Friday, December 24, 2010


Here is a nice article written for one of our local papers...

Schalick freshman off to fast start

Bill Evans, December 23, 2010 1:43 a.m.

Stewart “Newt” Richardson was seeded last at 119 pounds at the season-opening Pine Barrens Tournament at Shawnee High School on Saturday.
He won, capturing a major decision in the final.

On Tuesday night, Richardson faced Penns Grove district finalist and senior Ricky Sassi in the final match of a dual meet. Richardson notched a stunning 18-3 technical fall.

Less than a week into his first varsity season, the Schalick High School freshman has already made a name for himself. “The secret’s getting out on him a little bit,” said Schalick coach Justin Martin with a smile. “Guys know he’s good, but now they’re starting to figure out how good he actually is.”

The affable, soft-spoken freshman has been pleased — though not entirely surprised — with his fast start.

“I felt I wrestled pretty good (at Pine Barrens),” sad Richardson. “I wasn’t really expecting to win, but wanted to do my best and hopefully winning would be the outcome. Now beating kids who have placed in districts, the bar’s been raised pretty high.”

Richardson, who said he has been wrestling for seven or eight years, placed fifth in a national MAWA tournament this summer.

Martin doesn’t want to put too many expectations on a freshman, but he said Richardson’s presence has already had an impact on the young, rebuilding team.

“He’s wrestled his whole life and he’s on the mat all year long,” said Martin. “Anything Newt gets this year is because he deserves it, because he worked hard and got it. I’m very, very proud of how he’s approaching this team and taken charge of this team. You can see the difference in the practice room because he’s in there.”

Asked about the nickname, Martin laughed and said “It’s just what I’ve called him since he was 6.”

Richardson said the nickname was given him by his grandfather after he was born premature and showed the fighting spirit of former Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne. Knute became Newt and the name stuck.

The freshman should be tested again next week when the Cougars compete in the Arthur Marinelli Tournament at Egg Harbor Township, annually one of the bigger tournaments in South Jersey.

“He’s pumping on all cylinders right now, but everything is a test from here on out,” said Martin.

While the early success has boosted Richardson’s confidence, he admits his goals for the season have been set high since the beginning.

“I want to place first in districts, place in regions and make it to states,” said Richardson. “That’s been my goal for a while.”

Richardson’s results the opening week make those lofty goals certainly attainable.

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