Lenkowski's relentless work on mat pays off

Clearview's Edward Lenkowski (top) battles to a 4-3 decision over Delsea's John Hennelly at 152 pounds during Wednesday's match. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Clearview's Edward Lenkowski (top) battles to a 4-3 decision over Delsea's John Hennelly at 152 pounds during Wednesday's match. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer

The Clearview sophomore has captured his first 15 bouts.

Posted: January 12, 2013

Clearview sophomore Edward Lenkowski acknowledges that he is not the most coachable wrestler on his team.

Lenkowski explains how he ducks live wrestling in practice and talks about his personal stance against dieting with a grin.

"If I want to do something, I'm going to do it, no doubt about it," Lenkowski said. "I can be stubborn sometimes."

While Lenkowski's attitude might lead one to believe that he could work harder, he is confident in his own approach, no matter how distinctive it is.

"He's a different breed of cat," Clearview coach Keith Mourlam said. "He's just strong-headed and stubborn."

"My mind-set is always on wrestling," Lenkowski said. "I strive to beat my opponent. If my opponent is working five days a week, 10 hours a day, I want to work harder. I'm getting more practices in than them."

Lenkowski might not always listen to Mourlam, but a mutual understanding helps the duo flourish.

"It's like a father-son relationship in a way," Lenkowski said. "He gets mad at me, I get mad at him, but at the end of the day, we're both here to wrestle.

"It's just two stubborn people going against each other."

Despite his adverse approach to coaching, Lenkowski's hard work has paid off on the mat.

After going 28-3, winning his district, and advancing to the round of 12 in the state tournament last season at 138 pounds, Lenkowski has won his first 15 matches this season at 152.

Sometimes, Lenkowski can benefit from his stubbornness. He had been sick before Clearview's match against Delsea on Wednesday, the illness forcing him to leave school early on Tuesday. When Lenkowski showed up for school on Wednesday, Mourlam suggested he see the doctor and rest for the day.

Lenkowski stayed in school and then beat Delsea's John Hennelly that night for the second time in a week, becoming responsible for two of Hennelly's three losses this season.

"That's the attitude of champions," Mourlam said. "The one thing you can't teach a guy to do is fight.

"They either know how to fight or don't know how to fight. You can teach them how to wrestle and you can get them in shape, but either you got heart and you fight or you don't."

After getting past Lenkowski's self-confidence, it is that competitiveness that brings success.

"He just doesn't give up," Mourlam said. "He fights and fights and fights, and that's what makes him so good."


Contact Nick Carroll at ncarroll@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @NickJCarroll.

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