Torres Sees a Total Turnaround on the Mat
With no experience in the sport, Marchello Torres was introduced to wrestling as a freshman by a senior friend on the East Haven wrestling team. The sport didn’t immediately resonate with Marchello, but as he entered his junior year with the Yellowjackets, Marchello felt a fire lit beneath him and saw his passion for the mats ignite.
Enzo Bunce was a senior during Marchello’s junior year and encouraged his friend to give wrestling a try. Marchello took Bunce up on his offer and, while he wasn’t super into it at first, Marchello still appreciated how Bunce and the other seniors on the team were invested in helping him become a better wrestler.
“Enzo and the group of seniors my freshman year were awesome. They were like a family,” says Marchello. “They were all really supportive when I was a freshman. They all busted their butts to try and make me better. They were great teammates.”
Marchello wrestled on the varsity level for East Haven in his freshman season. It was a stressful situation for Marchello in his first year on the squad. He had a lot to learn and wasn’t entirely sure of himself.
Marchello’s sophomore season was canceled due to COVID-19. As he was preparing to come back as a junior, Marchello was worried that he was going to struggle again. However, in East Haven’s preseason practices, Marchello started viewing wrestling a little differently. Marchello wanted to be on the mat and was determined to prove that he belonged in the sport.
“My freshman year, I was horrible at wrestling. I didn’t know what I was doing on the mat. I came back stressed out this year, because I was worried I was still going to be bad,” Marchello says. “All of a sudden, there was a switch that happened. I was a lot better this year. I wanted to wrestle a lot more.”
Marchello saw a total turnaround by posting 20 victories, the second-most on the team, during his junior season. He also competed at the Class M State Championship for the first time, winning a match in the consolation bracket. While he felt nervous about participating in states, Marchello was happy with his performance and enjoyed wrestling in front of his friends when East Haven hosted the meet in its home gym.
After competing in the 106-pound division in his freshman year, Marchello wrestled in the 113-pound weight class this season. Moving up meant that Marchello had to put in extra work in order to take on stronger competition, but he was willing to do everything he could to ensure that the Yellowjackets would succeed.
Head Coach Mark Tolla has seen Marchello come a long way as a wrestler since his freshman campaign. Tolla says that Marchello is the consummate teammate and showed the most improvement out of anyone on the Easties this season.
“Marchello is an outstanding teammate first and foremost. He puts the team above his own interests,” says Tolla. “Marchello has shown the most growth and development of any wrestler in our room.”
Marchello says that he wrestled “like an elementary schooler” in his freshman season. After making major progress this year, Marchello now feels confident whenever he’s on the mat and always looks forward to both practices and matches. In his senior year, Marchello wants to be named captain and advance deeper in states, while becoming the best wrestler he can be for the Yellowjackets.
When he struggled as a freshman, Marchello was uncertain if he would ever succeed in wrestling. However, while competing as a junior, Marchello realized that the key to success was believing he could win and believing that he had a rightful place on the East Haven wrestling team.
“When I was a freshman, I looked at my first couple of wrestling matches and thought that I’d never be good. I thought I was never going to be anything in the sport. I stayed on the team just to make my coach happy,” Marchello says. “I’m happy I did. Once I came back, everything flipped. I wasn’t that bad. I just had to look at it with a different view.”