On Thursday, May 10, Central Bucks West seniors Chris Jastrzebski and Seth Ehlo were recognized at a special news conference for signing letters of intent to wrestle at the University of Maryland.
CB West coach Joe McGinley comments about both wrestlers: “They are our two captains. CJ, as a junior, was 33-5 and was likely to make states before he got a skin infection and got bumped.
“Seth broke his nose three weeks before the postseason, so he wore a mask his junior year. It helped in certain ways. He was no longer the dominant person from standing, so he had to score from other positions, and that’s when he finally started to score from the top position. He was one win away from making states as a junior.
“Both of them came into this past year expecting to go to states and expecting to medal at states. I told everybody from the very beginning that I expected to have two state medalists. I did not expect both of them to go undefeated. They were the last two undefeated wrestlers in the district. CJ was undefeated through the region, and Seth’s first loss was in the regional finals. They both had their tough matches and succeeded in their tough matches.
“CJ’s biggest win was a kid that was ranked fifth in the state, and he pinned him in the first period in a Christmas Tournament. Seth’s biggest win prior to the state tournament was in that same tournament when he beat a highly regarded kid out of Maryland 1-0. Seth can win that kind of match.
“The difference between them at the collegiate level is going to be striking. Seth doesn’t give up points and will be in every match. CJ is more offensive and will score more pins, but he will open himself up. He will be going against 184 or 197-pound men. We’re not talking about high school kids anymore. We’re talking about 23-year-olds who have been in collegiate lifting programs for a number of years.
“They were good leaders on the team. Seth did wonders for Riley Barth, our freshman who had 32 or 33 wins. CJ was the more vocal leader. When it came time to rally the troops before matches, I just let them do it because the entire team looked up to both of them.
“Their styles are completely different, but both Seth and CJ are accomplished in all three positions. CJ probably scores more from his feet because he will hit his throws for not only a takedown but for more than a takedown. They both wrestle well from bottom and wrestle well from top. Having seen collegiate wrestling – if you can wrestle from top in college, you are at a strategic advantage. It’s a dynamic advantage because so many states don’t teach the top position, and they are both able to do that.
“I was thrilled with their choice of college. I think the world of coach Kerry McCoy. He’s one of three college coaches that I can recommend without hesitation. I talked to Kerry about two weeks after states, and he was very interested in both of them.”
Chris Jastrzebski – University of Maryland (Wrestling)
Major: Undecided but leaning towards mathematics/physics
Final list of colleges: Maryland, Rider, Clarion, Appalachian State, Edinboro, Boston University
Reasons for choosing Maryland: “I felt that Maryland was the best choice overall out of all the schools I was trying to decide on. Academically and athletically, they’re both ranked pretty high. Some of the schools leaned one way or the other, but Maryland is just overall the best school.
“I had to take into account where I wanted to go instead of where everybody else was trying to push me to go. Everybody said all these other schools had great wrestling teams, but I had to decide it was a good academic school for me.”
Highlight of high school career: “This season was the highlight of my wrestling career. I haven’t really had anything big in the past. The injuries and sicknesses really held me back, but this year I was healthy, and I finally showed what I had.”
What was the progression that led you to wrestling at the collegiate level? “I definitely got it into my head that I really wanted to get on that (state medal) podium this year, and I really needed to train hard this year just to show that it was a possibility. Once I hit the postseason, I definitely felt I deserved that spot.
“This year made (wrestling in college) a reality. In the past, I didn’t really think to myself, ‘Am I really going to be a college wrestler?’ But definitely this year made me see I still had room to learn, I still had room to progress.”
Coach Joe McGinley says: “CJ’s strength is his power. I was the coach in the Raiders program, and I’ve been with CJ and Seth for a long time. CJ always had power, but he didn’t always use it right. Following his sophomore year where he had an illness and we would only put him in matches where we thought he could get a first-period pin because he wasn’t going to last through his match, he started to come into his own his junior year. He was starting to gain confidence, and his senior year he came into the room confident. The biggest difference in CJ his junior year to his senior year is the level of confidence and the level of expectation. With the power he had, he started using it properly. He wasn’t just trying to bull people. He would wait and do it in an explosive move as opposed to just trying to use constant strength against someone. Once you translate that into explosion, it’s very difficult to counter.”
Favorite food: Sushi
Favorite movie: Tommy Boy
Favorite music: Techno
Seth Ehlo – University of Maryland (Wrestling)
Final list of colleges: Maryland, Penn State, Pittsburgh
Reasons for choosing Maryland: “They are strong academically in business, and the coaches really made me feel at ease when I visited.”
What was the progression that led you to wrestling at the collegiate level? “I wasn’t sure what I was going to do in college as far as playing football, wrestling, or just going to school to be a student. When I visited Maryland and spoke with the coaches, I felt like it is a place where I can succeed academically as well as continue to wrestle.”
Coach Joe McGinley says: “Seth’s greatest physical attribute is his balance. He has a balance that you cannot teach. People will get in on his leg, and he would just feel and bend a certain way, and he would get the takedown. I have seen it often enough that you’re actually hoping the other guy shoots off.”
Favorite food: Pastas from Roman Delight
Favorite movie: Act of Valor
Favorite music: Pretty much anything. Country, Reggae, Rap