Girard’s DelGarbino taking ‘gap year’ at Princeton due to pandemic uncertainty


Jack DelGarbino plans to work out on campus this year but will not be affiliated with the Princeton wrestling team under "gray shirt" regulations

GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) –  Jack DelGarbino was a force to reckoned with as a high school wrestler at Girard and has since taken those talents to the Division 1 level at Princeton.

Two years ago, he capped off a perfect 49-0 season with a Heavyweight State Title in Columbus as a junior. After graduating atop his class at Girard, he wrapped up his first year in the Ivy League this spring.

“The biggest difference for me from high school to college is you really can’t take a step back,” DelGarbino said. “You have to always be pressuring the guy, open them up and get to your offense. I didn’t really have to do that in high school because I could just go out and take what I wanted.”

DelGarbino competed in about half the matches this past year. He suffered an MCL injury that limited his season. As a team, the Tigers won their first Ivy League Championship since 1986 this spring, knocking off powerhouse Cornell. The pandemic ultimately ended their season.

Since then, DelGarbino has weighed his options for his final three years at Princeton and last month, officially decided to take a “gap year” or “gray shirt” this upcoming season.

“I don’t even know if there’s going to be a season and I don’t know what the training is going to be like when we first get back,” DelGarbino said. “There’s just a lot of uncertainty and I didn’t want to waste a year of eligibility with all this uncertainty if, for whatever reason, there isn’t a season or if it’s delayed and I don’t get a full season.”

DelGarbino plans on returning to campus this fall but will not be able to practice with the team and is technically not associated with the program this upcoming year. Instead, he’ll work out at the New Jersey Regional Training Center in a specific “gap year” program. He’s also forced to enroll at a different school for online classes. He’s still on track to graduate with a degree in engineering.

“I think it’s just a really good opportunity to keep training and to only worry about wrestling because I’m going to be taking less classes,” he said. “I think it will really show when I come back.”

DelGarbino will still have three years of eligibility remaining after his upcoming “gray shirt.” He’s still not sure when he will return to campus. So for now, he’s continuing to work out in his hometown of Girard.

“I’m trying to make the most of what I got even though I can’t really go on the mat and wrestle guys right now,” he said. “I’m still just trying to work out as hard as I can and trying to get better.”

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