Mockup of Fall/Winter 2022 Peddie Chronicle Cover

From the Peddie Chronicle.

Peddie Wrestling Gains Ground
Peddie Wrestling Gains Ground

Team Captain Gavin Mavoides ’23 dominates his opponent. 

Newcomer Matthew Jung ’25 was instrumental in delivering a win for Peddie wrestling in their February meet against Ewing High School, despite being pinned by a much more experienced opponent. 

Right before the match, Head Coach Austin Frank approached Jung.

Frank recalled, “I said, ‘Matt, you’re gonna go up against a really good kid. He has a lot of experience, and he’s powerful. Do you want to wrestle?’

“And he said, ‘I’m not afraid. I’ll go out there. I’ll step up.’”

Following Jung’s loss, Ewing led Peddie when, in the last match of the day, Matthew Yang ’23 came through with a nail-biting pinfall to tie up the score, leaving the outcome to be decided by which team had fewer forfeits. The win ultimately went to the Falcons.

“If Matt Jung hadn’t had the courage to wrestle, we would have forfeited. He was just as much a contributor to the win as Matt Yang,” said Frank.

For Frank, the team’s win against Ewing High School is a metaphor for the season. 

“We’re always going to return to the coal mine,” he said, referencing his team’s gritty, hard work ethos. “Sometimes we’re going to go down to the mine and find what we’re looking for, and sometimes we’ll come up empty-handed. But no matter what, you have to have the courage to return.”

Frank, who captained his high school wrestling team and won the New England Championship as a student at Wesleyan University, became head coach for Peddie wrestling after joining the history department in 2015. Back then, the wrestling team was struggling with participation. Since then, he and coaching staff Patrick Loughlin, Ryan Bennett and Steve Rivera have reinvigorated the program. With 25 members and almost every weight class filled, the team went 8-10 this season and sent Jack Stewart ’25 (120), Donovan Mavoides ’23 (126), Team Captain Gavin Mavoides ’23 (132) and Connor Pawliczak ’25 (170) to the National Prep Wrestling Championships.

“In my last few years as coach, we couldn’t win a match, maybe one or two here and there,” Frank recalled. 

But this season was an unrivaled experience. 

Frank beamed, “I have never felt so electric. This season was amazing. The kids were locked in, and the team culture was strong.”

With a large class of returning seniors, and younger teammates stepping up into varsity roles, the 2022–23 season promises to be even more successful. “Next year is THE year for us,” Frank said. “I think we can finish with a winning season. I think we can qualify more kids for nationals.”