NORWALK, Conn. -- Moments after winning the Mighty-Mite title in his weight class at the recent state championships in Stamford, Norwalk Mad Bulls wrestler Nicky Singer leaped into the arms of his father, Jason Sr.
“I am so proud of you” the elder Singer whispered into his son’s ear. “So very proud,” he whispered, smiling.
A bit later, Nicky and his father were joined matside by his mother, Cristina, to watch Nicky’s older brother, Jason Jr., add another state championship in the Bantam division. Jason Jr. won a one-point decision in the semifinals and went on to win the final.
After winning the final, Jason Jr. was hoisted up by one of the Mad Bulls coaches as teammates and family members mobbed the newly crowned state champion. Two boys, two state champions, one proud Norwalk family.
“These are two very different-styled wrestlers,” Mad Bulls coach Art Schad said. “It’s very interesting to see how different these brothers are. Nicky uses his speed and agility, Jason is all power, but sneaks in some finesse where necessary. Both are styles that suit them each very well and are both are extremely effective in doing so.
"These state championships did not come easy for these two, they worked hard on the off season and earned it.”
The Singer family's wrestling journey took some unusual turns in the past few years. Jason Singer Sr., a 1998 Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference Champion and State Open place winner for Norwalk High School, wanted for his sons what he had as a high school wrestler.
“This is a sport that teaches you about character and challenges your work ethic. You constantly ask yourself, 'Am I working hard enough, am I drilling in practice with intensity, can I get stronger?' These are the questions wrestlers are constantly asking themselves,” Singer said.
He continued. “I joined this program last year to give my two sons the same opportunity to learn the life lessons this sport teaches you. We had a tough start with them being so young and inexperienced last year. We took our losses and turned them into a learning experience.”
Singer Sr. said his boys have had a great experience with Schad, program director Randy Haus and the other children in the program.
“My boys are surrounded by some great teammates and coaches that are so dedicated to this program," he said. "We bring the kids around at a perfect pace. We don’t want to burn anyone out or turn them off to the sport. We had a lot of fun this year, but worked very hard as well. ... I want other kids in Norwalk to have the same experience that my two boys had today.
"These are memories to carry with them for the rest of their lives, I am a proud father and coach today,” he said.