By Erin O'Connor
SOUTHWICK - Members of the Southwick High School Wrestling Team expressed excitement about their recent sixth straight title as Division III State Champions.
"It is quite an accomplishment, Ed Martinez (coach), is a very modest guy he has built up a wonderful program over the years," School Principal Mike Camerota said to Reminder Publications.
Camerota said that Martinez is able to integrate former students and wrestlers into his training method.
"It has brought prestige to the school," Camerota said.
"We practice everyday after school for two and a half to three hours," Tom Despard of the team said. "We worked hard so we deserve it. It is nice to see that our hard work paid off."
The season starts the Monday after Thanksgiving and goes until early March.
Paul Woodman of the team said success can be attributed to good coaching.
Unfortunately one of the wrestler's, Wes Dittrich, family home burned down. Members of the Southwick Wrestling Club are currently participating in a fundraiser to raise money for the Dittrich family.
The six members of the Dittrich family returned home March 21 to see that their two-story home formerly located at 16 Fenton Drive had burned to nothing. There are currently no findings as to what caused the fire.
The Dittrich family fundraiser event will take place April 28 at the Southwick Inn. For more information contact Dave Whalley at 569-6092.
The Southwick Wrestling Club was formed several years ago by a group of parents in response to budget problems in the school system.
The Southwick Tolland Regional High School wrestlers could no longer afford to travel to eastern parts of the state to compete and they could no longer participate in post-season events such as the New England Championship or the Nationals.
"We will go for our seventh next year," said members of the team regarding the State Championships.