ATLANTIC CITY – If anyone needed to get a sense of where Delsea senior Bill Janzer’s focus was entering the weekend, one just had to look at head coach Greg Sawyer.
Sawyer has been Janzer’s wrestling partner over the past week with only the NJSIAA State Tournament on his mind. Janze, (38-0) won a state title as a junior and nothing would stand in his way, not even his coaches health.
“We go back and forth,” said Sawyer, who sported a black eye and a bruised left ear. “He’s one of the (Delsea) elite now. He’s a (Bryan Dobzanski), a (Joe Alexander) and (Don Fisch). He’s in there. He has a third and two firsts. That’s how you get into that collection.”
Janzer cruised into the final and then went to ultimate tiebreak for a 3-2 win over Bergen Catholic’s Josh McKenzie and his second state title at 182 pounds on Sunday afternoon. Janzer approached the final the same way as he did as a junior when he also won on an escape at ultimate tiebreaker.
“I’ve known him for a long time,” Janzer said. “We’ve always wrestled at a different weight (class), but I’ve known him from all of the tournaments. He’s an athletic kid and I knew I wanted to be cautious.”
So cautious in fact that the two went through a scoreless first period. Janzer won the toss and took down and after an escape, and a subsequent third period escape the match went to overtime tied at 1-1.
A scoreless period and two more escapes, one a piece, and this bout came down to one more 30 second period. Janzer knew the second the coin landed for choice, this match was his to win.
“As soon as I saw red I thought I got this,” said Janzer, who chose down and only needed his third escape of the bout for a title. “It’s not that I thought I couldn’t ride him out. To be honest I have enough confidence to believe I can ride him out. I’ve just worked really hard on the bottom over the last four years to have that type of confidence.”
Janzer, who also won the Escape the Rock Tournament this year in ultimate tiebreak on and escape, is the first to admit, what may have been his biggest weakness is now his biggest strength.
“I used to be pretty awful on bottom,” Janzer said. “As a freshman I was awful but we worked on it. I think it’s the biggest change I’ve made.
“We work on those situations all the time in practice. When I got out there it was just doing what I’ve always done in practice.”
Now that he’s done in high school, Janzer has the next step to look forward to as a college wrestler but one thing won’t change.
“I wanted to be a multiple state champion,” Janzer said. “I can say that now. It’s an awesome feeling and I’m just taking it in.”
Meanwhile, his head coach has more than just one reason to be happy. Sawyer can now say he’s coached a two-time champion and in turn, won’t have to put his body on the line to help Janzer get to the next level.