West Orange sophomore Solomon Smith has been a welcome addition to the varsity wrestling team.
Sophomore wrester Solomon “Solo” Smith was bumped up to varsity at West Orange recently and has been a welcome addition for the Warriors. Not only has Smith — a first-time wrestler this winter — put together a 5-2 record since moving to varsity, he also placed second at the Michael Hutchins Invitational at Bishop Moore in January. His work ethic and good attitude have made a strong impression on head coach Kristen Iannuzzi and her staff.
Why did you decide to join the wrestling team this year?
My coach, Coach Geno Thompson, was also a coach for the football team. He was telling some of the football players that they should join wrestling. So I joined wrestling because of coach Thompson.
Was the conditioning and training for wrestling hard in comparison to football?
It’s really hard — I would say more than football. It’s a lot more running and a lot more endurance training.
Are you glad that you joined wrestling?
I’m glad I joined wrestling, it’s very fun. I enjoy the bond you have with your teammates.
What have you noticed are you strengths and areas for improvement on the mat?
I’m good with my throws, and I think I should work on my ground game — escaping pins and stuff.
What are the biggest things your wrestling coaches have taught you?
To stay loyal and stay humble. They taught me to encourage other people.
Do you remember in which game you saw your first varsity football action?
It was the Lyman game (Nov. 9). Our starting linebacker got injured, so I had to step in. I was really nervous, but I was excited at the same time. He got injured on the first or second drive, so I played the rest of the game.
Which pro or college football team is your favorite?
The Philadelphia Eagles — they just won the Super Bowl.
Congratulations — with whom did you watch the Super Bowl?
I was watching with my dad (David Smith) at my house with one of my teammates. I was honestly surprised (the Eagles won). My dad is from Philadelphia. He was the most excited, definitely.
Who is your favorite superhero?
Spider-Man is my favorite superhero.
What’s your favorite incarnation of Spider-Man?
The movies with Tobey Maguire. They were the first ones I watched and the first ones who introduced me to (the character).