WESTFIELD, NJ — Varsity wrestler Jeremy Silber opened up a 2-0 lead against Jackson Memorial Dec. 20 to score three takedowns in the third period and win 11-3.

Silber, a 17-year-old senior at Westfield High School, is this week’s Ron Bansky and Associates Allstate Westfield Athlete of the week.

“His major decision proved to be huge in the win,” said head coach Glen Kurz. “Since then, he finished second in the Wendy Pandy-Leh tournament and won the Anthony Casselli tournament. In both tournaments, he scored late takedowns to beat very good wrestlers.”

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Silber said the pre-season practices have helped him in with the early season success.

“We had a tough pre-season,” he said. “We worked pretty hard. That prepared me for the matches.”

Silber has been wrestling since kindergarten, something his father encouraged him to do.

“I like how you basically get out of it what you put into it,” Silber said. “If you work hard, you’re going to become a better wrestler and win matches.”

Silber stands at 5-foot-5 and weighs in at 138 pounds. His record to date is 5-1. He is looking at colleges for next year, where he hopes to continue playing another sport he loves, soccer.

Math is his favorite subject, and he is aiming to study business in college.

His advice for younger wrestlers is to stick with it.

“Just work hard and you’ll see a lot of progress,” said Silber, who has been wrestling on the varsity team since his freshman year. “If you’re a freshman and if you start working hard now, you’ll see a lot of progression from your freshman year to your senior year.”

Kurz said a key part of Silber’s success is how he approaches opponents early in matches.

“The way he pushes the pace for the full six minutes will continue to help him win big matches,” he said.