ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - Looking for something to do outside of football season, Marc McDonald decided to start wrestling as a freshman at West Essex.

He is ended his scholastic career with a silver medal in the 220-pound class at the NJSIAA Wrestling Championships at Boardwalk Hall.

“It was exciting,” McDonald said. “I thought if I got here I would get Colucci. He is a good kid and wrestler so if anyone should win it’s him.”

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Christian Colucci of St. Peter’s Prep defeated McDonald 3-0 in the championship match.

McDonald made a giant leap from his junior to senior season. A year ago he didn’t even medal, top-eight, to reaching the finals in his second sport. He will play linebacker at Monmouth in the fall.

“My coaches helped me a lot more, not that they didn’t before,” McDonald said. “They helped create a new style for me.”

They style paid off but he couldn’t overcome an early takedown. Five seconds into the championship match Colucci went ahead 2-0.

“I was focused on him taking a shot at me off the line,” McDonald said. “I put my hand on his head and he shrugged me.”

He was unable to get any points in the final but that didn’t ruin his experience.

“It was very exciting,” he said. “I really enjoyed wrestling in states and am happy I made it as far as I did.”

McDonald wasn’t the only member of the West Essex wrestling program to leave Atlantic City with some hardware.

Assistant coach Mike Markey was named Assistant Coach of the Year.

Markey is in his seventh season as a coach and sees the recognition as something more than an individual award.

“Honestly I think it is more for the program than it is for me,” he said. “At the district and region levels they realize all the work we put in. We wrestle aggressive style and the kids are passionate about it.”