On January 16th, Holliston High School wrestler Brian Garry achieved his 100th career win against an Ashland wrestler.
The junior captain won by pin in one minute and 30 seconds. Just moments later, his mother Ms. Joanne Garry came out of the stands with a ‘congratulations on 100 wins’ poster that she made, handed it to Garry and gave him a hug, while the crowd clapped.
Getting 100 wins is a difficult task for any high school wrestler to achieve, and most don’t even get close. Garry got there as a junior, averaging around 36 wins a season, with his current season at 38 wins and seven losses, at the time of the interview.
“I’m happy I got 100 wins, but it’s not over for me yet, there’s still more room to improve,” Garry said.
When asked what he does to improve, Garry said he practices every day, maintains a healthy diet, does club wrestling offseason, and lifts year round.
“It’s not easy but the rewards are worth the challenge. Also it takes time to get good when [new wrestlers] start, so it’s really tough on them when they get beat over and over and don’t have a lot of motivation,” said Garry.
Garry describes the feeling of getting your hand raised in front of a crowd of people after a win as the best feeling in the world. He credits this feeling as well as staying in shape, making friends and relationships, and developing a good work ethic as some of the many rewards for working so hard.
“Brian has always been talented, and he has come a long way since freshman year,” said Garry’s coach, Mike Capobianco.
Garry was appointed captain his sophomore year after he placed 6th in Massachusetts, and was the first freshman wrestler from Holliston to make it to the New England tournament.
Becoming the captain that young is very rare in high school sports; most captains are appointed as juniors or seniors. Coach Capobianco saw Garry’s strong work ethic, talent, and leadership skills and deemed him deserving of the captain position.
Garry, his teammates, and his coaches have also gotten very close over the years, making many relationships. According to coach Capobianco, and Garry himself, it’s a real grind, and they experience it all together.
Garry also said that he had already set his new goals: to win states (which he did on February 16, after the interview took place), to beat the HHS win record (which stands at 151 set by Sam Goldberg, who graduated in 2017) and win states next year as a senior.
Garry also completed the ‘G-Club’ wrestling challenge two years in a row. The challenge is to get 1000 takedowns in a single season after practice. In-practice and in-match takedowns do not count. This challenge is purely optional, but Garry was the only one out of six or so people attempting it to actually get all 1000 this season, for the second season in a row. Those who complete it get their names painted on the wall in the wrestling room for all to see.
Garry now has his name painted twice on the wall, which is “pretty cool,” he said.
In addition to completing the ‘G-Club’ and getting 100 wins, Garry has also won nine tournaments throughout his high school career.
Ms. Garry said she is a, “very proud mama!”
“I remember saying when he became captain entering into his [junior] year that he was too young. He proved me wrong. He works hard and it has paid off,” she said.
Ms. Garry is worried about Garry getting hurt, but said that she knows that he is doing the right thing. She is also against cutting weight, which in wrestling is the act of losing a lot of weight temporarily, to go to a smaller weight class and wrestle people who are smaller than you. Many wrestlers have to do this, including Garry.
Ms. Garry said he worked with a nutritionist all this year to make sure he stays healthy.
When Ms. Garry was asked about her favorite wrestling story about Garry, she said winning states this year. Garry was down by one point in the final seven seconds. To win, he needed to take down the opponent, which would give him two points.
“I was watching from above [a balcony] and he was losing with seven seconds left and I was yelling ‘Brian, you have to do something!’”
Garry then wrapped his hands around the opponent, and completely spun the other guy around, throwing him to the ground, getting two points, winning in the last three seconds to become the Division III State Champion. The crowd screamed, and the coach of the other wrestler spiked the water he was holding onto the ground in frustration, sending it at least ten feet into the air.
“I feel like he really heard me and did what I asked,” Ms. Garry said happily.
The video of Garry winning the state tournament will be linked here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1m5U4sp0ev1AInRc60O3JK2qSKP3idnX6/view?usp=sharing
(Video Credit goes to Jonathan Pessin , Seamus Frawley, and Jay Fisher)