Ron Simchi is aptly named. In English, the Hebrew word simcha means happiness or a festive occasion. Simchi’s last name is derived from that Hebrew word. And on Feb. ‘, the Frisch School of Paramus wrestler gave the entire yeshiva
Battling Bergen Catholic High School’s Chris Battaglia — ranked first in Bergen County and seventh in New Jersey in his weight class — Ron scored a takedown with under 10 seconds left to secure a 7-6 victory.
When the final buzzer sounded, Frisch co-coach Eric Samson just had to celebrate.
"I don’t know what anybody else was looking like when Ron won, because I was freaking out," said Samson, who mans the helm at Frisch along with co-coaches Josh Bernheim and David Siegel. "Ron was unbelievably excited and our whole team was on their toes."
As for Ron, the junior from Fair Lawn was excited about the victory, but has his eyes on much more.
"Next year, I can’t enter the county competition because it’s on Shabbos," Ron said. "But I want to enter the BCCA holiday tournament, which is the equivalent of county finals. I want to place first in it."
Ron also has his sights set on a third straight championship in the Henry Wittenberg Yeshiva High School Wrestling Tournament. His older brother Ari was the first wrestler to win the tournament in four consecutive years, and Ron intends on extending the family legacy.
Ron said that he became confident in the match against Battaglia, Bergen Catholic’s captain, during the second of three periods, after he tied the score at ‘-all with a reversal (a move in which the player being held in the bottom position reverses positions and ends up on top).
"After that reversal, I saw that I could pull it off (the victory) because I knew that if I already got away from him once, I could do it again," said Ron, who is eyeing Yeshiva University after high school.
With just over 30 seconds left in the final period, Battaglia was in the lead at 6-5. Needing a takedown — worth two points — for the victory, Ron "got in there fast and got Battaglia’s legs, and Ron came out on top," said Samson.
"It was technical and clean, and Ron held him down for the last five seconds," said Samson. The two points gave Ron a 7-6 victory.
"I was really happy."