by Andrew Garda

So far, 2020 has been a really good year on the mat for Montclair High School wrestler Sebastien Fortune.

Since the ball dropped in Times Square, Fortune has won all eight of his bouts, four of them by pinfall.

For Fortune, who has been looking at East Stroudsburg, Long Island University, Kutztown and American International as potential landing spots to continue his education and football career, everything clicked this year as he was able to combine his wrestling skills with his football ability.

“[Football] speed helps,” he said after a 54-second pinfall victory Friday night against Morris Catholic. “Not a lot of the heavyweights are as fast as I am. So, it kind of gave me an edge, and sets me up for more matches I can win.”

He said the conditioning and mentality he built playing football also helped. 

“When you’re in a match, you’re gonna get tired. And then it depends on who has more drive, and better inspiration or motive to keep going.”

Fortune took a few moments to talk about his college future, family, and being a Mountie in this week’s Athlete Spotlight Q&A:

What are you looking for in a college? I’m looking for a team that feels like family, just like how it is here in Montclair. A family that’s willing to help each other out no matter how bad things are getting, [with] coaches and teammates coming together.

What do you want to study in college? Most likely physical therapy or sports management. Even if the football thing doesn’t work out I can still be close to sports and help other people any way I can.

What have you enjoyed most about being a Mountie? I’ve enjoyed everything. I’ve enjoyed the coaches, players, my teammates. It just feels like a family and it’s why this [has been] a good fit for me when I came here my freshman year. After that first day of freshman practice I knew this was going to be my family for the next couple of years. So I’ve enjoyed that a lot. 

You talk a lot about family. What does that mean to you? Words can’t describe it. My mom, she works so hard for my brother and I. It’s just something I can’t get from anyone else. I’ve never seen anyone so genuine and so loving, just the feeling like she cares. It’s great to have and a great support system from her, my father and my brother as well.

 How hard did Coach Kline have to work to get you from football to wrestling? He’s done a good job, I’ll say that. He’s wanted me to come out wrestling ever since my freshman year, ever since I got moved to varsity after that season. So I gave in and I enjoy it now. It gets me better as a football player as well.