As the father of a child on the autism spectrum, Kurt Janicki understands the need to keep his son connected to the world, but never dreamed the sport of wrestling would serve as a conduit.
“Erik has a tendency to drift away,” Janicki said of his son, who fell in love with the sport several years ago while watching former Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament champion Doug Ryan, a 2015 South River High School graduate, compete.
“If you let him, his world would close in on him. If you don’t keep him connected to the world around him, he would close in on himself in a heartbeat, and he would continue to do that.”
In his second year as the South River High School wrestling program’s team manager, 15-year-old freshman Erik Janicki, affectionately known inside the room as “Coach Erik,” continues to broaden his horizons through the sport.
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