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Boys Wrestling Beats St. Benedicts

The Varsity Wrestling team is currently 7-9, with a recent win against St. Benedicts. Two successful team members so far are Senior Sam Souliman and Junior Jaiden Perez. 


Souliman said that he joined the team because he enjoys fighting sports, so wrestling gave him a chance to learn how to compete against one other individual. He was encouraged by a friend from his former school to join. Perez thought he could learn discipline and lose weight.


Souliman is competing in his second year, while Perez is wrestling in his first season. Both forward to improving their skills and achieving more wins this year. 


At 6’1”, Souliman thinks that one of his strengths in wrestling “are that I have a good height advantage over other opponents meaning I can wrap around them easier.” 


Both Souliman and Perez think that the support that team members receive from their fellow team members is crucial to their success. “The team members are always keeping each other in check and helping each other correct movements,” Souliman said. “Everyone supports the other,” Perez said. “They treat me like I’ve been there a long time and it feels like a big family.”


Assistant Coach Nick Ritacco is certainly not new to the sport. Ritacco has been wrestling since he was five years old, and his wrestling career didn’t end until he started college. Previously a volunteer coach for Nutley’s youth wrestling team, Ritacco joined the NHS staff in 2013. 


Ritacco thinks some of the important characteristics of his team members are mental toughness and discipline. He saw these characteristics in the team’s defeat over Bloomfield this year; but, saw a less impressive outcome against West Orange. “We should have never lost to [West Orange]. We didn’t wrestle as tough as we should have. We’re still growing. We have a lot more room for growth as a team and individually.” 


Despite the loss, Ritacco sees a lot of promise in Senior Heavyweight Brandon Toranzo. “He’s a great vocal leader,” Ritacco said. “...and he encourages our younger wrestlers to work harder.”


Ritacco encourages his team to stay healthy in order to perform at their best, “Wrestling is a long grueling season, maintaining strong discipline and putting the right things in your body helps maintain health for a successful season.”