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Giulian turns dream into reality with place at state championships

Middle Township senior David Giulian poses with coach Matt Wolf after placing second at the Region 8 Tournament last weekend.


When David Giulian was about to enter Middle Township High School, he wrote a note to the school’s head wrestling coach, Matt Wolf.

The note thanked Wolf for everything he had done for Giulian to date and spoke about how much the eighth-grader was looking forward to wrestling in high school.

There was also a line in there about Wolf eventually coaching him at the state championships.

That bold prediction gets fulfilled this evening.


Giulian became Middle’s first state qualifier since Gary Nagle in 2018 when the senior finished second at 190 pounds at the Region 8 Tournament last weekend at Egg Harbor Township High School. His place in the state tournament became guaranteed when he won his semifinal match.

“I was pretty excited,” Giulian said. “I’ve never been as excited after winning a match than I was there, just because I knew I made it.”

Giulian has done more than just make it. He’s been assigned the fifth seed of 32 wrestlers in the weight class.

“Yes, he’s got a good seed but when you get to this level everyone there is good,” Wolf said. “The seed really means nothing when you get out on the mat. You have to go out and wrestle.

“But he is the fifth seed for a reason. He’s one of the best of the best. Now it’s a matter of showing up this weekend and proving it.”

Giulian said he was surprised to have been seeded so high.

“I’m pretty hyped about it,” he said. “I wasn’t expected to be seeded that high but the seeds really don’t matter. You still have to go out and wrestle and perform.”

Thursday’s action at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City includes the preliminary and quarterfinal rounds. Friday’s wrestling over two sessions will include multiple wrestlebacks and the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds. Saturday will see a last wrestleback round, the third-, fifth- and seventh-place matches and the finals.

Giulian takes a season record of 33-4 and a career mark of 114-21 into the state tournament. He will face 28th-seeded Cory Martin of Brick Memorial in the preliminary round.

Every wrestler at the tournament is there to win it. But short of that, a place on the podium as a top-eight finisher is a major accomplishment as well.

“I’m not going to Atlantic City to experience it,” Giulian said. “I’m going to Atlantic City to win matches and get on that podium.”

Perhaps that’s another prediction from Giulian that will come true.

“I kept that note and I gave it back to him before districts this year saying this is the first step to where you want to go,” Wolf said. “Now he’s there and it’s his chance to make the best of it.”