CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – You might know Cheektowaga senior Eric Bartnik as the Warriors varsity quarterback the last two seasons. He led the team to back to back sectional title game appearances. But, he is just as productive as a wrestler.
“He’s my only athlete I’ve had for six years on the varsity wrestling mat,” wrestling coach Matt Haberl said.
Eric’s third sport, track, is where he took team-bonding straight to the scalp. Bleaching his entire head blonde.
“I was the first one to do it, then convinced everyone else to do it,” Bartnik said with a smile. “Sometimes I wish it would go away, sometimes I like it.”
However humorous in some cases, Eric’s leadership is a valuable tool for his teammates, especially on the mat where he is a captain.
“We had a wreslter here a few years ago who was one of the best in the country,” Haberl added. “And that was his practice partner, and he never shied away.”
“My mom was a teacher so academics always came first for me.”
With a 94 G.P.A and memberships in multiple honor societies, Bartnik wants to pursue a career in pharmaceuticals.
“Sophomore year I took chemistry and I always liked it and I looked into careers where I could use chemistry.”
In addition to sports and studies, he has also spent four years assisting the Cheektowaga wrestling program.
“I was part of the youth club when I was in elementary school. Having the varsity wrestlers teach me made me want to do it on the varsity level.”
Now his time as a Warrior is almost up but, his coaches say he has made the very most of it.
“He’s absorbed everything and listened. He’s gonna be a success.”