WESTFIELD, NJ — The 17-year-old Westfield High School wrestler had long strived for a top spot at a statewide competition.
And this past weekend Luke Hoerle did just that, placing seventh at the state tournament in Atlantic City. Hoerle, a senior, is this week’s Ron Bansky and Associates Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week.
“In the state tournament I ended up getting on the podium which has been a goal of mine through all of high school,” Hoerle said. “I didn’t place as high as I would have liked to, but it was nice.”
Hoerle, who weighs in at 126-pounds, said the team had been hoping to secure a sectional title this season but fell in a February loss to second-seeded Watchung Hills.
It was not for lack of preparation. The team had been training daily.
“Going into the year, I had high expectations for myself and the team,” Hoerle said. “And we really put in the work: six days a week, seven days a week.”
By the season’s end, Hoerle finished with a record 38 wins and 3 losses, secured his third district title and his fourth Union County title, head Coach Glen Kurz said.
“He is one of only nine wrestlers to win four county titles in the history of the tournament,” Kurz said. “Luke finished seventh in a brutal weight class in the state tournament. To put into perspective how tough his weight class was, the wrestler who finished fifth in the state was ranked third in the country.”
Hoerle said he plans to continue his wrestling career next year at Steven’s Institute of Technology, where he intends to major in business.
He’ll miss his Westfield High School teammates.
“It’s kind of crazy that after 13 years of wrestling with the same kids in this senior class that it’s all coming to an end,” Hoerle said. “It’s bittersweet but very sad that I won’t be stepping on the mat with this core group of guys again.”