April 10th, 2021, over 170 female wrestlers spread between 11 weight classes competed this past weekend to earn their spot for the 2021 Season, and the Safforld sisters did just that - earned their stripes and joined the list of top wrestlers in the state.
Alisa & Soraya Safforld both get on the podium at the NJSIAA Girls Wrestling State Tournament held at Phillipsburg High School. An impressive feat, to say the least, as these strong girls stamped their accomplishments as the 1st female wrestlers to take home state medals for Belleville Wrestling - but more importantly themselves.
Alisa Safforld, a three-time state medalist and coming into the 2021 season, ranked 7th on N.J. Girls Wrestling pound-for-pound list, she has closed off her senior year with a bang and makes it to the finals before falling short to Izabella Fresco of Becton 6 - 2. The state finals would be their third duel of the season, as they previously faced off at the BCWCA and North Region finals. After three tough battles against the future state champion, Alisa Safforld honorably takes 2nd place for the 2021 State Tournament after dominating the rest of her brackets.
Notable is an understatement for what she has accomplished during her four years of Belleville Varsity Wrestling. She earned a varsity spot on the boys' team her sophomore year. A few wins and losses later turned into a qualifying trip to A.C. for the 1st N.J. Girls Wrestling State Tournament in history where Alisa breaks the eight-year streak for Belleville Wrestling of not having an athlete on the podium - she placed 4th that year and placed 3rd the following.
2021 Alisa's High School Wrestling career comes to a close, and what a way to solidify what true champions are. She battled against some of the top wrestlers in the country. After meeting nationally ranked Sydney Petzinger of Parsippany (8th in the country) on four separate occasions, competing against other state-ranked wrestlers, and inclining her state rank each year shows the progress of her wrestling career.
The long hours of physical training, the wave of mental battles, healing from injuries, and still being able to perform with excellence each time she stepped out on that mat. No matter who she wrestled or what the outcome was, Alisa was known for the game face she wore during competition which has awarded her to go down as one of the best wrestlers in Belleville history.
Soraya Safflorld, a junior for Belleville High School, qualifies for the state tournament as she blasts her way to the North Region finals with a series of pins. Soraya, unsure if she would even get any matches this season, ends up taking 3rd place at Bergen County Girls Invitational, 2nd in the North Region, 5th at N.J. State Tournament, and was also the most winningest wrestler with the most matches for the 2021 Belleville Wrestling team. A record of successes that would notarize her athletic endeavors.
Despite her accomplishments, it has been a turbulent season for Soraya losing in the early rounds of tournaments and battling with state-ranked wrestlers - but only to bounce back with streaking wins to medal in three different tournaments. Her resilience to come back and wrestle after tough losses proves how much she has developed mentally and physically for the 2021 season. Soraya, not qualifying for the past two seasons to blazing through opponents and hopping on the N.J. state podium for the 5th place standing - a respectful mark where future athletes will nod their heads to her accomplishments.
This coming year, Soraya will be a senior and has earned her spot as one of the top wrestlers in her division. Although she has accomplished more than enough - we are excited to see her grow in the sport of wrestling and be witness to yet another powerful girl to sprout from the soils of Buctown.
Inspirational isn't a strong enough word to express what the Safforld sisters and every New Jersey female wrestler have accomplished this season, let alone the past three years. Future girl wrestlers and other female athletes will walk this path they've created with the utmost respect for the honorable moments they've made.
We applaud all the girls who competed this past weekend and honor The Safforld Sisters for sealing their mark for the next generation of female wrestlers to follow.
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