Zach Valley wins first tournament
Zach Valley admitted that he had mental blocks about his potential on the wrestling mat when it came to reaching the top.
The Northampton junior never won a high school tournament, despite taking third at both districts and regionals last year and fifth at states, Valley never had even reached a finals mat in high school.
That all changed last weekend, when Valley defeated Micah Hight of Caesar Rodney (Del.) with a 3-2 decision in the 120-pound finals to knock off the two-time Delaware state champion at the Escape the Rock tournament at Council Rock South.
It was the first time Valley wrestled at 120, dropping from 126 for the tournament. The results were a 4-0 weekend, a gold medal and new found confidence.
"Winning this was pretty big for me," said Valley, who upped his record to 21-5 on the season. "It was my first time down at 120 and this really gave me confidence that I could be good at this weight."
Confidence may never have been an issue for the Northampton junior, but adding some more to your mentality en route to the postseason is never a problem.
"I've always had trouble getting through the semifinals of tournaments," he said. "Not sure if it was always something in the back of my head or not, but it was like a mental block. After I got the semifinal win, I felt a lot better."
Valley's drop from 126-to-120 was partly due to feeling better on the mat. He felt a weight change would give him an advantage, or at least equal the playing field when it comes to strength on the mat against his opponents.
With losses to Liberty's Grimaldi Gonzalez and Bethlehem Catholic's Zeke Moisey over the past two weeks, Valley knew he had to change weights.
"I just feel stronger at 120," he said. "At 126, I felt a little smaller than some of the other guys. Now I'm wrestling guys that are my size and I feel better. I figured dropping down from 126 isn't much of a weight loss, so I decided to do it."
Northampton finished 10th overall at the tournament and placed four wrestlers overall, as Bobby Fehr took third at 160, Mike Scheetz was sixth at 106 and Imad Azar (220) finished in eighth.
The Kids (4-5, 3-4) took on Easton (10-0, 5-0) last night and host the Konkrete Duals this Saturday.