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Indians Sports

Testimonials from 2012/2013 season

Posted Sunday, November 10, 2013 by Bill Swertfager

My son is finishing his first year of the modified wrestling program  (7th grade).  I was incredibly impressed by your first meeting with the parents and inspired by your positive attitude and commitment of turning young boys into fine young men.  His experience with the JJay Wrestling Program and especially his coaches Tom , Phil, and Joe has blown through any expectations we had. His love of the sport and your program's positive impact on him has humbled both of us.  Thank you for your dedication and commitment to excellence!  We look forward to the years to come.

…Wrestling dad



Dear Bill,

Just a note to tell you how touched I am by the effort of our students and coaches with Pin for a Cure.  You guys set the bar very high for the rest of our athletes!

Thanks, as always, for all you do on behalf of our students. See you at Caramoor!




Ellen Doherty, LCSW



Just wanted to say thanks for all you do for our son and, for that matter, for all the kids. I attribute much of his self-confidence off the mat to what he learns on the mat. Best, Wrestling parent


Hi Bill,

Wanted to congratulate you and the entire coaching staff and program for yet another amazing win.  It certainly doesn't get old. Watching our son fight off a pin for six minutes is truly inspiring.. Once you know even as little as I do about the sport, it was easy to see how hard and how much heart each and every one of these kids have.  You know how wonderful I think wrestling is and how grateful I am to you and what you've meant to my boys, but it never hurts to say it again,


Wrestling Mom


Both of us feel so fortunate that both of our boys have experienced your positive influence and being a great role model. Thank you for everything you do for our kids. Looking forward to the wrestling season. 

Wrestling Mom

Coach Swertfager,

I don't think you'll remember me,  I was on the Greeley wrestling team 20 years ago (Wow time flies). I started late as a junior and did 98 then 105 and was friends with the big Korean guy.    I somehow got on some wrestling mailing list and saw you on the To: and just wanted to take the opportunity to write you a note.

I was not a very good wrestler in high school and I lost more matches than I won.  But I just wanted to tell you that the experience I had there at wrestling really helped me for the rest of my life.   Even though I wasn't that good, I really appreciate the discipline you instilled from the training and it helped me with lots of things outside of sports.  It was a discipline I could never get in academics and was not getting at home either since my parents were purely academic focused.

Even just the discipline of making weight was one of the hardest things I have done that made everything else seem easy.  I was a really skinny and kind of weak kid and being on the wrestling team gave me a lot of confidence and I have been into athletics the rest of my life from there.

I work professionally in financial services, but  I have kept up with grappling.  Wrestling ended up helping me do well in Jiu-Jitsu as I trained with the Gracies and Machados for several years after college and I now train at a top Mixed Martial Arts academy in Los Angeles where there are many top pro fighters.  I'm still only 135 now. haha.

I just wanted to say "thank you"as an adult now, and let you know that even though I didn't win many matches back then, your coaching and leadership really had a positive effect on my life.   It showed me a different standard of hard work and taught me to work on areas where I was lacking in order to overcome obstacles and succeed.
……..Former wrestler


.. You can clearly see what a positive and everlasting influence you've made on him. God bless you...
.I thank you from the bottom of my heart for inspiring our son to wrestle….it gave him so much more than a few wins...

….Wrestlers Mom

Thanks for that letter. After reading it, the respect that both of us have for you is even more enhanced than it already is. You time and dedication and willingness to understand these kids on an individual basis is spectacular!

Since preschool, our son has been classified as having "pervasive developmental disorder". Through hard work from family, teachers and coaches a kid who appeared to have no "eye hand" coordination and did not speak a word till the age of 3 has made the honor role in school and has become a solid athlete in baseball, football and wrestling. You and your program are one of the key reasons for his success and we cannot express our appreciation enough......thank you.

Our son has the most difficulty with auditory processing. While coaching him you may notice that he has a problem taking voice commands and making them actions. It also works both ways....he may have difficulty expressing to you what he does not understand....with our son "actions" speak louder than words.

