The most successful wrestler in Middleboro High School history says his team is like a ‘family’
MIDDLEBORO — There are many ways to win a match in high school wrestling, but Middleboro Sophomore Wrestling Captain Matt Patterson said that pinning an opponent, or holding an opponent's shoulders down on the mat for two seconds, is the most satisfying.
“It’s nice to get a pin,” Patterson said. “You feel like you accomplished something”
Patterson knows a lot about pinning opponents. He broke a school record for the most wins in the history of the Middleboro wrestling team on Saturday, Jan. 20 at a wrestling tournament in Cohasset. He then added four more wins to that total a week later on Saturday, Jan. 27 when the Sachems faced off against Barnstable, Catholic Memorial, Needham, and Mt. Hope at the Middleboro High School gym.
Racking up those victories comes down to getting into a “zone” where Patterson’s actions come down to instinct built from years of practice, he said.
“You get into that zone when you are about to wrestle, and you really just can’t get out of it,” Patterson explained. “We work hard to get to that point where you’re just like: ‘I’m here, I got to do this now.’”
Patterson said that because of his focus during his matches, it’s sometimes difficult for him to remember every step that goes into pulling off a win. But he couldn’t help but smile when describing his most recent victory on Saturday, a pin against Catholic Memorial High School athlete Mateo Spinale.
“I just grabbed his head, I snapped it down, his hands went down, [and] I went right behind,” Patterson said. “I went to my bread and butter: cradle. I locked him up a couple of times, and on my third time I finally got it right and got the pin.”
Wrestling is a “team sport,” Patterson said, and the Sachems won three of their four matchups on Saturday. The team started the day by beating Barnstable High School 43 - 28, before losing 35 - 43 to Mt. Hope High School. The Sachems then bounced back with wins against Needham High School (60 - 24) and Catholic Memorial High School (45 - 36). Patterson won all of his four matches on Saturday.
Patterson’s contributions to the team come from the sideline as well as on the mat. Middleboro Coach Dex Seibert said that this year the team had started forming a “tunnel” at the beginning of each match for the wrestlers to walk through. Seibert said that these team activities were important to creating a “family feel” for the team.
“It’s kind of what we were missing the past couple of years,” Seibert explained. “This year it’s much better. Most of the kids are good friends and they get along really well.”
Family is a word that Patterson also uses to describe the wrestling team.
“Everybody loves each other,” Patterson said. “I genuinely would say it's like a family.”
Patterson added that the new tunnel activity helps him and his teammates get prepared for their matches.
“You run through it and you feel like you are in a college match,” Patterson said. “It’s a little pump up before the match to get your blood going.”
In addition, Patterson said that the wrestling team’s cheers and yells from the sideline contribute to the team’s morale.
“Hearing your team be there for you and support you really means a lot,” he explained.
During the off season, Patterson said that one of his goals as the captain is to help his teammates “progress in the off season and really just be a leader for the team.” He said that the relationships he has formed on the wrestling team will stay with him long after he graduates high school.
There are “some kids on this team that I would think of as my brother, and that’s a lifetime bond,” Patterson said.