Cerrone Undefeated New England Champ
Cerrone Undefeated New England Champ, Class A Champ:
Hartford’s own Steve Cerrone, who transferred to Phillips Exeter Academy two years ago, capped his ‘Dream Season’ in style with a decision and 3 pins in the NEISWA New England Championships to stand atop the podium.
The two day, 32 man bracket tournament was held at Avon Old Farms School, Avon, Ct., this past weekend. (2/19 – 2/20/16) On opening night, Friday, Cerrone took a bye in the first round and won by a pin in the round of 16.
Come Saturday, the competition got tougher and so did Cerrone. After a pin in the round of 8, Cerrone faced the Belmont Hills 170 whom he’d beaten earlier in the season and was looking for revenge. That wasn’t the case as Steve got early takedowns and was up 8 – 0. As hard as Steve worked on top, his opponent turtled…wasn’t called for stalling (until late in the 3rd period) and kept fighting to get out of bounds and/or not get pinned. Cerrone had over 5 minutes in control but couldn’t manage the pin.
In the finals, Cerrone faced Pasha Sonkin of Concord Academy. Although he was a game opponent, Steve was not to be denied. He got a first round takedown and was up 2-0. In the second round, Sonkin had choice and elected standup. He took an early shot and Cerrone countered and got the takedown and managed to turn him. Although he didn’t pin, Cerrone was up 7-0 at the end of 2.
Third period, Steve had choice and took top; the beginning of the end for Sonkin. Thirty seconds into the third, Sonkin’s on his back, ref slaps the mat and Cerrone’s wearing a new hat…Steve Cerrone; Undefeated New England Champion!
Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride
While at Hartford High School, Cerrone wrestled for the Bellows Falls-Hartford Coop team for three years. In that time, he took a fifth and two second place state finishes. All of those years he had to cut weight to take one for the team. “It wasn’t easy, and my last year I had nothing left come states. Starving myself all throughout the season took it’s toll on me physically. Prep school is different. You wrestle the weight you’re comfortable at because they’re concerned that school is tough enough without the added burden of having to make a weight that’s considerably less than your walking weight.”
“I wanted to transfer to a good prep school to give me another year both academically and athletically. I think it was the best decision I ever made. It’s hard to leave your friends but I knew it was the best thing for me. I was extremely fortunate to get accepted to Phillips Exeter.”
In his first year at Exeter, Cerrone managed a very respectable 21 – 5 record with 3rd place finishes at both the Class A’s and
New England’s. This year was a different animal. “I didn’t play soccer this year and drilled with Quinn Abrams and AJ Pedro in the off season. That really helped me come into the season in stride. Their both great wrestlers and it stepped up my game big time by drilling with them, and Exeter has great coaches. My thanks to coaches Hudson, Davis, Brown and Shapiro.”
Wrestling and Trinity College
Wrestling is a very difficult sport, period. Aside from the physical aspect (which is tough enough), there’s the time you spend practicing and the pressure of being on the mat in a big situation. But the plus side can be awesome. Colleges want applicants that are dedicated and successful. When they see wrestling on an applicant’s profile, they automatically know what type of drive that applicant possesses. Steve had the good fortune to be supported by Coach Marcus Gales of Trinity College and he in turned committed to Trinity and applied Early Decision. (Student athletes applying to college)
“I’m one of the luckiest people alive”, said Steve. “I had an unbelievable season and got accepted to my top choice college!”
Coach Gales was equally excited about having Steve matriculate at Trinity. When he knew of Steve’s acceptance, he contacted him to welcome Steve to Trinity. “Excited to have you joining our wrestling family. With hard work and dedication, I have no doubt that you’re a potential All American.”
Congratulations Steve, you deserve it!
Upper Valley Sports – Cerrone Undefeated New England Champ