The article that you sent really hit home on this and spurred me to write you this letter. He loves to wrestle. Sometimes he will become frustrated because he will not be able to understand what you will be asking him to do....just a "heads-up".

We, as parents, cannot express how appreciative we are of you and your program. Your enthusiasm and leadership are second to none. Your success last year is proof of that.

Now that football season will be over shortly you can expect to see him at open mats on a regular basis.

If there is anything we can do to help you with this program please do not hesitate to ask. Please forward our names to the people that help you so that we can be of assistance. Thank you for your time and THANK YOU for helping him help himself.

……..Wrestlers Dad


We truly appreciate you and your coaching staff for all that you have done for our boys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

……Wrestlers Mom



Thanks so much for a great season.    Thank you for taking an interest in our son.  He has really embraced this sport. He has already learned so much…physically, mentally and socially.


Thanks to all the coaches for your dedication.  It is a tremendous program. 


Thanks a million!


…Wrestling Family


.  It has been great.  Thank you for ALL that you do for our children. Lessons (and love :) from Coach Swertfager will live within them for their entire life!  


….wrestlers mom



Thank you for your unwaivering faith and confidence with our son. You have given him something he will carry with him for the rest of his life. The family you have built through this program is impressive. Thanks again for being such an important part of his life.
…..Wrestling Father


Thanks so much Bill. We really appreciate all you have done for our son over the years- your influence has been nothing short of life changing.
….Wrestling Mom


Thank you all for generously putting so much of your time, your expertise, your energy and positive intentions toward helping make our son’s road to an appearance in the Big Tournament a reality for him this year. 


Thanks for, not only supporting his dream, but also in recognizing his ability and giving of your time in helping him realize his potential to become a very good wrestler and an athlete who would represent the John Jay Wrestling program well - and make you all proud in doing so.


We hope he will take everything you've given him these last three years and continue to make you proud of the person he will become in the future - we hope with much gratitude and thanks for what you have shared as the special mentors and friends you are to him and to our family on his behalf.


Thanks for being such fantastic examples of what success really means!


I wanted to let you know that our son was going to sign up for Recreation Basketball and Wrestling, however, the schedules of both sports have conflicts. So I told him that he would have to make a decision. Many of his friends at school kept pressuring him to play basketball. I am happy to inform you that he just called to inform me that he is making the commitment to wrestle. I am calling to notify the Recreation Dept. that he will not be joining their basketball program. I was praying that he made this choice and it took everything I had to not influence his decision. I asked him what helped him make the decision, he said Coach Bill. He said that he really likes you and knows that he could learn a lot from you. I sent the Sport Packet paperwork for him to wrestle. The nurse said that he was clear to wrestle.


Thank you for influencing both my boys! I appreciate you! If you need me to assist in organizing anything or help out in any way to support the team’s efforts, please let me know. Have a great weekend!


I also want to thank you once again for being such a positive role model for our son over the last 5 years and I hope that if we can ever help you in the future that you won’t hesitate to let us know.

….Wrestlers Dad


Bill, you are one heck of mentor and role model for these guys, about wrestling, about people, about making a difference in life.
With the greatest of respect and admiration,
….Wrestlers Dad


Hi Bill, Thanks to you personally for making wrestling such a classy and productive experience. Last night we went head to head against JJCR. Everyone of my wrestlers got a chance to wrestle, to get better, and to make a new friend outside the circle. Coach Tom gave you credit for the match up protocols and the facility. I just wanted to say thank you for the vision and reality you have brought to wrestling for all of us.


….MS Wrestling Coach…Northern Westchester


….. Also I want to thank you for heading up the state workouts. Your energy and dedication to section 1 is amazing. Your effort and sincere wish for all section 1 wrestlers to do well at states is quite unusual in an era of selfishness.
….HS Wrestling Coach-Lower Westchester



We all are thankful to you- for what you do for the program, all the boys and our particular son/s. It is a truly amazing program.



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