Athlete showcase: Hunter Morton

Morton made his Hills wrestling debut against Mahwah on Tuesday, March 16, and was able to pin his opponent in first period.

Morton+made+his+Pascack+Hills+wrestling+debut+against+Mahwah+on+Tuesday%2C+March+16.

David West / Graphic by Stephen Schmidt

Morton made his Pascack Hills wrestling debut against Mahwah on Tuesday, March 16.

Hunter Morton started off the Pascack Hills wrestling season strong, going 5-0 with three first-period pins. Morton made his Hills wrestling debut against Mahwah on Tuesday, March 16, and was able to pin his opponent in first period. Morton replicated this performance against Hackensack and Bloomfield, pinning his opponent in the first period both times. Against the league’s rivals Riverdell and Dumont, Morton won by points after a full three periods and a pin in second period, respectively.

Morton is a new transfer to Hills. He transferred to Hills soon before the wrestling season started, and being on the wrestling team helped ease the transfer.

Read next:  Hills girls' lacrosse: Preseason overview

“My transfer to Hills was very smooth and [was] the best decision I’ve ever made,” said Morton. “Coach [Dave] Bucco and all of my teammates took me in as family and were very supportive of me the whole way and I’m proud to be at Pascack Hills.”

Being around teammates like Hills senior David West has made the transition easier for Morton.

I would describe Hunter as being a hard-nosed wrestler.  He doesn’t say much and shows up every day ready to work.”

— Coach Dave Bucco

“[West] has been a great older brother to me on my team,” said Morton.

Morton has been wrestling his whole life and is in love with the sport. He was introduced to the sport at a very young age and has been committed to being the best that he can be ever since. “I have been [wrestling] since third grade. I [began] to get good in the 7th grade,” said Morton. 

We expected Hunter’s results that first week for sure. His win over a senior from River Dell who was a 20-plus match-winner was his toughest test and he won 9-6,” said Coach Dave Bucco when asked about Morton’s performance. “I would describe Hunter as being a hard-nosed wrestler.  He doesn’t say much and shows up every day ready to work.”

The addition of Morton has certainly been a big factor in the Broncos’ early success this season. Going into the season, 160 pounds was a weak spot in the lineup due to multiple challenges involving injuries and Covid-19. 

“Without Hunter at 160 [pounds], we would have a hard time reaching our goals this year,” said Bucco. “He fit into this lineup and this team very well.”

Read next:  Athlete showcase: Max Zuckerman

Although this is his first season on varsity, Morton is no stranger to greatness. In his freshman season last year, Morton went 27-0 on junior varsity. Morton worked very hard during the offseason to get to where he is now.

I always think about all my hard work and how it’s going to pay off in that very moment of the match.”

— Hunter Morton

“He spent a lot of his offseason training at wrestling clubs when many wrestlers did not due to Covid-related issues, and it shows,” said Bucco. “Offseason wrestling produces champions.”

Before a match, Morton is calm and collected. He knows that he has put in the work and is confident in his abilities. 

“[I think about] everyone who ever doubted me, my whole life on and off the mat, and how it’s always been my mission to prove them wrong and show the world who I am and what I can do. I always think about all my hard work and how it’s going to pay off in that very moment of the match,” said Morton. “I worked to be varsity all offseason, and I am going to show my hard work on the mat this year and have a winning varsity record.”