ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - Perfection is hard to maintain.
Somerville senior Evan Drill found that the hard way this weekend in Atlantic City at the NJSIAA State Wrestling Championships at Boardwalk Hall.
Entering the event with a record of 35-0, Drill won his first match following his automatic bye. But his quest for an undefeated season fell shortly after, suffering a defeat to St. Peter's Prep senior Alec Kelly.
The fall continued all the way to a loss in the seventh place match against Edson junior Robert Cleary, putting Drill in the eighth spot on the final podium.
But the senior didn't let the disappointment of the weekend get him down.
"I never really said 'what's the point,’” Drill said. "I knew that it was my last chance, I wanted to give it all I had. I kept saying to myself, its just two more days, don't give up you have two days left. Push through and try your best."
The seventh place match was scoreless after the first period, and it would continue that way until the final two minutes.
Drill battled Cleary until the Edison product was able to score a point on a stand up. After that, Drill could not counter. Clearly scored two more points on the back as the third period came to a close, leaving Drill with an eighth place finish.
"I learned a lot actually from wrestling in these matches, but it's tough," Drill said following his defeat. "When you lose one you got to get right back up and wrestle another match. I just wanted to keep winning and keep trying my best, but its alright, I still placed."
Coming away victorious in the state final tournament is no easy task. Drill stressed just that following final match of the weekend, and of his career.
"It's a tough tournament. Everyone's good. You just have to be on your game that day. "