YONKERS, N.Y. – Joe Marji had heard from some of his Yonkers’ varsity wrestling teammates what a great experience they had competing in the 2012 Section 1 Large School Wrestling Championships.
The Gorton High School sophomore had missed qualifying for the 2012 championships because of a family commitment. So Marji made the 2013 Section 1 Large School Wrestling Championships a major goal.
Marji rebounded from a loss and posted consecutive wins to finish third, at 220 pounds, Saturday in a Section 1 Large School sectional qualifier at Sleepy Hollow. This earned Marji a berth in the Section 1 Large School Championships Saturday-Sunday.
“Our captain, Ibrahim Simreen, was pumping me up, getting me to work harder all week,” Marji said.
Even though Marji lost in a championship semifinal, he bounced back with a pair of 6-3 wins. He decisioned Eastchester’s A.J. Cesarini in a consolation semifinal. This gave Marji a berth in the sectionals as the top four finishers advanced. However, Marji would earn himself a higher seed following a 6-3 victory against Horace Gteeley’s Billy Marino in the third-place match.
“After my lose, I had to step up my wrestling and give more than 100 percent,” Marji said. “Every day at practice, during the week, my coaches spoke to me about being aggressive, but not being overly aggressive and trying to force things.”
Yonkers coach Pete Vulpone was happy to see Marji qualify for sectionals.
“Joe has done a great job for us all year,” Vulpone said. “He is only a sophomore and he is wrestling at 220.”
Marji is looking forward to his first sectional appearance.
“It feels great to be going to sectionals as a sophomore,” Marji said. “It’s the best feeling ever.”