Matt Roche makes comeback, places eighth at States


Photo via @dvrwrestling

Matt Roche (left) took 8th place at the NJSIAA finals and is set to help lead DVR wrestling next season.

Delaware Valley Regional High School’s Matt Roche has had a very successful comeback wrestling season, after being out the entirety of last year, due to an injury.

Recently, Roche placed eighth for the 126 lbs. weight class at the NJSIAA state wrestling championships. To better understand his current success and future potential, it is important to look back on his high school wrestling career.

In his freshman year, Roche tore his meniscus and ACL, as well as broke a part of his tibia, during a wrestling match.

“At first I thought that my career was over,” said Roche. “Even if I did recover, I never thought I would be able to wrestle at the same capacity.” 

Roche had been wrestling in Del Val’s youth program since he was very young. Looking back, Del Val’s wrestling coach, Andrew Fitz, spotted his passion and talent for wrestling from a young age.

Matt is a driven athlete and a total mat-rat,” said Fitz. “He has been doing this since a young age and he has a true passion for the sport.”

Roche’s sophomore year of high school was spent in the gym. He wanted to physically mature so he would be able to return to wrestling stronger than before his injury.

Roche was not able to get on the mat during the 2021-2022 wrestling season. With his newfound free time, his love for the performing arts reignited. 

“I used to do performing arts in middle school, but then I fell out of it for a while,” said Roche. “I lost a huge part of my life when I couldn’t wrestle, but then I also gained something back.”

With all the talents on and off the mat that Matt brings to the table, we know this next year will be a fun journey. I know as a senior he will help lead our team.

— Andy Fitz

Going into his junior year wrestling season, Roche set goals for himself. He understood he would be at a disadvantage since he was out last season. He wanted to earn a state title, but thinking realistically, he did not think it would be possible. 

On March 3, 2023, Roche achieved his dream and placed at the state championships. Messages of congratulations flooded his phone. His coaches, friends, family and the Del Val community were so proud to see his hard work pay off.

Coach Fitz is looking forward to seeing what the team can accomplish during next year’s season under Roche’s leadership.

Matt is a true leader,” said Fitz. “With all the talents on and off the mat that Matt brings to the table, we know this next year will be a fun journey. I know as a senior he will help lead our team.”

Roche has already started working toward his goal of being the state champion for his last wrestling season at Del Val.

“I want to win a state title, that is my goal,” said Roche.