left in the first. From that point on, Glory was in control.
He picked up an escape point in the opening 16 seconds of the second period and essentially cruised from there to win his first state title.
“Mentally, I’m just there,” Glory said. “Mentally, I’m in it. Coming into this match, I had no doubt in my mind that I was going to win this match. To be honest with you, I thought it was going to be a bigger blowout.”
LJ Castellano, Glory’s co-captain and 182 pound fourth place finisher, noticed early on this year that his teammate was “a different person” and finally had “his head on straight.”
The heightened focus Glory had this season propelled him to an undefeated 43-0 season, and saw him move up to the No. 1 spot in the national rankings for his weight class.
“He just doesn't think he can lose,” Castellano said. “I don't think he can lose either. He’s great everywhere, super hard to beat. The kid is just on a different level. He is ranked No. 1 in the country for a reason. He’s beaten really good guys by a lot of points. I just don't see anyone beating him anytime soon.
More important for the entire Delbarton program is the fact that Glory’s attitude has rubbed off on a potential freshman superstar Anthony Clark.
Clark won the 106-pound title approximately 20 minutes before Glory took the mat. Following his own state championship victory Clark was quick to give credit to Glory for helping him become a champion.
“He helped me so much,” Clark said. “Every time we go in the room, he would just destroy me. He made me become a tougher wrestler. Going out there and having kids pound on my head is nothing compared to Pat.”