Athlete of the week: Ty Rifanburg

NORWICH – Ty Rifanburg was The Evening Sun’s athlete of the week following his outstanding performance at Leo J. Sammon Tournament in early January, where he went 3-0 on the day and received a fourth win by forfeit.

“He is a pleasure to coach. He works hard, gets better all season long, and does well in school. He is a part of the nucleus of this team,” said Norwich wrestling head coach Bob Hagenbuch.

Rifanburg, now only a sophomore at Norwich high school is a two sport athlete for the Tornado; playing football as well as wrestling. In the offseason, Ty shared that he does actively wrestle as well.

Rifanburg is a standout on the mat for Norwich, where he wrestles at the 126-pound weight class and currently holds a 30-7 record for the 2015-2016 season. As a sophomore Ty has already racked up four seasons of varsity wrestling experience, and most recently has earned his 100th win of his career when he traveled to the Eastern States Classic Tournament on Jan. 15.

This longevity and success is nothing new to Ty who has had wrestling in his life since he was as young as four years old, when he noted that he first began his wrestling career.

“I am proud to be a Norwich wrestler and would encourage parents to get their kids engaged in the sport so we can continue the growth of the program,” said Rifanburg.

Ty earned athlete of the week for his dominance in the Leo. J. Sammon Tournament in early January. Ty placed first in that tournament at the 126-pound weight class, earning two pins and a tech fall win at an impressive 2:55 seconds into the match, over Poland’s Fred Amacher. This tech fall win at 15-0, and tournament showing in general, becomes more impressive when it is made known that as a sophomore Rifanburg did not give up a single point the entire tournament.

Since the Leo J. Sammon tournament, Ty has gone 7-2 individually, only losing close one-point match-ups to a Southington opponent and Monroe-Woodbury opponent. Both of the close losses occurred at the Eastern States Tournament, which featured some of New York’s States most elite wrestlers.

“My favorite part about wrestling is that it has made me a better person, and my goals are to obtain a state title during my high school career,” said Rifanburg.

According to as well as Coach Hagenbuch, Rifanburg currently holds a 101-38 record, and is currently undefeated at home in front of the Tornado fans.

Rifanburg has time left to chase that state title, with well over two years left to improve on the already outstanding resume he has amassed thus far.

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