Senior Declan Ward wrestles in state tournament


Courtesy of Coach Doug Kuizema

Senior Declan Ward at the State Tournament competition in Atlantic City with Coach Ortiz and Coach Lebovich

Out of eight NVOT wrestlers that competed in districts, the sole surviving wrestler, senior Declan Ward, wrestled his way past regions and into the individual state tournament in Atlantic City on Saturday, March 4th.

According to wrestling coach Robert Ortiz, in states, “Ward won his first match 5-2 against Delsea and lost his subsequent two matches to very tough wrestlers from Hasbrouck Heights and Holmdel.” Also, Ortiz mentioned that Ward “wrestled well all season and earned his place at states,” and with that Ward accomplished many things such as getting 100 individual wins.

Senior Ryan Foy mentioned that he practicted with Ward at multiple wrestling clubs before he came to NVOT and that he “always saw him training hard in the offseason,” therefore thinking that “it was very well deserved that he made it to states.”

Regarding Atlantic City, Ortiz said, “It wasn’t surprising that he advanced this far. Many of our wrestlers came to watch him compete and it shows how much they care about him as a teammate.”

Along with many of the same teammates that supported him in Atlantic City, Ward’s wrestling career began in elementary school. “I am gonna miss my seniors a bunch,” Ward said. “They are like family to me. We have grown up with wrestling together since we were little kids.”

Besides Ward and Foy, seniors Pete Andresen, Stephen Crevani, Gavin Connolly, and Johnny Pabst with junior Matthew Murawski and freshman Antonio Abate competed on the district level. Despite these players not making it as far as Ward, Ortiz mentioned that a lot of them supported him in Atlantic City.

Foy said, “I knew one day he would make it this far but I just didn’t know when. And what better time then senior year baby!”