It’s been a freshman year on the mat that Tyler Sagi of the Old Bridge High School wrestling team couldn’t even dream of.
The 16-year old has made a name for himself in the Greater Middlesex Conference with his dominating performance on the mat this winter for the Knights, standing at a perfect 31-0 after winning his bout by a pin in Old Bridge’s match against Woodbridge High School on Feb. 12.
“It shows that all my hard work has been working and that I’m ahead of the curve,” Sagi said. “It feels amazing. It’s great to see all that hard work pay off.”
A couple weeks ago at the GMC tournament, Sagi achieved a goal of his coming into high school to be a conference champion.
Attending the conference tournament while in middle school to watch the best of the Greater Middlesex area compete against one another, it was a fulfilling moment for Sagi to be able to stand on the podium as the 126-pound champion.
Sagi rolled through the 126-pound bracket as the No. 1 seed, being crowned champion with his 11-4 victory over Sayreville War Memorial High School’s Darren Figueroa in the final.
“It was a great accomplishment,” Sagi said. “It’s been my goal to win it since I’ve come to watch the tournament the last few years. It was very exciting.”
Sagi won his first three matches of the tournament by a 17-2 technical fall, a pin in 5:50 and an 8-2 decision in the semifinals over Piscataway High School’s Kendall Jordan to advance to the title bout.
In the team’s 36-28 loss to Woodbridge, Sagi scored his pin in a minute over Jacob Torres.
The freshman now sets his sights on the NJSIAA District 17 Tournament that will be held on Feb. 22 at South Plainfield High School.
Sagi planned to take advantage of the team’s two remaining meets in the regular season to prepare for the district championships.
Old Bridge faced off in a dual meet with Lakewood High School on Feb. 14 and was scheduled to end the regular season play on Feb. 15 in a quad meet at Nutley High School, going up against Nutley, Freehold Borough High School and Hillsborough High School.
The grand prize for Sagi is to advance past districts to the Region 5 Tournament, where he hopes to secure a top-four placement to help send him to the state tournament in Atlantic City on March 5-7.
The Region 5 Tournament will be held at Franklin Township High School on Feb. 26, 28 and 29.
Competing in the state tournament is the ultimate dream for Sagi, who is hoping to show people now outside the conference how good of a wrestler he is and that he can hang with the top wrestlers in the state at 126 pounds.
“I want to get 40 wins this season and make it to AC,” Sagi said. “I want to get my name out there and show that I can be a threat. Making it to AC as a freshman would be a great accomplishment.”
Follow Steven Bassin on Twitter @SBassin_Sports