WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield High School 195 pound wrestler Jack Miller recently won both of his matches in sectionals and is heading into the District 15 tournament with a 29-2 record.
A senior, this week’s Ron Bansky and Associates Allstate Athlete of the Week has made steady improvements each year, according to head coach Glen Kurz.
“If you look at Jack now, most people would not believe he wrestled as a 126-pounder as a freshman,” Kurz said. “Last year he finished second in the district and reached the top six in the region. This year he is 29-2 and is the top seed in the district. We expect him to win there and then reach the states in Atlantic City. His goal is to place top eight, which he is capable of doing.”
The spotlight is a big motivator for Miller.
“You go out there as a team in matches, but it’s very individual — you step onto the mat by yourself,” Miller said. “When you win, you can get all of the credit and it makes all the work worth it.”
Miller leads his teammates by example, his coach said.
“He's a hard worker and he treats his teammates with respect,” Kurz said. “While he is serious on the mat, he can provide much-needed comic relief. Wrestling practice can be brutal every day, and it’s great to have someone like Jack to keep things a little light.”
And Miller enjoys working with the younger athletes.
“We have a good freshman class this year and I’m really excited to see what they become,” the wrestler said.
Miller said his mentors are his coaches, including coach Kurz.
“He really dedicates a lot of time to the sport,” Miller said. “He pretty much gives up his whole summer to help us get better.”
In his free time, Miller volunteers at Imagine, a Center for Coping with Loss as a facilitator or children ages 8 to 12 who are coping with the death of a family member. Miller said he learned about the center, which recently moved from Westfield to Mountainside, from his mom who volunteers there and at school.
“Mostly, I just play with the kids, but we’ll talk about their grief and their losses,” Miller said. “We play a lot of games and stuff. It’s pretty fun.”
Kurz sees a bright future ahead for Miller.
“It’s been a lot of fun to coach Jack for his four years,” Kurz said. “He bought into what we teach and has had an impressive career. I am confident that the best is yet to come from him.”
The Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Ron Bansky & Associates Allstate Agency. Now located 502 East Broad St., the agency has been protecting local families and business owners for over 15 years. Call them at 908-301-0711 for a new auto, home or life insurance quote this week and if you mention the Allstate WHS Athlete of the Week they will make a $25 contribution to the Westfield Boosters Association! To learn more, visit ronbansky.com.