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Morris Sussex Sports covers 40 schools’ sports teams that consists of about 14,000 athletes in Morris, Sussex and parts of Warren counties. Out of those 14,000 athletes, Morris Sussex Sports and Parisi Speed School honor just one athlete who does something special each week with the Parisi Speed School Player of the Week.  Go to Parisi Speed School to raise your game and become faster, bigger and stronger.  Mention “Morris Sussex Sports” and receive a FREE Speed Pass to one of their world class training sessions.  

This past week there were a ton of fantastic performances in Morris-Sussex between hockey, wrestling, basketball and other sports. But the player we felt deserved the Parisi Speed School Player of the Week the most was Parsippany wrestler Sydney Petzinger. Petzinger had been stellar all season long by going undefeated against girls but she displayed courage and resiliency when it counted the most. While down in Atlantic City for the state tournament, she ran the table delivering Morris-Sussex it’s first female state championship wrestler with her win at 100-pounds.

We caught up with the sophomore history-making champ to talk about this amazing moment, who her role model is and what we can expect from her over the next two remaining years of her high school career.

Morris Sussex Sports: What does it feel like to be the first female wrestler ever to win a state championship in Morris-Sussex history?
Sydney Petzinger: It feels incredible knowing that I’m going to go down in history as one of the first ever female state champions.

MSS: What went through your mind when the referee lifted your arm up and you were looking into the crowd of cheering fans?
SP: At that moment I knew I had achieved my goal.  I took it all in and hearing the crowd made me feel proud of my accomplishment.

MSS: What was the reaction from your fellow students and faculty when you came back to school from Atlantic City?
SP: Every second I was being congratulated and hugged. I got a lot of recognition from everyone at the school.

MSS: At what point in the season did you think becoming a state champion was a real possibility?
SP: From the start of the season I had my mind set on becoming a state champion. That was my motivation and it drove me in practice.

MSS: What were your goals for yourself coming into this season?
SP: In the beginning of the season I told myself everyday I would work 100% in practice. I wanted to be a state champion. I also wanted to participate in the boys state qualifying tournaments, but that didn’t happen due to me being under weight. Next year it will though, because I am going to be on weight for sure.

MSS: Do you have any pre-match rituals?
SP: As most people know, I have my lucky American flag socks. I’ve worn them every match for a long time. Someone once told me that every time you feel you aren’t wrestling yourself, just take a moment, pull up your socks, and reset.

MSS: Who is your role model?
SP: My role model Helen Maroulis, an Olympic champion. She was the first woman from USA to win gold. I look up to her and aspire to be like her. She has an incredible story for how she started wrestling. One day I hope to win gold like her.

MSS: What do you like the most about wrestling?
SP: It is just a really fun sport. Wrestling teaches you discipline, self-control, and it makes you humble and a good person.

MSS: What would surprise people to know about your team?
SP: Before a match we are in the wrestling room warming up. Aside from the hard workout and getting prepared, we have so much fun which makes the nerves go away.

MSS: What’s the funniest thing Coach McMickle ever said?
SP: Coach McMickle says the funniest things all the time. In the wrestling room he will make fart noises and blames it on someone else. Every day he goes up to my teammate Taha and says “happy birthday Taha”!

MSS: What makes him the angriest?
SP: My coach gets angry when you are slacking off in practice rather than working your hardest.

MSS: What music artist to you listen to the most?
SP: I listen to a lot of different artists, so I can’t really choose one. Some of my favorite songs to hype me up are from Drake, Gucci Mane and Tyga.

MSS: What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
SP: I see myself continuing to pursue wrestling and promote the sport. I hope to have gone as far as I can with wrestling.

MSS: What can we expect from you in the next two years of wrestling at PHS?
SP: You can expect to see me at states, wrestling varsity, and wrestling in boys tournaments.

MSS: Congrats Sydney and on behalf of the entire Morris-Sussex sports community, thank you for this amazing achievement and for representing our area so well!

Watch Sidney win Morris-Sussex’s first female state wrestling championship (courtesy of Jersey Sports Zone).

George Muha has been covering high school sports since 2006. He feels high school scholar-athletes are the most important part of the community and highlighting their achievements on the field, in the classroom and within the community is his personal mission.

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