Wendel’s Winning: Wrestler’s Hard Work Leads to Second State Title


Courtesy of Nonnewaug Wrestling

Jack Wendel takes down an opponent during a 182-pound match this season. Wendel won his second straight Class S state championship.

Kaylee Jackson, Sports Reporter

WOODBURY – When you play a sport seriously, it can take over your entire life, especially when you start young. Jack Wendel has been wrestling since the age of 5 and is now a senior at Nonnewaug High School.  

He ended his high school career with quite a bang by winning the Class S title at 182 lbs while also being named the Most Outstanding Wrestler in Class S.

“Early on, I had goals for the future,” said Wendel. “Becoming a state champion was one of those goals.” 

And Wendel did just that. 

Wendel pinned Canton’s Noah Asmar in 16 seconds in the first round, then pinned Stafford’s Breaden Gray in 2:30 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Wendel pinned Windham’s Asael Garcia-Rodriguez, in 52 seconds, to advance to the final round against Portland’s Andrew Johnson. 

In the final, Wendel scored his fourth and final pinfall in 26 seconds to secure a second straight Class S championship title. He was also the 170-pound champion in 2022. 

“Jack leads by example and not only is he at practice every day, but he is also grabbing younger players and helping them improve their own skills as well,” said Dave Green, wrestling coach at Nonnewaug. 

Unfortunately his sophomore year their wrestling season was canceled due to the pandemic, which caused him to lose an opportunity to earn 100 career wins. 

“I really can’t control the fact that I didn’t have a sophomore season, but I know if I even had half of my sophomore season, I would have reached 100 wins because I was only 13 wins away,”  said Wendel, who ended up finishing his career with 87 victories. 

Wendel’s success stemmed from wrestling year-round as well as lifting weights and furthering his athletic ability any way he could. 

His many years of wrestling and hard work paid off as he has committed to wrestle at York College of Pennsylvania.

“I think competing in college takes a lot of commitment and focus past just the academic part of things,” said Green. “If there is anyone who can handle it, it’s Jack.”