Unbeaten Woodstown wrestlers going for state titles

Woodstown wrestlers Chad Watt (left) and Travis Layton.

The Woodstown wrestling program crafted a slogan for this season: "Home Grown."

The entire team grew up around the Wolverines program, so the athletes wanted the motto to reflect their commitment to their town and team.

There are no better examples than seniors Chad Watt and Travis Layton.

The best friends are undefeated in their weight classes entering the state championships this weekend in Atlantic City.

They are prime examples of top wrestlers who stayed home and developed into strong contenders to win state titles.

Watt and Layton "show what we can do," Woodstown coach Adam Hyland said. "And we do it all together."

Watt competes at 195 pounds. He is 38-0 and the No. 2 seed. Layton competes at 138 pounds. He also is 38-0 and the No. 2 seed.

Both athletes are proud of their undefeated seasons but say they don't feel any pressure.

"I lost before in the past," Watt said. "So I know what it's like, and it motivates me not to lose."

Both wrestlers say they prefer to focus on their next match.

"I like trying to improve every day," Layton said. "Over the years, I just fell in love with the grind of the sport."

Watt and Layton both won Region 8 titles Saturday at Egg Harbor Township High School. Watt defeated Egg Harbor's Connor Agostino with a 13-1 major decision to win his second consecutive region title. Layton captured the region title with a 5-2 victory over Kingsway's Trace Kinner.

"It feels great [to be going to states]," Watt said. "It means the world to me, and I can't wait to compete."

Layton placed sixth at states last season. He wants another chance to climb higher on the podium.

"I'm ready to make another run at it," Layton said. "I'm hoping to get closer if not get right there at that title."

Hyland said both wrestlers can make a deep run.

"I think they will both do very well at states," Hyland said. "They both improved quite a bit from last year. They both are going in there and will try to win, and I have confidence they can do so."

Both wrestlers have a quiet but steely confidence.

'I'm going there to win it," Watt said. "I've worked hard enough to do it and have improved. I'm ready."

Layton has the same mind-set.

"I see myself winning," Layton said. "It's what I've been training for."

They are glad to be going to states together, and being undefeated only adds to their excitement.

"Travis is a great kid, and I love him to death," Watt said. "He's my best friend, and it makes me so happy to know we are both succeeding at what we do."

The moment is special for Layton, too.

"We've been doing this together forever," Layton said. "It's great to be on this ride with him one last time."