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Sam Hecht: Winning Wrestler

Vivian Wen ’20
Sam Hecht ’17 first stepped onto the wrestling mat in ninth grade.
Sam Hecht ’17 first stepped onto the wrestling mat in ninth grade. “I started a couple weeks into the season freshman year,” said Hecht. "[Coach Jack] Ayer recruited me upon me not making the JV basketball team.”

Hecht earned the honor of ‘Most Improved’ in his freshman and sophomore years. He improved his 2-20 record his freshman year to a 29-8 record, his senior year. He ranked seventh at New Englands
last year and has placed second in the state championship the past two years.

Wrestling has provided meaningful lessons for Hecht. “Wrestling has really taught me not only to not get hung up on past losses but to learn from them and use them to improve,” he said. “The discipline I’ve learned to keep my weight down and to keep my composure in tough times are lessons that will follow me forever.”

Quinn Schneider ’18 said that “[Hecht is] a hard working, determined, hungry to win, and a great team leader.”
Hecht’s work ethic inspires fellow wrestlers. Teammate Gunnar Desantis ’20 said, “Sam leads by example. His presence alone makes you feel inclined to work as hard as he does.” Andrew Roberge ’18 said, “Sam is a great captain and works incredibly hard. A wrestling team is a group of brothers who work incredibly hard together, and Sam is a fantastic example of a leader.”

Hecht is devoted to helping his younger teammates improve, serving as a support system and an additional coach. “I’m happy that a lot of the kids know they can come to me for anything. "I'm constantly coming in early or staying late to help some of the younger kids master the basic skills they'll come to rely on late in their careers," said Hecht.

Hecht’s leadership and dedication extends outside of practices and matches and into the books. Coach and Math teacher Adam Sperling said, “Sam has been a great mentor to some of the younger members of the team, even working with them outside of the room to help them get a better handle on their academics.”
Hecht’s wrestling career began and will end with the Hilltoppers. His senior season is his last on the mats. “Wrestling is a sport that demands my full focus almost 24/7,” said Hecht, “and, at the college level, it is hard to balance that with academics.”
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