When Thomas Miers ’15 was in fourth grade, his dad handed him a flyer for the local East Windsor youth wrestling league. After quitting basketball, he decided to give wrestling a chance, eventually joining the Cranbury School wrestling team as a sixth grader. Now, in his final high school wrestling season, Miers holds a 2013–2014 season record of 28–6.
Miers described the start of high school as the turning point of his wrestling career. “It was really freshman year that I realized, ‘Wow, everyone [at PHS] is really good.’ I didn’t really like losing, so I just decided to dedicate myself … to getting better,” he said. Miers has since committed himself to a three- to four-hour practice schedule, six days a week, with both the high school and Central Jersey Annihilators Wrestling Club in East Brunswick.
During the summer, he spends his time off conditioning for the upcoming season. “I have a pretty busy summer training [schedule] … It’s a lot of wake up, come wrestle at the school with [Head Coach Rashone] Johnson and the team, and then at night go to club practice,” Miers said.
“His work ethic is what got him to this point,” said Johnson, who first started working with Miers at a summer camp in sixth grade. Miers’ teammate Patrick Sockler ’15 also attended the camp. “Tom and Pat have grown light years since then,” Johnson said. “Those guys are the two hardest-working guys on the team.”
Starting this season alongside fellow Co-Captains Sockler and Victor Bell ’15, Miers looks to channel some of what PHS veteran wrestlers have taught him, as he partially credits his growth to their influence. Since freshman year, Miers has looked up to senior wrestlers Timmy Miranda ’12, Ian Snyder ’12, Andrew Wenzler ’12, and Frank Bozich ’12. “They really showed me how to work and how to be a leader in and outside of wrestling,” Miers said. “I kind of tried to model myself off of what they did.”
As an individual competitor, Miers’ favorite moment on the mat was during the Patriot Tournament at Secaucus High School last winter break. “I’d taken second the past two years so I really wanted to win it, and I ended up winning it, so I was really excited,” he said, referring to his 12–5 victory against Carlos Aguilar of Hawthorne High School. Miers attributes his drive as a competitor to his ability to set goals for himself.
His goal since freshman year has been to make it to NJSIAA State Championships. The pool for the tournament is made up of 30 districts with about 300 varsity wrestlers. In the state tournament, however, only the top 24 wrestlers from the pool are able to compete. “I think I’m at that level. I’ve definitely put in the work, but now it’s just a matter of performing,” Miers said of his goal. “All the preparation is done, it’s just I’ve got to go out there and have a good match.”
“His season should end in Atlantic City this year [at the tournament],” said Johnson.
After high school and possibly a state title, Miers hopes to walk on to the team of whatever school he attends. Johnson said, “If [Miers] can make it through four years of wrestling under me, he can do whatever it is that he puts his mind to.”