Foley Is First Barnegat Wrestler to Reach 100 Victories

By DAVID BIGGY | Jan 24, 2018
Courtesy of: Ken MacIver Barnegat senior Sean Foley (center) receives a commemorative mat after capturing the 100th victory of his career on Jan. 20 against Burlington Township.

When Sean Foley started wrestling in sixth grade, he lost a lot of matches before he developed a consistency for having his hand raised after bouts. Still, he stuck with it and ultimately developed a love for the sport.

“It’s hard to embrace the grind that’s required in wrestling, but I loved it,” said Foley, who on Jan. 20 became Barnegat High School’s first wrestler to win 100 career bouts. He reached that milestone with a 16-1, technical-fall victory over Burlington Township’s Shariel Ramos in 5:55.

“I wasn’t good that first year. But then I started going to Brick for open mat times, and then I joined Mat Warriors in Manahawkin. I kept telling myself that all the hard work and effort would be worth it.”

Last season, Foley earned a spot in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall for the NJSIAA Championships and learned a hard lesson: that tourney level of competition was higher – and he had some more work to do.

So far this season, the senior is 22-1, and again has his sights set on Boardwalk Hall.

Before Atlantic City fully comes into view, there were goals to meet along the way. Last week in a team loss to Oakcrest, Foley was one of three victors for the Bengals, scoring a 15-10 decision over Billy Fifer. That victory pushed him past Shane Herring, the program’s first district champion, who graduated in 2010 as Barnegat’s career-wins leader with 94.

“Shane was there to congratulate me, and it was great of him to come by for it,” Foley said. “He was Barnegat’s first wrestling star and it’s an honor to break his record.”

Heading into this past weekend, Foley was three wins from the century mark. In a 45-33 win over Shawnee, he won a 6-4 decision over Ed Morriarity at 120 pounds, then pinned Domini Robertson of Lower Cape May in 2:14 during a 54-27 team victory. No. 100 gave the Bengals a 35-3 lead over Burlington.

“This is cool, and I appreciate what it means to the program and the town,” said Foley, who has the U.S. Navy on his career radar, with hopes of someday being a SEAL. “But now there’s more to get.”

After finishing third at 106 pounds as a sophomore and second at 113 pounds last season, Foley is eyeing the top of the podium at the NJSIAA District 31 and Region VIII tournaments, as well as a podium spot in Boardwalk Hall. With 12 more victories, he also can set the single-season record for wins in a season, held by Matt Schofield, a 2012 graduate.

“I want to finish big,” said Foley, who stands 5-foot-3 and most likely will wrestle in the 113-pound weight class once the district tourney rolls around in three weeks. “I want to be a district and region champ, and I really want to get onto that podium in Atlantic City. I owe everything to wrestling, and I want to accomplish as much as I can in these next five weeks.”

biggy@thesandpaper.net

 

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.