Anyone who analyzes Matt Idelson’s (H.M. @ 215) Garnet Valley wrestling career can’t help but think of what could have been. What could have Idelson have done as a freshman if he hadn’t been dealing with a chronic shoulder injury? Or how about as a sophomore when his mother, Terry, died from breast cancer? Or that concussion he suffered in his junior year? Of course, even his senior year couldn’t be injury- or tragedy-free, as mononucleosis decided to pay the Jaguar 215-pounder a visit.
All of that, Idelson insists, means nothing. Excuses have never been a part of his playbook, and they certainly won’t be joining it anytime soon.
“I mean, I can only guess (what might have been without those extenuating circumstances), but I think when it all came down to it, I was set up in a position where my goal from when I was a little kid still could have been accomplished, and nothing throughout the four years set me back to a point where that wasn’t possible,” Idelson said.
While excuses were never an option for Idelson, winning and winning often certainly were.
“He’s an absolute animal — no one dominated like he did this year,” one county wrestler said in what seemed to be a common refrain from anyone asked about Idelson.
“He just ripped through his competition,” a Delco coach said. “He was going to win and everyone knew it. No one wanted to wrestle him.”
For his excellent senior season that was marked by sheer dominance in Delco and a deep run through the postseason, Matt Idelson is the 2010-11 Daily Times Wrestler of the Year. He’s the second straight Jaguar to garner the honor, with Joe Marino winning the award at 140 pounds last season. Several contenders had convincing arguments, but no one had the résumé that Idelson did.