FULTON — Camrin Galvin sets the right example.
The G. Ray Bodley High School senior leads through his actions. He pairs the right attitude with mental toughness and a relentless work ethic.
Galvin, The Palladium-Times Male Athlete of the Year, closely follows three things preached by Fulton wrestling coach Jeff Waldron: to win with pride, lose with dignity, and always stay humble.
“Cam does all those things. He’s proud of where he comes from and what he’s accomplished … and when he does lose, he loses with dignity and always represents our school district, our team and his family in a positive way,” Waldron said. “He’s humble and you’ll never see him brag. They’re all great qualities.
“If we had a team full of Cam Galvins, we’d be state champs and national champs. He’s a rare breed.”
Galvin has posted 30-plus wins in three seasons, earning three Section III championships. He placed as high as third at the state tournament.
During his senior year alone, Galvin went 46-5 with 28 pins. He won the Section III Class A Tournament for the fourth time, recorded three pins to win another Section III Division I title, and then took sixth place in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association meet.
Galvin’s success didn’t come without hard work on the mat.
Even as an eighth-grader, Galvin knew that to improve he would have to test himself against the toughest competition. So when four-time state champion Yianni Diakomihalis stepped on the mat at the Union-Endicott Duals, a young Galvin volunteered to jump into the circle.
Galvin took the loss — Diakomihalis won 210 straight matches, a state record — but learned from it.
“Cam has always known that if you want to be the best, you have to compete against the best,” Waldron said. “When he saw the best wrestler — perhaps ever — in New York state across the mat, he said, ‘That’s what I want.’ That’s rare.”
Galvin won his first Section III Division I championship as a sophomore, and after a repeat the next year, took third in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association meet.
Galvin had lost to Grand Island’s Adam Daghestani early on in the tournament by a single point, but rallied the next day to force a rematch for third place. Galvin posted a convincing 10-2 victory.
“To watch him wrestle back through that tournament, and not only wrestle back to third, but to beat the guy he lost to previously? Most can’t do that,” Waldron said. “Cam Galvin has that within him. When something bad happens, he puts it behind him and he focuses on what’s ahead and gets back to work.”
Galvin tries to go into each meet with a clear head. The focus is on the present and not on the past.
“I just tied to forget about it. I try to not let things like that get me down,” Galvin said. “I know that if it brings me down, everything goes down, including my wrestling.”
Galvin’s athleticism and attitude helped more than the Red Raiders’ wrestling team.
Fulton football coach Craig Halladay said he knew Galvin was going to be a special player back when he was playing in a scrimmage before his sophomore season.
“He had a nose for the football as a middle linebacker and a sense of where the holes were and a north-south running style as a fullback,” Halladay said.
Hallway said Galvin was sorely missed on the team as a junior when he chose to focus exclusively on wrestling, but once he came back to the team last fall, he didn’t miss a beat. He led the team in tackles and was third in total rushing yards, leading the Red Raiders to a 6-3 season.
“He slid right back into the role of fullback and middle linebacker,” Halladay said. “He worked hard in practice and that showed on the field.”
On the mat or on the field, Galvin was a calming presence — the backbone of a lineup that coaches could depend on. Now he’ll look to do the same wrestling at NCAA Division II Gannon University in the fall.
“He’s a very dedicated and motivated kid, and when he gets something set in his mind, he works for it until he achieves it,” Waldron said. “He has a lot of support at home and with the coaching staff in Fulton. He’s not a kid that you need to push and push and push, because he knows what he has to do and he gets it done.”