JACKSON – Twelve-year-old William Webb is a champion wrestler. His father, William “Billy” Webb just retired at the rank of sergeant 1st Class from the U.S. Army. Both were recognized by the governing body.
Councilman Nino Borrelli read from a proclamation during a recent council meeting that the younger township resident was a “USA Wrestling New Jersey State champion. It is our pleasure in honoring William Will Webb for earning the title 2021 champion in folk style, freestyle and Greco Roman.” He went on to explain that while folk style wrestling is a popular style of wrestling taught in schools, freestyle and Greco Roman are practiced worldwide.
Freestyle is a style of martial arts using traditional wrestling and judo, while Greco Roman differs as it forbids full holds below the waist restricting the use of trips or hooks to the opponents’ legs to bring them to the ground, the proclamation stated.
In June the 12-year-old was selected to be a member of a prestigious wrestling group following a tournament held in Wisconsin. “While these accomplishments are quite impressive it doesn’t stop there,” Borrelli added.
William was invited to be part of Team USA in a match in Budapest Hungry. That required him to travel to North Carolina at the end of July to train with other team members before he went overseas to compete and train with other world youth teams.
During his international freestyle tournament, he scored a victory in the first period with several pins. The proclamation extends on behalf of Mayor Michael Reina and the Council “our sincere congratulations on these outstanding accomplishments,” Borrelli said.
“We wish him the best of luck in his wrestling career and all his future endeavors,” Borrelli added.
The evening became a family event when his father was asked to remain before the dais for the reading of a second proclamation.
The senior William Webb was surprised about this proclamation as it honored his time serving in the U.S. military. The governing body has been known to support the accomplishments of those who serve in the armed forces during council meetings. It was noted that during his service in the Army, Web received two Bronze Stars and one Purple Heart.
Council President Andrew Kern read the proclamation which stated, “it is the distinct pleasure of the Township of Jackson to honor and recognize this outstanding and heroic citizen in our community. On August 9, 2021 Sgt. 1st Class William Billy Webb officially retired from the United States Army after a long and distinguished military career.”
Kern noted that Web’s diverse military background included “protective service detail, telecommunications chief, operations NCO, and platoon sergeant just to name a few.”
Webb’s assignments took him to several locations including Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Camp Smith in Hawaii, and Camp Humphreys in South Korea. He had five deployments that included four to Afghanistan and one to Iraq where he was injured.
His family includes his wife Mara and his son Will who remained at the dais with him. His son was born during his third deployment. “He was blessed to return home to welcome their new addition to the family,” Kern added.
The Council President added, “we wish to express our sincere appreciation to Sgt. 1st Class William Billy Webb for his loyalty to our country. Furthermore, we urge all citizens to join us in congratulating him on his retirement from the United States Army and expressing sincere appreciation to his unwavering dedication and service to this great nation.”
Young Will was also not aware he’d be receiving a proclamation. “We just told him we were going out so get ready,” his father said.
“I was surprised,” he said. He noted that he has a big adventure ahead of him in traveling to Sweden in November. “I like to travel.” He’ll be traveling with his fellow team members and competing in a match utilizing his Greco Roman skills which is the wrestling style he prefers.
“You have to work harder for your positions,” the 6th grader said. “I’m glad to be back in school – it feels better. My favorite subject is social studies.”
“When he first started with the trips, we thought they were just about wrestling but that is the furthest that actually happens on the trip,” his father added. “They wrestle and get international experience in different countries but the head coach gives them a heads up on what they are going to see.”
“That is what a lot of the kids look forward to, seeing some of the historical sights. When they go to Sweden, they will spend a night or two near where there is an old castle. When they went to Budapest, they went to a memorial of World War II. They see a lot of historical sites and he loves history.”
Will lost his biological mother to cancer when he was 7 years old. His father said that being involved in the wrestling program helped him cope with the loss and helped him to also become more confident, disciplined and independent.
As for the senior Mr. Webb, he is very happy in his retirement from the military. His last duty assignment had him at nearby by Fort Dix which is part of the Joint Base. “I’m enjoying it.”