General of the Week: Zach Bylykbashi

Wrestler Zach Bylykbashi, ‘19, has enjoyed a breakout season for the Generals, most recently breaking W&L’s single season wins record set by Ron Tassoni, ‘16, last season. Bylykbashi has recorded a season record of 30-6, and currently leads the team in takedowns with 83 and ranks in the top five in all of Division III in technical falls with eight. The Phi sat down with Bylykbashi to get his thoughts on his strong freshman campaign.

Photo courtesy of W&L Sports Info.

Photo courtesy of W&L Sports Info.

Matt Kaminer

Phi: What did it mean to break the single season win record as a freshman?

ZB: To break the single season wins record is pretty special, especially only being a freshman but achieving the record is not one of my goals this season. To me, breaking the record was just something that tells me I’m on the right path to achieving my goals. I think this accomplishment is something that I will look back on and be proud of after the season but it’s hard to get caught up in records right now.

Phi: What has it been like wrestling some of the top wrestlers in the country?

ZB: Wrestling the best guys in the country in my weight class before the postseason is huge for me. It allows me to test myself against proven competitors to see where I am at with them. I proved, to myself at least, that I could competitively wrestle with the best guys. In our match against McDaniel, I was beating my ranked opponent the whole match before getting caught and pinned in the final seconds. Then this past weekend (against NYU), I lost by one point to the number one kid in the country. So, I have wrestled winnable matches with some of the best competition, which gives me confidence moving into the postseason.

Phi: What impact have your coaches had on your strong freshman season?

ZB: I am very fortunate to have the coaches I do. Coach Shearer and Coach Radsky have really helped me develop my wrestling as the season progress. Coach Radsky is always available for my extra workouts throughout the week, which has been vital to my success. Coach Shearer is constantly pushing me to get better every day in the practice room. The biggest thing is that they both have a lot of belief in me that I can achieve my goals. This belief gives me confidence every time I step on the mat.

Phi: How convenient is it to have the Regional tournament here in Lexington?

ZB: Having the regional tournament at home is such a blessing. We are going to be able to train all week in our wrestling room and sleep in our own beds. These advantages are so important for this tournament particularly because it decides my season. I think fans can expect a lot of good wrestling out of our guys at the regionals this year. A lot of our guys are starting to peak at the right time and we’ll be at our best for the tournament. This should be the best regional performance for the team in a long time.

Phi: What goals have you set for the postseason, this year and beyond?

ZB: My goals for the season are to win the conference tournament, win the regional tournament, and win a national title. These have been my goals since the beginning of the season. Moving forward, I want to do the same thing every year of my wrestling career and win everything but for now, I am just focused on this season.

Phi: Favorite movie?

ZB: Step Brothers

Phi: Favorite thing to eat after a weigh-in?

ZB: Bagel

Phi: Favorite music to listen to before a big match?

ZB: All Of The Lights (Remix)

Phi: Favorite sport to play (other than wrestling)?

ZB: Handball