Earning 100 career wins is the target goal for any elite wrestler.
Accomplishing the feat less than halfway through your junior season is an honor reserved for very few.
New Canaan’s Tyler Sung earned career win No. 100 during the Ryan Sabbagh Invitational, a tournament featuring several of the top teams in the state last weekend at Danbury High. The century mark was achieved en route to the final at 145, a class he’d win rather comfortably.
“It’s his junior year and he got it before the New Year,” Rams coach Paul Gallo said. “He’s that good a wrestler. He’ll break the win total at New Canaan without even blinking. He can’t get it this year I don’t think but we’ll see.”
Sung is less than 30 wins off the school record (129) and will set a new highwater mark when he graduates in 2020. Sung didn’t know that he reached 100 despite being told by a teammate; he was greeted in the hallway with balloons and candy.
“I didn’t believe him at first,” Sung joked. “I love my team to death and they’re part of my family. It’s a really great experience. Overall, I’m happy with my progress. There’s always stuff to take away and learn.”
As a sophomore, Sung finished second at the State Open after winning the FCIAC and Class L titles. As a freshman, he finished second in Class L and at the New England championships. He’s one of several outstanding grapplers who have turned the Rams into one of the top teams in the state.
“He works hard and he lives for wrestling,” Gallo said. “I don’t have to worry about him when it comes to wrestling. That’s his thing and that’s what he does. He works year-round.”
Sung began the sport at age six and immediately sought out the best competition. Teammate Justin Mastroianni began shortly after and the pair traveled the country participating in various tournaments. Another successful postseason appears to be around the corner.
“I feel pretty good,” Sung said. “There’s always stuff to work on, definitely the little things make a big difference in matches. I’ve been trying to work on (refining) them. Overall I feel pretty strong.”
The first state poll of the season — released by ctwrestling.com — has Danbury as the unanimous No. 1 squad. The Hatters won the Sabbagh Invitational ahead of No. 2 Bristol Eastern on its home gym, and will now hit the road for the entire month of January.
CCC rivals Southington (third) and Simsbury (fifth) crack the top five while Warde is fourth. Avon (7-0) cracked the top 10 in 10th while several other undefeated squads — including Waterford — sit outside.
MEETS TO WATCH
East Haven Duals, Jan. 5 at East Haven: No. 7 Foran and SWC hopeful Newtown highlight the teams visiting the upstart Yellow Jackets.
Danbury, New Canaan, Xavier at Eastern States Classic, Jan. 11 at Sullivan Community College, New York: One of the biggest competitions on the east coast, the Eastern States will post a challenge to Connecticut’s best. Sung and Danbury’s Ryan Jack each finished third last year.
Trumbull, Ledyard, Middletown at Guilford: A pair of top 10 squads in the Eagles and Middletown will see one another in Guilford.