Wrestling: Overlooked no more
Posted on Thursday, March 6, 2014 8:28 am
by Brian Giuffra
Brittany DeLucia is one of the biggest stars in the Bergen County wrestling community.
There are so many great people who get overlooked during the wrestling season: Coaches, referees, announcers, parents, boosters, tournament volunteers, stat girls, average wrestlers, and the list goes on and on.
But one person, who was more than happy to do her job anonymously, always stood out to me: Saddle Brook senior Brittany DeLucia.
In a story I wrote for today’s paper, I detailed how important DeLucia, who was born with a muscle deficiency and walks using two canes for support, is to not only the Glen Rock/Saddle Brook wrestling team but the Bergen County wrestling community in general.
Perhaps surprisingly, the first person I reached out to for this story was Bergen Catholic senior Johnny Sebastian. He dedicated his wins at the Bergen Holiday tournament to her and I wanted to know why. This is what he had to say.
“I’ve seen her around at a lot of different tournaments since my freshman year. I dedicated the BCCA tournament win to her because I know ho much of a wrestling fan she is. I think it’s awesome that she is so involved with the sport and goes to all the big matches and tournaments while being handicapped. It just shows how dedicated she is to the sport.”
Somehow, even that is an understatement.
DeLucia goes to every Glen Rock/Saddle Brook wrestling practice. She does paper work for them, created a team facebook page, distributes team schedules, gives the team occasional pep talks and, according to GR/SB coach Wayne Rogers, keeps the most professional book in Bergen County.
“If we’re lucky she’ll also bake for us,” senior 120 Mike Andreano said.
When asked, DeLucia said Andreano is her favorite wrestler and the guy she’ll be pulling for most in A.C. That makes sense because she’s watched at Boardwalk Hall all four years of his career. But she’s also pulling for fellow GR/SB state qualifier Chris Jacobson and Sebastian.
We also talked about all the great wrestlers she’s seen in her career. The list is incredible.
Four-time undefeated state champ Anthony Ashnault from South Plainfield. Four-time state champ Four-time state champ Andrew Campolattano from Bound Brook. Two time (trying to make it three) state champ Sebastian. Then just name any star from around the area from the last four years.
“She knows the ins and outs of wrestling,” Rogers said. “She’s almost like a coach.”
Rogers and DeLucia clearly have a special relationship, more like brother sister than former teacher-student.
Rogers did teach DeLucia at Franklin Elementary in Saddle Brook and was the one who encouraged DeLucia to be GR/SB’s stat girl. That’s made a world of difference for DeLucia.
“It made her come out of her shell,” Rogers said of DeLucia joining the team. “This was the first thing that she owned by herself and she took it and she went with it.”
She has, becoming one of the more popular people in the BergenCounty wrestling community, which appropriately embraced her as if she was a star wrestler.
What does that mean to DeLucia?
“To walk into a gym and have everyone know you and everyone welcome you and accept you, I couldn’t ask for anything more,” she said. “It’s a huge family to me. They all back me up. It’s like having a bunch of brothers who are never going to leave my side.”
– See more at: http://blog.northjersey.com/varsityaces/31756/wrestling-overlooked-no-more/#more-31756