Staff photo by Ben Fogletto

Hammonton’s David Williams, The Press Wrestler of the Year, went 41-1 as a senior. ‘It was a pretty good year,’ he says.

Ben Fogletto

David Williams says he’s ready to work.

“I want to be a champion,” Williams said.

The Hammonton High School senior has decided to try to make that goal a reality at Bloomsburg University. Williams committed to wrestle for the Pennsylvania school’s Division I program on a partial athletic scholarship

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“I’m really excited,” Williams said. “This is what I’ve always wanted to do. I’m kind of anxious going into college. I don’t really know what to expect, but I’m ready to wrestle.”

Williams visited Bloomsburg last week and took a two-day trip to three-time defending NCAA team champion Penn State and legendary coach and wrestler Cael Sanderson.

Williams said the lure of Sanderson and the Nittany Lions wrestling program was strong but that he preferred the small-school feel at Bloomsburg.

“I loved the place,” Williams said. “I feel like it would be a comfortable atmosphere for me to go to.”

Bloomsburg, which competes at the Division II level for its other sports, was 17-3 last season under coach John Stutzman. The school competes in the Eastern Wrestling League and faced Rutgers on its schedule this past season.

Williams is one of the top wrestlers in Hammonton history.

The reigning Press Wrestler of the Year went 41-1 this season with his only loss coming by one point in the 182-pound state final to nationally ranked Johnny Sebastian of Bergen Catholic.

Williams, a three-time District 30 and two-time Region 8 champion, finished his career as his school’s second all-time winningest wrestler with a 130-20 career mark.

“I’m extremely happy for him,” Hammonton coach Dave Mauriello said. “He has worked hard for this, and I think Bloomsburg is a tremendous fit for him. I think he can compete academically and athletically there.”

Williams was also a standout football player for the Blue Devils. He maintained throughout the season that he was still deciding on which sport to play at the next level but admitted he was always leaning toward wrestling.

“It’s my sport,” Williams said. “It’s a team sport, but at the end of the day it comes down to me. I can train and if I lose, it’s my fault, and I like it like that.”

When asked what his college goals were, Williams said he wanted to be an unbeaten four-time national champion.

He was a multiple-time All-American at National High School Coaches Association nationals.

“He has been an All-American at that level,” Mauriello said. “I could certainly see him becoming an All-American or maybe even a national champion in college because he is only going to get better.”

Contact John O’Kane:

609-272-7210

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