July 17, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Kushner Cobras Place First in Morris County Wrestling Tournament

The Cobras started off the season “on paper” with what looked like a fairly weak lineup. Out of 15 kids, seven will be new to Wittenberg Nationals, with only four returning place winners. One of those place winners was out for the first half dozen plus matches, along with another very solid wrestler who missed the same. As the season opener started, that “paper” appeared correct. The opener was an eye opening loss and a wake up call that the team grew to appreciate. The wrestlers answered with a half dozen victories before taking a big stumble and having to, once again, be reflective on what they wanted to achieve. A tough schedule brought mixed but generally positive results, including a 35-36 loss to a tough 5-1 varsity public school, followed by a couple of solid wins and a decent tournament performance against the tough Shore Conference. Still, the team’s inexperience showed itself, at times, as matches that seemed to be in hand ultimately went the wrong way.

There is no sport as tough as wrestling and gut checks are a constant. Kids constantly fight that battle within and look to forge an iron will that will not only create success in wrestling but serve them well in life. Kushner looked forward to testing that will in its first year competing at a Morris County tournament against a dozen quality public school teams. The big question was whether Kushner would show up with that iron will and compete. Would Kushner be able to represent itself well in this strictly public school tournament?

The Kushner warriors truly rose to the occasion. Eleven wrestlers placed, one took fifth place, three placed fourth, three placed third and four took first to bring home the gold.

With only five weeks to go and more challenges ahead, it would be easy to think that one could just rip up the “paper.” However, in order to rewrite this “paper” and, in effect, rewrite their destiny, these wrestlers must be willing to sacrifice and do the work that it will take to become a team that can challenge for a top spot at Yeshiva Nationals. Each one must peer inside, give himself a gut check and see if he is willing to create the “iron will” and do the work that it will take.

Is the team willing to continue to sacrifice? That is yet to be seen, but hopefully the wrestlers are ready and willing to give everything they have, train, embrace the pain and come to realize the greatness of which they are capable. Only then can they be true contenders at Wittenberg.

By Coach Dave Cilio

 

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