BYFIELD — As a freshman, Victor Ramirez was one of the weak links on a Triton wrestling team that won a sectional title.
The 103-pounder struggled to a 13-24 record in his individual matches, leaving plenty of room for improvement over his final three seasons. That improvement has come in the form of two Cape Ann League titles, two Division 3 North sectional titles and two Senior National Championship invitations.
Ramirez, now a senior captain, posted his 100th career victory last week at the George Bossi Lowell Holiday Tournament, marking only the ninth time in Triton coach Shawn McElligott’s 15 seasons that one of his wrestlers reached the feat. After taking 24 losses his freshman year, Ramirez has lost only 17 matches since. He has a career record of 100-44, which includes a mark of 87-17 since his sophomore season.
“I wasn’t expecting much after my freshman year,” Ramirez said. “I started working hard, putting my best effort in. I was humbled by all the talent I saw that year. I realized I didn’t care so much about hanging out with friends and being cool. I wanted to dedicate more time on the mat to become a better person and wrestler.”
Ramirez began training year-round at Smitty’s Barn in Danville, N.H., under coach Matt Smith. Ramirez’ family encountered financial hardship just after he began training at the gym, and Smith worked out an alternative compensation plan for his coaching services.
“I owe (Smith) a lot for my success,” Ramirez said. “He told me as long as I work hard, it doesn’t matter if I’m poor. Money doesn’t matter. I struggled financially, and I didn’t know if I would be able to afford much. He told me to come in with a hard-working attitude, and he’d work out the rest.”