Naugatuck wrestler makes most of first varsity season

Naugatuck High School freshman Logan Wilcox, right, wrestles during a match this season. Wilcox represented Naugatuck as a team of one. –CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck High freshman Logan Wilcox entered his first season as a varsity wrestler with the goal of finishing with more wins than losses. He didn’t miss by much.

“My goal was to finish the season with a positive win-loss record,” Wilcox said. “I achieved a 40 percent win rate, so being a first-year high school wrestler I can’t be too disappointed at that, and I made the states.”

Wilcox represented the Greyhounds as a team of one and wrestled with Pomperaug.

Wilcox made it to the states as the 16th seed in Class L with a 6-9 record. He lost a first-round match to No. 11 Jason Lobdell, a junior from Masuk who went 19-12 on the season and ended up as the fifth-place wrestler in the 152 pound class.

It was a season of steady progress for Wilcox. His technique got better and his confidence soared with each victory.

“It felt great to see all that hard work start to pay off after I got my first win,” Wilcox said. “Being a freshman was a challenge because most of your opponents were upperclassman who had more experience. I usually did well when I started at the bottom and went into a double reverse. I would get a take down and quickly went into my half-nelson where I got most of my wins with.”

It has been a learning experience since day one under Pomperaug head coach Tony Ryan.

“Logan had a great season. He wrestled hard all year and competed against some of the toughest competition, but was never afraid to try his best,” Ryan said. “He practiced with people that placed at the state tournament and was able to hold his own against them by the end of the year.

“Logan is a very teachable wrestler that wants to learn and excel at wrestling to the best of his ability. I look forward see how far he will go in the next three years of high school.”

The lessons learned in practice made Wilcox a more proficient wrestler.

“Looking back from the start of the season there was a stark improvement,” Wilcox said. “Transitioning from move to move got a lot smoother for me. I got faster and that built more confidence every time I got out on the mat.

“Coach Ryan was a huge help in getting me to focus on the little things that made me rely on my strengths as a wrestler. One of my teammates from Pomperaug, Tommy Cocchiola, an amazing wrestler who I practiced with a lot, would capitalize on a mistake I made and taught me how to correct those aspects of my approach.”

Success in any sport is all about making the adjustments. Wilcox has certainly gained perspective on the season and what needs to be done to be more successful next year.

“It was a fun experience to say the least,” Wilcox said. “In the offseason I want to hit the gym and try and bulk up to make myself stronger to build on my advantage.”