CHERRY HILL— Even before you hear Sean Tyler talk, you know he’s enthusiastic about getting on the wrestling mat every day.
Tyler scored a key win by decision at 138 pounds in Cherry Hill West’s 43-22 win over Pennsauken in the South Jersey Group 4 semifinals on Wednesday
“I love being able to go out there and wrestle my match,” Tyler said. “That’s always great. I think about it every day. I can’t wait to get out on the mat. I can’t wait to get to practice, train hard and hit my stuff. Just work hard every day.”
Tyler took over his bout in the second period and finished with a 16-10 victory over Stephen Przychowicz.
“Going into the second period I knew if I got down I could definitely get a switch and I’m so comfortable on top,” Tyler said “I just love my tilt. I know if I have it and it’s working, I can grab a lot of points from that.”
Tyler’s win set up Xavier Barker to clinch the match at 145 pounds.
Barker, like most of the Lions squad, was motivated by a trip to the sectional final.
“I knew we had a plan in our head that we had to go out there and start doing something because we’ve never won the final,” Barker said. “We knew we had to get there. I was just doing whatever I can to help the team. I got put on my back in the first period, but I knew I couldn’t go out that way. I had to go out and fight back.”
The Lions have been wrestling with a combination of pressure and motivation as the top seed in their bracket.
Although pressure could be seen as bad, the Lions are embracing it and making it fuel them further.
“Going into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed you have a lot of weight on your chest,” Tyler said. “You just want to get into the room and work hard every day and it shows out on the mat.”
As the bouts ticked off the match sheet and the points added up in their favor, the Lions couldn’t do anything but celebrate their spot in Friday’s final.
“It feels really good because we’ve worked so hard this year,” Tyler said. “I think it all shows on the mat how dedicated we are.”
But just because the Lions are in the final, doesn’t mean their work is done.
“We just really go at it. We just give it our all because we know the season is going to be over soon and we’re doing better than we have in a while,” Barker said .”We’re going out there and showing everybody we’re West and we can do as good as anybody else."