YONKERS, N.Y. – Jack McGovern wanted a starting spot in the Sleepy Hollow varsity wrestling lineup, and once he earned it, he is strengthening his hold on it.
The sophomore recorded a key pin Wednesday as Sleepy Hollow rallied to a 40-39 win over Yonkers at Gorton High School.
The Headless Horsemen won as Edwin Jimenez pinned his opponent in the final match.
McGovern pinned Louis Hernandez with one second remaining in the first period of the 152-pound match. The six team points, via the pin, was a major reason Sleepy Hollow prevailed.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to get the pin because time was running out, but I knew I had to get it right there, and when I did, it felt amazing,” McGovern said.
McGovern said he did not wrestle many varsity matches last year so he dedicated himself to returning with a renewed hunger.
“I just said to myself that I had to work harder to fill the spot,” McGovern said. “I wanted the starting spot, so I guess that my hard work paid off.”
Jimenez said that McGovern is one of the hardest-working wrestlers in the room.
“He’ll even be up in the room early, before coach,” Jimenez said. “Jack trains a lot with me and Steven (Bencosme). He’s the type of kid who doesn’t quit. He is always quick to ask me and Steven questions. He’s also the type of wrestler who, when he loses, he wants to learn from what he did wrong.”
McGovern realized early that the level of competition was going to be tough, so he would have to make the necessary adjustments.
“The wrestlers are much more experienced and are tougher, so I had to work harder,” McGovern said.
McGovern and Hernandez spent the first 90 seconds of the match looking to get the upper hand. McGovern secured a takedown with 20 seconds on the clock and went to work. McGovern executed a half nelson and finished the pin.
“I saw his legs were open so I went for the shot,” McGovern said. “Once I got the half in, I wanted to put him away right there.”
McGovern’s pin would give Jimenez the opportunity to get Sleepy Hollow the win.
“His pin was huge because if he didn’t get it, you never know if it would have come down to me,” Jimenez said.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.