The best wrestlers in New Jersey converged one last time this season in Atlantic City, at iconic Boardwalk Hall last week, on March 5, 6 and 7. Among the best and ready to compete were Sparta High School brothers, Garret, Spencer and Cooper Stewart.
After 3 consecutive days of elimination rounds, Senior Cooper Stewart fought his way to the winners podium, taking 5th in the state, while his brothers Spencer and Garrett both earned a respectable top 12 spot; Garret only one win away from placing, losing in the "Blood Round." Demonstrating true brotherhood, Garret said, "Of course I wanted to be on the podium, but Cooper made it, and honestly with him placing, that feels like we all made it. I'm so happy for him."
Head coach Frank Battaglia had no regrets over this season, commenting. "The team had many exciting heart felt victories and defeats. Multiple dual meets were decided by one match. We pushed to the semis of the state tournament and built a culture of care and support for each other, which was the backbone of our success. I couldn't be more proud of this team."
As Boardwalk Hall slowly emptied, Spartan Wrestlers and their parents that made the trip to Atlantic City hugged, laughed and wiped a few tears as they exited their final wrestling meet, some for the season and some for good. While the mood was melancholy, the heart of the sport was on everyone's sleeve, with the last Spartan wrestler to exit the stadium raising his fist in the air and calling out, "Sparta!"