The name Lexi Mazzella will hang forever in the rafters of Bordentown Regional High School.
Mazzella cemented her place in Bordentown history and capped off her tremendous athletic career for the Scotties during the NJSIAA Girls State Wrestling Championships on Feb. 20 at Phillipsburg High School.
For the first time in the history of the Bordentown wrestling program, a Scottie wrestler stood atop the podium at the state tournament in first place, with Mazzella capturing the 132-pound girls state wrestling championship.
Mazzella powered her way to a 13-3 major decision over Timber Creek’s Olivia Palmer to make history and become a state champion.
🥇Lexi Mazzella brings home the title and stakes the claim, FIRST Bordentown State Champion Wrestler in school history 🤼♀️! Congratulations 🏆 pic.twitter.com/NDpNeD8h4H
— Bordentown Athletics (@brhsathletics) February 21, 2022
“It’s a great feeling,” Mazzella said of becoming a state champion. “It’s going to be something that will be remembered forever.”
From taking third place last year in the state tournament to becoming a state champion this winter, Mazzella said she is in awe of how far she has come in the sport of wrestling since joining the Bordentown wrestling team three years ago.
A lot of credit for her success goes to the coaching and mentorship she has gotten from Bordentown wrestling Coach Jimmy Gill, Mazzella said.
“Coach Gill has been a great mentor and teacher,” she said. “He’s pushed me so much to get better the last three years. It’s crazy how far I’ve come.”
Mazzella placed third at the NJSIAA South Region Tournament on Feb. 12 to qualify for the state tournament for the second year in a row.
In the week of practice to follow leading into the state tournament, Mazzella was all business and said she prepared as hard as she could to make history.
She earned the No. 4 seed in the 132-pound bracket and took down the No. 5 seed Grace Kaczanowski of Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School, Bridgewater, by a 6-3 decision in the quarterfinals.
The semifinal round was next for Mazzella and she met up with top-seeded grappler Kamila Bieszczad from Jackson Memorial High School, Jackson Township. Mazzella scored a 6-2 decision against Bieszczad to advance to the 132-pound final.
Just like that, Mazzella was one win away from making program history.
Standing in the way of Mazzella making history was Palmer, who defeated Mazzella at regions just a week prior.
That was in the mind of Mazzella heading into the championship bout. She had no fears of facing Palmer and showed that notion by jumping out to a 13-0 lead heading into the third period.
Two minutes was all that stood now from Mazzella creating her historic moment in the Bordentown record books and there was no way she was going to let Palmer take that away from her, she said.
Mazzella kept Palmer at bay in the final period and cruised her way to a major decision to become state champion.
“I’m not one to score points, so once I racked up a lot of points, I knew I couldn’t let her come back,” Mazzella said of her championship bout. “I just kept doing what I needed to do to win and I did it.”
As she walked to the center of the mat to get her hand raised, the feeling of shock came about Mazzella, she said. She couldn’t believe that she was really a state champion as all the stress of competing in the state tournament washed away in joy.
“It was crazy,” Mazzella said. “I don’t even remember the match finishing. I just felt relief. It was a really proud moment for me.”
The celebration was on as family, coaches and teammates gathered around Mazzella to celebrate her huge accomplishment. In all that frenzy, Mazzella made sure to contact a special person that helped make this moment possible.
That person was her brother, Sammy, who was competing in a tournament that same afternoon for the York College wrestling team.
Mazzella FaceTimed Sammy, who was so happy to see how proud he was of her.
“He was super proud of me,” Mazzella said. “He and all his teammates were watching my championship match on the livestream and were so happy when I won. It was really nice to see.”
History was made in its truest form by Mazzella as her stellar athletic career at Bordentown comes to an end.
In her four years as part of the Bordentown girls soccer team, Mazzella scored 61 goals for the Scotties and it helped her earn a scholarship to play at the collegiate level for Shaw University.
Her state championship victory on the mat leads to Mazzella finishing her career as a Bordentown wrestler with a mark of 36-12.
The legacy that she is leaving at Bordertown is something that Mazzella said she is very proud of. She’s happy to be a figure others can look up to whether they’re playing on the pitch or wrestling on the mat.
She is also proud to accomplish all her feats as a member of the Bordentown community. Mazzella has gotten a lot of support and admiration from Bordentown since winning her state championship and said she is proud to have given the place she grew up in its first state wrestling title.
“It’s been really cool seeing how much it has affected the community,” Mazzella said. “It was really nice having people in the hallway at school congratulate me. I’m really proud of myself and that all my hard work paid off.”