There are always football players who transition to wrestling, but few did it as successfully as Central Catholic’s Ben Tavitian.
The senior from Haverhill was a two-way lineman and All-MVC pick for the Raiders in the fall and seamlessly switched to wrestling with spectacular success.
After an excellent junior season on the mat, Tavitian stepped it up this winter as Central’s 220-pounder, compiling a 56-6 record with 45 pins, both school records.
With some well deserved time off, as he plans for what he hopes will be a successful college football career, we went Around the Horn with Tavitian.
When did you start wrestling and why?
“I started my freshman year. The (football) coaches told me about it, that I should try it. Coach A (Chuck Adamopoulos) really liked the idea.”
Did you like wrestling from the start?
“Not at all. I was getting beat up a lot and I didn’t think it was much fun. But I wanted to get better at it and I knew it would help me for football.”
When did it start clicking for you?
“During my junior year (42-10) I started doing a lot better and I thought I could be pretty good if I worked at it.”
You had so many pins — did you go into each match with the mind-set of pinning your opponent?
“Not really. I just went in about wrestling smart and not making any mistakes.”
Which record are you more proud of — total wins or the number of pins?
“The wins. The pins are nice, but the wins are what help the team.”
Did having so many pins become a problem with conditioning?
“Definitely it was a problem. I wasn’t used to wrestling all three periods. I finally got used to it at the end of the season.”